Harare’s rubbish collection is set to improve following approval of a supplementary budget to purchase 20 refuse compactors before year end. In addition, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has announced that it has identified a private company that will help deal with waste collection in all towns, including Harare.
Harare has been battling with waste management over the years. Council’s Finance and Development Committee, which met on 25 August, noted that the City’s current fleet of 45 refuse compactors has outlasted its lifespan, and suffers from constant break downs and erratic refuse collection.
“The procurement of new refuse compactors will ease the provision of service to residents. The committee resolves to recommend … a supplementary budget for [the] waste management section amounting to $2,740,000 – which was already provided for in the 2016 Capital Estimates under vote 3802 – for the acquisition of 20 refuse compactors be approved,” reads the council minutes.
So far, council has a total of 45 refuse compactors of which only 26 are functioning. Meanwhile, EMA spokesperson Steady Kangata confirmed to Harare News that his organisation was considering a partnership with the PCF Waste Management Company to undertake refuse collection in cooperation with all local authorities.
“We have been holding a series of meetings and what they [PCF] want is to be involved in waste management and public awareness campaigns. We have not signed any agreement with the company yet as we are still looking at their proposal. We value stakeholder participation in managing the environment, and their idea is very much welcome,” said Kangata.
Residents have been frustrated by missed collection days. “The rubbish trucks have missed two weeks in the past month in my area,” said Colette Challiss from Highlands. “Bags end up being ripped open by dogs and rubbish spread all over the road and verges. And the recent bylaw makes residents responsible for this mess, but it’s the fault of council that there is rubbish strewn everywhere. Any improvement on the bad service is welcome.”
Owen Chari from Glen View told Harare News that it was commendable that council and the government were finally making efforts to address the issue of waste collection.
“Council’s garbage collection has become too erratic. It is good that council is now purchasing more refuse compactors. EMA’s partnering with a private company in waste collection is also a move in the right direction. I hope that this will result in major improvements,” said Chari.
Fadzai Gwenzi (32) from Mandara concurs, adding that public private partnerships are the way to go in order for council to improve service delivery. Gwenzi says, however, that private investments should not lead to exorbitant rates for residents.
“The coming in of a private player in waste management will definitely improve refuse collection, as council is clearly struggling. However, I hope that this will not lead to extra costs for residents as most private companies are notorious for making services more expensive,” said Gwenzi.
Image: On the front lines – a Harare waste management team hard at work.