LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
THE solid waste at Lusaka’s Chunga dumpsite is a good source of income for individuals and also contributes to the general well-being of the national economy.
According to one of the collectors found at the site, Abel Jere, the solid waste collected at the site and other materials were being recycled into different products for local and export markets.
Among the popular waste that people look for at the site include plastic bottles and buckets, carrier bags, egg trays and many others.
Mr Jere said one of the reasons the country’s economy was improving was because of people benefited from the solid waste that was recycled once collected from the dumpsite.
He said collection of solid waste and other materials was not the sole preserve of Zambians alone because Indians and Chinese among others were also notable collectors at the site.
“The dumpsite should be well taken care of because it is helping us to improve our economy. The solid waste that we collect generates income and it’s unfortunate that people think it’s just a filthy job.
“What they do not know is that the waste we collect has the potential to help grow the economy. We have many beneficiaries, Indians and Chinese nationals come here to get waste material which is later recycled. People are making huge profits out of the solid waste that is collected from this dumpsite,” said Mr Jere.
In separate interviews with the Sun, the solid waste collectors appealed to Lusaka City Council (LCC) to invest in machines that could be used to manage solid waste at the dumpsite.
Mr Jere said the site lacked equipment for proper management of solid waste that was being dumped there.
He said that the Chunga landfill was the biggest dumpsite but LCC depended on one machine to control the amount of garbage that was being brought to the area.
Another solid waste collector, Martha Mubanga appealed to government to help them come up with standard supply rates so that they could also benefit from the business.
Ms Mubanga complained that as solid waste collectors, they did most of the work of separating waste right at the dumpsite, which was a health hazard, while little money was realized from collected tonnes of waste.
“We want government to speak for us and help us. We do most of the work here but we get very little money as low as K15.00 and our sacks are not even weighed. We want a proper system, which will help us get good money,” she said.