Perception of Generation Y on Waste Disposal and Waste Management in Sri Lanka with special reference to undergraduates of private universities in Colombo

W.G.M.U. Wanodya, H.P.N. Perera


Solid waste piling has become a serious problem to Sri Lanka. Urbanisation, industrialisation, and improvements in quality of life lead the increase in quantity and complexity of generated waste. The main purpose of this study is to determine the perception of undergraduates on waste, waste disposal mechanisms and waste management techniques in their living area. The research data obtained from one hundred and seventy three (n=173) undergraduate respondents from private universities located in Western Province, Colombo 07. A self-administered pre-validated questionnaire was used and the questionnaire was developed according to the literature survey and adapted accordingly to suit the Sri Lankan context. The data collection method was cross sectional. SPSS16.0 was used for data analysis. Data were analysed using cross-tab and chi square test. Cronbach’s alpha with the present sample was 0.63. The results revealed that 51% of the respondents do not have any clue of where their service providers are dumping their waste and 53% had reported that they are not concerned about it. Even though the responses are as such, 80% of the respondents had stated that they are aware that environmental degradation affects their families. The results revealed (based on p-value) that there is no association between gender and student perception on waste management. Furthermore student’s concern about the environment and waste management was moderate. Research reveals that there should be a proper mechanism to improve young generation’s concern about the environment and waste management to attain a sustainable future in the long term.

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Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka