Residents from a cross-section of Harare northern suburbs have complained about the dumping fees being charged at the Pomona dumpsite. In interviews with Harare News, residents said council has failed to take into account the fact that people are paying rates for the service. “When I went to deposit two bags of waste at Pomona dumpsite, I was surprised to hear that I had to pay for dumping my waste there,” said Roslyn Sandgarwe of Mount Pleasant, “Just imagine, I had to use my own vehicle and fuel and then pay for dumping.”
David Wheeler of Marlborough said he has now been collecting litter off the streets for four months, five or six days a week, for about an hour in the early mornings. He said to avoid a dumping fee of $20 he stores the litter and only dumps it once every two weeks. “I deliver a bakkie load of litter to Pomona Dump once a fortnight on a Saturday, when dumping is free,” he said. Nick Takavadi of the Imagine Avonlea Community Group said the dumping fees are discouraging and detrimental to the city’s efforts to attain a zero litter status.
These are some of the many challenges that need to be solved urgently, said Councillor Paula Macharangwanda, a member of the Harare City Environment committee. “Over the years, the amount of urban domestic solid waste has grown tremendously due to urbanisation.” She warns that, “With increasing population densities and escalating solid waste generation rates, the greater quantities of solid waste produced for a given area are placing increasingly heavy demands on existing collection and disposal systems.”
According to a Harare pollution index, the percentage of residents dissatisfied with the garbage disposal service is 71.88%. Some residents in Belvedere are resorting to digging deep trenches for dumping waste to avoid council fees and penalties. Illegal dumping of waste in Harare attracts a fine of $25 dollars. City of Harare generally finances waste collection using a flat rate. Payment under this kind of arrangement is not proportional to the amount of waste generated. For this reason residents have opted for recycling or taking their own waste to the dumpsite. Waste management services in Harare are controlled by the Harare Waste Management By-Laws of 1987 (No 2) 197/1987.
There is still a serious shortfall on the part of municipality in meeting basic waste disposal services in Harare due to inadequate and failing equipment and infrastructure. Council currently has 30 skip trucks with twenty more needed; skip bins and tractors are also too few and too old. A total of ten tractors are in operation but six of them are old and need constant maintenance and repairs. Without these tools, the challenge of proper waste management will remain insurmountable.
Photo: David Wheeler is on a one man mission to keep his area litter free. (Supplied)