• NMS emphasises recycling and said facilities being set up in 17 subcounties, as well as major plant in Ruai.
• Resource recovery in Nairobi was 5% 2010, about 21% in 2019. Subcounty facilities will provide jobs for youths.
Nairobi Metropolitan Services is setting up a major waste management plant in Ruai to recycle garbage and groundbreaking will be soon.
NMS director-general Mohammed Badi on Tuesday said the project was on course. He did not give a date for groundbreaking or completion.
NMS has already started to set up secondary material recovery facilities (MRFs) in the 17 subcounties. They will ensure collection, segregation and recycling of waste eventually channelled to the Ruai plant.
They are expected to provide many jobs.
The capital's waste management programme is being carried out with the Ministry of Energy.
Badi was speaking during a tour of Vintz Plastics, a private firm in Nyayo Estate involved in waste reduction and management. He was accompanied by Environment PS Chris Kiptoo.
Nairobi generates 3,000 metric tonnes of waste in a day and most goes to the Dandora dumpsite, which has been full for years and is not sustainable.
A 2010 survey by the Japan International Cooperation Agency reported resource recovery in Nairobi was five per cent. UN-Habitat said recovery was 21 per cent in 2019.
“The material recovery facilities in subcounties will ensure there are designated waste collection points that allow for secondary segregation, recovery, reuse, up-cycling and recycling of waste," Badi said.
MRFs will be located at strategic places within subcounties, including parks, markets and other places.
They will help in cleaning up the capital eliminating illegal dumping of garbage.
Material recovery facilities are usually specialised plants that receive, separate and prepare recyclable materials for marketing to end-user manufacturers.
The facilities are also key in residential and commercial single-stream recycling.
They receive commingled materials and use a combination of equipment and manual labour to separate the materials for recycling.
Last month's report by the National Environmental Complaints Committee said lack of licensed waste management facilities is Nairobi's biggest challenge in managing solid waste.
It said none of the 47 counties operates a licensed landfill, only dumpsites that are not well managed, posing health risks.
Badi said the waste recovery facilities will promote circular and 'green' practices. The aim is to support a circular economic model of waste management.
The circular model uses the 3Rs —Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Kenya now uses a wasteful linear integrated waste management system. All waste is collected, put in bags and collected. Often it goes straight to Dandora or is dumped illegally.
A circular economy involves handling discarded materials as commodities for reuse rather than for disposal. It conserves them and uses recycling, composting and other technologies.
NMS' vision is to increase the circular model to 90 per cent through a campaign to reduce waste in a planned manner.
“By using the circular system, raw materials will be recycled to a high standard and resources used will be minimised. Plastic and papers will go to recycling plants because you cannot burn plastics,” Badi explained.
The system will reduce the cost of waste management, reduce depletion of natural resources and create jobs, he said.
(Edited by V. Graham)