Tackling climate change through sustainable waste management

Managing waste in Lagos (PHOTO: Olumide Idowu)
Managing waste in Lagos (PHOTO: Olumide Idowu)

By Olumide Idowu

Nigeria is a great country with lot of resources that can keep the country in a very high standard of economy. A lot of Nigerians look at these resources and think it’s something that they can only misuse and get away with instead of thinking how to make use of this potential and make our community a better environment for all citizens.

According to Wikipedia, “Waste management is the “generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling, reuse and residual disposition of solid wastes”. There are various types of solid waste including municipal (residential, institutional, commercial), agricultural, and special (health care, household hazardous wastes, sewage sludge).”

As we know Climate Change is a big deal and a time bomb to our environment which it has eaten deep into Nigeria’s environment. We also know that the government has abandoned many things concerning the well-being of the people through its selfish mismanagement of climate funds.  With this position I see it as a need to call on theincoming government and Nigerians in Diaspora to come to the aid of the country.

As a Climate Change activist I am using this platform to #Call4Climate solution with a way of tapping into Waste Management opportunities. Climate change is emerging as a major challenge for every modern community and the basic processes of climate change are, by now, well understood. The changes are set to accelerate in the future, bringing diverse, severe impacts around the world, much of the warming is due to human emissions of greenhouse gases, and the world is warming.

How do we make people feel waste management isn’t a problem but a solution to climate change?

Most people in Lagos, Nigeria have no idea why there is such a fuss about waste management. People are mainly motivated by what they get in return. Once they tap into waste management, they notice all the other benefits – cleanliness, less flooding, less disease… and then they understand why it’s a good idea to continue doing it. From a good example of a company in Nigeria called Wecyclers, they have been doing great work in making use of Waste and recycling it to make a better society and not only that, they set people on the path of sustainable living by helping them to earn a living from recycling waste.

Waste Management can be of help to curb the issue of Climate Change and we still make a sustainable living for all. Waste management tools should be directed towards the effective mitigation of Green House Gases (GHG) and the provision of sustainable co-benefits.

Moreover, waste prevention, minimization, material recovery, recycling and reuse represent a growing potential for indirect reduction of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions, through decreased waste generation, lower raw material consumption, reduced energy demand and fossil fuel substitution or avoidance.

The most important issue for Nigeria is post-consumer waste which could be a renewable energy resource, where the value is exploited through biomass production, anaerobic digester biogas, thermal processes and even through landfill gas utilization. My dedication towards this cause also makes me to be part of different initiatives to practice what I say with my support to different organisations that make this happen. Education is a key to push sustainable environment through waste management.

There are many important things we should know about waste management and disposal in order to ensure that we are safe, as well as that Nigerian’s are keeping the environment safe. It is our choices and tasks our government to know how we will dispose of waste. However it is always in our best interest to take a look at all of the options that we have available before making the choice of sustainable living.



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