An investigation into the possible alternatives of managing domestic solid waste in the city of Bulawayo.

Author: Moyo, Lincolyn

The disposal of solid waste is a problem in the world and in Southern African Cities including Zimbabwe, Bulawayo. This problem continues to grow with the increase of people in the City of Bulawayo and regional cities; the population growth is from within the City of Bulawayo or by immigrants from rural areas and other surrounding settlements or smaller cities and towns complemented by consumption increase. Disposal 01 waste in open spaces has become routine in majority of places in the City of Bulawayo due to insufficient, inconsistent waste removal by the City of Bulawayo Waste Sector. As the Municipality o f Bulawayo cannot cope with these large quantities of solid waste are not collected, are not treated or are not properly disposed of in designated sanitary land dump sites. This research study investigated how the City of Bulawayo Waste Department can improve waste removal and management by implementing possible waste management alternatives (Incineration, Recycling, and Sanitary Landfill) already in use in developed countries and in South Africa, in order to reduce waste removal and management challenges. The researcher used general observations on the residential areas and streets of Bulawayo, critique of written documents including Classical and Contemporary Urban Sociology writings and logical analysis in investigating the possible alternatives of managing domestic solid waste in the City of Bulawayo. From general observations, critique of written documents and logical analysis the researcher deducted major premises from renowned waste management scholars’ opinions, researches and the Bulawayo Waste Removal Statutory Instrument Work Plan, Document of 1979, and there after synthesized the premises to map out the current way of managing waste in the City of Bulawayo and the possible alternatives of waste management in the world using specific international examples, for all regional waste management approaches and challenges are almost equal and similar not worthy to use as good examples except for south Africa to a smaller extent. Waste management alternative examples were examined and recommended for their practical strengths and their complementary outcomes to Zimbabwe social and economic needs. The research study found out that some of these alternative ways of treating waste were already practiced in Bulawayo however on a willy nilly basis, they are not legally enforced by city relevant authorities, they are not included in the City of Bulawayo Waste Removal Statutory Instrument when this research was written. These alternatives are also not being practiced at a larger business scale to bring in required much needed revenue and supply large scale electricity through incineration of waste to the City o f Bulawayo due to a variety of challenges, both internal and external challenges like Central Government inconsistent policies, political instability, marginalization, centralization of decision making, poor urban planning and management, corruption, lack o f good governance practices and lack o f willingness and mental attitude, resistance to adopt and embrace change for the sake o f advancing development following international waste management trends and protocols. This research also found out that despite political, economic instabilities and lack of good governance, some o f the possible alternatives of waste management like Reduce. Reuse and Recycle approaches simply need change of attitude, education and dedication to implement, more than political and economic stability. But the challenge to implement willingness attitudes to citizens and City Council in order to address the City of Bulawayo waste challenges is hindered by lack of creative thinking, cronyism and nepotism worsened by denial of diverse or different opinions, population increase, residential stand expansion but stagnant physical/urban waste built environment.