BCC proposes tough waste management by-laws

Businesses operating in the city centre will now be required to maintain cleanliness within their premises and keep the space outside their premises free from litter and any unsightly objects as part of the efforts to keep the city clean and restore its glory. 

This is contained in the proposed Bulawayo solid waste management by-laws. 

The existing by-laws were enacted in 1970 and they no longer align with the current needs and challenges faced by the city. 

The local authority partnered with Mercy Corps, a non-governmental organisation, to develop an inclusive and effective solid waste management by-law. 

Presenting the key highlights of the proposed by-laws, BCC cleansing superintendent, Nkanyiso Ndlovu said the new by-laws will see businesses maintaining the areas surrounding their premises. 

“Also, what we are going to see in these by-laws is the requirement for everyone to make sure that they will clean an area surrounding their premises, all this is to ensure that Bulawayo gains its status as the cleanest city in the region.” 

He said the local authority is going to include in the provision of extended producer responsibilities where the producer, importer, retailer and trader will be responsible for waste management. 

“Part seven proposes extended producer responsibilities where if I am bringing in, for example, the issue of disposable pampers, this proposed section says I should be at least responsible for that, I cannot make profit and run away with those profits leaving the local authority with the burden of managing something that is coming out of my premises, this will see a lot of producers being asked if they are bringing a certain product maybe introduce a deposit scheme, try to assist in making sure that your trade does not harm the environment.’ 

Ndlovu said the new by-laws will outline the role of waste pickers. 

“Currently, in the proposed by-laws there was no clear provision for waste pickers, but from the consultations that we have had, we are seeing people are saying let us register these waste pickers, this is very critical so that we regulate their activities. If they are registered, they will be known that they are dealing with a certain kind of waste and will make sure that as they do their operations are viable and at the same time they are environmentally friendly, they don’t bring any other negative issues to what they are doing,” he said. 

He added that the new by-laws are bringing in the aspect of whistle-blowing where the local authority is going to set up a system for residents to report illegal dumping as part of the effort to eradicate the practice in the city. 

Ndlovu said they will also name and shame litterbugs “so that the community can correct them in a lovely way to say they should not dump litter.” 

“There will be a kind of register every month or after a regular period we will be saying these are the people who were caught during this period who are making Bulawayo fail to get the status of a king city. Our drive is to make sure that Bulawayo regains its status as a king city. Those who are fighting against that vision will expose them,” he said. 

Ndlovu said to ensure the enforcement of the new proposed by-laws, the local authority will introduce a range of fines from level one to level five.

Meanwhile, the by-law will also regulate event organizers as they will be now required to submit a waste management plan. 

“Any person who is directly or indirectly involved with the organization or management of a sporting , entertainment, cultural or religious even which is to take place on private or public property or owns or controls premises at which a sporting, entertainment, cultural or religious event is to take place, including sports stadia and conference centres must submit a waste management plan consistent with this by-law to the waste management officer in respect of the storage, collection, recycling and disposal of waste at and after such event at least five working days prior to the proposed event and comply with the terms and conditions set out by the city,” he said. 

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