Sunningdale community’s separation of waste at source project that was launched in February is slowly taking shape. The project is the first of a kind in Harare.
Though not yet popular in the City, many environmental stakeholders have touted the sorting of waste as the remedy to Harare’s seemingly unending problems of waste.
Councillor for Sunningdale Ward 10 Hammy Madzingira said that a recycling collection centre has already been setup in the suburb to collect all the recyclable garbage which is then sold to recycling companies.
“We embarked on the program after our previous efforts of cleaning up dumpsites and anti-litter monitors had failed to eradicate the challenge of waste. We then decided to embark on separation of waste at household level,” said Madzingira.
Madzingira explained that the community was then helped by corporates such as Delta, Maritime, Recycle Today, PetrocoZim, and EMA to setup a waste collection centre where the companies come to purchase the recyclable waste.
“We used our 10% retention to purchase 16,000 bins which we are distributing to each household and 10 pushcarts which are being used by anti-litter monitors to collect bins from the houses to the recycling centre. All proceeds from the waste sales are currently benefiting the team of anti-litter monitors, but we hope that residents will also benefit in the future,” explained Madzingira.
Other corporates such as Mashwede have also chipped in by providing 50 gloves for use by the anti-litter monitors. The councillor went on to reveal that the waste collection centre was now accounting for 30% of the waste that is generated in Sunningdale thereby helping in reducing council’s waste collection bill.
“I hope the whole City can adopt the idea of separating waste as it has enormous benefits. In addition to eradicating dumps, the program can also lead to a massive reduction in waste collection expenses for council and that money can be channelled towards other critical areas,” says Madzingira.
Ebba Murisa (35) who is part of the team of anti-litter monitors engaged in the program told Harare News that the project of separating waste is also bringing economic benefits to the group of anti-litters who had been providing cleaning services on a voluntary basis over the past two years.
“I am happy that we are getting money from the waste that is being purchased by the recycling companies. The program is also making our community clean and we are expecting to embark on a project to educate residents on using degradable materials to make composts so that we further reduce our waste,” said Murisa.
However, the program still faces various challenges including the shortage of man-power to collect the bins on a timely basis as well as people who are stealing sorted waste bags from the recycling centre.