The Problems Of Urban Waste Disposal And Management

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

The Problems Of Urban Waste Disposal And Management


Nigeria’s major urban centres are today grappling with the problems caused by mounting heaps of solid wastes from their environments. This paper undertakes a study of the solid waste build up phenomenon with a view toward finding ameliorative measures that would help reduce their negative effects on urban beautification and sanitation. And hopefully, to provide insights into easing, reducing, minimizing and avoiding the evolving solid, waste encroachment of city streets and roads, particularly in areas of uncontrolled growth and development typifying cities in Nigeria

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

There were efforts, some of them commendable made at various times, in Enugu to improve the environmental and atmospheric conditions of the different part of the capital city. These have include the clearing of the city of large amounts of refuse site and dumps indiscriminately located within living abodes, which blocked several access routes.This has opened up some of the area, provided access to part of the city litter to block and also more open spaces for recreation. All this efforts failed the test of time by not sustaining the search for a clean city. Therefore, Afuabi in his write up in the National Concord described these “attempts as mainly cosmetic and that the characteristic of under-development seemed to be the prevalence of urban slum and rural squalor” To deal with the situation the 1976 local government reform assigned specifically the functions of maintaining and promoting environmental health to the local councils. This was a view to finding a means of solving the problem of environmental decay within the urban center in particular. Inspite of this provision, refuse disposal within the urban center of Enugu remained a problem. Enugu Local Government lacked the required assigned functions. Admolekum, put in vividly this. “ This list of Local Government Functions could be impressive whilst the financial and human resources necessary for effective performance are grossly inadequate”. There was continuous decline in the sanitary condition of the capital city. In 1984, the government of Anambra State before division established the task force on Works, Housing, vehicle and Environmental Sanitation.

This was an ad-hoc body, which was military in character and operation and therefore, depended on the application of task force to achieve its objective. The taskforce instituted penalties such as times paid on whips. Compliance with sanitation regulation was with “immediate effect,” hence, the unconditional acceptance by the people to pay the required levies what sustained the operations of the taskforce. Under the situation of fear and force compliance with sanitation regulation, the solution to the problem of decay and squalor, particularly as it related to refuse disposal within Enugu was a temporary basis and might not be sustained nor might it stand the test of the time, in the light of this fact as indicated by Obasi in his contribution. The Anambra State Government later decided to establish a more permanent organ whose mandate would span not only the immediate challenge of ensuring a clean environment but also the long term task of inculcating in the public a heightened and enduring sense of sanitary consciousness.The efforts to achieve an effective waste disposal management in Enugu Urban notwithstanding, the issue of refuse disposal in Enugu Urban continued to pose enormous problems. The researcher therefore decided to carryout a study in order to find out why these problems have persisted in spite of the efforts and strategies that have been employed.

The management of solid waste particularly has been facing a great problem. There has been the general lack of equipment and exodus of well-trained personnel required for the job. Another problem has been the demolition of built up refuse deposits. There was also lack of refuse disposal vehicle such as closed refuse trucks and open tippers. The heavy equipment such as Bulldozer and pail-loaders required for the maintenance of the final disposal site were also lacking. However, where they exist, many of them are either old or broken down, moreover, the vehicles and heavy equipment that are in order have often been diverted to un-official uses by some field official.

There was also the issue of refuse workers not being properly deployed while the payment of their salaries were most often delayed even for months.

Most importantly, there has been lack of adequate finance, which affected all the facets of the operation of Enugu State Environmental Protection Agency in Enugu. Onwumelu put this fact in perspective when he said, “the task of maintaining an Environment free of filth cannot be achieved unless there was fund”.

There is also the need for the basic infrastructural support and equipment or tools

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The study is centered on the operation of the Enugu State Environmental Protection Agency. Specifically, the study deals with urban waste disposal in Enugu Urban. It is not concerned with the collection of hazardous or toxic waste, which may also be generated within an urban center given the multiple occupations of Enugu for both residential and commercial/industries purposes.

1.3 Objective of the Study

  1. To investigate the effect of solid waste management practice on the environment.
  2. To determine the effect of solid waste land fill on the environment
  3. To appraise the strategy for effective solid waste land fill management practice
  4. To determine the management practices of Nigeria for effective solid waste management land fill

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following hypotheses were formulated:

  1. H0: solid waste land fill has no significant impact on the environment
    H1: solid waste land fill has a significant impact on the environment
  2. H0: there is no significant relationship between solid waste land fill emission and environmental pollution
    H2: there is a significant relationship between solid waste land fill emission and environmental pollution.

Also the concern of the study is to investigate the problem of Enugu urban waste disposal and management by Enugu State Environmental Protection Agency.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study is primarily undertaken with the aim of providing some level of information to government, urban development and ENSEPA, which serves as a case study. This study will assist the management of the ENSEPA in making comprehensive review of its waste management policy and strategies.

It is important as a basis for further research on the management of urban waste disposal on how effective is the disposal operation of ENSEPA, as well as how adequate are the equipment at this disposal of ENSEPA for its operation in Enugu and the required funds for the operation of ENSEPA provided.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the problems of urban waste disposal and management, in the cause of the study, the researcher was faced with a lot of constraints that made the research to skip certain vital and relevant areas.

These constraints include:

1. Finance and Time Constraints:

Due to lack of finance and time which is not at the researcher’s disposal, the research work was limited to only Enugu metropolis.

2. Un-cooperation Attitude of the Respondents:

Some of the respondents refused bluntly to be interviewed while others returned their questionnaires blank, may be they thought their responses would reprimand them without being mindful of their earlier assurance that their responses would be treated with the strictest confidence.

3. Scarcity of Comprehensive Literature:

Due to the scarcity of related literatures, it was not very easy for the researcher to lay hand on enough information that is relevant to this study.

1.5 Operational Definition of Terms

Proper disposal of waste: provision made for collection of these waste at a regular interval.


Street of dirty


Material or substance that is unwanted because the good part of them has been removed.


Waste material that has been thrown away.

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc.
  • Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.
  • Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Summary Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the land use policy and tourism development in Nigeria.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of land use policy and how to develop tourism in Nigeria.

5.2 Summary

Waste management plays an integral role in human activity. The overall viewof solid waste management is to collect, treat and dispose solid waste byurban dwellers in an environmentally and socially satisfactory manner. Untilrecently, Nigerians have not been particularly concerned about proper wastemanagement, open dumping and open burning in unapproved locations hasbeen the norms. The constraints to effective solid waste management are notlimited to lack of policy or laws, but poor infrastructure, education, socialawareness of problems and solutions, and lack of institution promotingsustainable environmental actions.

5.3 Conclusion

Fire incidents on landfills and dumps in Nigeria, especially those involving burning tyres will continue to pose a serious risk to the health of nearby residents through prolonged or repeated exposure to the toxic chemicals they emit and the contamination of groundwater. Some of the hazardous chemical compounds emitted by burning tyres are capable of causing severe health conditions such as reproductive and developmental disorders, and cancers in humans. Effective landfill management by the operators is therefore necessary to prevent the occurrence of these fires in order to protect the environment and human health. The disposal of waste tyres should be prohibited at all landfills by thoroughly inspecting and controlling incoming waste. Buried waste should also be compacted on a regular basis to prevent hot spots from forming. Since methane is highly flammable and can pose a fire hazard, gas collection and control systems should be installed at the sites to collect landfill gas which can be flared to convert methane to gases less harmful to the environment or converted to energy. This research examines landfill emission and their impact on the environment in Nigeria and therefore calls for the need to improve on waste management practices and construct well engineered sanitary landfills to ensure the protection of human health and the environment.

5.4 Recommendation

Haven successfully completed the study, the following recommendations are put forward by the researcher:

  1. Strategic environmental planning of waste management practices should be put in place
  2. There is need to ensure strict adherence to guidance and cost analysis of solid waste options in the area.
  3. Community participation in collection, selection of sites and design of facilities is inherently essential for sustainability.
  4. There is need to strengthen the work force, by recruiting more personnel in the Waste Management Authority.
  5. Government should provide adequate funds for waste management personnel for the purchase of more evacuating vehicles and waste disposal containers.
  6. There is need for environmental and public health education on the danger of indiscriminate waste disposal in the study area.

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