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The Characteristics of Retail Wastes in the City of Yenagoa, Nigeria (Published)

Wastes management in Yenagoa and indeed many Nigerian cities has suffered tremendous setbacks in the last few decades.  Literatures, reports and personal observation confirms that there is a total breakdown of law and order in relation to wastes and environmental management practices.  Many businesses in Yenagoa and across Nigeria have capitalized on the lack of proper monitoring and enforcement of wastes and environmental laws to adopt practices that promotes profit making over environmental quality.  In Yenagoa where the retail sector is on a huge scale – there are more people involved in retailing than any other sector or employment.  The extent of wastes produced by the sector has not been properly investigated neither are there information on the management practices adopted by retailers.The study employed a mixed method approach using closed and open-ended questionnaires in collecting data.  In all about 900 questionnaires were collected and analysed for the study while a representative of the Ministry of Environment was interviewed. The use of both open and closed questions in a single survey is a major characteristic of a mixed study.  Knowing that no adequate waste management plan can be drawn until the current practice, sources, components and volume of waste in a location have been studied and well understood.  Hence, the use of qualitative methods in this research is essential as it helps to understand and gather data on areas of interest.  A multi stage cluster sampling technique was employed due to the unavailability of an up-to-date sampling frame in the area.  The findings from the study shows that wastes materials produced by retailers in Yenagoa are mainly; wastes paper, tins, cans, plastics, cardboard, furniture, wood products and possibly WEEE.  However, plastics and cardboard materials were the dominant wastes materials produced by the retail sector.  The study therefore conclude that considering the large spread of retailing in Yenagoa, there is a need to establish a wastes processing facility in the city with heavy emphasis on recycling.

Keywords: Cardboard, Plastics, Recycling, Wastes, Yenagoa