OVER-RELIANCE

New weighbridge to ease trucks pile-up crisis at Dandora dumpsite

The machine should be ready in three months' time

In Summary

• Over-reliance on the old weighbridge has resulted in a crisis at the dumpsite with more than 50 trucks queuing to offload waste last week.

• On average, 3,000 tonnes of waste are deposited at the site every day from the city's 17 constituencies.

Garbage trucks line up awaiting clearance from the Dandora dumpsite weighbridge on August 16, 2018.
WASTEFUL AND INCONVENIENT: Garbage trucks line up awaiting clearance from the Dandora dumpsite weighbridge on August 16, 2018.
Image: FILE

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services has acquired a new garbage weighing machine to ease the over-reliance on the lone weighbridge at Dandora dumpsite.

The new weighbridge should be ready in three months' time, Walter Omwenga, the NMS officer in charge of the final garbage disposal at the dumpsite, told the Star.

“Fortunately we are doing a second one which will be up and running in three months’ time. The contractor should on the site starting next week (this week),” Omwenga said.

The over-reliance on the old weighbridge has resulted in a crisis at the dumpsite with more than 50 trucks queuing to offload waste last week.

The snarl-up stretched over three kilometres along the John Osogo and Uhuru Muigai roads. The two are the main routes to the dumpsite.

Some of the trucks were parked in the compound of Dandora Police Station and others at Shell petrol station, opposite the police station.

“We have been here for a week. We leave them (trucks) here and go home. What is happening here is inconveniencing and costing us a lot,” truck driver Tom Kamau told the Star.

The snarl-up has become a weekly occurrence at the disposal point, complained Clifford Onyancha, who collects garbage in Westlands.

“They say the problem is the weighbridge because they only have one. But the effect of what is happening is immense. Besides we and our bosses losing money, the garbage is piling up in the estates,” Onyancha said.

The trucks are mainly for service providers contracted by the Major-General Mohamed Badi-led NMS to collect and transport garbage to the waste yard.

The weighbridge is used to weigh the garbage brought in by trucks. Contractors are paid based on the weight of the garbage delivered at the dumpsite, Nairobi’s only authorised dumping ground.

However, the weighbridge has had problems with ‘memory’, which gets full every two weeks, according to Omwenga.

“The memory is normally full in two or three weeks. So the data is retrieved, stored in a hard drive and then erased from the machine,” he said.

The Dandora dumpsite was declared full more than 30 years ago, but it continues piling up with waste generated by the close to five million city residents.

Several attempts to relocate the dumpsite or build a recycling plant for  the millions of tonnes of garbage deposited there have been futile.

A couple of years ago, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority rejected a plan to relocate the dumpsite to Ruai, arguing that it would attract birds on aircraft's  flight path, thus endangering travellers during landing and taking off at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The county and the national governments have also been unable to get an investor to build a waste recycling plant.

On average, 3,000 tonnes of waste are deposited at the site every day from the city's 17 constituencies.

“We have almost 30 contractors. The contractors have an average of three to 15 trucks that access the dumpsite. Then we have the NMS trucks. All these trucks must go through the weighbridge,” Omwenga said.

 

- mwaniki fm