OPTIMIZATION OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL FOR LOKOJA, NIGERIA
Waste accumulation in developing world cities has become common sights in recent times. Management of solid waste has been one of the challenges facing urban areas in the world owing to an aggregation of human settlements and increased consumption thereof that has the potential to produce a large amount of solid waste. The situation is further compounded with failure of some cities in setting up an effective waste collection system. The aim of this study is to develop an effective waste collection and disposal system in Lokoja metropolis, Kogi State, Nigeria through the assessment of the state of MSWM in Lokoja, examination of problems of collection and disposal of MSW, identification of important criteria for locating dumpsters as well as recommending routes for waste evacuation. Two sets of questionnaire were administered, 10 to staff of KSSWMB and 390 to the public in the city. Results of the analysis of questionnaire data, using descriptive statistics, show that across the six zones of the city, the highest percentage of respondents who indicated availability of dumpsters in Lokoja city is 18.0% while the percentage of respondents who indicated absence of dumpsters ranges between 78.7% and 82.0%. Field observation corroborates the analyzed data from the respondents and it was evident that waste management facilities were grossly insufficient in the city. This therefore results in poor urban service delivery which manifests in heaps of uncollected solid waste in most scenic locations of the city. To remedy this situation, we designed and developed an appropriate location of dumpsters and collection plan using Geographical Information System (GIS) software. The ArcGIS 9.3 Network Analyst was used to estimate interrelations between the dynamic factors, like network traffic changes (closed roads due to natural or technical causes, for example, fallen trees, car accidents, etc) in Lokoja and to produce optimized solutions where we determined the best routes and alternative routes for waste evacuation. While it was established that KSSWMB is starved of basic facilities for waste management, it becomes pertinent to procure more basic waste management tools like large capacity roll off dumpsters at the proposed points across the city in order to accommodate the growing volume of waste generated daily. This research recommends uncompromising penalties for defaulters of environmental laws, procurement of waste compactors, and adoption of the optimized network plan for waste evacuation amongst others for optimum performance.