Management of domestic solid waste as a partnership between Municipal Assemblies and Households: an exploration at Kojo Beedu, Winneba

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Many towns in Ghana, including Winneba in the Awutu Efutu Senya District (AESDA) of the Central Region, look littered with malodorous, choked gutters full of wastes. The AESDA is responsible for wastes management in the District. The Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit (EH&SU) of the Assembly carries out the task of managing solid wastes. In this study questionnaires were administered to residents of Kojo Beedu community. officials of the AESDA and EH&SU to ascertain the causes of unmanaged wastes in the community. The researcher crried out waste characterization in households in Kojo Beedu to find out the composition, weights and volumes of domestic solid wastes (DSW). This information is needed to select the best way of managing wastes in a community. The untidy appearance of the community was found to he due to the inability of the AES[)A to provide equipment to the EH&SU to collect wastes regularly, leading householders to unsuccessfully dispose of their solid wastes. Thirty seven percent of the residents were aware of the dangers of improper SWD. The EH&SU also faced the problem of acquiring landfill sites. The main components of the DSW were found to be: organics 58%, plastics 22% and miscellaneous 18% by volume. The quantities of these components to be dealt with by the AESDA can be minimized by waste reduction in households, thus saving costs and making their operations more efficient. A public education exercise conducted seemed to indicate that some households could practice wastes reduction by waste segregation, composting of organics and plastics collection ii intensive or long-term information, education and communication (IEC) on wastes reduction. especially targeted at children, is undertaken.
A Special Study submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in Partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the degree of Master of Science in Health Services Planning and Management, 2005