WHAT TO DO.         

As stated earlier, there are two major stages of waste management
that should take us to where we need to be, the first of which we should have
perfected by now.



This stage comprises the following steps:

(i) Educate residents to
provide waste receptacles (baskets/bins) in strategic locations of the
house/offices /shops and kitchen bins in the kitchen. This will ensure that no
wastes, no matter how small, are dropped on the floors or premises.

(ii) Educate residents to
provide at least one 120- or 240-litre bin with tight cover/lid in every
household or business premise, depending on the volume of wastes generated. The
bins should be large or many enough to contain wastes generated in two weeks.

                                                                                                     (Iii)                                                             Local
and state governments should develop and maintain landfill (dump) sites in the
outskirts of the town.

(iv) Local government councils
should engage/license private sector partners in a public-private sector
partnership (PPP) to evacuate wastes from premises at least once a week.

(v) The town/city should be
zoned to the private sector participants (PSPs) for effective

(vi) Local and state
governments should adequately educate the residents to register with the PSPs
and to bring out their waste bins every week for the PSPs to collect their

(vii) Residents should be
educated to pay the approved waste disposal charges/levies to the PSPs.

(Viii) Enforcement teams
(taskforce), including environmental mobile courts should be established,
equipped and funded to enforce compliance of the rules and provisions of the by
law on waste management and environmental protection.

Taking the above steps faithfully and consistently for three to five
years can ensure that wastes are not visible in premises, gutters, streets and
entry/exit points of towns.


The second stage of environmental protection in Nigeria which should
have started       taking root by now
comprises the following:-

(i) Separating recyclable
wastes such as shoes, clothes, glass bottles, plastics etc, from food wastes at
the point of generation (home and commercial houses) 

(ii)                               Maintaining
food waste bins at home for weekly collection by PSPs.

(iii) Local and state
governments creating the following Waste Banks at strategic points within the
community (mainly residential areas) – Shoe Bank, Clothes Bank, Glass Bottle
Bank, Plastics Bank, Metal Bank, Electronic Bank etc.

(iv) As food, garden and other
non-recyclable wastes are taken to Waste-to-Energy Plants, Organic fertilizer
Plants or Landfill Sites, recyclable wastes are taken from waste banks to
Recycling Centres for cleaning/repackaging, repairing/refurbishing or disposal
for items that can no longer be recycled/re-used.

(v) State and Federal
Governments investing adequately in the development of modern landfill sites
for mainly chemical/toxic and industrial wastes that cannot be incinerated or
recycled and in incinerators for hospital/medical wastes etc. It is worthy of
note  to state here that the landfill
sites should be equipped with modern gadgets that will gather/collect toxins,
chemical components etc in the form of gas which is piped into the atmosphere
and flared, making it less harmful to human health. This also prevents leaching
of toxic/chemical components to underground water. Ideally, these landfill
sites are constructed to last for fifty years or more after closing down the
site and maintained during the period in which all the toxic/chemical
components of the wastes would be eliminated.

The following pictures of modern waste management systems in the
United States of America (USA) were taken when Chief John Ehikwe was a member
of the Federal Government delegation to an International Solid Waste Technology
and Management Workshop in 2001.

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