Articles

7. Recycling of Waste and transfer stations

Introduction
The population in Nairobi City is estimated at 2,191,000 as of 1997 and the total amount of waste generated is estimated at 1,530 tons/day. The rate of solid waste generation is far greater than the capacity of the City authorities to collect and dispose it. These uncollected wastes are evidenced in garbage heaps, and litter everywhere. Plastics and other non biodegradable waste are strewn all over the low-income settlements causing great health and environmental concerns. There is a need to find a workable solution to improve the institutional and organizational arrangements for Solid Waste Management (SWM) at national and local level. Traditionally the emphasis by the Nairobi City Council has been on collection and disposal of waste rather than on an integrated solid waste management strategy with room for creating income and employment opportunities through other activities such as resource recovery new strategy that will allow you to sell your plastic waste, generate income for the youth and improve the Recyclable material such as paper, plastic, glass, makes up a significant percentage of the waste in Nairobi. The trend is that most of the recyclable waste is found in middle- and high income areas. The waste in low -income areas is largely composed of petrucible organic matter suitable only for compost production environment has been unveiled.
Recycling of plasticsRecycling as a strategy in Solid Waste Management SWM gained momentum only a few years ago due to the complexity involved in the integration of communities, business establishments and industries in the recycling system. By 1998, there were over 26 companies engaged in the waste recycling industry (e.g. Nairobi Plastics, Central Glass, Kamongo Waste Paper, Madhu Paper, Kenya Reclaim Rubber Co., Premier Rolling Mills, etc). These industries play a key role in resource recovery of solid waste by buying recovered material from the scavengers for re-processing at their factories. The materials that  are often recycled from solid waste include waste paper, cardboard, glass, metal, rubber .Given that there is a considerable demand, recycling and resource recovery offers good scope for employment generation, and potentially has both positive economic and environmental impacts. For instance, over 10 factories compete for waste plastic and currently the collected supply is inadequate for meeting the demand even though according to the JICA report, about 50 tons of wastes plastic are generated daily in Nairobi alone. This means that a lot of the plastic is uncollected, or in the case of polythene bags, it is difficult to recycle when contaminated with dirt.
Players in the plastic industry have come up with a concept that will see plastic waste collected and recycled before getting to the dumpsites. The concept involves organising youths in groups and empowering them to collect plastic waste from homes and selling them to big industries for recycling.
Traditionally, the emphasis by the municipal councils has been on collection and disposal of waste rather than on an integrated solid waste management strategy with room for creating income through recycling and recovery. The recycling of plastic waste is one approach that has positive ramification in creating informal employment among the youth and offering an environmentally sound solution to plastic waste management. The media is involved as a strategic partner and will focus on public awareness and education. The project begins with 50 housing estates on trial basis in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa as the initial target region.
Most of the medical wastes can be recycled and remade into new items instead. Recycling keeps these items from being burned, reducing air pollution and saving natural resources at the same time. Hospitals can take other steps to reduce the amount of trash they produce. Reducing the amount of trash produced by hospitals will reduce the amount of trash that needs to be burned. Recycling and composting technologies are very informal and rudimentary.
Targeted Facilities
The recycling industries, NGOs and Community Based Organizations on plastic recycling projects, Recycling facilities such as East Africa Marine Environmental Co. in Mombasa has a capacity to recycle 13,000 tons and Optimum Lubricants in Kikuyu of 10,000 tons/year.


Impacts
Plastic waste is major sources of many environmental problems. They block gutters and drains, creating serious storm water problems. Livestock farmers know only too well that consumption of plastic by their animals could lead to death. Plastic bags are non-biodegradable and their presence in agricultural fields decreases soil productivity. Improper disposal of plastic bags have been linked to spread of malaria because they provide breeding habitats for mosquitoes and pathogens. When burned plastic bags release toxic gases such as furan and dioxin, and leave unhealthy residues that include lead and cadmium.
The United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) estimates that up to 50 million tonnes of electronic waste is generated worldwide annually. They die and kill. Think of simple things like dry cells, those batteries we use in torches and clocks. They leak into the soil and cattle eat the grass and we consume the animal products. They may need to break computers and separate hard plastics from the electronic boards. Some metals will certainly be useful locally but other parts will need to be shipped to foreign countries where there are special facilities to dispose of them safely. They must be supported financially and technically in their recycling efforts. Most likely the process may not be that complex. This leads to more and more electronic devices being discarded and therefore, what is supposed to be a good gesture to bridge the digital gap ends up building

Copyright © 2014 The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) . All Rights Reserved.
ISO 9001:2008 certified