Public perceptions on solid waste management practices in Bulawayo: A case of Njube and Mpopoma high density suburbs.

Author: Dube, Nosizo Joan

The study focused on public perceptions on solid waste management practices in Bulawayo, in particular in the western suburbs of Njube and Mpopoma. The objectives of the study were to provide local government with insights into public perceptions and attitudes on solid waste management and assist them in solid waste reduction planning as well as to inform the larger body of research about the human dimension of managing solid waste and characterize solid waste disposal practices that were prevalent in the western suburbs of Bulawayo. It utilized qualitative research methodology to a larger extent though quantitative was used. To gather information public perceptions o f solid waste management practices. 80 questionnaires were systematically distributed in 800 households o f Njube and Mpopoma over a period of two weeks using face-to face interview method and respondents were household heads and councilors for the two Suburbs. The study established that the public is concerned about risks such as disease outbreak, land pollution and air pollution. Of importance, the study showed that public involvement in SWM was critical, that is removal o f solid waste by residents, donation o f bins by the BCC, public education and awareness had to be done. The study showed that BCC should have sole responsibility in SWM and no assistance should be given by residents. Based on the above findings, the study recommends that BCC should eliminate all open waste dumps through street cleaning, increase refuse charges, provide clothing to residents and vehicles during street cleaning, prosecute illegal dumpers and also implement community based organizations in every suburb so as to change the perceptions and attitudes of residents.