Domestic solid waste management practices in the Bekwai Municipality in the Ashanti Region of Ghana

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AUGUST, 2016
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Solid waste management is a challenge in the cities and towns of the developing countries that have rapid growth patterns. This study investigates how the domestic solid waste management system in the Bekwai Municipality works. Data were obtained through questionnaires, administered to respondents from 150 randomly selected households and supporting information obtained through personal interviews and direct field work. The study showed that key components of the domestic solid waste generated in the study area were paper, food waste (organic materials), plastic and dust/ashes. Food waste and dust/ashes were the components with the highest and lowest quantities generated respectively. Out of the 150 respondents interviewed, 140 of them were using the communal system of waste collection, while only 10 respondents used the house-to-house system. It was also shown that, only 1 out of the 4 zonal council sampled, used a combination of the two systems. The other 3 zonals used only the communal system. Respondents disposed of their domestic solid waste in skips, bush, backyard and open dumpsites. Sixty five percent of respondents indicated inadequate disposal sites as a key limitation to waste management in the municipality. In addition, 30% of respondents mentioned inadequate collection services as a major constraint with 5% attributing bad attitude of the people of the municipality towards the poor solid waste management. The local authority cited inadequate equipment, inadequate funds, poor roads and inadequate trained staff as the key constraints in the management process. Land filling was the only management method available. The local authority needs to educate the inhabitants to reduce waste generation and to desist from disposing waste at unapproved sites. As food waste formed the highest domestic waste component, the Bekwai Municipal Assembly should consider the option of composting the food waste for commercial purposes and encouraging households to compost their organic waste for use in backyard gardens.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements of Master of Science degree in Environmental Science,