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Overpopulation is becoming an issue to environmental activists. There are plans and activities that are being put across to mitigate the impact of overpopulation on the environment. With the increase in the population, there will be a lot of waste and therefore requires that there is solid waste disposal in the environment to manage this. I will therefore look at the construction of the waste disposal management plant.

Economic benefits of the project

During the construction of the solid waste treatment plant, there will be employment opportunities for both professionals and unskilled workers. Several workers including casual labourers, plumbers and engineers are expected to work during the construction phase of the project. With labour intensive construction technologies, the project will provide employment for youths and also support to the Government's initiative on creation of jobs (Angerer, Heinzow, Reimann, & Lehnert, 2000). During the operational phase of the project, the facility will also be a source of employment to a number of people who will be engaged in collection, processing and disposal of wastes.

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Through improved collection of solid wastes, recycling will be promoted. This will lead to the development of industries that will be involved in utilization of the recycled materials (Reid, 2010). In these industries, it is anticipated that there will be low cost of production and increase in returns since the production materials will be readily available as recyclables. These industries will economically empower a great number of people through the creation of employment. The gains from selling of the recycled materials to the industries will be ploughed back and used in the operation and maintenance of solid waste treatment plant (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2009, Municipal Waste Management).

Overall, this project once implemented will reduce the uncontrolled dumping of wastes which often lead to wastage of materials that can be of high economic importance when recycled. A number of open dump sites will be rehabilitated for other economically viable projects which can lead to generation of incomes (Barbone, Stanta, & Lagazio, 1996).

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The solid waste treatment plant which will be in the form of a sanitary landfill is estimated to cost £ 1,818,000. This includes the costs for detailed design of the treatment plant, site surveys and clearances, environmental impact assessment consultancy services, earth works, cell construction works, operation and maintenance, monitoring and evaluation, EIA licensing fees (Statutory Instruments, 2004). The cost break down for the treatment plant is as shown in Table 1.

Table 1:      Estimated cost of the project

ESTIMATED COST (£)

1.                  

Detailed design of the treatment plant 

2.                  

Site surveys and clearances

3.                  

Environmental Impact  Assessment ( EIA)  consultancy services

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4.                  

5.                  

Cell construction works

6.                  

Gas flare chambers, bio-filters  and support  facilities

7.                  

Operation and maintenance costs

8.                  

Monitoring and evaluation costs

9.                  

Engineering consultancy services

Sub Total Costs

10.              

EIA licensing fees (1%)

GRAND TOTAL COSTS

The overall objective of solid waste management is to protect the environment and human health through the proper management of wastes (Reid, 2010). The construction of a solid waste treatment plant is primarily intended to:

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The objective of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is to assess the proposed project with regard to the impacts on the environment, public health and safety (William, & Robinson, 1993). Thus, an EIA is a method of predicting the anticipated positive and negative impacts of the proposed project and determination of mitigation measures for the adverse negative impacts.

In the UK, environmental impact assessment (EIA) regulations of 1999 are implemented in the legislations through the Town and Country Planning Assessment of Environmental Effects. The directive requires that all types of developments that are likely to have significant environmental impacts on the environment be subjected to the EIA process (Bagchi, & Amalendu, 1990). The EIA study for this construction project involved the determination of environmental impacts and their mitigation measures, desk review of Government environmental regulations, evaluation of project alternatives and comparison of their environmental impacts. The topics covered under the EIA study are presented in the following sections: (The Environment  Agency, 2010)

The construction of a solid waste treatment plant requires development of various infrastructural works inform of access roads, site clearance and construction. This works will have significant environmental and social impacts (Dempsey, & Oppelt, 1993).

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