Strategic Options for Urban Solid Waste Management


in Enugu, Nigeria



By Anthony N. Ezemerihe, PhD

Enugu State University of Science and Technology

Enugu, Nigeria


The study examined the strategic options for Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) in Enugu Urban.  The aim is to identify the problems that result to challenges in Municipal Solid Waste Planning and Management in Enugu.  The objective is to review the existing MSWM practices and determine the necessary measures to improve the planning and management of solid wastes in the study area. The Methodology involved the use of personal interview and questionnaires to sample the opinion of respondents from three selected local government area in Enugu Urban based on their level of urbanization using five (5) point likert scale.  The result shows that there is a strong positive coefficient of correlation (r) = 0.9932 and the coefficient of determination of (r2 or R) = 0.948 or 94.8% from the responses of project workers at the selected location and staff of Enugu State Waste Management Authority (ESWAMA).  The work recommends an integrated solid waste management with proper planning and management of waste generated, disposal and treatment options, source reduction, waste recycling, use of more compression vehicles, reuse and exploitation of the potentials of solid waste to maximize its economic benefits.  This will lead to sustainable solid waste management practices.

Keywords:     solid waste management, sustainable solid waste practices, Enugu State Waste Management Authority (ESWAMA).

  1. Introduction

In some cities of developing countries, bulk of solid waste, are seen on streets and in open spaces. This waste to say the least disfigures the city, creates an eyesore and also poses tremendous health hazards to the public.  Investigation from Enugu State Waste Management Authority (ESWAMA) charged with planning and management of solid waste in Enugu urban indicates that, there is no effective and efficient solid waste management programme. Majority of the inhabitants in the area do not know what is expected of them as regards solid waste management. Out of the need to get rid of the solid waste from their domains and relieve themselves of its nuisance, the inhabitants dump the refuse behind their houses and indiscriminately in nearby open dumps. Some of the solid waste is dumped in the water channels, gullies, riverside and any available spaces. In most cases, the refuse accumulates, encroaching on roads and streets. Open burning has become the practice of reducing the volume of solid waste in some locations leading to air pollution in Enugu. In fact, solid waste disposal/management is said to be the highest environmental problem because at the moment, there is no effective existing solid waste management/disposal technology for the area.

  1. Urbanization and industrialization resulted to progressive increase of solid waste generation rates with increase in disposal costs and associated activities. There is also corresponding increase in disposal cost, environmental and health concerns, limited landfill, composting and dump sites which affect the Enugu urban waste management.
  2. There are insufficient dumpsters at dump sites for collection of waste generated prior to arrival of collection vehicles and transportation to disposal landfill sites.
  3. Substantial quantity of Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) is disposed of unhygienically in open dumps, thereby creating problems to public health and environment.
  4. The frequency of solid waste collection in some areas is inadequate so the collection of solid wastes is delayed which in turn pollutes the environment.
  5. There are no solid waste treatment facilities in Enugu, so waste is not treated before disposal.
  6. The solid wastes handlers and managers are not adequately equipped technically with adequate plant/machinery to face the challenges of wastes generation and disposal in Enugu.
  7. The majority of disposal vehicles used is not designed for waste disposal and are open vehicles without good facilities which led to littering of streets as solid waste are transported to disposal sites.
  8. There is not enough public enlightenment to educate the inhabitants of Enugu urban on environmental control measures, protection of environment and human lives, and other pollution menace for effective waste management.
  9. There is insufficient disposal site for solid waste management in Enugu.
  10. Lack of reliable database has affected the planning and management of Solid Wastes in Enugu.
  11. There is no Solid Waste recycling plant or the like in Enugu.
  12. The capacity of Enugu Waste Management Authority (ESWAMA) to collect and dispose of used tyres and large construction wastes are lacking which makes these wastes stay too long without collection from dumpsites.
  13. Inconsistent government policy on Solid Waste Planning and Management have adversely affected the development of a master plan for solid waste in Enugu.


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How to cite this paper: Ezemerihe, A. N. (2024). Strategic Options for Urban Solid Waste Management in Enugu, Nigeria; PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/pmwj142-Jun2024-Ezemerihe-strategic-options-for-urban-solid-waste-management.pdf

About the Author

Anthony Nnamdi Ezemerihe, PhD

Enugu, Nigeria


 Anthony Nnamdi Ezemerihe, PhD holds a bachelor’s degree in Building from Enugu University of Science and Technology Enugu, Nigeria, Higher National Diploma in Building Technology and Quantity Surveying from Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu, Nigeria. Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Banking and Finance from Anambra State University of Technology (ASUTECH) Enugu. A master of Science (M.Sc) degree in Construction Management from Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka, Nigeria. He has Master in Engineering (M.Eng.), Philosophy Degree (PhD) in Civil Engineering (Water Resources and Environmental Engineering) from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Uli, Anambra State Nigeria. He has also obtained PhD in Construction Management at NAU, Awka.

Dr. Ezemerihe is a registered Engineer with Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and a member of Nigerian Society of Engineers (MNSE). He is a registered Builder and Corporate member Nigerian Institute of Building (MNIOB), Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Nigerian Institute of Management (MNIM), Nigerian Environmental Society (MNES) and passed with overall result A in Public Service Examination (PSE) from the Administrative Staff college of Nigeria (ASCON). He also obtained Doctor of philosophy (Critical and Creative Thinking) Ph.D.  (CACT) (Honouris Causa) from Montclair State University, Upper Montclair New Jersey, United States of America (USA). He can be contacted at ecatonia2008@yahoo.com