BY SILAS NKALA
The Bulawayo City Council has received an unsolicited bid for a recycling plastic bottle waste project following concerns about rampant littering of bottles, leading to the pollution of the environment and water sources.
The revelation was made in the latest council report on the Environmental Project — collection of waste plastic bottles proposal from the Rotary Club of Bulawayo South.
It said “waste plastic bottles are being thrown around, creating litter and resulting in high levels of pollution.”
“This has resulted in the pollution of our water sources, rivers and streams.
“These bottles can be recycled and/or reused,” reads the report.
“Due to an increased use of plastic materials for packaging, there has been an increase in the littering of these used or waste plastic materials.
“Even though waste collection bins and containers are placed all around the central business district the public is not adhering to the proper disposal of this waste.”
In support of the plastic waste recycling proposal, city fathers said Bulawayo was littered with plastic bottles, blocking drainage systems and polluting water sources including the environment.
Bulawayo streets quickly get waterlogged during the rainy season with city fathers blaming the flash flooding of the central business district on washed up garbage blocking drainage systems.
“There is a lot of litter lying around due to failure to adhere to proper disposal procedures.
“There is a need to create environmental awareness to reduce and/or eliminate environmental pollution and contamination,” the report reads.
“This waste can be reused and/or recycled resulting in the reduction of the import costs of raw materials in the plastic industry.
“This project can be a source of income for participating schools as they can be remunerated for the collection of the waste.
“Waste management and disposal costs are reduced as the only material disposed of at the landfill would be organic waste, which is biodegradable.”
Council said the Rotary Club of Bulawayo South has vast experience in developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating projects having carried out other recycling projects in the city.
“Our industrial partners are experts in the recycling and /or reuse of the waste plastic bottles,” the report reads.
“The proposal was circulated to various departments who noted that the project was well supported from a policy perspective as it will go a long way in ensuring a clean environment in the city and generate some income.
“The school development associations should be involved in its roll out, so that the schools equally benefit as well for harnessing waste and securing it.”
Council does not have a particular by-law on littering but is relying on borrowed by- laws derived from the Public Health Act as well as the Environment Management Act (EMA) Act.
Council once considered installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the CBD to nab street litters for prosecution.