Urbanization and continuous economic growth of Lagos municipality have resulted in rapid increase in volume and types of solid waste. This thesis provided a consolidated data on municipal solid waste (MSW) generation, as well as data on plastic waste component of the MSW which is quite problematic. The total amount of plastic waste collected during the study period of one month was 6857.1 kg and an average of 685.68 kg per day. The study results show that the total amount of 2,516,823.3 kg of solid waste is generated in the municipality for the period of one month which translate to an average of 83,894.11 kg of MSW generated daily. Lagos, the capital city of Nigeria is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. This has led to the daily generation of about 2,000 tons of municipal waste. Lagos faces a situation in which plastics, the second largest component of plastic waste produced is disposed of primarily through dumping and landfills although plastics do not decompose. However, recycling which is a preferable alternative for disposing of plastics and a profitable industry accounts for about 5% of the plastic waste disposal methods used in Lagos. The findings show that the plastic recycling industry in Lagos is largely unstructured. In addition, the results also revealed socio-economic status of residents in the metropolis reflected in the way they handle plastic waste and dispose plastic waste; many of them are not able to pay for the services of plastic waste disposal. The study recommended a more robust policy should be formulated to encourage investors in the area of recycling.

1.1 Background
Urbanization, industrialization and continuous economic growth have resulted in rapid increase in volume and types of solid and hazardous plastic waste. The amount of municipal solid waste (MSW), one of the most important by-products of an urban lifestyle, is growing even faster than the rate of urbanization. In 2003, there were 2.9 billion urban residents who generated about 0.64 kg of MSW per person per day (0.68 billion tonnes per year) worldwide. Ten years on, these amounts have increased to about 3 billion residents generating 1.2 kg per person per day (1.3 billion tonnes per year). It is estimated that by 2025, this will increase to 4.3 billion urban residents generating about 1.42 kg/capita/day of municipal solid waste (2.2 billion tonnes per year) (World Bank, 2013).

The World Bank Group, in 2013, provided a consolidated data on MSW generation, collection, composition, and disposal by country and by region. Despite the importance of this report, reliable global MSW information is not typically available. Even where it is available, data is often inconsistent, incomparable and incomplete. The report however made projections on MSW generation and composition for 2025 in order for decision makers to prepare plans and budgets for solid waste management in the coming years (Global Waste Management Market Report 2007).

Solid Waste Management (SWM) in most nations is being handled by national and local governments. Although considerable efforts are being made by many Governments and other entities in tackling waste-related problems, there are still more room for improvement. In developing countries where open dumping with open burning is the norm, it is common for municipalities to spend 20-50 percent of their available budget on solid waste management even though 30-60 percent of all the urban solid wastes remain uncollected and less than 50 percent of the population is served. In low-income countries, collection alone drains up 80-90 percent of municipal solid waste management budget. In mid-income countries, collection costs 50-80 percent of total budget. In high-income countries, collection only accounts for less than 10 percent of the budget, which allows large funds to be allocated to waste treatment facilities. (World Bank, 2013).

In advanced countries, upfront community participation reduces the collection cost and facilitates plastic waste recycling and recovery. Hence, developing countries face uphill challenges to properly manage their waste with most efforts being made to reduce the final volumes and to generate sufficient funds for waste management. If most of the plastic waste could be diverted for material and resource recovery, then a substantial reduction in final volumes of plastic waste could be achieved and the recovered material and resources could be utilized to generate revenue to fund waste management through a system based on the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle). It has been shown that with appropriate segregation and recycling system significant quantity of plastic waste can be diverted from landfills and converted into resource (UNEP, 2009).

Lagos, the capital city of Nigeria, is said to be generating over 2,200 metric tons of plastic waste daily (Daily Graphic, February 6, 2014: page 40). This has put pressure on city authorities responsible for managing waste and ensuring that the capital city is clean at all times. At all the places demarcated as landfill site or dumpsite, residents have met them with fierce resistance due to the environmental and health implications associated with the sites. Such sites are noted for unbearable stench, flies and rodents as well as heavy smoke which engulfs the nearby communities. Examples abound in Lagos of residents picking up arms against the siting of landfill sites or dumps near their communities. Mallam, Oblogo, Achimota and most recently Pantang, near Abokobi, are typical examples of residents picking up arms against the siting of these landfill sites. At all these locations, authorities were forced to close down the landfill sites as they succumbed to the pressure from their constituents. These pressure and threats from residents near the landfill site have resulted in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) giving the assembly an ultimatum to close down some of these dumpsite because of the environmental and health hazards the site was posing to residents (Daily Graphic, February 6, 2014: page 40).

Currently, most Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have engaged the services of Zoomlion Nigeria Limited, a waste management company, to collect their waste and manage their landfill site by constantly using its machines to compact the plastic waste and ensure that trucks bringing in waste dispose it properly. Zoomlion also from time to time spray some of the landfill sites and their surroundings to reduce the infestation of flies and rodents. As part of steps to mitigate the excessive smoke that engulfed the nearby communities, some of the MMDAs also engaged the scavengers at the sites to find solutions to the burning of the refuse.

Although the organic solid waste takes a bulk of the MSW, the problem of organic solid wastes management is not a big issue as compared to plastic wastes. This is because the organic solid waste is biodegradable. However, the non-biodegradable nature of plastic waste poses a big problem since the plastic waste can stay in the environment for quite a period of time causing all sorts of problems.

The management of these Plastic Waste through combustion (incineration) is not environmentally friendly and sustainable since this may release carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming (greenhouse effect). Landfilling with Plastic Waste is not also desirable since plastic is non-degradable and no economic value would have been derived from the plastic waste in that case. According to a study conducted in Lagos, Nigeria by GOPA Consultants in 1983, Plastic Waste accounts for 1-5% (of net weight) of the total amount of plastic waste generated (Lardinois and Van de Klundert, 1995). Since then, there has been a tremendous increase in plastic waste particularly sachet water bags due to increase urbanization and consumption pattern.

The best option for Sustainable Plastic Waste Management is through recycling. This is because the benefits of recycling of Plastic Waste are numerous and also environmentally friendly compared to the other methods of plastic waste disposal. Through recycling of Plastic Waste, we can have material and energy recovery and therefore value will be derived from the plastic waste instead of regarding it as garbage or trash.

This topic was deemed necessary after series of media reportage on plastic waste menace in the Lagos Metropolitan. Upon viewing and listening to various discussions, a quick survey was done to assess the situation in Lagos Metropolitan Assembly (A.M.A). This thesis work will also serve as a working document for policy makers and serve as a way of turning garbage into wealth as well as providing jobs to the urban poor. It is hoped that this document shall be useful to other countries where plastic waste is engulfing all the major cities and causing all sorts of environmental problems.

1.2 Problem Statement
Waste management is one of the major challenges confronting most Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Nigeria. Very limited research work has been done on waste generation and disposal in some urban areas in Nigeria. It is envisaged that for proper integrated solid waste management to be put in place, the characteristics of the solid waste generated must be known (Sakai et al. 1996). Lagos is rated as one of the, if not the most, vibrant and commercial metropolis in Nigeria due to urbanization and continuous economic growth. In 2000 the population of the Lagos metropolis was estimated at 1000000 with a growth rate of 3.8% . Nearly two decades later, the population of Lagos is estimated as 2.4 million people. The growth rate of Lagos compared with the national growth rate of 2.7 percent indicates a high growth rate (GSS, 2010). The accompanying increase in economic activities in the municipality coupled with historic and cultural heritage of the people make sanitation an important issue to consider in keeping the municipality clean.

Effective and adequate solid waste management in the municipality is therefore necessary to ensure clean environment in order to promote public health and sustainable development. The problem of domestic waste disposal especially iced water sachets and other plastics has been of a major concern in the municipality (Lagos Metropolitan Assembly annual report, 2011). These solid wastes are scattered all over the municipality especially some days after market day. The worry is the fact that our gutters get choked with plastic waste leading to flooding in most parts of the city after the rains. Some other concerns have been that our streets have been engulfed with sachet water plastic waste destroying their aesthetic beauty thereby driving away tourists (Wienaah, 2007). Our livestock may also feed on plastic waste and get choked and die. Choked gutters with plastic waste also become fertile breeding grounds for mosquitoes infesting the general populace with malaria (Wienaah, 2007).

The Organic component of Municipal Solid Waste may not be too much of a problem since that is biodegradable. However, the Plastic Waste component of the Municipal Solid Waste is quite problematic because this can stay in the environment for a considerable length of time causing all sorts of problems. The two existing waste management practices in the municipality namely: combustion and land filling are not commercially and environmentally friendly since the former may release carbon dioxide, a major contribution to global warming and the latter is not desirable since plastics takes a longer time to biodegrade. There is therefore the need for a better and sustainable option for waste management through recycling.

1.3 Research Objectives
· To determine the amount of plastic waste generated in the Lagos metropolitan area.

· To determine the alternative means of managing waste generated in the metropolitan area.

· To gauge the perception and attitudes towards plastic waste management practices in the metropolis

· To gauge the perceptions and attitudes towards the assembly’s efforts in effective plastic waste management.

· To measure the strategies and measures put in place to improve plastic waste management practices in the metropolis.

1.4 Research Questions.
· How much waste is generated in the Lagos metropolitan area?

· What are the alternative means of managing waste by the Lagos metropolitan assembly?

· What is the perception of the people living within the metropolitan assembly towards plastic waste management?

· What are the perceptions of the metropolitan assembly’s efforts in managing waste effectively?

· What are strategies put in place to ensure that all hands are on deck to improve plastic waste management practices in the Lagos metropolitan assembly

1.5 Significance of study
The study was designed to explore sustainable options and approaches to plastic waste management in the Lagos metropolis. This study among other things is expected create awareness on plastic waste management, as well as contribute to existing body of knowledge on a sustainable plastic waste management option.

1.6 Scope of the study
Lagos is divided into various metropolitan and municipal areas. Hitherto this segmentation, it was largely the Lagos metropolitan assembly. Although most of the municipalities and sub-metros have similarities in waste management problems, the study will be focused on the Lagos Metropolitan area, since it houses the central business district which is highly concentrated with human population during peak hours.

1.7 Organization of study
The study will be organized in five chapters, with each chapter dedicated to a specific aspect of the study. The first chapter deals with the introduction, statement of the problem, research objectives and research question, and scope of study. The second chapter will deal extensively with literature review and relevant concepts to put the study in perspective. The third chapter of the project will deal with the methodology and research design of the project, as well as the sample and sampling technique of the population. The fourth chapter of the study will deal with presentation of the data analysed using relevant statistical stools. The fifth and final chapter will deal with summary, analyses and conclusion of the project including recommendations for further studies.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 43 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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