One common sight in Nigeria today is the large heaps of dirt littering street corners, highways, drainage systems and abandoned lands. Waste is generated at a geometrical level while collection is in an arithmetic level, this is why our streets wear a displeasing look and offensive odour. The Nigerian government is tasked with the management of waste in the country, they provide stipulated dump sites for households with truck to pick them up, however the need resources and man power are not available hence our littered environment. This is not only environmentally bad, it is disturbing to the viewers and harmful to our health.
Seeing the government can’t care for all our waste we need alternative means to get rid of them, and the best way to do this is recycling. Recycling is a means of turning trash into useful and valuable product without sourcing for new materials. A lot of the waste we generate can be recycled such as plastic bags, bottles, cloths cans, plastic containers paper and much more.
Here are several reasons we should recycle:
- To prevent clogging of water ways and flooding: Over the past few years a major problem we have been facing in our cities is flooding, this happens as a result of overflowing of water bodies and prolonged rainfall. Our cities have been built with drainage systems to aid water flow, however indiscriminate dumping of waste into drainage systems hinders free flow of water. Diverting our waste from street corners to recycling plants is a sure way to keep our water ways free and prevent flooding.
- Curb climate change: a major concern to world leaders and agriculturists is the issue of climate change, you may ask what has waste got to do with climate change? Well I say… A lot. Dumping our waste in landfills gives room for combustion thereby emitting green house gases same can be said for burning of waste, however recycling emits less harmful gases as compared to burning, landfills or even producing entirely new product.
- Reduce dependence on virgin resources: a major goal in the world is sustainability, this has to do with meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs. A lot of pressure is being placed on the mother earth by humans in need of resources from trees to animal skin, water, solid minerals and much more they are being depleted faster than they can be renewed. Recycling is a means to achieving sustainability, because it lessens our dependence on virgin resource by converting old ones into perfectly new products.
- Job creation: recycling is not only sustainable to the environment it helps creates jobs and business opportunities for those who would work along the value chain to those who would perform the recycling proper.
- Aesthetics: recycling our waste ensures its not been littered on our Streets, it gives our environment a new face we would all love to see and live in
- Healthy environment: malaria is a household disease name in Nigeria. Malaria is a risk for over 97% of the Nigerian population with 19,000 under 5 children dying of malaria as at 2016. Unkempt environment allows for the disease carrier (mosquito) to thrive. Other diseases associated with dirty environment includes, typhoid, cholera, diarrhea etc. Recycling helps us live in a healthier environment preventing us from such diseases.
- Saves land: the rate at which landfills are used up and the need for more land to dump waste is becoming an issue of concern, recycling diverts waste products which would otherwise be thrown into landfill to produce new goods and saving lands which would have been used as dumping ground.
- Maintains ground water quality: If landfills are allowed to accumulate, they can impact the quality of groundwater. A big percentage of waste thrown in landfills is neither eco-friendly nor biodegradable and the contaminants occurring in these wastes may find their way into ground water supply. This typically happens when rain water or runoff water coming from landfills snake through land to water bodies such as streams, rivers, and lakes. This renders the once fresh and safe waters risky to drink. Recycling of waste will prevent the continuity of this dangerous cycle
- Ensures a sustainable future: By recycling, we are doing two great things to our future, minimizing our immediate effect on planet earth and developing sustainable practices for future generations.
- Saves your money: recycled products are cheaper compared to new once. recycling not only adds to the environment it adds to your pocket, recycling uses less energy and less resources in the cause of production there by reducing the cost of the final products.
The world is geared towards having less impact on the environment and Nigerian’s can join the race by recycling. Recycling makes a difference not only in our environment but in our lives.