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Mombasa County launches bin system project to improve waste management

The Mombasa County Government in partnership with the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature and other partners have launched a waste bin system project aimed at improving efficiency in waste collection at households.

The pilot project will be rolled out in Mvita and Likoni Sub-counties targeting 800 households.

Speaking during the launch of the program, Mombasa County chief officer department of Environment and Solid Waste Management Pauline Oginga said that segregation of waste at source will help the county save on the cost of transporting waste to Dumpsites.

“Segregation of waste will help the county reduce the cost of taking waste to the dumpsites and it will also create jobs for our people in recycling,” said Oginga.

To help kick off the project, the county received a donation of equipment including waste bins, bin bags, shoes, helmets, gloves and four electric tuktuks among other items for collecting waste all valued at Sh8.7 million from WWF.

Each household is expected to receive three bin bags to separate wet and dry waste and one bag to keep waste that the county is yet to acquire technology to recycle.

Oginga said that Mombasa produces about two tons of waste daily with only 56 per cent of it being collected and taken to dumpsites.

The rest ends up in illegal dumpsites and the streets before ending up to bloc drainage systems within the county.

“The county spends about Sh550,000 daily to transport waste to dumpsites. If we reduce this through waste segregation, it means we will only take only 5 percent to Mwakirunge,” said Oginga.

The county she said has a team of 780 dedicated men and women tasked with ensuring collected waste is taken to designated dumpsite around the county.

She said that the culture of throwing waste everywhere continues to be a major hindrance despite the county’s efforts to keep the city clean.

She however said that through the pilot project, they have done enough sensitization to the selected households and waste collectors and hope for behavior change once the project kicks off.

“When this project kicks off, there is going to be behavior change that we are going to see. And if we go this direction, it means those dealing in segregated waste like plastic and metal will have an easy way of accessing these products for recycling”

“At the same time, these products will not end up in environment where pollution takes place and we are also going to avoid situations where plastic materials end up clogging our drainage system thus saving us money that can be redirected to other development projects,” she said.

The county, she said, was also looking at turning the Mwakirunge dumpsite into a sanitary land fill and also set up a material recovery facility at the cite.

The county in partnership with the European Investment Bank already undertook a feasibility study and agreed to set up the material recovery facility in Mwakirunge.

The WWF head of people and culture Bernard Atunga said that for Mombasa to have a sustainable waste management system, then waste segregation has to start at the source (households).

“We need to segregate the waste from the source, once we do that it reduces the strain of taking it to the dumping site,” said Atunga.

The project he said was necessitated by problem of waste management which has seen Mombasa face floods whenever it rains heavily due to clogged drainage systems.

“We saw it was a good space to start in Mombasa and then we will roll it out in other counties too after seeing how it works,”

“We are working with county for the purpose of sustainability because the county will take over the project later to scale it further to the remaining sub-counties,” he said.

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