Professor of Chemistry at Covenant University, Ota in Ogun State, Kolawole Ajanaku, has advised the Federal Government to create waste transfer stations across the country for a healthy and sustainable environment.
Ajanaku gave the advice at the university’s 21st Inaugural Lecture titled, “Solid Waste Revolution: The Artificial Intelligence Towards Smart, Sustainable and Safe Cities.”
He noted that waste management in the country had become the most pressing environmental issue as only Lagos State had a waste transfer station.
“Let there be appropriate and applicable approach by the government in getting rid of waste materials instead of the dumping in landfill approach presently in place.
“The world is moving, and the nation cannot afford to stay at a place,” he said.
Ajanaku explained that with the country’s growing population exceeding 170 million, the effect of huge waste generation had resulted in blockage of drainages, flood, erosion, bad roads and accidents.
Ajanaku also said that improperly managed waste management contributed to deaths and posed substantial hazard to human health.
He listed some of the waste materials contributing to negative environmental impacts to include plastic, bottles, cans and sachets.
The don urged government to commence recycling processes for some selected waste materials so as to transform them to valuable materials and reduce the cost of waste disposal.
Ajanaku also urged government to introduce teaching of waste management and introduce recycling clubs in schools to instil the waste management culture in youths.
He implored companies to also embrace the reuse and recycle of waste materials to reduce the cost of waste disposal and create wealth for themselves.
Earlier, Prof. Aaron Atayero, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said that the increase of population density and rural movement to the urban cities had created significant waste generation challenge for the country.
He noted that the urbanisation would continue to increase due to migration, adding that there was the need for effective waste management to deal with the nation’s current challenges.
By Ige Adekunle