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Chapter 2

Main Findings and Problems

2.1 Finding and Data Analysis of Solid Waste Management in Zimbabwe

Solid waste management was a growing problem in most towns and cities in
developing countries. Most of approaches used in managing solid waste were unsustainable
which leading to many challenges and adverse effects on human health and the

This section will discuss about the empirical finding regarding Mbares solid waste
management and will look at waste management and waste profile for Harare and Mbare.

2.2 Waste management and waste profile in Harare and the Mbare neighbourhood

2.2.1 Solid waste management in Harare and Mbare

For the municipality of Harare, the same approach applies to solid waste
management as a whole city although the peculiarities of the waste composition are different
from the suburban and the city. Use of the same or comprehensive solid waste management
methods throughout the community create an uncertain solid waste management process
that emphasizes unique factors in residential areas such as fuel cost, waste quantity, waste
composition, capital cost and socio-economic attitude requires a solid waste management
approach tailored to local conditions for ensuring the sustainability and effectiveness of
waste management methods.

The current waste management approach used in Mbare can be described as an

early solid waste management approaches that focus on limited storage space, collection
and disposal and contemporary approaches that include sanitary landfills, composting,
recycling and combustion. The approaches used in Harare and Mbare are where solid waste
generated by households are collected temporarily into containers, barrels or throwaway to
the roads and sometimes trucks come to collect waste and delivered to the final disposal at
two landfill landfills, in Harare, Pomona and Golden Quarry. The disposal of waste at the
"landfill" site is done using the principle of "spread and compaction" (Harare City's Waste
Management Department, 2011: 14). It is also important to note that the Pomona and
Golden Query sites, though they are called landfills in Zimbabwe, they do not meet
engineering standards for landfills.

Source Waste Generators Type of solid wastes

Food wastes, paper, cardboard, cans,

Single and multi- leather, wood, glass, batteries and
family dwellings hazardous household wastes, fertilizers,
rat poison

Shops, markets, office Packaging material (cardboard/plastic),

Commercial buildings, restaurants, paper, wood shavings, food waste,
bars electronic waste, wood preservatives

Light and heavy Plastic, paper, electronic waste, food

Industrial manufacturing and wastes, cans, steel/ metal, fabrics,
packaging industries fertilizers, leather, rubber, pesticides

Police camps, Food waste, paper, plastics, needles,

Institutional schools, hospitals, syringes, expired drugs, other medical
prisons waste

Municipal Services/ Street Leaves, paper, human and animal

Sweepings excreta, glass, cans, paper

Wood, concrete, steel and metals, glass,

Construction debris Construction sites
cardboard, paper, bricks,

Table Type of solid waste generated in Harare (Source: Tsiko and Togarepi,
Sources: City of Harare Department of Waste Management (2011) and Household survey.
Figure Comparison of solid waste composition between Mbare Township and
Greater Harare city

Mbare generates less waste percentage than the whole of Harare. Percentages of
Mbares rubbish, food, paper, and plastic waste were found to be much lower than those of
Harare. However, Mbare generates higher agricultural, construction, metal and textile waste
in percentage terms than Harare.

2.3 Waste Management Challenges in Mbare and Harare

There are many challenges for solid waste management in Mbare and Harare. The
following are the challenges being faced in solid waste management in Mbare and Harare:

Inadequate refuse receptacles

Inadequate refuse collection vehicles
Refuse disposal at these sites very expensive (for example the Pomona landfill site if
situated 12.66 kilometers from Mbare)
The weaknesses in the laws governing waste management
Lack of community awareness on reducing, recycling and separation of waste.

The above challenges are in line with some of the waste management challenges faced
by cities in developing countries. Solid waste management systems in developing countries
face challenges ranging from low collection coverage, irregular, inconsistent and inadequate
collection services, open disposal, and uncontrolled combustion of air and water pollution.

2.3.1 Inadequate Refuse Receptacles

Figure Overflowing Skip Bins in Matapi Area

The plastic bag is a regular waste container used in Mbare (23%). Residents living
around the Mbare National Park usually use plastic bags because of the lack of formal
containers supplied by city council or other garbage collectors. Other used informal
containers include mealie-meal bags (19%), sacks (15%), and cardboard boxes (4%). The
population of Mbare leads to a situation where the garbage bins supplied filled with rubbish
in a short period of time. The problem of lack of garbage collection for waste collection is a
huge challenge in many African countries. Failure by Harare City to provide adequate and
standardized waste containers' indicates that the council did not comply with its own by-laws
under the 1982 City's by-laws; the council had the obligation to supply standard and
adequate waste to residents (City of Harare, 1981a).

2.3.2 Inadequate Refuse Collection Vehicles

The problem of irregular garbage collection at Matapai and Matererini is the problem faced
most of the suburbs in Harare. According to the annual report, City of Harare has a total of
160 bins and only 5 trucks that work. This provides a ratio of 32 skip trash per truck. Every
bin skip should be emptied once in two days. To ensure that skip skips are emptied
regularly, the board needs more skip trucks.
2.3.3 Refuse Disposal At These Sites Very Expensive (For Example The
Pomona Landfill Site If Situated 12.66 Kilometers From Mbare)

Mbare is usually overcrowded and waste management strategies used by residents

are very basic and characterized by throwing garbage in excessive waste bins, compressing,
burning, dumping roadside and open spaces and dumping waste on the Mukuwisi River.
Solid waste management services provided by the municipalities are inadequate and most
residents are unable to pay for the services due to the income of residents that generally
have low incomes with an average household income of USD$ 143.25.

2.3.4 The Weaknesses In The Laws Governing Waste Management

Waste management remains a major problem in Zimbabwe although it has

comprehensive law that can ensure sustainable waste management and even the city of
Harare itself has relevant laws. The main weakness in the law governing waste management
Lack of enforcement of good laws that are capable of effectively dealing with the
waste management problem
Lack of public awareness on the existence of the laws and by-laws on solid waste
Gaps in provisions within the laws that limit obligations on enforcement and these
necessitate the need to amend some of the key laws on waste management

2.3.5 Lack of Community Awareness on Reducing, Recycling and Separation

of Waste.

Waste management is a key process in solid waste management systems.

Approximately 60% of respondents to household surveys see waste control as dirty. Most
respondents also confirmed not knowing the benefits of recovery, reuse and recycling.
Figure 4.2 below shows the most the usual waste handling method at Mbare referred by the
respondent to household reviews
Source: Household survey.
Figure Waste Handling Methods in Mbare

As shown in figure above 50% of household respondents, mix a variety of

waste in plastic bags, garbage or trash cans. Waste mixing can be attributed to lack of
knowledge on recycling benefits and most households have only one bin to dispose of their
trash and in cases where rubbish and other containers are not supplied households tend to
use a plastic bag to place their waste and throw away the garbage mix. From a household
survey 29% of respondents mentioned that they sometimes wrap their food waste in paper
or plastic before throwing it in the trash cans and 5% of the household compresses waste to
suit the one provided. About 5% of household survey respondents also mention that they do
separate waste and sometimes garbage collection companies come and collect cardboard
and paper even though this is irregular. Households also separate bottles, plastics and cans
as sometimes collected by informal garbage collectors who pay a small sum of money for
this or household change residual waste with informal waste collectors for foodstuffs such as
eggs. Unofficial garbage collectors will sell residual waste to recycling companies.

Figure Mixing of Solid Waste

2.4 Conclusion

In conclusion, in the residual profile Harare and Mbare show that it is important to
use appropriate waste management methods. The need to provide exposure to locals as
very little attention is given to reducing, recycling and recycling. Low incomes residents also
make the residents unable to waste money to pay municipalities that emphasize "the
principle of paying pollutants" also contribute to solid waste management.