Changing trash to cash

Environmentalists have called on the national government and counties to enact stringent enforcement systems to curb reckless garbage dumping in urban areas.

John Kioli, Executive Director of Green Africa, said strict legislation on garbage disposal will ensure green cities, encourage recycling for wealth creation.

Speaking to KNA in Kiambu, Kioli said mismanagement of these waste typically results in pollution of the natural environment and may pose substantial danger to public health and welfare.

‘Industrial waste constitute about 23 per cent of the total solid wastes generated in the cities,’ he said.

Kioli said the collection and disposal of industrial waste in towns is done by industries themselves adding that though its disposal is done at a county dumpsite, the industries have the responsibility to collect and dispose the waste at the designated dumping site.

The Green Africa Foundation director noted that widespread indiscriminate dumping in illegal dumpsites and waste pickers litter the city with unusable waste materials without control.

‘As a result of these disposal problems, almost all enterprises tend to use uncontrolled and unhygienic landfills as the predominant mode of disposal,’ he noted.

To cut costs, he added that many generators of solid wastes have now taken to combustion at the site, which causes air pollution problems.

Kioli said the bulk of these wastes contain plastics, which when burnt generate carcinogenic vinyl chloride monomers and dioxins.

He added that the generators and private waste collection firms, again in a bid to avoid costs, dump in illegal places due to lack of an effective monitoring system .

Kioli observed that the private sector waste collectors, in addition, do not process waste in any way, which affects effective and efficient solid waste management.

Consequently, he said the urban dumpsites are littered with all types of waste from hospital waste, manufacturing or industry wastes, paper and biodegradable materials.

By Yobesh Onwong’a