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AN ASSESSMENT OF MATERIAL WASTE DISPOSAL METHODS IN THE NIGERIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Abstract: The construction industry is faced with many challenges, among which is waste management. Aside from the fact that wastage contributes to time and cost overrun, it also has environmental implications in the form of pollution. However, the industry has the capacity to effectively manage waste, from generation to disposal. All stages of the management process are important, but scholars and governments have provided the final step, being disposal, unabated attention in order to ensure effective management. Potential waste disposal methods, including incineration, burning, landfilling, recycling, reuse, open dumping, pyrolysis, and shredding have emerged from the literature around the globe. Despite various waste minimisation and sustainable disposal options that are available, construction material waste is still increasing in Nigeria, while disposal remains a major issue for firms and government. Therefore, this study assesses disposal methods among construction firms to determine whether there is a relationship between their practices towards waste disposal. The research followed a concurrent triangulation design in a cross sectional survey, while data were collected via a convergent parallel mixed methods. The quantitative phase employed a structured questionnaire to collect data from 243 building construction firms, while the qualitative phase involved semi-structured interviews with 65 professionals from 10 on-going construction projects in Lagos, Nigeria. The research revealed that landfilling is the most common method of waste disposal, which is closely followed by reuse as backfill and recycling. In addition, the study revealed no association between company’s ownership statuses, age, project specialisation, and disposal methods, except company’s size. In conclusion, the study establishes the need for regulatory policies, such as site waste management plan (SWMP), pay as you throw (PAYT), and landfill ban, which would minimise material waste and divert them from landfills. Recycling and reuse are recommended as sustainable approaches for waste disposal.
Keywords: construction waste; disposal; Nigeria; waste management; triangulation design