Solid Waste Management at University Campus (Part 4/10): Perceptions, Attitudes, and Practices of students and vendors.

Diana Starovoytova, Saul Namango


This-study is a-fourth-piece in a-series of 10. At a-general-level, this-research can be-regarded as a-descriptive-case-study of the-social-perception on solid-waste-management (SWM). The-Social Ecological-Model (SEM), the-Panarchy-framework, and the-Pred’s Behavioral-matrix informed the-study. The-main-instruments utilized, are: document-analysis (of over 250 published-materials), a-structured- questionnaire (sample-size of 374, for students), and an-interview (of 37 vendors). Discrete-Choice Experiment-technique, which originated from mathematical-psychology for investigating individual preferences, was employed. A-preliminary-study/testing of both-instruments, for validity and reliability, was conducted according-to ISO 20252:2006 (E): Market, Opinion and Social-Research-Standard. The-data-analysis was done via Minitab and Microsoft Excel-software. The-Statistical-Package for Social-Sciences (SPPS-17, version 22) computer-software-program was used to-compute the-Cronbach’s alpha co-efficient. Cronbach’s-alpha-test of internal-consistency was performed, and demonstrated high- inter-item-consistency (Cronbach’s for students’- questionnaire a = 0.828; and for the-interview-guide, for vendors a = 0.713). The-study revealed, that both; students and vendors: (i) have-recognized SWM as a-major-problem, at-the-campus; (ii) perceived the-campus as-dirty and very-dirty; (iii)  do not currently pay for WM-services rendered, to-them, but would-be willing to-pay, only for drastically-improved SWM-services; (iv) demonstrated relatively-good level of awareness of health and environmental-effects of improper-waste-disposal-behaviors; (v) do recycle few-materials, at a-limited-extend; majority of recyclers are females; and (vi)  exhibit ‘knowing-doing-gap’, which is the-gap, between knowledge and practices, on wastes-disposal. The-respondents have also-approximated, that they generate from 0.14 to 1.4 kg/day/ per-student, and 1.7 kg/day/per-vendor, on-average, which is comparable-with estimations for waste- generation-rates, in-sub-Saharan-Africa. It-is also-evident, that the-knowledge, attitudes, and practices, of the-respondents, need to-be-improved, requiring significant and sustained-behavioral-change, which can-be achieved by Environmental-Education (EE). The-state of EE in-Kenya, and the-level of Environmental- Sustainability reporting, by Kenyan-universities, was examined. From the-specifics of EE, in-Kenya, it-is revealed, that its-main-efforts are directed towards wildlife- and natural-habitat-conservation; in-contrast, SWM is yet to-receive due-attention. Several-recommendations were also-made, at different-levels of the-SEM, via C4D-strategy-approachers, and including areas for further-research. The-study hopefully contributes (in-its small-way) to the-body of knowledge, on the-subject-matter, and may add insight on the-relevance of EE in-SWM. The-findings might also-help in-providing-information that is of practical- value to-policy-makers and planners, such-as NEMA-Kenya, which is beyond the-university boundaries. The-research-findings are also potentially-helpful to the-local-community, as they highlight the-need for the-local-community, to-get involved in-SWM.


Keywords: SEM; C4D strategy; ESD; Environmental Education; Recycling; Performance Contracting; Social norms; Environmental Sustainability reporting; Kenya.

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