Waste management is a critical element of the campus sustainability movement in which Nigerian universities are yet to actively participate. The purpose of this study was to investigate prevalent waste management practices and the disposition of undergraduate students in a Nigerian University.
Data collection involved the use of a questionnaire, focus group discussion and participative observation. Respondents consisted of 840 students drawn from four academic faculties of the university. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to address the research questions raised to guide the investigation.
Indiscriminate littering, open dumping of waste, weedy and overgrown lawns, proliferation of power generating sets, uncollected refuse sites and defaced walls with postings were the major observed environmental challenges. Open burning of refuse was found to be the single most prevalent way of managing large volumes of waste generated on the university campus. Although the problems were widespread, only 40.5 per cent of the students expressed serious concern for the solid waste practices. Also, while the students were positively disposed to innovative ways of addressing the challenge of waste management in the university, there were significant differences in students’ awareness and disposition according to sex, age, academic level and faculties.
The implications of the findings for campus-based sustainability education are discussed.
This study is an original research article which interrogated the students’ attitudes to solid waste management in a Nigerian University. It used a combination of both qualitative and quantitative techniques, such as questionnaire, focus group discussion and participative observation.
The authors would like to sincerely and gratefully acknowledge the co-operation received from all student participants who provided the data collected in this case study.
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.
Ifegbesan, A., Ogunyemi, B. and Rampedi, I. (2017), "Students’ attitudes to solid waste management in a Nigerian university: Implications for campus-based sustainability education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 18 No. 7, pp. 1244-1262. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-03-2016-0057Download as .RIS
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