Dr Oluwaseun (Seun) Nubi
Academic and research departmentsCentre for Environment and Sustainability, School of Sustainability, Civil and Environmental Engineering.
This research assesses the social impacts that could arise from the potential waste-to-energy (WtE) generation of electricity from municipal solid waste (MSW) in the cities of Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria. Social life cycle assessment (sLCA) was the main analytical approach used coupled with a participatory approach to identify relevant social issues to serve as the potential sLCA impact ‘subcategories’. Focus group research in both cities led to the identification of 11 social issues that were transformed into social impact subcategories with appropriate indicators for the sLCA. These were populated with data from a questionnaire-based survey with approximately 140 stakeholders. The results indicated that the impact subcategories “Improved Electricity Supply” and “Income” were ranked respectively as having the most and the least significant social impacts associated with the potential adoption of WtE in these two cities in Nigeria. Overall, the research showed that the expected social impact was higher for WtE electricity generation in Lagos than in Abuja. This difference may be related to the higher population and greater amounts of waste in Lagos and its position as a hub for many of the country’s commercial and industrial activities which have long been affected by inadequate electricity supply. This study also provides an example of the use of participatory processes as an important approach in sLCA for the elucidation of social issues that are directly pertinent to key local perspectives when considering such technology implementations