Various companies have chipped in to help Council address a massive shortage of bins in the city.
Harare is currently experiencing waste management problems as indicated by a recent survey that revealed that there are only 173 bins in the CBD against a minimum requirement of 862. Fortunately, the City has so far received more than 100 bins from corporates under its Make a Difference campaign which is meant to encourage effective corporate participation in waste management.
The City’s acting monitoring and evaluation manager Dorothy Mavolwane, says the local authority was not in a position to provide adequate bins due to financial constraints. This led council to come up with the idea of addressing waste management in cooperation with private sector organisations.
“We got a very good donation from the Nigerian Community Resident in Zimbabwe who provided 51 bins that are being put up in the downtown area around Kaguvi Street. Econet Wireless also provided 58 bins that are meant for our street cleaners. We are also expecting a consignment of 500 bins this quarter from another large corporate – whose name I cannot reveal at the moment – but the bins are already under production,” said Mavolwane.
Mavolwane revealed that many other corporates were coming on board to provide more bins and explained that the Make a Difference campaign was also aimed at spreading the anti-litter message with the participation of corporates.
“Most of the corporates operating in Harare are responsible for the litter that is generated by their products at the end of the value chain, so the idea is to work with them so that they follow their products up to the end,” explained Mavolwane.
Mavolwane also revealed that council has also finished phase one of the Kimberly Clark diaper disposal program, “Phase one involved ward-based awareness campaigns. We are now waiting for funds to implement phase two which will focus on media campaigns. After that we will then move into the third phase in which Kimberly Clark will repair council’s incinerator.”
Though council seems to be working tirelessly to address the issue of waste management, it is sad to note that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) seem to be slack in their implementation of environmental policies.
It seems that no meaningful follow-up is being made on the Minister of Environment’s six month ultimatum issued in December for companies that use plastic bags and kaylite containers to switch to alternatives such as khaki wrappers, cardboard boxes, and fibre containers. The ultimatum also extended to telecoms operators who were also asked to switch to paperless airtime recharge methods.
However, EMA’s Environmental Education and Publicity manager Steady Kangata, said that his organisation was heavily involved in making sure that companies take part in the proper management of waste. Kangata explained that some companies had already submitted their waste management plans.
“Most recharge card companies already have a pin-less recharge system, but they have requested for a phased approach because there are certain areas which you cannot all of a sudden substitute recharge cards. Kaylites are a problematic area and the affected companies have appealed to us to be able to manage their waste, so we have taken that back to the Ministry of Environment,” explained Kangata.
Kangata also revealed that his organisation has since engaged companies in the beverage sector to come up with a system to deal with non-returnable bottles and PET containers.
“We have regulations that are still in draft form to either come up with deposits or a levy that will help in media campaigns and payment of waste collectors. But our major issue right now is to do with waste collection which is the missing link at the moment,” concluded Kangata.
Image: Econet donating bins to Council