An ecologist, Mr Habib Omotosho, has advised Nigerians to imbibe the habit of proper waste disposal to support the efforts to provide safe and clean environment for the populace.
Omotosho, who is the National Coordinator, Environmental Advancement Initiative, an NGO, gave the advice in an interview with the News men in Abuja on Thursday.
“Municipal solid wastes heap up on the roads due to improper disposal system. People clean their own houses and litter their immediate surroundings which affect the community including themselves.
“This type of dumping allows biodegradable materials to decompose under uncontrolled and unhygienic condition
This produces foul smell and breeds various types of insects and infectious organisms besides spoiling the aesthetics of the site.
“Industrial solid wastes are sources of toxic metals and hazardous wastes, which may spread on land and can cause changes in physic chemical and biological characteristics, thereby affecting productivity of soils,’’ he said.
The ecologist said that many types of objects that were thrown away contained toxic substances which could percolate into soil and water, affecting the health of plants, animals and humans.
“When trash and garbage are put into an enormous pile, they begin to rot. This rotting creates methane, a greenhouse gas that is many times more potent than carbon dioxide.
“Methane exits the landfill and floats up into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.
“One of the best solutions to this problem actually turns it into a benefit: if the methane is captured as it escapes the landfill, it can be burned and turned into electric power,’’ Omotosho said.
According to him, this solution is already being used at many landfill locations. Other solutions include recycling, reduction of packaging and lowering consumption rates.