EMA’s ‘Trash for Cash’ initiative benefits Harare suburbs

Dumpsite in harare

COMMUNITY based organisations in Mbare, Sunningdale and Budiriro high density suburbs have been working with the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to promote safe waste disposal as well as coming up with income generating projects.

Speaking during a National Association of Freelance Journalists (NAFJ), EMA microbiologist Tracey Mubambi said the communities are meant to promote the three Rs namely reduce, reuse and recycle.

“So we have a total of 250 community based organisations. These are the ones that are registered with EMA. There are also other organisations not registered with EMA involved in the business of waste. These organisations really promote the three Rs principle that is the reduce, reuse and recycle when it comes to dealing with waste,” she said.

At a time when waste disposal has been an eyesore in communities, these CBOs have been filling in the role of local authorities.

“They are encouraging waste separation at source. With waste separation we are encouraging households to use the two bin system whereby we are saying there are two types of bins, the green bag and black bag. In the green back we have the biodegradable waste and then in the black bag we have all the other waste that cannot be recycled.

“When these CBOs visit different residential areas, if we have these two types of bins, in their residential areas, they will just come and collect the green back because it has the waste they can recycle and make gadgets they can sell,” said Ms Mubambi.

Communities have been earning a living from the collection of waste, according to the EMA microbiologist.

“So these people are focussing on what we are calling the ‘trash for cash’ concept where they are converting trash and coming up with gadgets they can sell and make a living out of it. We have pilot projects in Sunningdale, Budiriro and Mbare,” she said.

She also bemoaned the Non-provision of bins and inconsistent collection of bins by local authorities especially the Harare City Council which EMA brought in for questioning over neglect of environment.

Mubambi said Zimbabwe generates over 1, 6 million tonnes of waste every year with the figure to treble by 2030 if nothing is done.

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