Market town household solid waste management: a case study of Embu, Kenya
Household solid waste management directly impacts human health and the environment. Globally, increasing quantities and complexity of household solid waste has become a menace in many market towns. The aim of this study was to establish the status of household solid waste management in the market town of Embu in Kenya. The objectives were to identify the methods used by households to manage solid waste and to establish the factors that influenced the households’ choice of solid waste management method. A survey design was deployed and questionnaires were used in data collection. Data analysis was done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences software. 37% of the households discarded their solid waste in open places, 32% burnt and 24% recycled it. About 8% households reused the solid waste. Employment, education and access to waste collection services were the major factors influencing household solid waste management strategy. Sustainability of household solid waste management depended on awareness on health and environmental benefits of improved household solid waste management, reduction in household solid waste generation and establishment of a household solid waste management policy for Embu market Town. It was concluded that the current practices for household solid waste management are inadequate. High level of unemployment and low education level hinder proper household solid waste management. Awareness on the health and environmental benefits and policy could improve household waste management in the market town.
Keywords: Recycling, Solid waste, Environmental impact, Sustainability