BACKGROUND. Waste disposal is approached differently in Mabopane residential area, commonly seen as an urban township due to the socio-economic circumstances of residents. Furthermore, few community members pay for waste removal services, whilst most residents illegally dump their household waste. The aim of this study was, therefore, to investigate household solid waste disposal methods deployed by the residents of Mabopane. METHODS. This study followed qualitative data collection through interviews and/or questionnaires RESULTS. A shocking observation was the fact that almost 60% of interviewees earned less than R3000 per month, whilst another 26% earned between R3000 and R7500. Moreover, more than 60% of the low-income household heads, were street vendors, and informal small-business owners. It was also observed that Mabopane residents deployed various methods to dispose of their household waste. The majority of residents (close to 40%) burn, illegally dump and bury their household waste. Community-based, which can be viewed as indigenous methods of waste management involve re-use, composting and animal feed are used by ~15% of residents, whilst a smaller percentage are involved in recycling (~10%). The remainder of the community makes use of waste removal services. CONCLUSIONS. As affordability was reported to be a key factor pertaining to waste management and disposal in Mabopane, it can be safely concluded that free waste disposal services to the community of Mabopane, monetary incentives to residents partaking in household waste separation, as well awareness and training campaigns concerning recycling and waste management, will reduce the linked environmental pollution. Overall, this study identified and documented the challenges faced by the community of the Mabopane area and their preferred waste disposal methods, and made recommendations that might solve community challenges. It contributed to waste management research, which will be useful to Tshwane Municipality and will help in improving waste management policies.
Keywords: Mabopane, unemployment, waste disposal, waste removal