An environmentalist, Mr Gafar Odubote, has suggested the recycling of organic wastes into manure for crop production to enhance the clean environment and boost food production.
Odubote, the Global Head of Social Media at ‘Let’s Do It World’ (LDIW), an environmental NGO, gave the recommendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
He explained that the recycling of organic wastes to compost manure would be of dual benefits to the environment and the agriculture sector.
He said that an analysis of solid wastes by LAWMA in Lagos State revealed that 47 per cent of it was composed of biodegradable organic material and in some areas, it could constitute as much as 55 per cent of the total waste stream.
“Biodegradable includes wastes from the kitchen, gardens, markets, restaurants and the agriculture sector among others.
“These wastes can be oxidised by natural microorganisms because they are derived from living organisms.
“The organic wastes can be compost as manure for farm production and refined into useful energy production such as in biomass and biofuel, which can be part of a sustainable energy mix.
“Organic waste can also be treated to make compost for soil manure and other soil conditioning products.
“Some countries have developed specialised infrastructures to recycle organic waste and recover material from a broader range of degradable organic carbon,” Odubote said.
He pointed out that challenges might be encountered in recycling organic wastes.
The environmentalist, therefore, called for all hands to be on deck to make the practice a reality.
“The key challenge to recycling organic wastes is the inability to sort them appropriately from various wastes streams right from home or point of generation.
“Also the fact that we do not have adequate infrastructure to selectively sort wastes from homes, require facilities to recycling them on a large scale without polluting the environment.
“Sending organic wastes to landfill, which we are currently experiencing, is causing harm to the environment.
“Organic wastes should be seen as an important resource that can be refined into marketable products that would generate revenue and employment opportunities.’’
The expert also called for intensive campaigns to advocate for the conversion of biodegradable domestic waste to manure for agricultural purposes and waste reduction in the country.
“Most awareness campaigns have focused on plastic wastes and recycling.
“It is equally important we sensitise people about organic waste and how we can have a rethink about it.
“There is a need for government and private organisations to increase investments towards developing facilities for recycling organic wastes.
“Recycling requires a lot of funding and we must get it right.
“While a plan should be put in place to outrightly ban organic wastes from landfills, stakeholders must collaborate in developing measures to reduce wastes,” he told NAN.
For example, he said that market people could be trained on how to properly handle and store organic products.
“We cannot keep doing the same thing the same way and expect a different result.
“It is high time we have a rethink about how we use our resources.” (NAN)