Refuse collection set to improve
Government has commissioned PCF Waste Management Company to undertake refuse collection in partnership with all local authorities under a public private sector partnership deal worth millions of dollars.
The arrangement is also expected to create thousands of jobs.
PCF Waste Management, working with the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), will complement the country’s local authorities in creating an effective solid waste management system.
Although the value of the deal could not be disclosed yesterday, insiders said hundreds of millions were being invested in the project, which is set to commence soon.
Waste containers, skip bins, compactor trucks, rubbish bags and skip trucks worth millions of dollars have already been acquired.
The partnership comes at a time when urban residents have been exposed to gastrointestinal diseases as local authorities often lack the capacity to deal with environmental hazards. This has caused an outbreak of diseases such as typhoid, cholera and diarrhoea in major towns and cities.
EMA spokesperson Mr Steady Kangata confirmed their partnership with PCF saying the authority welcomed the participation of private stakeholders in waste management.
“We have had meetings with them. They want to be involved in waste recycling. As EMA, we value stakeholder participation in managing the environment. Their idea is welcome,” he said.
PCF chief executive officer Mr Ven Muchina said the company had an effective solid waste management strategy, amid revelations that councils are struggling to manage waste because of inadequate and malfunctioning plant and equipment as well as inefficient refuse collection practices.
“PCF is coming in to complement the efforts of local authorities with an excellent approach to deal with solid waste management issues and refuse collection,” said Mr Muchina.
“Through working with EMA, awareness would be raised on proper environmental practices in all the centres nationwide.”
The partnership, which has since received the green-light from Government, will see PCF coming in with long-term sustainable technical support to deal with environmental issues in the country.
Mr Muchina said this would be done through provision of plant and equipment as well as refuse collectors.
Waste Management has emerged as one of the greatest challenges faced by local authorities.
The volume of generated waste continues to increase at a rate faster than the ability of local authorities to deal with due to limited financial and technical resources.
Local authorities are struggling to manage waste largely because of inadequate and malfunctioning plant and equipment.
Mr Muchina said the partnesrhip would also create thousands of jobs.
“PCF Waste Management is not just a refuse collection company but is designed to create employment for local residents,” said Mr Muchina.
“The project will create positions such as street marshalls, inspectors and refuse handlers in every town.”
Local authorities, especially Harare City Council are often overwhelmed by waste during the rainy season and heaps of garbage in street corners and densely populated areas such as Mbare leave residents exposed to diseases.