GOVERNMENT has admitted its failure to develop the waste recycling industry and make income out of such initiatives.
Speaking during a clean up campaign held in Redcliff, Kwekwe recently, Environment Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu, said government was losing out.
“The recycling industry has not been fully developed, which discourages some of the community based organisations who have to transport waste as far as Harare and South Africa for sale,” the minister said.
He said government is planning to tap into the sector’s potential.
“This means we have to invest more in the recycling value chain to make it more attractive to community members, especially women and youths.
“Moreso, we need to invest in value addition so that our people gain more returns from waste recycling. As a government that believes in inclusivity, we are committed to leaving no-one and no place behind when it comes to supporting waste recycling,” he said.
The minister bemoaned that littering has reached concerning levels in the country.
“The level of littering and illegal dumping in some of our residential and business centres is a cause for concern. Street corners and open spaces in residential areas have been turned into dumping sites. Some of the sanitary lanes in urban centres are now heavily littered. Dumping waste in undesignated areas is against national agenda and needs to be stopped forthwith,” he said.
Ndlovu blamed the local authority for serious littering, saying its failure to collect waste caused people to dump litter everywhere.
“On the other hand, local authorities should firmly execute their duties to collect waste regularly as per schedule. If waste is collected per schedule, illegal dumping will be a thing of the past. Local authorities also have to enforce by-laws and bring those who flout environmental regulations to book. Moreso, grassroots structures need to be capacitated on sustainable environmental management,” he said.
The minister urged local authorities to have serious environmental plans.
“In addition, local authorities should have local environmental plans that they have to adhere to religiously. I would like to encourage our local authorities to ensure they have active natural resources committees,” said Ndlovu.