A Situational Assessment of Socioeconomic Factors Affecting Solid Waste Generation and Composition in Freetown, Sierra Leone

DOI: 10.4236/jep.2012.37067   PDF   HTML   XML   6,624 Downloads   14,841 Views   Citations

Abstract

The generation of solid waste has become an increasing environmental and public health problem, especially in developing countries. These problems associated with the generation of solid waste are part of social changes where households play an important role. Invariably, these social changes influence the size, structure and characteristics of given households. This paper presents the findings of a study carried out in Freetown municipal area in Sierra Leone to assess socioeconomic factors affecting household solid waste generation and composition in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Structured questionnaires were administered with respect to these socioeconomic factors in four (4) selected constituencies of the city. These are the most populated constituencies that generated 70% of the total quantity of solid waste in the city. Therefore, they are suitable samples of the study area. The rate of waste generation was determined by using door- to-door approach in five (5) selected households from each constituency through sorting and weighing of solid wastes respectively. The dependent variables were solid waste generation and composition, and the independent variables were family size, education, income levels among others. The data obtained were subjected to statistical analysis to determine relationships between independent variables and dependent variables through correlation. The results showed that the solid waste generation and composition in Freetown was significantly affected by average family size, employment status, monthly income, and number of room(s) occupied by households. In general, the paper adequately suggests new insights concerning the role of socioeconomic factors in affecting the generation and composition of household solid waste.

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F. Pinka Sankoh, X. Yan and A. Mohamed Hamza Conteh, "A Situational Assessment of Socioeconomic Factors Affecting Solid Waste Generation and Composition in Freetown, Sierra Leone," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 563-568. doi: 10.4236/jep.2012.37067.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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