Recycling Technologies for Polyethylene Waste–A Mitigation Measure to Reduce Non-Biodegradable Pollutants in Nigeria’s Waterways (A Case-Study of Osun State, Nigeria)
1Adegoke, C. W. and 2Oginni Wale
1Director, Centre for Alternative Energy Research & Rural Environmental Technologies (CAERRET), Osun State University, Osogbo Main Campus PMB 4494 Oke-Baale Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.
2Research Associate, Centre for Alternative Energy Research & Rural Environmental Technologies (CAERRET) Osun State University, Osogbo Main Campus, PMB 4494 Oke-Baale Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.
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Accepted on July 21, 2013
Most state governments in Nigeria are grappling with the challenge of sanitation through regular collection of solid waste being disposed by the citizens. The recent administration in Osun State has made efforts towards attainment of good sanitation and environmental sustainability through the activities of OYES and OCLEAN programmes respectively. In order to achieve greater strides and more efficiency in the current solid waste management efforts it is advocated in this paper that Government should adopt the 3 R’s concept of solid waste Best Management practice (BMP) viz: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by converting polyethylene waste into alternative building material products such as Polycrete™ recently innovated by the author at The Centre for Alternative Energy Research & Rural Environmental Technologies (CAERRET).The material is a new asbestos-free composite engineered Alternative Building Material product – POLYCRETE™ using Polyethylene “pure-water” sachets waste and paper as major raw materials. (Nigerian Patent for Polycrete is pending at Abuja Patent Office under Application No. NG/P/2011/148). Polycrete is now being employed in the production of Decorative Ceiling Boards and fire-retardant, sound-proof Partition Wall Panels suitable for building of rapid mass housing delivery such as schools and halls in Osun State. Polyethylene, plastics and paper waste are a major component of the total volume of solid waste being generated in most urban centres. If this component of solid waste can be sorted/segregated from source through appropriate legislation and management plan of the Government, Uniosun and other SME’s/Recycling companies will be a ready receptor of these materials and will convert it through its newly invented technologies into alternative building materials for the benefit of the entire State. Osun State Government, through partnerships can also export this technology to other LGA’s of the state and other parts of the Federation. The entire citizenry of the state can be sensitized/mobilized to buy into the 3R’s of sustainable waste management through efforts of Osun State Ministry of Environment, NESREA, NOA, Justice Development & Peace Initiative NGO etc. It is posited in this paper that if recycling technologies are adopted and promoted by the state Government, the total volume of waste being handled by collection trucks and OYES crew will reduce by at least 40%, the processed recycled materials will be a source of income for the state (Resource Recovery) acting as raw material feedstock to downstream industries, pollution of waterways/associated seasonal flooding and environmental degradation will be mitigated, environmental sustainability will be assured and a win-win situation will result for both the state and the various SME’s who will be involved in Recycling/Waste-to-Wealth technologies.