Urban solid waste management; A major concern despite government’s efforts
Urban solid waste management has been of major concern in our towns despite too many researches and governments efforts. The high rate of urbanization has increased the production of municipal solid waste produced in urban centers causing daily tons of wastes available for collection. As a result in some instances outrunning the capacity of urban authorities to manage solid waste.
The disposal of solid waste has for quite a long been a major urban problem. The growing affluent and the changing technology has increased the volume of solid waste and changed its character further complicating efforts in solid waste management.
The increasing public awareness and concern for the environment, for a clean and healthy environment, has enlightened and brought the demand for water and air pollution protection thereby increasing awareness for better solid waste management.
Poor management of solid waste in urban areas has led to air and land pollution, loss of aesthetic value of urban land, clogging of urban drainage systems leading to floods; resulting in loss of lives and property.
Several factors influence efforts in Urban solid waste management:
Public prejudice on landfills due to improper operations and management of the sites making acquisition difficult.
Irresponsible dumping of waste at undesignated places.
Poor infrastructure in transportation and management of the waste
Changing technology that increases the difficulty in choosing a particular waste disposal site.
The increasing cost of waste management
What next for Urban solid waste management
Solid waste should be managed adequately to conform to the best principles of public health and environment and also be responsive to public attitude and concerns. Solid waste disposal sites should have an attractive landscape to change the negative perspective on landfills. Provide waste incinerators and recycling facilities within industrial zones and ensuring the timely collection of waste from the source.
Urban authorities can integrate the urban population to participate in solid waste management to complement their services. However, to promote community participation the authorities must develop and implement community awareness programmes to enable people to adopt appropriate waste handling practices. Also, the partnership and social inclusion should be encouraged in waste collection and transport, provision of disposal facilities, and collaboration in the construction of landfills.