Solid waste management remains one of the topical environmental issues confronting many urban local authorities in Zimbabwe. Piles of waste are seen on most road side and open spaces. Littered roads seem to be the order of the day in most urban centres. Sections 73 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and 4 of the Environmental Management Act (CAP 20; 27), clearly state that it is everyone’s right to live in a clean environment that is not harmful to human health.
The major drivers to poor solid waste management include increase in urban population density as well as illegal settlements which increase pressure on the waste management infrastructure. This is further worsened by the fact that most local authorities are not upgrading their waste management systems to suit the numbers. Erratic collection by local authorities results in the proliferation of waste dumps and burning of waste especially in residential areas.
. People’s negative attitude towards waste management contributed greatly to this challenge. Moreover, lack of adequate cooperation among stakeholders leads to the magnification of the challenge whereas it requires a holistic approach to tackle.
Everyone has a role to play to ensure that the environment is clean.
Do You Know Your Role
Adopt the cradle to the grave principle, which refers to the responsibility that a company takes for the entire life cycle of a product, service or program, from design to disposal or termination.
Adopt zones such as streets, bust stops, bus termini or recreational parks, for clean ups. This involves providing bins for the zone and maintaining it as a litter free zone.
Clean up your frontage up to the road and back corridors and sanitary lanes.
Support anti-litter activities around your shopping area.
Donate branded bins to your Local Authority as part of your corporate social responsibility. This assists not only in the provision of bins but also as a way of advertising.
Organize regular clean ups to keep shopping centres clean and attractive to customers.
Set up cages for waste separation to enable recycling to be carried out with ease.
Food outlets/factory should sell their food leftovers to piggeries or individuals with pets.
Separate your waste at source. Engage recycling companies to collect the plastic, paper, glass and metal. Compost all biodegradable material and use the manure for your vegetable gardens and flower beds.
Avoid dumping of waste at undesignated points.
Desist from the habit of burning waste, the fumes can contain particles that can cause diseases such as bronchitis.
Schools, Colleges &Universities
Form environmental groups/clubs to spearhead clean-up of institutional frontage and roads leading to these institutions and back corridors and sanitary lanes.
Adopt areas/zones for clean-up and enhance the school and the community relationships.
Set up cages to collect plastics, glass, cans for pupils.
Collect recyclables at home and bring to school on a set day.
Commemorate environmental days at your school.
Private Passenger Vehicles
Desist from throwing litter out of a moving vehicle.
Ensure that there is a litter bin in your vehicle so that passengers can dispose of their waste into the bin.
Once the litter bin is full, it should be emptied into designated points such as street/home litter bins.
Do not leave waste food containers at lay-byes, instead, use the bins provided or alternatively use your vehicle litter bin.
Public Vehicle Operators
Ensure that you place a bin inside your bus/commuter omnibus so that passengers can safely dispose of their waste. Statutory Instrument 6 (Environmental Management Effluent and Solid Waste Regulations) of 2007 provides for the prosecution of those found without litter bins in public conveyance vehicle.
Educate your passengers before taking off on the use of the litter bin and discourage them from throwing litter out of the vehicle.
Desist from emptying your vehicle litter bins at undesignated sites, especially on the roadside.
All waste collected in buses and commuters should be placed properly in a bin.
SOURCE : THE HERALD