1.1 Background to the Study

Human activities create wastes, the way they are handled, stored, collected and disposed pose risks to the environment and to public health (Zurbrugg, 2003). Increase in human activities has raised the magnitude of wastes generated and the extent of its environmental impact. Over time, man continues to alter the structure and nature of the environment through mining and burning of fossil fuel, destruction of forest and release of wastes through domestic, industrial and agricultural processes. In these processes, human activities generate many by-products, generally seen as useless and discarded as wastes (Akinro, Ikumawoyi, Yahaya & Ologunagba, 2012). These massive wastes subsequently find their ways into the ground, air and water every year. Solid wastes could be defined as non-liquid and non-gaseous products of human activities, regarded as useless. Wastes could take different forms such as refuse, garbage and sludge (Leton & Omotosho, 2004). According to Leton and Omotosho (2004), solid waste is found in urban and rural areas. While rural area generates waste often organically rich and degradable, urban wastes are characterised by cultural practices of society which are unfriendly to the environment. Different countries adopt different categorisation for statutory requirement. Solid wastes are categorised into three major groups (Low, 1990); domestic refuse (solid waste generated by markets, food centres, households and commercial premises and so on); industrial refuse (does not include hazardous and toxic waste which requires special treatment, handling and disposal); and institutional solid waste (solid waste from government offices, schools, hospitals, recreational centres). Apart from households, the waste characteristics and quantities vary in markets/ commercial centers, schools, airports, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN LIBRARY 2 railway stations, bus stands and so on. At airports, in addition to the waste from airplanes, solid waste is also produced in offices, restaurants, shops, kitchens, restrooms, maintenance areas, cargo operations, hangars, construction and demolition. He avers that typical waste characteristics of developing nations are: high waste densities, high moisture contents, large organic fraction, and cities with sweeping as well as open ground storage, characterised by large amount of dust and dirt. A number of studies have indicated that the inappropriate handling and disposal of waste poses health risks to people who may be directly exposed and to people near waste facilities, particularly children and scavengers who may become exposed to more infectious wastes and risky diseases (Oke, 2008; Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH 2009); World Health Organization, 1999 & 2002). Solid waste also hosts substantial amount of fungi. Out of about 100,000 species of fungi, about 100 are pathogenic to animals and man (Anthony & Elizabeth, 1981). Fungi cause infection to hair, nail, skin and lungs. Toxins generated by Aspergillums flatus can cause liver cancer and fatty degeneration of liver in people who eat contaminated foods. Solid waste production is a function of land use, its composition is inversely proportional to possible soil damage and bacterial contamination of the environment (Achudume and Olawale 2009; Lober 1996; Omuta 1999; Shakibaie, Dhakephalker, Kapadnis, and Chopade, 2009). The World Health Organisation (2005) estimated that each year, there are about 8 to 16 million new cases of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), 2.3 to 4.7 million cases of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and 80,000 to 160,000 cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) due to unsafe injections and mostly due to very poor waste management systems (Townsend & Cheeseman, 2005).

Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria, effective management of waste relies on the combined voluntary behaviours of individual households and institutions. For example past governmental laws and regulations such as War Against Indiscipline (WAI), Keep Nigeria Clean (KNC), Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), every-last Saturday of month environmental sanitation exercise, Clean Up and Green Up and other various attempts at maintaining good disposal habit had largely failed. This is as a result of inability to include citizens‘ socio-cultural attitude and consideration for the infrastructures available. Also, a substantial number of environmental interventions have been carried out focusing on changing attitudes in order to promote the desired environmental behaviour in the area of waste management (Lawal, 2010). Unfortunately many of these initiatives have had limited success: Till date and during the course of the introduction of these interventions government monitoring agencies continue to experience high rate of environmental offenders, court litigations and sabotage against these interventions when people have not been duly educated, provided with the necessary infrastructures and their opinions and attitudes were not taken into consideration in the design and implementation UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN LIBRARY 7 of these policies. There is dearth of study on what factors are responsible for the negative behaviour demonstrated by the inhabitants of these cities looking at the influence of the combination of governmental activities, psychological and social factors on solid waste management behaviour particularly in the urban centres in south western Nigeria

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Updated: 9th October 2019 — 9:09 am