The study assessed the roles of community members on community level waste disposal in the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. The communities are basically low income and densely populated where a lot of people depend on small scale businesses. The study used a mixed methods approach. The target population was the community members of eighteen years of age and above. The sample size was 40 and the participants were selected using simple random sampling. Likert scale was used which helped in weighing forty questionnaires which were administered to the respondents. The data collected was analyzed using content analysis and statistical package for social science (SPSS). The results from the study show that community members of Lilongwe City have to work together and embrace different effective skills in mitigating poor waste disposal. In total 63% of the respondents indicated that the community lacked waste management skills while 93% of the respondents stated that an increase in the population leads to an increase in the waste produced in the communities accordingly. A total of 65% indicated that members of the community were not willing to pay for waste management in their areas while 70% attributed the waste management responsibility to the government. The study recommends that the stakeholders should plan for awareness programs; community members should identify their capabilities to turn waste into briquettes which they can use for cooking and selling to generate income; the government should provide loans to disadvantaged communities for small scale businesses in waste re-cycling and that the government should provide free waste collection services to the underprivileged urban communities.
Key words: Waste, disposal, communities, garbage.
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