A comparison of attitudes towards and practices of waste management in three different socio-economic residential areas of Umtata
Poswa, Tobius Thobile
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was twofold. Firstly, the effect of the social dimensions of households on solid waste practice was investigated in order to examine relationships between socio-economic status and current solid waste practices. Current perceptions and solid. waste practices of households with different socio-economic backgrounds were assessed and compared to explain the influence of socio-economic factors in the planning and operation of a solid waste management system in developing urban areas. Secondly, a waste stream assessment was carried out to examine waste generation and composition trends among different social status residential urban areas. The generally poor state of solid waste services in most developing urban areas in South Africa and the chronic absence of data on domestic solid waste practice in the study area prompted this research initiative. A case study in Umtata involving three residential areas with different socio-economic status was used to assess and explain trends in solid waste practice and contributory factors to variations between different households amongst developing communities from a socio-economic perspective. Data were collected by a waste stream assessment survey involving measuring waste generated from the selected households and analysis of its composition. The waste stream assessment was complemented by a descriptive survey questionnaire, administered by means of personal interviews to each householder or resident in randomly selected households situated in the study area. The survey provided baseline information on solid waste practices and showed that local conditions were unique and thus require a local solution to the solid waste problems. The study showed that the understanding of the relations within households is vital for planning appropriate, effective and sustainable solid waste service programmes /systems. Gender relations, age, educational status and income are significant factors to be considered in planning and effectively operating solid waste management plans.