ZIMBABWE has been urged to build a recycling plant to deal with solid waste which is contaminating water bodies and polluting the environment.
BY SHINGIRAI VAMBE
A week-long workshop on climate change, co-ordinated by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Russian government, saw different stakeholders converging in Harare to try and find solutions to issues affecting the nation.
Local authorities and communities are facing challenges of solid waste disposal in the wake of limited space for dumpsites, compounded by poor collection methods in urban centres.
Trust Nhubu a doctoral student on waste management from the University of South Africa, told NewsDay that it was high time Zimbabwe had its own recycling plant to mitigate pollution and greenhouse gases mostly caused by poor disposal methods such as burning of garbage.
“It is a business that needs an integrated approach, which can create employment while improving living standards for the people of Zimbabwe. Local authorities are failing to manage solid waste in Zimbabwe, Harare in particular. There is need for more research to be done because the project requires a lot of resources and capacity issues should also be looked into,” Nhubu said.
Some countries are said to be exporting solid waste to Rwanda and Dubai for recycling. In Rwanda, they recycle electrical waste including computers. They remove components to rebuild computers for schools and organisations, while in Dubai they recycle plastic waste to manufacture plastic products.
Because Zimbabwe generates about 1,6 million tonnes of solid waste annually, some participants at the workshop proposed that research be conducted to see viability of a recycling plant.
Nkanyiso Ndlovu, a senior environmental officer for Bulawayo City Council said: “Currently we are collecting refuse in Bulawayo in partnership with our community, looking forward to working for the future generation, building a recycling plant in Zimbabwe might not help today, but by 2030, its purpose will be seen,” Ndlovu said.
Roger Mpande, from Zimbabwe Regional Environment Research Centre, and a member of the Presidential Advisory Council told journalists that the Climate Change Department and Environmental Management Agency should align themselves with new government policies.
Mpande applauded President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for a clean environment as well as use of clean energy.