The state of solid waste recycling by scavengers in Onitsha, a heavily commercial city in Anambra State, and some other urban areas such as Nsukka, Enugu, and Port Harcourt was analyzed. Data were obtained through interviews of scavengers who deal with recyclables. Although the activities of scavengers are sub-optimal, they can have a great impact on Nigerian economy with respect to resource conservation, creation of job opportunities, and reduction of the magnitude of waste disposal problems. A cost analysis is presented to compare the different forms of recycling utilized by municipal solid waste management. It is shown that a well-planned recycling program with recycling and composting would result in 18.6% savings in waste management costs and 57.7% in landfill avoidance costs. However, if the compost materials are not recycled, the corresponding savings in cost become 8.6% and 28.6%, respectively. The option with the lowest cost involves encouraging individual households to separate at the source their recyclables, which are bought by scavengers. This results in 78.0% savings in waste management cost and 79.5% landfill avoidance cost. A low-cost approach aimed at the integration of scavenging activities into conventional solid waste management is presented.
Analysis of Scavengers? Activities and Recycling in Some Cities of Nigeria. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8935691_Analysis_of_Scavengers_Activities_and_Recycling_in_Some_Cities_of_Nigeria [accessed Dec 28, 2015].