Factors Influencing Proper Solid Waste Disposal Among the Inhabitants of Umuahia, Abia State

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Factors Influencing Proper Solid Waste Disposal Among the Inhabitants of Umuahia, Abia State

Solid waste otherwise known as Refuse is any non-flowing substance that results from human and natural activities which is relatively unwanted, un-useful and harmful to man (Azuine, 2016). It may include the following old cloths peels, of fruits, torn/pieces of polythen bag, animal broken bone, broken pieces of woods, broken plastic and containers, human and animal excreta etc.

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Solid waste disposal refers to the ways by which the unwanted refuse are being discarded or gotten rid of (Iwuji, 2015). When the unwanted waste materials are not properly discarded, they will attract files which will on them and afford shelter for rodents and these cause harm to human health.
Uyigue, (2014) stated that the relationship between man and his environment could be compared to that between a good father and his only son. Every good father will cherish, nourish and protect his only son. So is man’s obligation to the environment where he lives.
Our physical and mental well beings are dependent on the environment we live in. In our country Nigeria, patronage of hospital and other health care facilities are increasing due to lack of pipe borne water.

A large percentage of the population depends on natural features like-stream, rivers, rain water as their drinking water. During raining season, run-off water having contact with refuse sites which carry septic wastes into those sources of water causing epidemics of gastrointestinal diseases.
Hospital records have confirmed high incidence of typhoid, cholera, dysentery, guinea worm in both urban and rural settlements in Nigeria. According to Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), Umuahia does not have disposal site but just waste heaps all around the place, (Lekwa, 2011). Almost everywhere you turn, your nose is assaulted by suffocating odour from decaying heaps of refuse.
(ASEPA) which is supposed to be serving all the roads, streets, markets and schools in Umuahia town, Abia State is not implementing the job as less than 10% of its tools are functioning. If one works around Umuokpara, Umudike, Ubakala, Amachara, Ibeku, and Nkwerenye in Umuahia, Abia State, one has to close one’s nose slightly just to escape the bad odour from the heaps of refuse. It is obvious that improper refuse disposal poses serious health hazards to the entire populace of Umuahia town which contributes to the reduction of average life expectancy of its inhabitants.
It is because of the effect of the unsightful refuse dump that this study is being carried out with the aim of identifying the factors responsible for poor refuse disposal practice among residents of Umuahia town, Abia State with the aim of changing the physical health and socio-economic hazards that the act constitutes thus improving the standard of living of the Umuahia inhabitants.

Statement of the Problem
Indiscriminate solid waste disposal is a major public health hazard and causes a lot of health problems including, Odour nuisance, transmission of diseases, proliferation of insects and vectors air pollution. When solid waste is disposed off at a wrong site, it causes odour nuisance or becomes offensive to people living near the area or passers-by. Where this happens, these people’s health status begin to deteriorate and their immunity level becomes weakened and lowered, making it easier for them to contract every form of disease that comes their way.

Transmission of disease like dysentery, cholera, intestinal worms etc. through contaminated food and water becomes the order of the day. This is because refuse is not disposed properly during the raining season, and these harmful materials are carried by rain water to our streams i.e. our source of drinking water and when it is taken or used in preparing meals, umuahia inhabitants contract these diseases.
Also, proliferation of insects and vectors of disease, files, rodents, is common as they do not breed on clean environment, as refuse is not well disposed, and they tend to find refuge in these dumping sites where they breed, mature and cause diseases.

Improper solid waste disposal equally causes contamination of the air these inhabitants breathe. Therefore, causing inhalation of unwanted materials that enter into their system and cause one respiratory problem or the other.
In view of these, the researcher therefore, thought it wise to research on the factors that influence proper solid waste disposal in Umuahia town, Abia State.

Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of the study are to
1. To determine whether wastes are managed properly in Umuahia town, Abia State.
2. To ascertain whether Umuahia inhabitants have waste baskets in their houses.
3. To determine how often the inhabitants of Umuahia empty their waste baskets.
4. To ascertain where they discard their waste baskets.

Significance of the Study
It is anticipated that the knowledge gathered from the study will give information on how to prevent indiscriminate solid waste disposal generally. It will also increase the knowledge of the researcher on the topic “Solid waste disposal”.
Equally it will enlighten the individual inhabitants of Umuahia and reactors on the need of proper refuse disposal. This will lead to better waste management.
The study will help the researcher to notify the authorities of Abia State Government, Umuahia on the predisposing factors to poor solid waste disposal. This will invariably serve as a medium through which future researchers could review on issues related to the study.

Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study.
1. Are waste managed properly in Umuahia, Abia State?
2. Do you have waste basket in your house?
3. How often do you empty these waste baskets?
4. Where do you personally discard your waste basket?

Scope of Study
This research study is centered on the factors that influence proper solid waste disposal in Umuahia town, Abia State.

Limitations of the Study
Short period of the time given for the research work.
Inadequate resources for the research.
Poor responses and delay in returning questionnaire given to Umuahia people during the research work.
Finance for movement to gather data.

Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined in the context of the study

Factors: This refers to the circumstances that contribute toward a good or poor solid waste disposal.

Influencing: Events/circumstances promoting or making solid waste disposal.

Proper Solid Waste disposal: Discarding refuse at its designated place and timely.

Solid waste disposal: The act of dumping refuse.

CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVEIW
The researcher based the factors that influence proper solid waste disposal from information gathered from news papers, articles, magazines and different authors of books, internet etc. Proper solid waste disposal and management should be the first step towards achieving adequate environmental sanitary condition and good health for all.
This issue of solid wastes around human environment is a common one. Frankly speaking, the worst would have happened to the universe if man were not around to manipulate nature and minimize means adequate enough to control the disturbing menace of solid waste. Otherwise, it would form mountain all over the world (Onuoha, 2012).
The review of literature for this study is focused on the following sub-topics:

Conceptual Review
• Concept of solid waste disposal.
• Types of solid waste disposal method.
• Factors that influence proper solid waste disposal.
• Hazard of poor refuse disposal.
• Benefits of sanitary disposal of solid wastes.
• Solution of solid waste disposal problems in Umuahia town, Abia State.

Empirical review
Waste Management
In a cross-sectional study by Azuine (2016) who used a questionnaire to elicit responses on 50 inhabitants from Umuuahia found out that 80% of the respondents stated that they do not manage their solid wastes properly ever at personal level while only 20% affirmed proper waste management at individual level.

Having Basket Bin
In a mailed questionnaire in a descriptive study by Iwuji (2015) about waste management conducted on 40 subjects in Aba, the result showed that about 75 respondents agreed that they have waste baskets while the remaining 25% had not.

Empting of Waste Basket
In a prospective descriptive study conducted in Umuahia about waste management on 30 subjects, majority (60%) opined that they discard their waste basket on daily basis while the remaining 40% claimed they discard theirs on weekly basis.

Disposal of Waste Basket
The rate with which indiscriminate solid waste disposal is being carried out or practiced is increasing every year presently, it is nothing to write home about in Umuahia town, Abia State, to the extent that one cannot enter in any of the streets or local government or villages in the town without closing one’s nose otherwise face an embarrassing, suffocating odour, which has resulted to increment in the attack of water, food and air-borne diseases in Umuahia. Before it was noted that the clinic in Umuahia town reported about 25% air, water and food-borne diseases but currently it has been raised by this menace to 65% annually due to high level of refuse dumping around the vicinity (Obionu, 2012).

Conceptual Framework
Concept of Solid Waste Disposal
Solid waste otherwise known as refuse is any non-flowing substance that results from human and natural activities which is relatively unwanted or worthless to man (Azuine, 2016).
Solid waste disposal involves the storage, collection and final disposal of refuse and the salvaging and recycling of useful materials. Indiscriminate solid waste disposal leads to improper disorganized and hazardous ways of disposing refuse which includes littering along the streets, in the gutters and unauthorized places.
National Ambassador Ikwunze stated “indeed the issue of solid waste in and around human environment is a common for instance, solid wastes must be found everywhere in the world in as much as man exists. Frankly speaking, the worst would have happened to the universe, if man was not around to control the menace (Iwuji, 2015).
Uyigue (2014), stated that indiscriminate and unpatriotic waste disposal in many Nigerian villages and cities is quite apparent owing to the epidemic occurrence of septic disease. The author further viewed environmental pollution as a result of abandoned dumping sites.
According to Obidiwe (2011), solid waste dumping is causing a gross insanitary area, making lands unfit for building. Where Uhuegbor (2012), stated that policies should be made on waste management and that should be built on basic physical development, master plan for each local government stating that the master plan must specify the suitable site for waste disposal.

Types of Solid Waste and their Disposal Methods
Solid wastes can be classified into different types depending on their sources:
Household waste generally classified as municipal waste.
Industrial waste as hazardous waste.
Bio-medical waste or hospital waste classified as infectious waste (Obionu, 2012).

A. Municipal waste
This consists of household waste, construction and demolitions, sanitation residue and waste from streets.
This garbage is generated mainly from residential and commercial complexes with urbanization and change in lifestyle and food habits, the amount of municipal solid waste has been increased rapidly and its compositions changing.
Method of Disposing Municipal Waste
– Burning: This involves low temperature burning of combustible refuse which is carried out on open fields and authorized laws etc.
– Composting: This process involves aerobic microorganisms principally thermophilic, and they break down organic matters to a fairly stable manner under a suitable environmental condition (Iwuji, 2015). It involves frequent turning and two main methods are used:
a. Refuse with right soil e.g. Calcutta methods.
b. Refuse without right soil e.g. Trennggams method (Obionu, 2012).
– Controlled Tipping: This is also known as sanitary land fills. It is an effective and in improved method for hygienic disposal of refuse and can be used whenever sufficient and suitable land in available.

 

It basically consists of four steps:
1. Depositing refuse in a planned, secured and controlled manner e.g. from dustbins in houses to authorized dumping sites.
2. Spreading and compacting it in layers by bulldozers to reduce its volume.
3. Covering the solid waste with a layer of earth. It is effective and minimizes health, fire and odour nuisance.
4. Incineration: This is a process of burning refuse in a closed chamber under a controlled temperature. It is more hygienic because the newer incineration plants with outers have reduced atmospheric pollution and also the volume of material for ultimate disposal is greatly reduced.
5. Salvaging: Some of the materials in refuse can be stored and re-used (e.g.) papers, rags, metals, containers, bottles and similar objects can be savaged (Obionu, 2012).

B. Industrial Wastes
Modern industrial processes produce chemical and solid wastes which are potential hazard to man and other living things.
In industrial, the major generators of hazardous waste are the metal, chemical, paper, pesticide, dye, refining and rubber goods industries.
This should not be indiscriminately dumped on lend nor should noxious fumes be blown for chimneys. It causes atmospheric pollution.
This type of waters if hazardous, thus, they are treated and disposed off in hospital waste.

C. Hospital Wastes
This is generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or in research activities in these fields (Obidiwe, 2011). It may include wastes like sharp objects, disposable, anatomical waste, discarded medicines containers, clinical wastes etc.
These wastes are highly infections and can be a serious threat to human health if not managed in a discriminate manner. It has been roughly estimated that, of the 4kg of waste generated in hospital at least 1kg wound be infectious (Lucas and Gilks, 2016).

 

Types of Hospital Wastes and Disposal Methods
Hospital wastes are categorized according to their weight, density and constituents, the World Health Organization (WHO, 2014) classified medical wastes into the following:
(a) Infectious: These includes materials that contain pathogens in sufficient concentration and quantities that if exposed can cause diseases e.g. waste from surgery and autopsies on patients without infections disease.
(b) Sharps: Disposable needles, Syringes, Surgical blades, broken glasses, Nails or any other item that could cause a cut.
(c) Pharmaceutical: Drugs and chemicals that are returned from wards that are spilled, outdated, contaminated or no longer required.
(d) Pathological: Examples of pathological wastes are tissues, organs, fetuses, blood and body fluids.
(e) Radioactive: Radioactive waste are solid, liquids and gaseous wastes contaminated with radioactive substances used in diagnosis and treatment of disease like toxic goitre.
(f) Others: Waste from offices, kitchens, rooms including beds. However, the wastes produced by medical items are central if not disposed off properly, can cause or even pose a greater threat than the original disease.
Questions may be asked, how does hospital waste affects us?

This is because if hospital waste were not properly managed, it proves to be harmful to the environment. It does not only pose threat to the employees working in the hospital but also to the people living around that area. Infectious waste can cause disease like Hepatitis A and B, HIV and AIDS and Typhoid fever etc.
The following techniques can be used in the management of wastes in the hospital.

A. Steam Autoclaving
This is the most widely used method and it is the most effective alternative in treating of waste technologically. These autoclaves usually operate to minimize the waste volume.
In autoclave, the effects of heat from saturated stem increase pressure decontaminating the medical waste by inactivating and destroying micro organisms.

B. Chemical Treatment
Here, an anti-microbial agent such as sodium hydrochloride decontaminates the medical waste, most chemical treatment systems operate as ambient temperature.

C. Microwave Radiation
Here, medical waste enters the system by batch or continuous method where it is wetted with steam and heated by microwave radiation at decontaminating temperature.

D. Disposal of Pathological Wastes
Pathological wastes e.g. body parts, research autoclaving for disposal of such waste and burning of the body should be done.

E. Training
The hospital staff should be trained in such a manner that they will help in disposing off the wastes properly.

Factors That Influence Proper Solid Waste Disposal
Studies show that problem of refuse disposal is compounded in urban cities due to several reasons, prominent among with reasons are population explosion, lack of master plan and coordinated urbanized policy are other reasons.
Furthermore, inadequate refuse dumping grounds, poverty, ignorance, carelessness, lack of skilled and adequate manpower and supervision, inadequate solid waste disposal facilities, indiscipline amongst the people etc. are contributory factors.

A. Poverty:
This is one of the major factors that influence proper solid waste disposal or management since we know that an average Nigerian manages to provide three square meals a day, the idea of finding refuse disposal is far fetched. On the other hand, the government does not help matters since refuse disposal does not generate fund, it is not included in the budget.

B. Indiscipline Amongst The People
Most people are aware of the consequences of indiscriminate dumping of refuse but because they are not disciplined, they dump refuse wherever they like without minding the hazard involved.

C. Population Explosion/Lack of Master Plan
Mr. Kenneth Iwugo, a professor of environmental and public health engineering identifies rapid growth in population as one of the major problem that influences proper solid waste management. He said “while rapid population growth is the most basic factor in increasing the generation of waste, environmental consequences are further influenced by urbanization”.

D. Lack of Modern and Sophisticated Solid Waste Disposal Facilities
This is a major problem or factor that influence proper solid waste disposal. This factor has really posed a trait towards refuse disposal.
According to Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) less than 10% of trucks are functioning others are grounded as a result of one fault or the other.

E. Inadequate Funding
Due to inadequate funding of solid waste disposal work, people do not take it up as a job because it is considered as a dirty and tedious job. Because it involves money that will be used to purchase the necessary materials needed, the government thinks they have more pressing needs and so neglects it.

F. Ignorance
Ignorance is said to be; being uniformed about ones environmental and what is happening around one. Because people are not informed and are ignorant of what proper refuse disposal is all about, its effects on the health of an individual, the community and the nation as a whole, they continue to dispose anywhere and anyhow. This is because of ignorance.

G. Inadequate Refuse Dumping Ground or Site
Heaps of refuse are left at various points scattered all over our cities for days, at times, they will stay there for weeks before they are cleared. Streets will either remain completely or partially blocked by refuse, impending the free movement of vehicle thereby causing serious traffic problems. There is problem of garbage digging the drainage system.
All these occur as a result of inadequate grounds for refuse dumping. In Umuahia main market, women discard anyhow, sell their food stuff on top their lives of refuse there by risking not only their lives but also the lives of other customers (consumers).

H. Inadequate Health Education Campaign
This is a major factor the influences proper solid waste disposal. The governmental areas that yields much fund, neglects the need for their health, the importance of maintaining their health by disposing their refuse adequately they dispose it anyhow, anywhere.
Lekwa (2011), stated that the mechanism for formulating and implementing policies on waste management system should be built on basic physical development master plan for each local government”. To him, the master plan must specify the suitable site for waste disposal.

I. Lack of Adequate Manpower/Supervision
This is also a major factor that influence proper solid waste disposal. Adequate manpower is needed for proper management of refuse.
Iwuiyi (2015), opined that most Nigerian leaders had failed to recognize professionals on the issues of waste management”. Negligence of these experts involves failure to recognize the factor that influences refuse production and management. When planning often times, periodic contracts are awarded for the management of refuse in our cities are not supervised effectively.

J. Inadequate Solid Waste Disposal Facilities
This has posed a trait towards solid waste disposal. According to Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) less than 10% of its trucks are functioning (Azuine, 2016). This results in heaping of refuse along the streets and drainages. Furthermore, lack of good drainage system and emergency of new technologies are equal. Other causes make the environment an eye -saw.
Such produces materials like plastic cans, creates, plates, cellophane materials and likely products that are easily disposed are littered every part of the city and rural areas with careless abandonment.
A bird’s eye view of any solid waste dumping will reveal thousands of cellophane (popularly called water proof) and different colours of broken plastic wares that are scattered here and there (Iwuije, 2015).

Consequences/Hazards of Poor Solid Waste Disposal
Environment and health can hardly be separated. A good environment promotes health while a bad one does the opposite (retards health). The air we breathe and water we drink are resources from the environment. Where rubbish is not cleared, microbes grow and multiply in geometric progression and what is followed is better imagined than experienced.
Uyigue (2014) state that “indiscriminate and Unpatriotic waste disposal in many Nigerian villages and cities is quiet apparent without making much predictable errors, the epidemic occurrence of septic disease is imminent. The putrefaction of the bio-degradable components perturbs environmentalist leading to multiplication of some disease causing organisms of bacterial origin.
Lekwa (2011) stated that “for sometime now refuse had been collected and dumped in the cities. As a result of this, the environment is polluted, thereby affecting normal life and work of city dwellers. In Umuahia, Umudike community precisely, has been victim of this unpleasant behaviour.
Apart from some diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and intestinal worms. Poor solid waste disposal may result to nasty odour, accidents and unnecessary occupying of useful land. Decaying of solid wastes along streets in urban area poses serious environmental problems, old scrab of cars, empty bottles, rusted irons and bicycle etc. may endanger lives of people.
Most of our urban roads and gutters constructed during the oil boom are now being blocked by ambiguous refuse dumps, now breeding ground for rodents, files and reptiles. The obnoxious odour and unpleasnat nature of these dumps keep the passers by completely uncomfortable. Furthermore, our physical and mental wellbeing are dependent of our environment. The extent to which the environment has been alternated depends largely on man’s interaction with the ecological system.
Other hazards and their effects of solid waste disposal include: accident, air pollution, spread of communicable diseases and epidemics of some disease associated with indiscriminate refuse disposal etc.
These include:
– Water Borne Diseases e.g. typhoid, cholera, dysentery, taenaris and ascarisis.
– Rodent transmission Diseases: these include: Lassa fever, plague, Food Poisoning, rabbies, schistosomiasis.
– Mosquito Borne Diseases: Malaria, yellow fever, and encephalitis.
– Disease from smoke and other forms of air pollution: Emphysema, Bronchitis, Immune Suppression from inhalation of toxic substances from burning plastic, nasal and other lung disease including so many hazards. That is why it is good for us to practice proper solid waste disposal method.
– Helmitic infections: Enterobians, ascanomis, ancylomiasis, sahistomiasis, taeniasis, etc.

More so psychological, economically, socially “a critic look at our disposal site shows that we are continuously washing our precious lands, instead of reclaiming our low and depressed lands for future use, we are rather rendering them more useless and hazardous with refuse dumps.
Let us not forget that bushy lands today might eventually be our home tomorrow. School children who play in such dirty area are subjected to various health problems.
Elekwa (2011), stated that “it was a common practice to tip refuse on waste land but this is highly unsatisfactory as it provides a gross unsatisfactory area and makes the land unfit for building. Other problems posed by wrong disposal are rat infestation, fire and flood disasters, impediments to road traffic, flow and air pollution.
This is harmful because, not only are dangerous carbon gases released into the atmosphere due to incomplete combustion, dangerous chemical like dioxide can be created incidentally from routine combustion of waste materials. Report from Britian State that this has been known to be responsible for still­birth and deformity in animals and sickness in people.
Azuine (2016), stated that improper disposal or waste on water and cites has continued with impurity. The author added that in December 1992, innocent pedestrians passing along the effected streets had the problem of contending with offensive confrontation by hoard of flies.
The environmental degradation by industrial waste encourages gully erosion that passes threat to man and plant with associated financial burden to the state government. Lastly, the psychological and social problems of unhealthy environment include: mental disorder, less of personal integrity, stress, insomnia, restlessness and irritability etc.

Benefits of Sanitary Disposal of Solid Waste
Lucas and Gilles (2016) stated that “the collection and removal of solid waste from the environment in a sanitary manner are of importance in effective vector control, fire protection, odour nuisance, abatement and disease control.
Preventive health officers can easily evaluate the extent to which solid waste accumulation has helped in propagation of endemic disease like malaria, typhoid, cholera etc. and the eight major killer diseases, could be prevented if solid waste will be properly disposed.

There will also be reduced immigration to other communities as most people leave because they find the countries filty and unhealthy to live with. Sanitary disposal of refuse will result in mental and psychological relief as people will feel free to breathe in properly and deeply as they trek or go around the street.
W.H.O’S Strategies and Approach to Enhance Proper Solid Waste Disposal. These include:
– Enacting of policies guiding solid waste management and disposal.
– Forming of agencies responsible for proper solid waste management.
– Strategies/ways of managing dumping sites and ways of managing waste e.g. incineration process.

Empitical Review
Waste Management
In a cross­sectional study by Azuine (2016), who used a questionnaire to elicit responses on 50 inhabitant from Umuahia found out 80% of the respondents stated that they do not manage their solid wastes properly even at personal level while only 20% affirm proper waste management at individual level.

Having basket bin
In a mailed questionnaire in a descriptive study by Iwuji (2015), about waste management conducted on 40 subjects in Aba, the result showed that about 75% respondents agreed that they have waste baskets while the remaining 25% had not.
Emptying of waste baskets
In a prospective descriptive study conducted in Umuahia about waste management on 30 subjects, majority (60%) opined that they discard their waste basdket on daily basis while the remaining 40% claimed that they discard theirs on weekly basis.

Summary of literature review
The summary was aimed at ascertaining the factors influencing proper solid waste disposal among Umuahia inhabitants, Abia State. Based on the objectives of the study, pertinent literatures were reviewed on:
• Conceptual review
• Empirical review
Solid waste is defined as non­flowing refuse that results from human and natural activities which is relatively unwanted and worthless to man. It could be from household, industrial or biomedical.
Waste could be disposed by burning, composting and controlled tipping. Wastes may be properly or improperly. Factors influencing proper solid waste disposal include population explosion, lack of master plan and coordinated urbanized policy, inadequate refuse dumping grounds, poverty, ignorance, carelessness, level of skilled and adequate manpower and supervision, inadequate solid waste disposal facilities, indiscipline among people etc. while consequences of improper waste disposal are illhealth, growth and multiplication of pathogens.

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