Land Fill Emission and Their Impact On The Environment in Nigeria

Land Fill Emission and Their Impact On The Environment in Nigeria

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Abstract

This research examines the implications of land fill emission and their impact on Nigeria. This has some socio economic and political implications on sustainable development, while the management of waste is a matter of national and international concern. Recent events in major cities of world have shown that the problems of waste management have become a “monster” that has aborted most efforts made by international, federal governments, and state city authorities. It has been established that the process of waste management contributes to increasing generation of green house gases that causes climate change and ozone layer depletion.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of the study

The increase in population as a result of industrial revolution in major towns and cities of the world have necessitated rapid growth or high rate of urbanization and development for instance; Nigeria cities in recent time have witnessed rapid population growth resulting from influx of migrants from rural area to the cities. This brings about the concentration of industrial, commercial, infrastructural, administration and government activities in urban centers. Thus, as the population of cities grows, the rate of waste generation also increases leading to increase burning of refuse (in the developing countries) and high rate of air pollution ,which increased concentration of green house gases that causes global warming and eventually Climate change. In the last decades the greenhouse gases produced by human activities have been predominating over those of natural origin (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-IPCC, 2000), thereby upsetting the natural atmospheric balance. This increased concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) raises global temperatures which have adverse impacts on our environment and public health. The waste sector is a significant contributor to GHGs emissions and is accountable for approximately 5% of the global greenhouse budget (IPCC, 2006). The majority of these emissions are a result of landfills, which remains the primary waste disposal strategy globally (Attenborough, Gregory,& McGeochan, 2002). Municipal solid waste (MSW) contributes to greenhouse gas emissions through decomposition and life-cycle activities/ processes (Farguhar and Rovers, 1973). The greenhouse gases emissions related to waste deposits are mainly due to methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) present in the biogas produced by anaerobic bacteria using as carbon source the biodegradable carbon contained in the waste (Hoeks, 1983; Barlaz, Ham & Schaefer, 1990). In particular the disposal of waste in landfills generates methane that has high global warming potential (Yesiller, Hanson and Liu, 2005). Energy consumption contributes directly to climate change by adding carbon-based molecules to the atmosphere in excess of naturally occurring amounts. Carbon molecules, primarily carbon dioxide from burning petroleum products, trap radiant heat and keep it from escaping from the Earth's atmosphere (IEA, 2005). The resulting warming of the air is changing our global climate. Thus, landfills are among the nations’ largest emitters of CO2 and CH4, the key greenhouse gases (GHGs) which modify the Earth’s climate, and as such effective mitigation of these greenhouse gas emissions is important and could provide environmental benefits and sustainable development, as well as reduce adverse impacts on public health (Sheehan, 2000; Briney, 2013). Methane is regarded as one of the most important GHGs because its global warming potential has been estimated to be more than 20 times that of carbon dioxide. Although there is no immediate danger from the methane emitted in atmosphere from landfills, over time it could accumulate inside the landfill mass, thus increasing its concentration with attendant potential to modify the Earth’s climate. 36 percent of human caused methane releases come from our municipal solid waste landfills (USEPA, 1999). A ton of municipal solid waste land-filled produces 123 pounds of methane- a potent greenhouse gas, 20 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (EA, 2008). Hulme et al. (1995) list the adverse impacts of the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to include: a threat to disrupt the diversity of habitats and the life dependent on them. In particular, our health, agriculture, water resources, forests, wildlife, and coastal areas are vulnerable to the changes that global warming may bring. It further state that a rise of only a few degrees in the Earth’s average temperature could result in more frequent and intense storms, flooding of beaches, bay marshes, and other low-lying coastal areas; more precipitation in some areas and not enough in others and wider distribution of certain infectious diseases. Such significant changes, note NEST (1991), Hulme et al. (1995) and Nicholson (2001) could damage communities and national economies as well as alter the natural world.

1.2      STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Developing country like Nigeria is particularly at risk, because of her bad waste management system and unhealthy disposal practices. Global temperature will continue to increase causing further disruption to climate patterns. Ultimately, all this can only be brought under control by engaging in sustainable waste management practices, and stabilizing greenhouse gases concentrations in the atmosphere. It is on this backdrop that the researcher intends to investigate the impact of land fill emission on the environment.

1.3      OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of the study is to ascertain the land fill emission and their impact on the environment in Nigeria. But for the successful completion of the study the researcher set the following sub-objective to be achieved:

i)             To ascertain the impact land fill emission on the environment.

ii)           To ascertain the relationship between land fill emission and environmental pollution

iii)          To ascertain the effect of solid waste management in reducing air pollution

iv)         To investigate the effect of land fill emission on environmental pollution

1.4      RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

For the successful completion of the study, the following hypotheses were formulated:

H0: land fill emission has no significant impact on the environment

H1: land fill emission has a significant impact on the environment

H0: there is no significant relationship between land fill emission and environmental pollution

H2: there is a significant relationship between land fill emission and environmental pollution.

1.5      SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the ministry of environment in ensuring that the environment is devoid of pollution. The findings will also be of great benefit to the waste management agency in ensuring that the waste are properly disposed to ensure that it does not constitute a major air pollution in the society. The study will also be of importance to researcher who wishes to carry out investigation in similar topic. Finally, the study will be of importance to lecturers, students, teachers and academia’s as the findings will add to the pool of knowledge.

1.6      SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers land fill emission and their impact on environment in Nigeria. But in the course of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study. Some of these limitations are:

(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.   

(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Land Fill

A landfill site (also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump or dumping ground and historically as a midden[1]) is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial and the oldest form of waste treatment (although the burial part is modern; historically, refuse was just left in piles or thrown into pits). Historically, landfills have been the most common method of organized waste disposal and remain so in many places around the world.

Land

Land, sometimes referred to as dry land, is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture, habitat, and various natural resources.

Waste

Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or it is worthless, defective and of no use. Examples include municipal solid waste(household trash/refuse), hazardous waste, wastewater (such as sewage, which contains bodily wastes (feces and urine) and surface runoff), radioactive waste, and others.

1.8      ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.


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