“Local authorities should adopt modern waste management policies”

BY NHAU MANGIRAZI

LOCAL authorities across the country failed to develop waste management plans and continued to use traditional systems which hampered effective service delivery, NewsDay has learned.

As a result, most local authorities across the country use old, labor-intensive waste disposal systems and do not separate waste for recycling.

In developed countries, waste is separated for recycling purposes as they have modern waste management policies and equipment.

Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Mashonaland West Advocacy and Education Officer Munyaradzi Nhariswa said NewsDay that most local authorities in the country have yet to adopt modern waste management policies.

“Urban and rural local authorities must prioritize waste management issues by segregating waste at source to enable efficient recycling.

“They must also develop people-centered waste management plans through stakeholder engagement and the construction of appropriate waste disposal facilities in their areas of jurisdiction,” Nhariswa said.

“Failure to develop modern waste management policies leads to the generation of unsustainable volumes of waste, which prevents local authorities from coping with the waste.

“This has resulted in waste management systems that focus on collection and disposal, with very little attention given to promoting waste recycling.”

Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba said the main challenge affecting urban local authorities was that they did not have experienced professionals to design modern waste management systems.

“This affects most local authorities in the country. Highly skilled officials were reportedly removed from waste management departments as they became stumbling blocks for cartels of thieves involved in spare parts for waste removal vehicles.

“Waste removal service is highly contested in municipal systems,” Shumba said.

“Most local authorities have yet to adopt integrated solid waste management systems. This means that local authorities use more money than they generate to provide essential waste management services.

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