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The Impacts of the Informal Sector on the Economics of the Municipal Waste Management System in Lagos State: An Overview of its Income Generation Potentials for the Vulnerable Urban Poor in Developing Countries

Salau, Oladipupo
Osho, Samuel
Pizarro, Rafael
Sen, Lalita
Adejonwo-Osho, Oluwatoyin
Osho, Gbolahan
The dustbin economy is prevalent in most major cities of the developing countries especially in Lagos State Nigeria, where the urban poor partake in informal economic activities of waste materials to earn a living. This study arises out of the need to explore linkages between the informal sector activities in waste management and its economic potentials of providing avenues of income and employment opportunities for the vulnerable urban poor in the developing countries. Although the traditional function of the municipal waste management is to collect, treat and dispose of waste in an environmentally efficient manner, MSW has been rediscovered from a resource management perspective. This makes it economically imperative for the participation of the informal sector in the municipal waste management to maximize its resource potentials for economic benefits and environmental protection. This study undertakes a primary field survey of the informal sector scavenging activities at two landfill sites in Lagos State “Olushosun and solouous” and found that Scavengers are specialized in different types of waste items which they recover and recycle for sale. The result also reveals that informal sector provides opportunities of informal employment and avenues of income or supplemental income for scavengers in the dustbin economy to support and sustain their family.