• REDUCTION, REUSE AND RECYCLING OF SOLID WASTE IN THE MAKURDI METROPOLITAN AREA OF NIGERIA: PUBLIC OPINIONS AND PERCEPTIONS

      Fullen, Michael A.; Booth, Colin A.; Hammond, Felix Nikoi; Tannahill, Kim; Awopetu, Sesan O.; Awopetu, Ronke G.; Coker, Akinwale O.; Awopetu, Michael S. (Contemporary Research Center, Australia, 2013-11)
      Waste is a global environmental issue that is becoming most noted in developing countries. Public attitudes towards reducing, reusing and recycling solid waste in the Makurdi Metropolitan area of Nigeria have been sought, in tandem with their awareness of waste management options, to determine the extent to which these various approaches are utilised and to identify strategic avenues for improvement. To date, the waste management strategies of the study area, which are typical of many developing countries, remain focused on more traditional waste collection and storage methods (dumped outside the city limits in an uncontrolled landfill site) that are not conducive to sustainable futures. Questionnaires were distributed (n = 560) throughout low (Zone I), medium (Zone II) and high density (Zone III) population areas, with different income levels, and the respondent data analysed (n = 545). These reveal that most respondents (>80%) in all of the three zones are aware of solid waste reuse, recycling and reduction from source and that many of them (>90%) are willing to participate in any associated schemes. Opinion on the responsibility for managing waste was divided, with the most affluent neighbourhood (Zone III) believing the government was accountable and the less affluent neighbourhoods disagreeing. Moreover, many from the least affluent neighbourhood (Zone I) considered solid waste to be both a serious environmental and public health risk. Concomitant with these findings, it is apparent that the infrastructure and the societal means to facilitate solid waste reduction, reuse and recycling is drastically lacking. Since there is a clear public knowledge and willingness to engage in sustainable waste management approaches, across all levels of society, it is recommended there is a shift in local authority strategy towards a sustainable hierarchy and federal government funding be forthcoming to make necessary infrastructure improvements and embrace public attitudes to solid waste reduction, reuse and recycling.