AN ASSESSMENT OF THE MANAGEMENT OF GARBAGE COLLECTION AND WASTE DISPOSAL IN IMO STATE

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ABSTRACT

Poor waste management has been a major problem to human existence and it affects both rural and urban areas. Various methods of waste disposal exist and this study assessed the waste man- agement practices among residents of Owerri State, Imo state, Nigeria. It was a descriptive cross sectional study in which a total of 282 residents of Owerri State were selected by multi- stage sampling technique and studied using self and interviewer administered questionnaires. The results showed that 90% of respondents were aware of waste management while 97.5% had posi- tive attitude towards it. The major types of waste generated from households were food residues (97.1%) and vegetable products (95.4%). Also poor waste management practices among residents include open dumping, practiced by 66.3% of the residents and burning as practiced by 62.4% of respondents. The commonest means of waste transport to final disposal site was by wheel barrow. Gender and educational status of respondents significantly influenced their knowledge, attitude and practice of waste management (p < 0.05). Good waste management is pivotal to sustainable healthy living conditions in any environment. The residents of Owerri need health education, reg- ular supply of refuse collection facilities and designated final dump sites. These will encourage strict adherence to proper and appropriate waste management practices among them.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Waste management is the process of collecting, transporting, processing or disposing, managing and monitoring of waste materials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics. The major focus of this research is on waste management practices as obtains in the urban developing nations. Waste includes all items that people no longer have any use for, which they either intend to get rid of or have already discarded and these include: packing items garden waste, old paints containers, vegetables, metals etc. Poor waste management has been a major problem to human health and existence, affecting both rural and urban areas. A clean environment influences good health and good health further affects the productivity of man. Therefore, it can be said that a good and clean environment invariably affects the wealth and economic status of the nation.

There are various methods of waste disposal including: land filling: which involves burying the waste in abandoned or unused quarries, mining voids or burrow pits and covering it with layers of soil; incineration: involves subjection of solid organic wastes to combustion at a very high temperature of about 10,000 so as to convert them into residue or gaseous products; open dumping: whereby dumping can be done on open land or sea; composting: this is an aerobic, biological process of degradation of biodegradable organic matter; hog feeding: this involves feeding animals like pigs with left over materials of waste; mechanical destructor: this involves the use of machines to destroy waste materials. Recycling of waste which means taking waste materials and transforming them into raw products, results in saving natural resources, saving energy, reducing disposal costs, reducing harmful emission to air and water, saving money and creating jobs. Awareness and knowledge of waste disposal is influenced by many factors as pointed out in a work done by Margaret Banga on household knowledge, attitudes and practices in solid waste segregation and recycling in urban Kampala. It indicated that the participation in solid waste separation activities depended on the level of awareness of recycling activities in the area