Mbeng, L. O., Phillips, P. S. and Fairweather, R. (2009) Developing sustainable waste management practice: application of Q methodology to construct new strategy component in Limbe – Cameroon. The Open Waste Management Journal.2, pp. 27-36. 1876-4002.
The most important motivation for developing new waste management strategy and policy relates to the waste management behavior of individuals. Education led campaigns and capacity building programmes involving third sector organizations in waste management are gaining momentum, in some major cities in Cameroon. There is however, a need to use research methodologies to investigate elements of waste management behavior to understand how to change behaviour permanently. Although the use of quantitative research methods to quantify or measure human attitude and behavior is subject to debate, to drive the research agenda, this research work uses Q methodology which combines both quantitative and qualitative research methods in generating understanding about waste management attitudes and behavior in Limbe, Cameroon. Limbe was chosen in the study because of the increase in the third sector organizations with waste management objectives with the possibility to generate knowledge that can contribute to policy formulation and the construction of a new strategy component based on sustainable waste management practices. In this study, 30 participants were chosen by stratified random sampling technique from three different residential areas e.g. the high, medium and low income and provided with a Q study information pack. Principal Component Analysis resulted in eight factors representing distinctive behavioral patterns to household waste management in Limbe. The result from this study shows a statistically significant proportion of residents in Limbe are willing to go “green” but are in need for information on sustainable waste management practices e.g. in composting, recycling, reuse, reduce, waste prevention and minimization. In this light, Q methodology was able to identify potential ambassadors to promote the sustainable waste management agenda through an education led campaign and capacity building in Limbe. The results of this research will influence government policies and actions in the construction of a new waste strategy component for the wider community in Cameroon.