Assessment of Waste Management Strategies in Nigerian Universities

Assessment of Waste Management in the University of Calaber Nigeria

Bachelor Thesis, 2015

43 Pages, Grade: 2'1







1.1 Background of study
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Aims and objectives of study
1.4 Significance of the study
1.5 Research hypothesis
1.6 Study area
1.7 Scope of study

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Conceptual framework
2.3 Methods of solid waste management in the University of Calabar
2.4 Problems of waste management in the University of Calabar

3.1 Introduction
3.2 Types of data
3.3 Sources of data
3.3.1 Primary data
3.3.2 Secondary data
3.4 Sampling technique
3.5 Population of study
3.6 Research design
3.7 Instrumentation
3.8 Procedure for data collection
3.9 Procedure for data analysis

4.1 Introduction
4.2 Presentation of data
4.3 Test of hypothesis
4.4 Interpretation of results

5.1 Summary
5.2 Conclusion
5.3 Recommendations




This study was undertaken to assess the management strategies of solid waste in the University of Calabar. In order to guide the study, six (6) objectives were identified and one hypothesis formulated. Several literatures were reviewed and data was collected through structured questionnaires. Collected data was analyzed using the Pearson product moment correlation and the student t-test. Findings revealed that there is efficient waste management in the University of Calabar. Meaningful recommendations were suggested to create awareness of the need for a clean environment for man’s habitation.


Table 4.1 Sex distribution of the respondents in the study area

Table 4.2 Distribution of educational status of respondents in the study area

Table 4.3 Age distribution of respondents in the study area

Table 4.4 Occupation of respondents in the study area

Table 4.5 Major components of waste generated in the study area

Table 4.6 Pattern of waste disposal in the study area

Table 4.7 Method of waste collection

Table 4.8 Pattern of waste collection

Table 4.9 Health/environmental impact of indiscriminate waste dumping

Table 4.10 Causes of solid waste littering the study area

Table 4.11 Factors responsible for the increase in waste volume in the study area

Table 4.12 Efficiency of waste management in the study area

Table 4.13 Recommendation for effective waste management

Table 4.14 Correlation between method of waste collection and efficiency of waste management in the study area


FIGURE 1: Map of the University of Calabar


PLATE 1: Final disposal site behind University of Calabar Library

PLATE 2: Burning of waste behind University of Calabar Library

PLATE 3: Waste littered behind MBA hall, main campus, University of Calabar


1.1 Background of study

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, waste is any item that is longer in use or cannot be used for any good purpose. Solid waste has been defined as any useless, unwanted or discarded material (American Public Work Association, 1975) with insufficient liquid content to be free-flowing. Solid waste is sticky and weighty in nature and therefore has the capacity of accumulating and defacing the physical environment if not well managed (Sada and Odemoerho, 1988).

Solid waste is any moveable solid object which the owner wishes to dispose if it is no longer useful to the immediate owner. Solid wastes are non-soluble materials ranging from municipal garbage to industrial wastes containing complex and sometimes hazardous substances. Man’s activities today generates tons of thousands of refuse which are seen littered everywhere causing diverse environmental problems. This calls for urgent expertise in waste management as the importance of a healthy environment for meaningful and productive work is tied to proper waste management. Waste is everybody’s business as we all generate waste in nearly everything we do. In the past, waste was considered as a resources. This was because the waste that was generated was mainly agricultural and was bio-degradable and as such disposal was not a problem as the volume product was low and these agricultural wastes helped to enrich the soil. This is not the situation today as waste is a major problem that needs to be solved as urgently as possible rather than been considered as a resource.

Over the years, studies have shown that rapid population growth and the growth of urban centres which followed the oil boom in the 1970s and industrialization came with a change in waste stream in Nigeria. This was as a result of increased use of goods to satisfy and meet the need of the teeming population resulting in the substantial increase in the amount of wastes generated. It is therefore important to note that waste generation and population growth work hand-in-hand.

In Nigerian towns and cities, solid wastes of different kinds are generated and disposed off indiscriminately causing lots of environmental and health hazards. A good example of such cities include Lagos, Kano, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Aba, Yenagoa, etc. David (1985) noted that the issue of solid waste is not only familiar but assumed a global dimension in recent years causing series of environmental problems ranging from environmental degradation to pollution and imbalance, flooding, epidemics of infectious increase and decline in urban quality.

Solid waste can be classified into two broad categories – biodegradable solid waste and non-biodegradable solid waste. Biodegradable wastes are those wastes that can be easily decomposed by natural process ranging from food remnants to leaves from trees, cotton wool, clothes, banana peels, papers, etc. On the other hand, non-biodegradable wastes are those wastes that cannot be broken down or decomposed by natural processes. They can however be recycled or reused. Such wastes include bottles, glasses, plastics, cans and wrappings of all kinds, nylon bags, metals, needles and syringes, woods, etc. Solid wastes can also be classified based on their level of environmental contamination that is whether they are hazardous or non-hazardous to both man and the environment.

The sources from which wastes are generated ranges from municipal (street sweeping, sewage treatment plants, schools etc) to residential (flood wastes, plastics, vehicles, wood, glass etc), industrial (demolition materials, ashes etc) agricultural sources (spoiled food waste, pesticides, etc).

Solid waste disposal can be carried out using several options but before any of these options can be adopted, three vital factors should be considered. Firstly, the physical characteristics of the locality as regards the topography of the area where waste management activities are to be carried out because waste disposal often requires a large parcel of land for an efficient operation especially of sanitary landfill is to be adopted; secondly, the character, quality and quantity of waste to be disposed of. The quantity and nature of household refuse varies greatly from region to region and thirdly, the financial allocation available as adequate budget any allocation must be available for capital outlay and running cost. Various waste management authorities requires different types of extensive refuse vehicles that cost a lot to maintain at the commencement of the operations and these vehicles do not often remain serviceable for long due to poor operation, maintenance and non-availability of spare parts.

Solid waste disposal in the final placement, destruction of radioactive surplus, banned pesticides and chemicals, polluted soils and drums containing hazardous materials using approved methods. Several methods exist for the disposal of solid wastes and these range from open dumping to ocean/sea dumping, sanitary land filling composting, incineration, encapsulation, underground disposal and a more systematic method of waste management that includes recycling, reuse, recovery, segregation and reduction.

Waste management is the collection, transport, processing or disposal, managing and monitoring of waste materials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environmental or aesthetics.

This research work focuses mainly on the management strategies of solid waste using the waste generated in the University of Calabar (UNICAL) as a case study. Solid waste in the institution and its management can be said to be as old as the institution itself since its birth in 1975. Waste management in the institution started in 1975 under the health and with 8 staffs. In 1995, it was made a unit and named the “Environmental Sanitation and Protection Unit” with a staff strength of over 64 persons. A present, the unit has a staff strength of over 200 persons, 9 supervisors and 1 unit head. The management practice in place in the University of Calabar is daily collection and disposal with waste bins being posted at strategic points across the main campus, library, hostel and staff quarter areas. These bins are being emptied and disposed off when they become full.

Wastes do not only threaten the beauty and aesthetics of the institution but also the very health of its inhabitants. The intention of this research is to examine the strategies that are adopted in the management of solid waste in the University of Calabar.

1.2 Statement of the problem

One of the major problems man faces today is that of solid waste disposal and management as waste is seen littered and scattered everywhere defacing the physical environment. Nobody likes to think of waste but the fact remains that solid waste is a pressing concern of our modern society. Over the years, the amount of the waste generated has grown steadily in part because of increasing population and more so because of changing life-styles and the increasing use of disposal materials. The challenges posed by this waste is that it is generated at a pace much faster than available means to manage it. The increasing rate at which waste is generated is 70% as compared to 30% of effective management and disposal methods. The problem of waste management in the University of Calabar is worsened by the ever-increasing population in the institution which results in an increase in the use of writing papers, pens and other materials.

The smell of offensive odours cannot be taken for granted. This problem is further compounded by hawkers who dump their waste indiscriminately everywhere. The indiscriminate littering of solid waste in our campus has reached an alarming rate. Evidence shows that the indiscriminate disposal of solid waste has a multiplicity effect on the environment. This greatly degrades the environment of its aesthetics and even causes diseases. The increased use of disposable plastics, cups and polythene materials for packaging goods have given rise to new waste disposal problems. Some of these materials are non-biodegradable and when burnt gives rise to air pollution.

The rapid growth of population in the University as people go in pursuit of higher/learning and exposure for a better tomorrow is posing a serious problem as regards waste generation. Dumping of refuse along street corners around the campus and their nearness to hostels, offices, lecture rooms and halls and the time lag in evacuating them constitutes another serious environmental health hazard in the study area. These refuse dumps serve as home for vermins such as flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches and other vectors of infectious disease.

One of the greatest problems facing humanity today is that of waste management. In all cities and rural areas, waste disposed poses the greatest environmental problem. The rate in which waste is generated, surpasses the rate at which it is evacuated. Upon this premises, one tends to wonder what could actually be responsible for this environmentally unfriendly character. Is it the orientation or the psychology of the people lack of central waste dumps or is it a deliberate attempt of polluting the environment or perhaps the various authorities responsible for waste disposal cannot cope with the volume of waste been generated.

Another problem of solid waste management is the diversity of the waste being generated which results in a variety of potential health and welfare effects, the treatment of which is complicated by the fact that each type of waste often demands specific and yet different methods of disposal and management. Waste is an age-mate of mankind and part of the normal working system of man’s activity on the face of the earth. Though it is an integral constituent of all human activity, its presence today is becoming unbearable causing serious problems in the environment. Waste in ancient times was biodegradable and non-toxic and could hardly cause hazards. Today, copious waste generation pollutes many quarters even in rural areas. Every facet of man’s endeavour now face the danger of reckless thro-away; he wastes food, clothes, money, time, shoes, utensils, furniture, paper, machines, metals etc. It has now come to a point where solid waste stands face to face and side by side with man. The reason is man’s technology to master and conquer his world (environment).

Even though the environmental sanitation and protection unit in the University of Calabar is trying to maintain environmental sanitation, more needs to be done to manage the wastes been generated. The introduction of disposal containers and bins is a right step in solving or reducing this problem. However, these containers are often left to fill and spill garbage on the ground causing a very unpleasant sight. This results in irritation not to mention the offensive odours coming from such garbage area with the infestation of rats, cockroaches, insects, flies and other disease vectors and rodents. The need for this study arises as an urgency to update waste management strategies and also educate students on their attitude towards waste disposal especially those around the hostels.

1.3 Aims and objectives of study

The main aim of this work was to assess the problems of improper solid waste disposal. To guide the research, the following objectives were put in place.

i. To determine the major components of waste generated.
ii. To assess the efficiency of waste management in the study area.
iii. To examine the patterns of waste disposal and collection in the study area
iv. To assess the methods of waste disposal in the University of Calabar
v. To assess the health and environmental impacts of improper waste disposal in the study area.
vi. To make recommendations that would help in the management of waste in the study area.

1.4 Significance of the study

Sequel to recent trends in the demand for the useful information as regards solid waste management, this research comes as an information pack that will be very useful to the general public as well as the authorities of the University of Calabar as he problems of waste generation and management roots itself to everybody.

This research will be of immense benefit to the environmental sanitation and protection unit of the University of Calabar, researchers and policy makers who may wish to carryout more research on the same problem.

1.5 Research hypothesis

For the purpose of this study, the following hypothesis was formulated and it stated thus;

Ho: There is efficient waste management in the study area.

Hi: Is there efficient waste management in the university of Calabar?

This hypothesis will be further tested in the process of this research work.

1.6 Study area

This study was carried out in the University of Calabar, Nigeria.


The University of Calabar is located in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, an ancient metropolitan centre in Nigeria. It was founded in 1975. The University of Calabar is located on latitude 4054N and longitude 8019E. The already developed area of the University covers an area of about 17 hectares site but there is still about 350 hectares of dry land on the east bank.

Land use pattern

The land use pattern of the University of Calabar includes the existing main campus which is made up of the faculty of agriculture, social sciences, education, lecture halls, registrar’s office and the former vice-chancellor’s office. There is also a computer centre (AfriHub), the administrative unit of the school, post office, security houses, medical centre and the open pavilion.

There is also the University library area (new academic campuses) on a 50 hectares site which is closely integrated with the already existing main campus also on the west bank which houses the school library, faculties of arts, sciences, management sciences, medical college, law, institute of oceanography, laboratory and lecture halls/pavilions. The University of Calabar also has the students hostels (halls, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9), the post graduate hostels and the school staff quarters.

For the purpose of this research, much attention will be given to the waste generated in the main campus, the new library area and the students’ hostels.


The University of Calabar has a population of between 32,543- 35,000 people comprising of both students, staffs (both academic and non-academic staffs and businessmen and women).

The topography of the study area is slightly sloppy and soil texture is a mixture of sand and loam with a temperature ranging from between 22 to 29 degrees Celsius.

Socio-economic activities

Most of the staff of the institution are civil servants since the institution is owned by the Federal Government. Varieties of businesses take place within the school which generates income for both the school, government and other individuals. Some of these businesses include the school business centre (AfriHub), the filling station, commercial stores around the hostels and staff quarters, open spaces within the campus where writing materials (pens, pencils, books, erasers, etc) and other items are being sold such as pure water, biscuit, soft drinks etc. Also there are bus drivers who convey students from one point within the campus to the other. All these activities take place within the campus and generated income for the school because these business men and women pay some amount of money to the school for the space in which they ate given to run their business.

All these activities produce large amounts of waste daily and will help to provide useful data in the course of this research.

1.7 Scope of study

This work is limited to the confines of the University of Calabar with particular emphasis around the hostels, main campus and library area because of the large concentration of people around these areas. This research shall focus mainly on the “management strategies of social waste” using the waste generated in the University of Calabar as a case study. Recommendations will be made based on the findings and results obtained.


2.1 Introduction

Over the years, much literature has been devoted to the problem of solid waste generation, its disposal methods and its management strategies both in developing and developed countries. Recently in Nigeria, these have become a major issue of concern to both government and individuals.

There are today many features of social waste management and disposal on our radio, television and newspapers in form of debates, talks, suggestion and enlightenment programmes.

2.2 Conceptual framework

Solid waste is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as “useless, unwanted or discarded material with insufficient liquid content to be free flowing”. Sewell (1975) defined solid waste as man’s unwanted material that cannot flow directly into streams or rise immediately into the air. Encyclopedia international (1977) define solid waste as any superfluous or rejected solid material consisting of garbage, rubbish, ashes, street sweeping, dead animals, abandoned automobiles, industrial wastes, demolition and construction materials, agricultural waste and mining industrial waste that do not decompose.

Solid waste are the non-liquid, non-gaseous residue of our manufacturing, construction, cooking, recreation, agriculture and other activities that are been used and discarded. They are found any where man is found from marines, to stores, homes, offices, factories, hospitals, streets, and even the primitive camps of traditional nomads (Berry Horton, 1974).

The problem of solid waste is as old as the first man on earth and the history of disposal can be traced to the early man as he gathered for his sustenance from farming and hunting and discarded the unwanted materials from his everyday routine which resulted in building up of filth (Sewell, 1975). According to Lindsay (1970), we are suffering from the mistakes of decades that until recently we have hardly seemed to notice what Bourton (1973) views as “new ways of solving old problems”.


Excerpt out of 43 pages


Assessment of Waste Management Strategies in Nigerian Universities
Assessment of Waste Management in the University of Calaber Nigeria
Geography & Regional Planning
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Waste management, modern waste disposal, waste management strategies, waste management in a work environment, modern waste management, efficient waste management
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Kenobi Krukru (Author), 2015, Assessment of Waste Management Strategies in Nigerian Universities, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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