City of Harare has installed 500 underground bins in the Central Business District (CBD) since January as part of a pilot project to check on the bins’ suitability.
The new bins are set to improve the Harare’s waste management system which has been hampered by a shortage of bins which are also frequently vandalised. However, according to council’s Waste Management Magazine which gives a detailed description of the bins, the new bin design is likely to be a game changerin waste collection as it is fire and water resistant.
In an interview with Harare News, the City’s Corporate Communications Manager Michael Chideme said that only council cleaners are able to open the bins which have their holders buried underground. Pedestrians deposit their litter through a metal chute that is visible above the ground.
“The new bin design is durable and gives a better option for the City of Harare whose efforts to bin the City are hampered by vandalism. In most cases Harare’s street bins have either been set on fire or removed from their mountings by street people and this meant high replacement costs for council,” said Chideme.
The City’s Acting Environment and Amenities manager Engineer Calvin Chigariro added that the main advantage of the underground bins is its capacity and small surface area as compared to the ones currently in use.
“Since January a total of 500 bins have been installed. The type of bin we installed depends on the prevailing conditions at the given site. The City requires 2,500 bins to cover the CBD, the various shopping centres, bus ranks, markets, and all the high human traffic areas,” says Chigariro.
On the other hand, council has complained over vendors who leave their cardboard boxes on the pavements and motorists who park their cars on the street overnight as they are hindering operations of the City’s mechanical sweepers.
Harare’s Director of Works Engineer Phillip Pfukwa says that council is facing problems in deploying the mechanical sweepers which are supposed to work between 10pm and 4am.
“Our City is congested up to 12 at night so we can only operate midnight to 3am as by 4am the City is abuzz again so we are finding it difficult. Some of our residents leave their vehicles on the streets so we do not have a perfect sweeping area,” said Pfukwa.
Engineer Pfukwa added that due to this prevailing situation, council was now putting on hold plans to purchase more mechanical sweepers until a time when the streets are less congested.
Harare acquired two mechanical sweepers in 2015 and this was applauded as a move in the right direction to acquire World Class City status by 2025. However, with situations like these prevailing, the world class city vision will surely remain only a distant dream.