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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.





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, household income, educational level and gender. Ayodeji Ifegbesan studied the waste management awareness knowledge and practices of secondary school teachers in Ogun state and it showed that teachers were aware and knowledgeable about waste management even though they possessed negative waste management practices. There seems to be appreciable awareness and know- ledge about waste disposal among people in Nigeria but most of them are only aware of the crude and traditional methods and are oblivious of the modern methods such as incineration and recycling. The attitude of people towards waste management can be affected by their level of knowledge and awareness of waste management and it has been reported that homes with waste bins engage more in proper way of storing waste than homes without waste bins. A Nigerian study about attitude towards recycling and waste management showed no significant effect of gender, employment and educational statuses, on willingness to recycle.

Human wastes are great contributors of environmental health hazards. Poor waste practices lead to contamination of edible products thereby increasing the burden of infection and diseases among the citizens. About 1.3 billion tons of waste are generated globally, 0.035% being generated by Nigeria. About 85.8% of Nigerian waste is generated by households. It is estimated that an average Nigerian in the urban or rural areas generates about 0.49 kg of solid waste per day with household and commercial centres contributing almost 10% of total urban waste burden. Of this about two thirds of wastes are dumped indiscriminately on the streets and in the drains thus posing serious environmental health hazards.

Furthermore poor waste management and disposal could lead to various diseases, infections and infestation and these include fly transmitted diseases like myiasis, diarrhea, typhoid, cholera; rodent transmitted disease like Lassa fever plague, leptospirosis, murine typhus; mosquito borne diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, filariasis, and dengue hemorrhagic fever. Also gases like methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and mercury vapor emitted from land fill site can constitute air contaminants and pollution. Another problem people face in proper waste management and disposal is the absence of storage facilities (waste bins with tight fitted covers) in some houses which lead to littering of refuse around the house, worsened by the absence of drainage systems in such houses. Even where the drains are available they are either constructed without a gradient or not properly maintained as they are clogged or blocked with sand or other debris thus preventing se- wage drainage.

Against the background of these identified problems, this research further assessed waste management practices, factors that influenced these practices and provided solution to avert/prevent the complications which arose from poor waste management. This research helped to ascertain the level of awareness, knowledge and attitude of people towards waste management practices. It also helped in finding out the prevailing methods of household waste collection and disposal system adopted by Owerri State Council. It is hoped that the find- ings will enrich the reservoir of knowledge necessary to inform appropriate refuse management and environ- mental policy for the country.



Waste management is one of the big challenges facing most urban cities in the world. Based on research in Nigeria (Awortwi, 2003 & Obrih-Opareh, 2003) and Kenya 4 (Karanja, 2005 & Mwangi, 2003) they pull together the evidence with respect to Solid waste and urban management in Africa. Besides private enterprises, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) may also play a role in activities like solid waste collection, sanitation and public awareness programs. Despite the initiatives to privatize solid waste management, the problem of uncollected solid waste stays a threat to the population and to the environment in general. Imo state is among cities which facing the problem of solid waste management which lead to view our city that are unorganized or uncontrolled. Management of solid waste all over the world is one of the first important priorities to the protection of community health as well as the environment pollution. Solid waste comprises all the waste arising from human and animal activities that are normally solid and are discarded as useless or un wanted disposal (Tchobanoglous, et al. 1993). The vehicles which collecting the solid waste, instead of collecting the solid waste they just distributing the waste around the city when they are on the way to dispose. This situation is too critical to vehicles of Imo state council which lead to distribute the outbreak diseases like cholera, tuberculosis and other related diseases which affect the human resources and environmental of the country. This study will analyse the whole process of waste management in Imo state.



To reach the main objective, there will be some question to be considered, they are:

  1. How is the current condition of household waste in Nigeria?
  2. How is the waste management policy in Nigeria?
  3. What is an effective means to reducing waste in Nigeria at the present stage? Is an economic measure is the effective means to waste reduction: About its theoretical


  1. To identify the current condition of household waste in Nigeria.
  2. To identify the waste management policy in Nigeria?
  3. To know the effective means to reducing waste in Nigeria at the present stage



Findings from this study will provide information of analysis of problems facing in Imo state at Imo state m City Council on solid waste management process. The study will also help the government to make policies and plan programmes for state solid waste management proces; it will also help people to have a better insight and understanding on the optimization of state solid waste management process. Furthermore, the study will help to develop educational training programs to educate people about the importance of minimizing the cost of the state solid waste management process. Moreover, the study will act as the stepping stone to the minimization of state budget to solid waste management system and will be useful to the private contractors on planning their operations for solid waste collection. Lastly the study will help state planners to quantify the costs for state solid waste collections so as to opt for optimal one.



Coverage for this study involves household waste. But in fact there are other types of waste generated in Imo state. For example liquid and gaseous waste is the part of waste produced in the city. This study therefore provides only solid waste management issues. Conclusions and suggestions may not benefit any desired improvement on other types of waste other than solid waste.


1.7 Limitation of study

Some residents refused to open their gates or attend to the interviewers perhaps because of the precarious security situation in the state at that time. This setback was however largely circumvented by selection of well-known indigenes as guides for the interviewers.



Thesis consists of five main chapters:

Chapter one, Introduction: This chapter explains about my background of the study, research questions and objectives.

Chapter two, literature review: This chapter explains about framework of the study, conceptual review and empirical review.

Chapter three, shows the method of data collection and method of data analysis used in the research work.

Chapter four, data presentation and analysis while chapter five gives out the necessary recommendations and conclusion.


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