By Deji Abdulwahab
Abuja – Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Initiative (CCMAI), an NGO, has urged the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to introduce a waste sorting arrangement for households in the FCT.
The Executive Director of CCMAI, Mr Dennis Ugwuja, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday that the proposed policy involved separate collection systems for three kinds of waste.
He said that each household should be directed to sort its waste into paper and paper products; bottles and other breakable materials; as well as general refuse.
He said that the introduction of the refuse collection system which entailed three different waste bins for the three categories of garbage would promote effective waste management in the territory.
“There must be a stringent policy and legislation by the FCTA, compelling every household in all communities within its jurisdiction, especially satellite towns like Karu and Nyanya, among others, to install the three-pronged waste collection system.
“Each of the waste bin will specifically be labelled paper collection, bottles and breakables as well as general garbage; and the exercise must be properly monitored by a task force constituted by the FCTA,’’ he said.
Ugwuja stressed that if waste was properly collected and managed, it could generate revenue for the FCTA and be a veritable source of generating electricity.
“In developed economies, wastes are gathered in three folds. The garbage of every household is sorted into paper, glass bottles and other breakables and general waste,’’ he said.
Besides, Ugwuja described the Karu waste collection centre, which served several communities in the neighbourhood, as inadequate, adding that this had encouraged residents to dump their waste arbitrarily, thereby tainting the environment.
“The Karu waste collection point is certainly inadequate for the use of large communities such as Karu, Nyanya and other neighbouring communities.
“One collection point serving many communities would be totally ineffective and it would rather encourage improper dumping of waste across the area,’’ he said.
Ugwuja urged the FCTA to adopt the use of modern equipment for the collection, disposal and recycling of waste.
He also called on the FCTA to strengthen its strategies, policies and regulations for effective waste management in the territory.
“Due to its constraints in the areas of finance and technical expertise, the FCTA should look into ways of privatising its waste management concerns, as part of efforts to ensure effective management of waste in the FCT.
“On this note, local and international investors could be encouraged to invest in biomass and biogas production, as well as recycling of paper and bottles.
“Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), public and private institutions should be made to install wastepaper collection points and recycling machines in their offices,’’ he said.
Ugwuja also urged the FCTA to establish waste recycling centres in large communities within the territory to boost proper collection and management of waste.
“There must be a radical public education campaign on pragmatic waste management procedures and other related activities; and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) could be engaged for the campaign.
“The FCTA should engage in training and equipping volunteers from environmental rights organisations to effectively monitor waste collection and disposal activities within Abuja,’’ he said.
The ecologist said that the dilapidated equipment and vehicles used in transporting waste from communities to waste collection centres should be replaced with modern machines and vehicles.
“Also, there should be mobile courts to try and punish those who violate environmental rules, particularly rules outlawing indiscriminate dumping of refuse, just as what obtains in Calabar, the capital Cross Rivers State,’’ he added.
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