A discrete choice experiment, aiming to elicit public preferences for improvements in solid waste services, is carefully administered across socioeconomic zones in the city of Hawassa, Ethiopia. Observed and unobserved preference heterogeneity are analyzed using mixed logit choice models. The results show that there exists substantial willingness to pay to increase collection frequency and separate recyclable waste. A new issue is the focus on child labor in the waste management sector. Significant gender effects are found: women are more interested than men in increasing waste collection frequency and value the abolishment of child labor more highly, as do higher income households. As expected, respondents living in wealthier neighborhoods are more likely to pay higher service charges. Education indirectly influences preferences for waste separation. The study provides important insight into the social benefits of public investment decisions to improve the quality of solid waste management services in large cities in Ethiopia.