Bulawayo City Council has received an unsolicited bid for a waste plastic bottle recycling project following concerns over widespread waste of bottles, resulting in pollution of the environment and water sources.
The revelation was made in the council’s latest report on the Environmental Project – Rotary Club of Bulawayo South plastic bottle waste collection proposal.
He said ‘used plastic bottles are thrown away creating litter and leading to 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,” the report read.
“Due to an increased use of plastic materials for packaging, there has been an increase in the waste of these used plastic materials or waste materials.
“Even though trash cans and waste collection containers are placed all around the central business district, the public does not respect the proper disposal of this waste.”
In support of the plastic waste recycling proposal, the city fathers said Bulawayo was littered with plastic bottles, blocking drainage systems and polluting water sources, including the environment.
Bulawayo’s streets quickly become waterlogged during the rainy season, with city fathers blaming flash flooding in the central business district for washed-up garbage blocking drainage systems.
“There is a lot of waste lying around due to not following proper disposal procedures.
“There is a need to create environmental awareness to reduce and/or eliminate environmental pollution and contamination,” the report said.
“This waste can be reused and/or recycled, leading to lower raw material import costs in the plastics industry.
“This project can be a source of income for participating schools because they can be paid for waste collection.
“Waste management and disposal costs are reduced because the only materials disposed of to landfill would be organic waste, which is biodegradable.”
The Board said the Rotary Club of Bulawayo South has extensive experience in project development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation having completed other recycling projects in the city.
“Our industry partners are experts in recycling and/or reusing waste plastic bottles,” the report says.
“The proposal was circulated to various departments who noted that the project was well supported from a political point of view as it will go a long way towards ensuring a clean environment in the city and generating revenue.
“School development associations should be associated with its deployment, so that schools also benefit from it for the recovery and securing of waste.”
The council does not have any specific waste regulations, but relies on regulations borrowed from the Public Health Act as well as the Environmental Management Act (EMA).
The council has already considered installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the CBD to catch street litter for prosecution.