Solid waste challenge in developing countries, like Ethiopia, is aggravated by the malfunctioning of traditional waste management systems due to rapid development and the alarmingly increasing human population. Bule Hora Town, in Ethiopia, is among the most environmentally degraded environment due to the inappropriate traditional solid waste management system. Therefore, this study was intended to investigate the public awareness and concern to the ever worsening environmental pollution and why the traditional waste disposal systems can stay dominant in the town. Data were collected using door-to-door close-ended questionnaire by a simple random sampling technique.
The findings showed that plastics and festal; fruits, chat leaves and vegetables; and metals and cans respectively made 48(+5)%, 18 (+2)% and 11 (+3)% of the solid waste pool. Variations in the awareness and concern to various environmental degradation among different age groups was clearly seen where people under the age of forty showed better understanding. Response findings showed that the dominant solid waste disposal system is open air burning (42%) followed by open field dumping (36%) showing that the current solid waste management systems is traditional and inappropriate. Moreover, 50% of the respondent above age 40 and 30% of the respondents below age 40 believe that open solid waste burning is a good and long stayed tradition; and it is also undeniable that 35% of the older people related burning of solid waste, particularly during the month of December, has a religion background, which actually is not.