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How Waste Collection Points Help to Educate the Society About the Waste Problems

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In identifying indicators for sustainable development, Bossel (1999), noted that sustainability of humankind is threatened by dynamics of technology, economy and population, which accelerate the environmental and social rates of change, while growing structural inertia reduces the ability to respond in time. Taipale (2012) envisioned long-term and short-term inculcation of urban sustainable development to be predominantly influenced by integrated approach practices driven by the desire of avoiding decisions prepared under wrong (biased) assumptions i.e. majority of researchers, policy makers, institutions as well as local authorities tend to emphasize on economic perspective (pursuit) and not sustainable development (agenda), whose end results tend to be exclusion of fundamental items such as ecological and social considerations.

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Whereas, Goran and Jelisavka (2016) highlighted the evolution of urban settlements as emerging custodian(s) of sustainable development shifting attitudes as well as focus towards advanced social development, green re-generation as fundamental theme(s) for economic development as well as critical in urban spatial development. LeBlanc (2017) stressed that, objectives of waste management is reducing and eliminating adverse impacts of waste materials on human health and environment to support economic development and superior quality of life. Placing (municipal) bins conveniently so that one can collect the accumulating trash and emptying (regularly) according to LeBlanc (2017) is an important phase of waste management. Garau and Pavan (2018) identified sustainable city as a place that balances infrastructure, ICT, smart technologies, and urban metabolism (i.e. sewage, water, energy and waste management) within a city though with a strong focus on the environment.

Garau and Pavan (2018) demonstrated in their analysis of urban sustainability that urban planning is fundamental (tool) towards achieving a smart city. In their evaluation of urban quality, they identified qualitative and quantitative descriptors of urban environments. Until now, researchers have used two basic approaches to examine the quality of urban life: the objective approach, which is typically confined to analysing and reporting secondary data — usually aggregate data that are mainly available from official government data collections, including the census, at different geographic or spatial scales — and the subjective approach, which uses social survey methods to collect primary data at the disaggregate or individual level, and focuses on peoples’ behaviours and assessments, or their qualitative evaluations of different aspects of urban life (Garau & Pavan, 2018). The evaluation of urban quality of life can be undertaken at various scales, from the city level to the neighbourhood or building level, thus enabling the integration of different aspects (Garau & Pavan, 2018).

Spatial Analysis of Waste Collection Points Gopagani, Guntuka and Bhole (2017) carried out a waste related study in Hyderabad Municipal Area, India, whose main objectives were; to locate dumper bins with GPS and its spatial analysis, to suggest optimal and new location of number bins using GIS and lastly, to generate distance dumper bin index. Gopagani, Guntuka and Bhole (2017) observed that for an efficient SWM number of bins and their distribution is extremely important. Analysis of dumper bins (primary collection points) in the area of study showed that their distribution was highly uneven. Zainun, Rahman and Rothman (2016) noted that repercusions of illegal dumping of solid waste are not restricted to the environment rather also to the social life of communities (neighborhoods) therefore onus is on the local authorities to address this issue holistically. Zainun, Rahman and Rothman (2016) mapped construction waste illegal dumping in Kluang district, Malaysia using GIS software employing site observation approach and details collected involved; coordinate of waste locations, photos as well as type of waste material. They acknowledged the impotance of the software towards assisting the local authority in Kluang district towards monitoring the illegal (informal) dumpsites. Njoku & Okeniyi (2014) employed GIS to carry out a survey of waste-bins in households in Abuja, Nigeria. Using GIS environment they were able to incorporate all waste-bin attribute related data from all the properties in the Federal Capital City.

The results showed the areas where gaps exist in collection and disposal process as locations that require extra efforts for waste management as a result of high households concentration or high activities (i.e. areas with indiscriminate dumping amonst other issues). According to Njoku & Okeniyi (2014) the result(s) showed efficiency of waste-bins in the city. The following were some of the objectives of the study; (i) to determine the number of disposal bins each house possess, (ii) assess and estimate number of households and other land uses in the city, (iii) to examine the distance of each district to the dumpsites, (iv) to identify areas with high activities and indiscriminate dumpsites within the city, (v) assess efficiency of the waste-bin usage and collection coverage of the collection agents, (vi) recommend best possible way for waste collection. Consequently Njoku & Okeniyi (2014) noted that in all the land-uses, 29% of properties in the city had standard waste-bins, 42% had sub-standard waste-bins whilst the remaining 29% do not have waste-bins. Abdelli, Abdelmalek, Djelloul, Mesghouni, & Addou (2016) used GIS to optimise municipal solid waste collection in terms of collection cost and polluting emissions. Abdelli, Abdelmalek, Djelloul, Mesghoumi and Addou (2016) noted that management systems of the collection points are spatial in nature hence best suited for applying GIS tools.

The aim of their study was to optimise collection of household waste in Mostaganem City involving reducing cost (i.e. maintenance cost, labour, working time and fuel) and reducing pollution quantities. The constraints in this study were travelled distances, the number and capacity of vehicles, truck speed, roads state, quantity of waste produced in each collection point and the filling rate. Results of the study recommended construction of a waste transfer station at 7 km from the city to improve optimisation of the collection cost as well as address pollution issues. Danbuzu, Tanko, Ibrahim, & Ahmed (2014) analysed spatial distribution of solid waste collection points in Urban Katsina, Nigeria using GIS. The study made an inventory of solid waste collection points in Urban Katsina and also examined the evolving (waste collection points) pattern. The emerging pattern was that the amount of illegal disposal points increases as one moves from low to high density settlements areas and converse with regard to the hips size. Consequently according to Danbuzu, Tanko, Ibrahim, & Ahmed (2014) areas with high population density had more legal collection points than areas with medium population density, medium densely populated areas also exhibited high clusters of illegal collection points.Hossain and Hossain (2013) looked at optimal distribution of waste collection points (dustbins) in Dhaka City, Bangladesh.

The study analysed spatial distribution of dustbins using average nearest neighbour functions of GIS. The study found out that spatial distribution of existing dustbins was predominantly clustered in pattern. Abdulai, Hussein, Bevilacqua and Storrings (2015) observed that one of the factors that may impinge on the efficiency of the communal container collection system leading to waste overflows and ground dumping is availability and sufficiency of containers at collection sites. Abdulai, Hussein, Bevilacqua and Storrings (2015) were able to identify and map 51 MSWCS (i.e. 37 containers and 14 open dumps) in Wa town, Ghana. The 14 sites experiencing open dumping appear relatively located out of inner town suggesting that the collection system is mostly concentrated in the inner city (Abdulai, Hussein, Bevilacqua, & Storrings, 2015). Olaide, et al. (2014) carried out a study to analyse the spatial patterns of waste dumpsites and the health associated with the (observed) patterns. This study identified possible areas at risk of health hazards; suggested the most suitable location for dumpsites and sorting centres for municipal solid wastes; and provided a framework for sustainable solid waste management in Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.

Link between Quality of Life and Waste Collection Points Cruz (2011) carried out a study towards mapping the quality of life experience in Alfama, Portugal. In this study, Cruz (2011) used as one of the objective indicators towards ascertaining quality of life the spatial location (i.e. proximity or accessibility) of recycling bins. He used spatial locations of the bins to determine their relationship i.e. correlation with level of education, affordability of housing cost and housing quality (subjective indicators). According to Cruz (2011) both the objective and subjective indicators were scrutinized to construct a quality of life map based on residents’ perceptions and the service locations within and close to Alfama. According to Olukanni, Akinyinka, Ede, Akinwumi, & Ajanaku (2014) in their study on appraisal of municipal solid waste management, observed that in Ota, Nigeria, the quantity of waste bins is based on population and the activity in an area. Olukanni, Akinyinka, Ede, Akinwumi, & Ajanaku (2014), noted that inhabitants of affluent society have ease of consistent home waste collection converse to deprived communities that have little or no waste collection services. Issahaku, Nyame, & Brimah (2014) carried out a study focusing on municipal solid waste management strategies in Tamale, Ghana where they looked at the corresponding increase of population and the rising quality of life. The waste management strategies looked at involved collection points, colllection fees, proximity of the collection points, equipments, etc. The study revealed a close relationship in the household income level (residential class) and the use of covered plastic waste bins and also a relationship between the level of education and how households stored their waste before disposal.

Theoretical Framework Brandt Commission’s Report of 1977 (North-South: A Program for Survival), the 1987 Brundtland Report (Our Common Future), Abraham Maslow (Hierarchy of Needs) and Theory of Human Ecology by Ernest Haeckel work(s) are the basis of this study. Brandt Report(s) called for a full-scale restructuring of global economy as well as new approaches to development whose cornerstone would be anchored on (urban) ecological sustainability, achieved via; providing financial incentives, cleaning up the environment, reducing industrial emissions, etc. Furthermore, Brandt Report stressed the need of aligning of our focus to people rather than machines to achieve sustainable development in all aspects. Brundtland Report is an extension of Brandt Report recommendations. Hoornweg and Freire (2013) discerned the need of cities to preserve the integrity of the Earth’s ecosystems as well as need of being resilient so as to succesfully respond to effects of climate change. Tang and Lee (2016) posited that it is imperative to plan and build an ecologically sustainable environment due to the (current) rapid climate change as well as environmental degradation which are more visible in urban setting(s). In addition Tang and Lee (2016) observed that densification in urban areas has played a key role in revitalising and transforming of economies but at the same time human activities (in urban centres) are the source of more than 70% of GHGs (green house gases) released into the atmosphere. Sustainable urban development according to the view(s) of Tang and Lee (2016) can be related to the emerging theories relating to urban settlements such as “Healthy City”, “ Compact City”, “ Low Carbon City”, “Green City”, etc.

Sustainable development as pursued by local authorities should address the following three major items (Hoornweg & Freire, 2013);

  • efficient and adaptive building standards,
  • (efficient and robust) public transportation
  • “smart” power grids or flood protections.

Furthermore, cities are becoming leaders worldwide in efforts to adress global environmental and social problems (Hoornweg & Freire, 2013). Sustainable cities possess the following characteristics (Hoornweg & Freire, 2013); (i) adequate jobs, (ii) sufficient energy production, (iii) food security and sustainable agriculture, (iv) adequate water and disaster prepared (readiness) and lastly, (vi) resilience. Human ecology is an approach that strives to analyze how humans interact with their environments. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory postulated that people become actualized to accomplish higher motives only after fulfilling certain basic needs. Maslow emphasized that our most basic need is for physical survival, and this is what will influence our (subsequent) behavior. According to Condie and Cooper (2015) sustainability principles dictate actions that are focused towards realising an ecologically integrated and socially viable future. Where social sustainability according to Condie and Cooper (2015) involves provision of both physical (e.g. shelter, food, clean water, etc.) and social resources (e.g. participation in decision making process) to people (inhabitants) in a sensible, transparent and equitable manner.

The six principles espoused by Condie and Cooper (2015) for both short as well as long – term integration of both social and ecological sustainability are;

  • Human – environment integrity; this is creation of integrated urban ecological systems that support as well as safeguard functions of existing ecosystems. This means developing a city that exploits the local setting resources and minimizes negative impacts.
  • Human well-being; ensuring all inhabitants have equal opportunities for (life) improvement, access to resources to ensure a decent life.
  • Intra – and intergenerational equity; need of avoiding gentrification, taking into consideration all demographic change(s) and needs of future residents e.g. access to vital infrastructure like transport both at individual and community (neighborhood) to address urban sprawl challenges.
  • Resource maintenance and efficiency; instilling resilient component(s) in energy and water systems to result in efficient use of these rare and precious resources.
  • Democratic governance; empowering the residents (inhabitants) by availing places and opportunities for interaction and education.
  • Precaution and adaptation; coming up with resilient urban environments through encouraging diversity in nature, thinking as well as utilizing local resources (labor, skills, etc.).

Amoakoh (2017) stressed that sustainable livelihood incorporates use of (easily) available resources in a manner that after an acceptable period of use they (resources) can be restored. Therefore there’s need to utilise resources that can be recycled so as to enhance communities modes of resilience as well as means of creating sustainable opportunities. Although as concepts and definitions of sustainable development tend to differ, as highlighted by Thunell and Norstrom (2014) the convergence point (thought) is the strive towards improving the environment and erecting restrictions for human influence.


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