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1.1Background of the study

Recycling saves energy, reduces raw material extraction and combats climate change. The vast majority of studies have found that recycling our waste is better for the environment rather than incinerating or land filling , The use of plastics in packaging applications is growing steadily. Most industrialized countries have systems for the collection and recycling of plastic packaging waste, either implemented on a full scale or on trial. An important aspect of plastic packaging recycling is that the types of plastics used for most packaging applications are inexpensive commodity materials. The price of corresponding virgin resins determines the ceiling for the price at which recycled materials can be sold for reprocessing.

Engineering plastics used in durable products are generally more expensive than the most common packaging plastics. This relation promotes the recovery of scrapped engineering plastics. For common packaging plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene, all steps in the recovery and recycling process need to be highly cost-effective, unless sizeable subsidies are being paid [Bruder, 1997]. Techniques to facilitate the collection, sorting and reprocessing of plastic packaging waste are therefore urgently needed, as well as methods that can increase the value and the number of potential applications of the recovered materials. The price at which secondary material can be sold is related to the price of the corresponding virgin material. Price fluctuations therefore entail the need for an economic safety-margin (risk premium) in order to make investments in recycling facilities viable [Brandrup, 1997].

The generation and disposal of waste is an intrinsic part of any developing or industrial society. Waste, both from domestic and commercial sources has grown significantly in Nigeria over the past decade.

Recycling is one of the best ways for you to have a positive impact on the world in which we live. Recycling is important to both the natural environment and us. We must act fast as the amount of waste we create is increasing all the time.

The amount of rubbish we create is constantly increasing because:

  • Increasing wealth means that people are buying more products and ultimately creating more waste.
  • Increasing population means that there are more people on the planet to create waste.
  • New packaging and technological products are being developed, much of these products contain materials that are not biodegradable.
  • New lifestyle changes, such as eating fast food, means that we create additional waste that isn’t biodegradable.

Solid wastes comprise all the wastes arising from human and animal activities that are normally solid, discarded as useless or unwanted. Also included are by- products of process lines or materials that may be required by law to be disposed of (Okecha 2000).

The management of waste is a matter of national and international concern. The volume of waste does not actually constitute the problem but the ability or inability of governments, individuals and waste disposal firms to keep up with the task of managing waste and the environment. There is no doubt that a dirty environment affects the standard of living, aesthetic sensibilities, health of the people and thus the quality of their lives. The corollary is that improper disposal or storage of this waste can constitute hazards to the society through the pollution of air, land and especially water. In this research, our attention would be focused on domestic waste. We will highlight some of the problems which have attended the management of this category of waste in Nigeria today. It will be seen that Nigeria has not done well in the direction of tackling the menace of domestic waste. This is even in the face advanced management strategies existing today for domestic waste management which have been adopted in many places. We will proffer suggestions that may assist in addressing this issue that seems to be aborting most efforts of International organizations, the federal government, city authorities, states and professionals alike.

Recycling depends on waste materials which cannot be reused directly but can be converted to new product or raw material through the processes of transformation. For instance, used paper is recycled into files, envelops and cards. Energy is recovered through recycling through: pyrolysis (combustion of waste in the absence of oxygen to create gases, liquids and solid compounds), incineration (combustion in the presence of oxygen to produce oxidized compounds), anaerobic digestion, gasification and pelletization; as well as composting (biological and chemical degradation of organic waste in either large centralized, small enterprise, backyard or household basis). Together, the ‘3Rs’ aimed at achieving sustainable solid waste management; and, also relates to other global environmental challenges, particularly, climate change mitigation, specifically, the emission of greenhouse gases that could create sustainable development co-benefits and reduction in the emissions of methane (CH4), biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), nitrous oxide (N2O), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) from landfills. Technologies required to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gases emission, sustainable though, include composting of organic waste, high-tech incineration and expanded sanitation coverage, industrial co-combustion for waste-to-energy, landfill gas recovery as well as thermal processes for waste-to-energy. For example, in Europe landfill receives 66% of waste, incinerated (18%), composted (6%) and recycled (10%); in Eastern Europe, landfill takes 90% and recycled (10%). In the USA, recycling, for instance, takes care of cans, bottles, shipping cardboard, unsold food and scrap. In dealing with the cost of sustainable solid waste management, different principles have been developed: extended product responsibility in which waste disposal cost is inputted in the market price of the product and the polluter pays principle. Success story of sustainable solid waste management is reported in; a case study in Nepal with European Union funding; involving activities such as expansion of house-to-house waste collection, employment generation for community members for street sweeping, and, addition of 58 new dumpsters; installation of organic waste compost machine at Bhaktapur; creation of landfill at Katuwu Khola which replaces dumping of municipal waste at the river bank; and, public private partnership in waste management in Biratnagar with success in only one of the three companies.  Expanding recycling programmes can help reduce solid waste pollution but the key to solving severe solid waste problems lies in reducing the amount of waste generated. It was noticed that only the landfill system of waste disposal is being generally adopted in Lagos State. Whereas in other places for example, there are several methods of waste disposal used to ameliorate and mitigate the issue of population effect on waste management Main benefits include sale of compost from recycled waste and employment sourced from the three waste management companies. In Hetauda, success is augmented by the involvement of CBOs and NGOs.


Wastes pose serious environmental and health problems, promote insect vectors like mosquitoes and flies (Cairncross and Feachem 1993), rats and mice, cause fire hazards, flooding of streams, development of aquatic weeds, odor problems, nuisance, and so on. According to Pichtel (2005), the environmental impacts can be clustered into six categories which include: global warming, photochemical oxidant creation, abiotic resource depletion, acidification, and eutrophication. Some of these problems are related to their major constituents. It is on these premises that the researcher intends to investigate the impact of recycling in preserving the environments.


The main objective of the study is to ascertain the effect of reuse, recycling of plastic and essential to waste management in Nigeria; but for the purpose of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following objective:

i)             To examine the effect of reuse, recycling of plastic and essential to waste management in Nigeria

ii)           To ascertain the effect of solid waste management practice in Nigeria

iii)          To evaluate the role of government in waste management in Nigeria

iv)          To investigate the environmental effect of solid waste management in Nigeria.

v)            To evaluate the relationship between solid waste management and environmental pollution.


For the successful completion of the study; the following research hypotheses were formulated;

H0: recycling of plastics does not have a significant essential to waste management in Nigeria.

H1: recycling of plastics has a significant to waste management in Nigeria.

H02: there is no relationship between waste management and environmental pollution

H2: there is a relationship between waste management and environmental pollution


It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the federal ministry of environment, in addressing the challenges of recycling as a means of managing solid waste in the country, the findings will also be of great significance to the environmental management agency as the findings will aid them in developing a model to check and control solid waste management through the recycling process. The study will also be of importance to researchers who intend to embark on studies in similar area. Finally the study will be of great importance to academia’s as the study will add to the body of knowledge


The scope of the study covers the effect of reuse, recycling of plastic and essential to waste management in Nigeria. However in the course of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study. Some of these constrain 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.



Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to "conventional" waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions (compared to plastic production, for example). Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing: energy usage, air pollution (from incineration), and water pollution (from land filling). Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the "ReduceReuse, and Recycle" waste hierarchy.


Waste and wastes are unwanted or unusable materials. 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 wastewastewater (such as sewage, which contains bodily wastes (feces and urine) and surface runoff), radioactive waste, and others.

Solid waste

Solid waste means any garbage, refuse, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded materials including solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material, resulting from industrial, commercial, mining and agricultural operations,


Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that causes adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution.

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