E-waste management : a case study of Lagos state, Nigeria
End-of-life electronics, otherwise known as e-waste has steadily become a visible threat to the environment. With the electronic industry fast becoming the world’s largest manufacturing industry and also, arguably, the industry with the shortest life span products, it is essential that the method of disposing the resultant e-waste becomes an integral part of electronic manufacture and consumption. Utilizing Garrett Hardin’s theory “Tragedy of the Commons” as a theoretical framework and a qualitative approach through a case study with participant observations, quantitative structured questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, this study seeks to determine the relationship between socio-economic factors and informal e-waste management practices in Nigeria. The study revealed that even though health hazards associated with the interaction with e-waste were evident, stakeholders in the informal management of e-waste were willing to continue in the trade due to the economic benefits it offers. Though there is provision for management of hazardous waste in the National policy guidelines as well as regulations set by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency for importation of electronic devices, the lack of effective management systems and implementation creates a loophole for the presence of e-waste in Lagos state. This study also revealed that the national electronic/IT sector is organized and regulated by the associations involved in the electronic business. It is therefore recommended that Nigeria develops an effective policy framework which encourages the development and manufacture of national IT knowledge and appliances. There should be efficient systems to enforce regulations and prohibit the importation of e-waste into the country. The government should also encourage investors in standard recycling of resultant ewaste from local consumption and encourage national IT initiatives that will reduce the dependence on importation of electronics and promote green development. ...
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