Waste industry pins hope of rosier times on new city plan

Wednesday June 24 2020

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Garbage companies say the absence of a clear waste disposal guidelines has seen several attempts by City of Kigali to enforce garbage sorting at source fail. Photo ~ Cyril Ndegeya  

JOHNSON KANAMUGIRE
By JOHNSON KANAMUGIRE
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Investors in waste management are hoping Kigali City Council will not only give guidelines on bottlenecks around sorting of waste, disposal systems and environmental degradation but will also include them in the yet to be unveiled Kigali City masterplan.

Studies indicated that costs associated with separating and cleaning waste that is collected unsorted and dumped improperly were keeping away several investments that would have helped avert the garbage crisis built up under the previous urban plans.

For example, a 2019 report on Kigali City waste management services by International Growth Centre (IGC), show that inefficient collection and disposal of waste has rendered recycling expensive and largely impractical as it remains difficult to obtain organic and recyclable materials from the landfill, while collecting from the households requires the deployment of huge resources.

Consequently, the IGC the report shows that collected waste is a fraction of what is generated, with uncollected waste assumed to be likely either informally dumped or burnt at source.

Besides, the report described the Nduba dumping site as an open-air dumping site facing numerous of environmental problems, and therefore recommended its closure.

Kigali City solid and liquid waste management officer, John Mugabo confirmed to Rwanda Today the decision was made to close the infamous dumping site, but this would be after completion of feasibility studies for a modern sanitary landfill in the same location spanning around 43 hectares.

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“The City of Kigali together with the Water and Sanitation Corporation are planning a feasibility study that will be done by December 2020. The study will have the designs of new landfills and plan for closing the current one,” he said.

Details of the city plan indicate that the proposed sanitary landfill would be equipped with a recycling centre, a composting unit, and a fuel pellet production plant.

Authorities also propose rerouting all municipal liquid waste to a separate location expected to host a sludge treatment plant.

The developments are in line with the new Kigali City masterplan expected to guide its growth towards 2050. The unveiling of the masterplan was moved from August last year to harmonise it with the National Land Use Master Plan.

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