The effect of household waste on the environment. A case study of Alimosho area

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This study examined the effect of household waste on the environment. A case study of Alimosho area.  The target population adopted for this study comprised of all staff of Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), Alimosho Area, Lagos State. The sample size for this study was two hundred (200) respondents (staffs) selected amongst staff of LAWMA. Simple Random sampling was used to choose the sample size for this study. The research employed primary and secondary sources of data. Primary data were gathered through questionnaires distributed among the Among the selected two hundred (200) respondent. The data gathered from the questionnaire were analysed and presented in frequency and percentage tables. The data were also interpreted and the chi square statistical test was used to test the stated hypothesis. The result revealed that poor waste management practices negatively impacts the environment. The study recommended that awareness campaigns should be encouraged on the effects and implications of poor waste management practices in Nigeria.





Waste means garbage, refuse, or sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining and agricultural operations (Uba 2015). Waste also refers to any material or product that has been considered useless by the owner and needs to be discarded or has been discarded. Solid waste is any organic or inorganic materials generated from various human activities which have been considered unwanted or useless therefore disposed treated or untreated (Birute, 2012).

At the heart of environmental concerns for every state and nation is the problem of waste and its management. Waste generation is inextricably linked to man’s existence. The problem is becoming intractable as many cities in developing countries cannot keep pace with urbanization, pollution, and the increasingly concomitant generation of garbage due to changing life styles and consumption patterns (Momodu, et al, 2011).  Globally, waste generation is on the increase and constitutes risks to both human health and the environment. There are a number of issues including lack of reporting by many countries and inconsistencies in the way countries report (definitions and surveying methods employed by countries vary considerably). However, despite these short comings in calculating waste generation rate statistically, a cursory observation across one‟s immediate environment will reveal a gradual and steady growth in waste size (Mudiare 2015).

The rapid urbanization and growth of urban population that has been taking place during the 20th century virtually transformed the world in to communities of cities and towns. These developments imposing challenges on environment in which most of them have to be addressed at international level (Smith, 2014). Among those environmental challenges, municipal household waste management is a critical one. This is because as long as humans have been living in settled communities, solid waste generation has been an unavoidable in both developed and developing nations.

These environmental contaminants can alter physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the environment, surface and ground water, places human health at risk, as well as reduces the potential that the environment has to assimilate those contaminants. Now a days, most of environmental contaminants resulting from inefficient urban waste disposal practices, poor state of sanitation, and release and discharging effluent reached high level and it has adverse impact on urban dwellers, aquatic Fauna and Flora in developing countries (Tchobaglous, 2002).

Disposal and management of waste  presents serious environmental problem. The problem is due to the lack of adequate resources namely: legal, financial, technology and manpower (Ali 2014). Proper waste  management has been established to be critical to the health and well being of urban residents (World Bank, 2013). Poorly managed waste has an enormous impact on health, local and global environments, and economy. Improperly managed waste generally results in down-stream costs higher than what it would have costed to manage the waste properly (What a waste, 2013).  Major global techniques of waste management were listed by Rushton (2010) to include: recycling, composting, sewage treatment, incineration and landfill. While recycling is the recovery of materials from products after usage, composting is the aerobic biological process of degradation of biodegradable organic matter; sewage treatment is a process of treating sludge to produce a non toxic effluent discharged into rivers or sea and the semi-sludge, which can be used for soil amendments (Rushton 2010, Mudiare 2015). Other techniques include incineration and land filling; Incineration is a process of combustion designed to recover energy and reduce the volume of waste being disposed and land filling is the deposition of waste in a specially designated area (Mudiare 2015).

Agbede and Ajagbe (2004), reported that improper handling storage and disposal of wastes are major causes of environmental pollution which provides breeding grounds for pathogenic organisms and encourages the spread of infectious diseases as well as the generation of green house gases from landfills, health and safety problems such as diseases, spread of insects and rodents attracted by garbage etc. The ever increasing global concern on environmental health demands that waste be properly managed and disposed off in the most friendly and acceptable way. This is to minimize and where possible eliminate its potential harm on plants, humans, animals and natural resources (Onu et al, 2001).

In sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Nigeria, refuse generation and its likely effects on the health, quality of the environment and the urban landscape have become burning national issues. In the same vein, waste management in Nigeria and other developing countries in Africa have remained chaotic in spite of both institutional and legal frameworks, and other interventions initiated to check the menace (Mudiare 2015). Major cities in sub-Saharan Africa are grappling with mounting heaps of wastes dumped indiscriminately. These wastes emanate from household or domestic sources, markets, shopping and business centers, schools, etc. Also pathetic is open defecation on roads, street corners, water channels and, haphazard dumping of hazardous commercial and industrial wastes (Anchor and Nwafor, 2014).

In Nigeria, like in other developing countries, open dump is the only available option for solid waste disposal in its cities. The depressions into which solid wastes are often dumped include valleys and excavations (Amadi et al., 2011).Proper waste management has remained a major environmental sanitation problem in Nigeria. This problem has manifested in the form of piles of indiscriminately disposed heaps of uncovered waste and illegal dumpsites along major roads and at street corners in cities and urban areas (Uba 2015). This problem is compounded by rapid urbanization and population growth which have led to generation of enormous quantities of solid waste which are often discarded by open dumping (Uwakwe,  2012).  These waste dumps may contain a mixture of generated waste and toxic infectious or radioactive wastes and are susceptible to burning and exposure to scavengers (Uwakwe, 2012). There are a number of major risks and impacts of the dumpsites on the environment. Air pollution from open burning due to emission of greenhouse gases, rats and fly infestation and nuisance effects are among the health and environmental impacts of poor solid waste management. In addition, scattering of wastes by wind and scavenging by birds, animals and waste pickers create aesthetic nuisance. In many dumpsites, the waste is directly increasing global concern over the public health impact attributed to environmental pollution particularly the environmental quality and human health risks associated with the waste dumps (Uba 2015). The World Health Organization estimated that about a quarter of diseases facing mankind today occur due to prolongeg exposure to environmental pollution and it seems to be the highest (Uwakwe, 2012).

In as much as the generation of waste is inevitable, therefore the need to protect our environment becomes paramount. The study therefore intends to examine the effect of household waste on the environment. A case study of Alimosho Area.


The most obvious environmental damage caused by inefficient household’s solid waste disposal practices, poor household waste disposal and low status of sanitation may contribute to contamination of surface water, aesthetics of the ugliness of street and beauty of town. More serious, however, and often unrecognized is the transfer of pollutant to stream water and pollution of it. Rain carries materials from the dump in to water supplies for community consumption (Amadi 2008).

Detail study conducted on urban waste management systems, like collection, processing, disposal practices, and its physical compositions as well as sanitation status in Alimosho area, Lagos State seems to be very poor (Agwu 2015). . In addition to this, indiscriminately open dumping of all types of waste on the banks of river, storm drainage, road sides, and on body of ware and its adverse impacts on water quality was not was not well assessed. Because of this, it is difficult to explicitly assess the condition and nature of household’s waste disposal practices and its adverse impact on the environment.. Therefore, this requires rigorous investigation on the matters under investigation.


The research questions for this work include:

  • What are the types of waste generated in Alimosho Area, Lagos State?
  • What are the sources of household waste generation in Alimosho Area, Lagos State?
  • What are the environmental impact of poor household waste management practices in Alimosho Area, Lagos State?
  • What are the solutions to these challenges?

The aim of this research is to examine  the  effect of household waste on the environment. A case study of Alimosho area,  Lagos State. The specific objectives include:

  • To find out the types of waste generated in Alimosho Area, Lagos State.
  • To determine the sources of household waste generation in Alimosho Area, Lagos State.
  • To assess the environmental impact of poor household waste management practices in Alimosho Area, Lagos State.
  • To provide solutions to the problems related to poor household waste management practices in Alimosho Area, Lagos State.



H0:       Poor household Waste management does not significantly affect the environment

H1:       Poor Waste management significantly affect the environment


The study is focused on The effect of household waste on the environment. A case study of Alimosho area. It was based on the analysis of data from selected staff of Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), Alimosho Area, Lagos State.


The writer did not finish this research without short comings. The major limitations which faces the writer in the course of conducting this research work in all stages includes:

  • Lack of recorded data about the amount of solid waste that has been generated in per capita per day per person to calculate waste generation rate and the quantity of waste per annual at household and municipal level for trend analysis.
  • Some of respondents like, official in LAWMA  refused to give detail information related to existing waste disposal and sanitation practices in the area..
  • Financial problem due to lack of sponsorships. As a result transportation and other problems occurred which adversely affected the data collection process.


The study is organized in five chapters. First chapter is an introduction section, including background, statement, objectives, research questions, significance, scope, limitation, and definition of terms. In chapter two, an overview of literatures of various scholars about the topic under study lies. In chapter three, study area particularly physical and socio-economic condition of the study area of research methods were employed. Whereas, chapter four consisted of results and discussion of the thesis. Finally, the study has been concluded by forwarding conclusion and possible recommendation.


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