FACTORS INFLUENCING HOUSEHOLD SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL AND MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Urbanization is a complex phenomenon that provides opportunities and benefits for countries but also associated with the process and problems of social, economic and environmental nature. In countries around the world, one major environmental problem that confronts municipal authorities is solid waste disposal. Most county governments are confronted by mounting problems regarding the collection and disposal of solid waste. In high-income countries, the problems usually centre on the difficulties and high cost of disposing of the large volume of waste generated by households and businesses. In lower-income countries, the main problems are related to collection, with between one-third and one-half of all solid waste generated in Third World cities remaining uncollected.
Today, municipal solid waste collection and disposal are particularly problematic in developing country cities, but many Western cities have also grappled with this problem in the past (and some probably still do). In his book Rubbish, Girling (2005) observed that before the 20th century, many cities in Europe “drowned in a sea of garbage” with most of their municipal solid waste being dumped into rivers and open sewers. Municipal waste services were then poor and rivers like the Rhine and Thames were nothing more than open sewers as they were heavily polluted with waste and were major sources of infectious diseases (Girling, 2005:10).Nowadays, Western countries generally rely on land filling to overcome the problem of waste accumulation (Girling, 2005; Pacione, 2005). The landfill seems to have a special attraction for municipal waste managers because it offers a cheap and convenient option for waste disposal compared with other strategies such as reuse, recycling and energy recovery (Charzan, 2002). In fact, with the exception of few countries like Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark who recycle substantial proportions of their waste, most countries in Europe and North America still dump the bulk of their municipal solid waste in landfills (OECD, 2000; Girling, 2005). Thus, the current requirement for countries to move up the waste hierarchy remains a real challenge for even the rich and technologically advanced countries (OECD, 2000).
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