Clean ups are a temporary, short-term, and unsustainable measures to manage solid waste in communities. Undertaking several clean up campaigns is largely good for publicity and raising awareness of the need to maintain a clean and safe environment. The solution lies in capacitating the Council to have consistent refuse collection in industrial areas, residential places and in the central business district. It is with this in mind that the Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) urges Central Government and the President to ensure that more resources are channeled towards service delivery in local authorities so that they have the capacity to consistently maintain a clean environment in their respective local authorities.
The waste in communities can be managed through:
- Sorting it out and selling papers and plastics, including glass to companies involved in recycling. This ensures that all waste is converted into cash for the low income earners and those in the informal sector.
- Residents in their diversity should establish community refuse collection clubs where refuse is collected, and they make payments for the frequent collections. This garbage can be piled at Council’s district offices, where it can be collected without them moving into the residential areas. They have dismally failed to collect. So if they do not collect from their own offices, they would have to endure piling garbage in their council yards.
- Council and residents could negotiate terms of how to manage waste. Council could reduce the refuse collection fees, and let residents’ organise to provide this service on their own, dumping the waste at strategic points so that the council vehicles will simply collect from one community point.
- The Government should allocate more financial and capital resources so that local authorities are empowered to execute their mandates as provided in the Constitution and the Urban Councils’ Act (Chapter 29.15).
- The City of Harare may scrap refuse collection from all household bills until such a time that they are able to provide the service. Currently ratepayers are billed for services not rendered.
- Let us hear your suggestions as well to build on these recommendations.
Source: Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT)