Case study: Lagos, Nigeria Research student

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Summary of Doctoral Research Structure - FINAL SUBMITTED- ADEDARA
Adedara, M.L, Adedara, M.L, Adedara, M.L, Adedara, M.L

Summary of Doctoral Research Structure

Research Title: REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE AS SUSTAINABLE WASTE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES: Panacea for mounting heaps of refuse in Nigerian cities (Case study: Lagos, Nigeria)
Research student

Muyiwa Lawrence Adedara

Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences

CAU (University of Kiel)

Research Supervisor

Prof. Dr. Hans-Rudolf Bork

Institute for Ecosystem Research, CAU; Olshausenstr. 75, 24109, Kiel


Urbanization, economic development and population growth are intertwined with respect to increased waste generation (Guerreo et al., 2013). For example, the World Bank has projected that, aggregate figures of waste generation in cities across the globe will increase by 70% from 2.01 billion tonnes (0.74kg/capita/day) in 2016 to 3.40 billion tonnes (1.25kg/capita/day) in 2050 (Kaza et al., 2018). The projection in 2010, six (6) years earlier was 585 million tonnes based on an approximate yearly increase of 6% (Agamuthu et al., 2009) thus, underscoring the urgent need to design workable systems of managing wastes, more importantly in developing economies (Mukhtar et al., 2016) where there are still a few challenges (namely, improper disposal methods, infrastructure deficit, absence of enabling legislation, etc) to the sustainable management of wastes (Diaz, 2011).

Some countries in the European Union, conscious of the foregoing facts have been able to recycle between 52% and 56% of domestically generated waste (Gray, 2017) while the entire European Union have adopted a lasting strategy predicated on the “waste hierarchy guideline” (European Commission, 2019) to ensure the continuous recovery of useful waste resources at source. Contrariwise, in Lagos, Nigeria, as reported in the Punch Newspaper (2017), the improper disposal of wastes results in perennial flooding, and worse still, Adedara (2018), in a field research in Lagos observed the indiscriminate dumping of solid waste on road medians and road kerbs, leaving the city dotted with mounting heaps of uncollected municipal refuse in public places with its concomitant health effects. The aim of this research therefore is to determine whether the core cardinals of the waste hierarchy guideline (reduce, reuse & recycle), which has proved effective within the European Union has been yet understood, applied and adopted as a sustainable waste management strategy to control the perennial problem of litter in the city of Lagos with due consideration given to local possibilities.

  • Urbanisation and rising waste volume

  • Current solid waste management challenges in mega cities

  • The European solid waste management model

  • Infrastructure gaps in developing economies

  • International best practice in solid waste management


  • To study the current environmental policy of the Lagos state government in order to ascertain the provisions in support of resource recovery, waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

  • To examine waste reduction trend in Lagos by analyzing official figures of waste volume from 2014 to 2018 using the World’s Bank unit of reporting waste generated in mega cities.

  • To evaluate reuse culture by examining the types of waste disposed in waste bins and places used as waste dumps across the 20 LCDAs in Lagos using random sampling technique.

  • To investigate the waste collection apparatus in the study area.

  • To design a system for the sustainable management of solid wastes based on international best practice, bearing in mind what is locally possible, for ridding the city of Lagos of the unsightly looks of refuse heaps, with a view to improving the quality of environmental aesthetics, ambient air and water thereby positioning the city as a model for other cities in Nigeria.


  • Theoretical Framework of sustainable waste management

  • Overview of the use and application of the waste hierarchy guideline in Europe

  • The impact of regulatory framework on waste management – lessons from Europe

  • Environmental legislation in Nigeria

  • Environmental Policy on the environment in Lagos


  • Qualitative data (structured interviews with the waste management regulator in Lagos state, and existing industries that rely on scavengers for recyclable waste materials).

  • Quantitative data (questionnaire survey on respondents in the study area)

  • Field observation of reusable materials discarded in waste bins by random sampling

  • Secondary data from government archives


  • Data presentation with statistical tools




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