Relationship of knowledge and Attitudes of Managerial Officers with their Solid Waste Management Practices in Sri Lanka

W.D.C.T. Gunasiri, G.D.V.R. Senadheera

Abstract


As in many developing countries, Solid Waste Management (SWM) is a key issue in Sri Lanka, and the quantity and the quality of the waste generated are directly influenced by the knowledge, attitudes and practices of people. Poor community participation is one of the main barriers for finding a sustainable solution for the said problem. The main objective of this study is to investigate the relationship of knowledge and attitudes with the waste management practices followed by managerial officers in Sri Lanka which is considered as a significant group of the society because of their education level and direct involvement of decision making at organizational and national level. Population was selected as students who studied Master of Business Administration (MBA) of University of Sri Jayewardenepura as they are supposed to be the future leaders of the country. Among them hundred students were randomly selected to the sample, representing managerial level officers in different sectors. Knowledge, attitudes and practices were taken as variables and they were measured using few dimensions. Data was mainly collected through self-administered questionnaire. The version 22.0 SPSS package was used for data analysis. According to the findings, majority of MBA students possessed moderate level of knowledge and more than 75% of respondents had moderate level attitudes on solid waste related aspects. However, 15.9% of MBA students had poor attitudes on solid waste and especially on value of waste.

Regarding their practices, nearly 40% of respondents follow poor waste management practices and it reached more than 55% in waste segregation and recycling behaviors. Knowledge on solid waste didn’t show a significant relationship with their practices. However, a weak positive correlation was found between overall attitudes and waste management practices (r = 0.267) and a moderate positive correlation between attitudes on responsibility on public participation and practices (r = 0.539). Therefore, among MBA students, only the attitudes showed a significant positive impact towards SWM practices, not the knowledge. Hence, through building correct attitudes which need to be initiated from ground level can effectively contribute to implement sustainable waste management mechanism as attitudes of these future leaders are influential not in individual level but also in organizational and national level.


Keywords
Solid waste; Waste management practices; Knowledge; Attitudes; Managerial level officers


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Vidyodaya Journal of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka