Globally, solid waste management has in recent times attracted massive attention, and one of the commonly cited areas is the sprawling cities and urban communities, where plastics and other solid waste have become major management challenge. In Ghana, solid waste management has become a major problem, particularly in urban settlements. The overall objective of the study was to investigate the key factors that underlie the effective urban solid waste management systems in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti region, and the second largest city in Ghana. In achieving the study objectives, exploratory and qualitative methods of research were adopted both in data collection and analysis. This comprised review of relevant literature, key informant interviews and observations. Results of the study showed that there was an inadequate budgetary allocation to manage solid waste in the Kumasi Metropolis. A deeper assessment of the situation further showed that bad attitude and the breakdown of sanctions for non-compliance with local authorities’ solid waste management by-laws by citizens were important contributory factors. The study concludes that ineffective solid waste management systems have become a major challenge facing city authorities. This challenge must be addressed holistically because solid waste management is a multi-dimensional issue. The study recommends increased public education and awareness creation on the negative implications of indiscriminate waste generation and disposal on human and environmental health by urban and communal (chiefs/assemblymen) authorities for attitudinal change.
Key words: Community engagement, local attitudes, environmental management, non-compliance, sanctions.
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