Transition and Implementation of Circular Economy in Municipal Solid Waste Management System in Nigeria: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Ishmael Onungwe*, Dexter V. L. Hunt, Ian Jefferson, Andreas Angelakis (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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As the environment reaches field capacity and is unable to regenerate waste naturally, challenges resulting from municipal solid waste management (MSWM) are showing a global increase, especially in developing countries. Nigeria is a country with a huge quantity of municipal solid waste (MSW) without a functional and operational MSWM system. This systematic review of the literature (SLR) aimed at investigating knowledge application in view of the circular economy (CE) model in the management of MSW in Nigeria, while answering research questions on the adoption and implementation of the circularity principle. In line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol, a comprehensive search strategy was developed to source electronic versions of updated articles from the Scopus, Web of Science, and Sage databases. The search retrieved 476, 878, and 374 results, respectively. The search was limited to publications written in the English language between 2008 and 2022 and was downloaded via Endnote and screened using The SLR was conducted between February and October 2022. Findings revealed some potential opportunities for the transition and implementation of CE by identifying major indicators and enablers, but pointed out some barriers, including weak legislation, poor funding, the non-engagement of professionals, the absence of infrastructure, a lack of strategic planning, uncivilized behavioral conduct, and demography. The need to improve the current practice of MSWM from the linear economy (LE) of take–make–dispose is crucial. Summarily, the transition towards CE in MSWM is feasible and it can be initiated through the application of the 3Rs and 12Rs while anticipating the provision of infrastructural and novel technologies for a functional MSWM framework.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12602
Number of pages26
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2023


  • Nigeria
  • sustainable
  • municipal solid waste management
  • practice
  • circular economy


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