Assessing the awareness of the impacts of non-biodegradable solid wastes on the environment in Mukono district
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Mukono town council, like any other developing area has got a lot of challenges with the management of its wastes and this is greatly contributed to by the knowledge and practices carried out by the residents. This study shows that 82.7% of the population know and are aware of their repercussions on to the environment if poorly disposed of and only 14.7% show total ignorance. Majority of the population, 46.8% produces plastics as the major non-biodegradable wastes in the environment, 40.3% produce polythene as the major non-biodegradable waste and 12.9% produces others such as metal, glass and construction debris. As per the findings, 34.7% of the population dispose their wastes in the bushy areas around their homes. The biggest majority of 41.3% of this population dispose their wastes in home-made pits that are dug about 6 feet deep that are buried whenever they get full with wastes. 95.2% are aware of the environmental impacts of the poor disposal of the non-biodegradable wastes of plastics and polythene in the environment and only 4.8% are found not to be. It is evident from the study that majority of the population (62.9%) does not sort wastes before finally disposing it off into the environment with only 37.1% of the population sorts its wastes. 83.9%, burn their polythene and plastics as a means of getting rid of the waste. Then only 16.1% of the population gets rid of their non-biodegradable wastes by burying underground. It is evident that the residents of this area have sufficient knowledge about the environmental impacts brought about by the poor disposal of the above-mentioned wastes though they do not put a lot of effort in their proper management. There is great need for intensive public sensitization and education of the people about the effects of the accumulation of polythene and plastics in the environment. This is so because it is observed from the study that most of the poor waste management acts are due to ignorance of the people about the long-term effects of these materials in the environment.