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BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

GWERU City Council says it will soon embark on a five-year integrated waste management programme as part of efforts to improve management of garbage.

Mayor Josiah Makombe said besides reducing waste disposal in the city, the project is also envisaged to generate income for the cash-strapped local authority.

“As one of the ways to address the solid waste challenges, the city will be launching a five-year Gweru integrated waste management plan,” Makombe told Southern Eye last weekend.

“The emphasis in the contents of the plan is the 3R concept of reduction at source, reuse of materials and recycling.”

He added: “The plan will unlock value in waste. Waste is money; it can be used to generate energy. Recycling, among others, is an income-generating project from waste.”

According to a recent solid waste management strategy seen by Southern Eye, the city intends to reuse 60% of its waste by the year 2025.

“There is consensus that Gweru City Council would reduce the waste disposal at landfills from the current 100% to 40% of the total waste generated by 2025,” the waste strategy document read.

“This means that 60% of the waste generated would be recycled and reused for bio-gas generation.”

The local authority said it would invite input from stakeholders such as residents, community-based organisations, businesses and government, among others, to come up with an effective waste management plan.

The Midlands capital, like most other urban authorities across the country, is currently facing challenges in collecting refuse owing to inadequate equipment and fuel, among others. The situation has left residents exposed to both air and water-borne diseases.

Council is yet to identify land for a new dumpsite almost four years after announcing plans to decommission the one in Woodlands suburb, which has been condemned as a health hazard.

-Newsday

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