Improving Waste Collection Systems with Local Partners
More than 70 percent of Dar es Salaam's residents live in unplanned settlements. Waste collection in these areas is difficult and many residents simply burn their household garbage or dump it along roadsides or rivers. However, much of the household waste in unplanned areas is collected by small-scale community-based organizations. These groups consist mainly of youth who collect waste by push cart. More than half of the household waste produced in Dar is organic, so there is a largely untapped resource being trucked to the dump every day. This waste has the potential to be turned into high quality compost that can be sold locally to Dar's urban farming community.
Sustainable Cities International (SCI) is working closely with Kisiwani Environmental Group (KEG) a registered community based organisation, in cooperation with the Ilala Municipal Council, Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA), to build their capacity on waste collection through training; equipment and protective clothing and expansion of their activities to include recycling and composting activities. It is expected that with these additional revenue generating activities, the groups will be able to improve the livelihoods of their members and make their operations more economically viable. As an added bonus these activities will decrease the amount of waste going to the dump site – transportation is the single largest cost for waste collection. It is also expected that as people see the improvement in the overall waste management of their neighbourhoods, household payments for waste collection may increase.
We are supporting these groups by providing funds for the purchase of new equipment, such as a shredder for breaking down organic material, as well as funds for protective equipment such as gloves, and additional equipment such as pushcarts and rakes. We are also coordinating stakeholders meetings where various community groups and municipalities can share best practices. Additionally these meeting discuss policy issues such as ways of providing incentives to waste collection such as long term contracts, enforcing household payment and producing databases of residents served.
SCI has been assisting the KEG to manage a solid waste and composting program. Funding is directed toward building the capacity of KEG, as well as documenting experiences for replication in the city. The project procures waste collection equipment, as well as provides training on waste management, separation, composting and recycling. The long term goal of the program is to see the KEG grow into a self-sustaining business, in which they are generating enough income to sustain their services, as well as to make some profit. Through this process KEG will act as a community leader, creating awareness on waste separation and providing an important service to the community. KEG will also assist the Ilala Municipality in reducing the amount of waste transported to the dumpsite, therefore reducing Municipal costs.