Solid Waste Management in a Leprosarium in Southwestern Nigeria

Johnson R. Oluremi, Akinwale O. Coker, M. K. C. Sridhar, Rebecca A. Olaoye


Waste from healthcare institutions generally ought to be treated and disposed hygienically. However, the type of institution normally determines the material component and the nature of the waste generated whether it is hazardous or non-hazardous, infectious or non-infectious waste. Also health status of an individual or community is a function of standard of living, medical services available, social amenities and hygienic environment normally determined through impact assessment. These have been examined in relation to the leprosarium in Ogbomosho, Southwestern Nigeria.

The leprosarium under study consists of a clinic and three camps located at about 1000m from the clinic. The leprosarium housed 30 patients, while the camps served as home for about 140 people under rehabilitation together including their children. As one of the health institutions, it is apparent that the waste generated is heterogeneous mixture of both general municipal waste and bio-medical waste. The percentage of biomedical waste which is hazardous in nature is low about 1.0% with average generation rate of 0.13kg/day while that of non-hazardous, non-infectious general waste is 0.288kg/person/day. The average waste generation rate in term of mass is determined to be between 0.084 – 0.095kg/person/day which reveals the poor status and rural nature of these leper settlements. The waste components consist of bandages and swabs, paper, nylon and plastic, domestic waste, animal waste (mostly goat manure), wood ash and yard trimmings which are being disposed on open dump sites and sometimes by open burning which are unhygienic causing health hazards. Accumulation of these waste components without proper disposal initiates its putrefaction which produces offensive odour. In addition, absence of adequate sanitary facilities has promoted open defecation which is a source of infectious, diseases.

As an economical, appropriate and useful method of waste disposal, composting was proposed since it is found relevant and acceptable  for the leprosarium and the settlements around as the waste generated is predominantly biodegradable and decomposable materials.

Key words: Solid waste, bio-medical waste, characterization, waste disposal, composting

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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