“Recycling is one of the best ways for you to have a positive impact on the world in which we live. Recycling is important to both the natural environment and us. We must act fast as the amount of waste we create is increasing all the time“.
Why should Nigeria pay attention to recycling? Here are some interesting reasons:
Recycling reduces air pollution
According to updated figures from the Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), more than 64,000 people died from household air pollution in Nigeria in 2017. Mainly from the burning of solid fuels such as charcoal and wood for cooking in open fires and leaky stoves.
Whilst there are many different types of pollutive problems occurring in Nigeria, with ones such as water pollution, noise pollution, and soil pollution or damage taking place, there is also a prominent amount of air pollution taking place, which has been on record for causing a growing number of health issues and deaths over the years. In regards to numbers on record, Nigeria came in with a PM2.5 reading of 21.40 μg/m³ in 2019, placing it in 39th spot out of all countries ranked worldwide, coming in just behind other countries such as South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
The number of things that get burnt will be reduced and thereby reducing the number of chemicals that are released into the air. Greenhouse emissions will also be reduced resulting in the curb of climate change.
Reduces the landfills
“Nigeria is home to six of the biggest dumpsites in Africa”. Dumpsites that end up contributing to environmental pollution will also be eliminated to improve the aesthetics of the environment. Landfills also take up natural activities that happen in the soil resulting in ecological depletion. And so, when you recycle, about 30-40% of your waste is saved from contributing to landfills. You can read more on dumpsites here
Creation of Jobs
Recycling has been existing for a long time. It was also typical to see some wheelbarrow pushers collecting waste for recycling. People are earning money from recycling more these days because of the way it has been modernized. More collection points for recycling are coming up and they employ people who sort waste and those who collect the waste from people’s homes. Recycling involves stages such as collection, sorting, and reprocessing, and studies have estimated that for every 1 job in a landfill, 10 are created in recycling. Recycling has the potential to reduce unemployment in Nigeria. Find out how recycling helped Suleiman, Mahmud, and Maryam in this article. This also means more taxes will be paid to the government.
Recycling saves the aqua-life
“Nigeria’s vast freshwater resources are among those most affected by environmental stress imposed by human population growth, urbanization, and industrialization. Disposal and management of wastes in Nigeria present serious environmental problems. The usual methods of waste disposal in the country are; landfilling, dumpsites, land spreads, water disposal, and incineration. Each of these methods has serious environmental implications because of their potential to pollute and contaminate underground and surface water bodies in the country”. Read more here.
It also kills sea animals and results to the extinction of some delicate sea animals. When there’s recycling, there will be less dumping into water bodies and in return save aquatic life. We also consume some of these sea animals and the trash they consume comes back to us. We have to also watch out for ourselves and our health.
It helps conserve nature
Usage of heavy machinery in search of raw materials during mining and extractions, especially for crude oil does have their effects on nature. These extraction sites emit smoke and channel their wastes to water bodies. The felling of trees, and the breaking of mountains for gravel and construction generate and constitute to environmental depletion. Through recycling, there are alternatives to using trees for raw materials.
Now the world is modernizing and crude oil is no longer needed. When we have fewer emissions from mining and extracting companies the ecosystem is conserved as well.
Recycling is a Climate Action
In Nigeria, the 3rd largest contributor to greenhouse emissions comes from our waste. That is because we burn 90% of our waste according to World Bank. And so by recycling, we are effectively removing about 30% of waste from being burnt and saving the planet from greenhouse emissions resulting from climate change.
Recycling will affect the economy positively
Recycling and every other activity along its value chain contribute to industrializing the economy. Importing things like metals, plastics, glasses, and other raw materials will be reduced as waste will provide raw materials. There are a lot of investment opportunities in the recycling business, this will greatly benefit the economy.