Sort garbage or risk fines, jail in Mombasa

Residents, businesses would separate garbage into dry, wet or recyclable -plastic, glass, metal

In Summary

• If passed, bill will impose  Sh2,000 fine for waste generators, Sh50,000 for businesses for non-compliance and one-month sentence for not paying fine. 

• Waste collectors will pay Sh10,000 for collecting waste nor separated at source. 

Mombasa residents and businesses may soon face fines and prosecution for failing to separate different types of solid waste and dispose of them properly.

The Mombasa County Solid Waste Management Bill, 2019 is undergoing public participation before a vote. 

Once passed into law, it will require fines and imprisonment for failing to comply with standards. 

“A waste generator who fails to comply with the notice issued under subsection (6) commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction, in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding Sh2,000,” the Bill reads. 

In the case of an industrial or commercial enterprise, a fine will not exceed Sh50,000. 

Persons failing to pay the fines will face jail sentences not longer than one month.

According to the bill, enforcement would begin with waste collectors or transporters, who will have powers to refuse to collect solid waste if it has not been separated as prescribed. 

The waste collector shall notify the waste generator, requesting them to comply, otherwise, the collector will inform an authorised officer.

The authorised officer will then issue the waste generator a written notice to comply within 14 days, otherwise,  the person will have committed an offence liable to prosecution.

Furthermore, if passed into law, the bill would forbid waste collectors or transporters from transferring any waste that has not been segregated at the source of origin.

Waste collectors caught violating the law will be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh10,000 and imprisonment for not more than one month should they fail to raise the fine. 

Waste separation at the source is the classification of waste material into dry, wet and recyclable waste, such as plastic, metal and glass. 

Waste generators would bear the responsibility of making this separation during disposal and dumping the different solid wastes in specific waste bins or containers. 

The practice is common in developed countries. In Rwanda, it is reported to have taken root in recent years. 

The bill also proposes to regulate handling and processing of solid waste standards in public spaces, where persons operating businesses in public markets shall be required to deposit waste in a similar manner. 

Building owners and their clients are not left out. The bill calls for specific areas within building premises for waste handling and storage. 

Mombasa county has come under sharp criticism for failing to manage its waste, with mounds of trash across the coastal city an eyesore in the otherwise beautiful tourism and commercial hub. 

The first round of public participation started  on Monday and will end on Thursday at the Tononoka Hall in Mvita subcounty.

By Tuesday, the forums had been conducted in Changamwe and Jomvu.

Edited by R.Wamochie