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January 20, 2019

Dandora dumpsite to stay put as city plans recycling plant

A man carries recyclable plastic packed in a sack at the Dandora dumpsite on August 25 last year /REUTERS
A man carries recyclable plastic packed in a sack at the Dandora dumpsite on August 25 last year /REUTERS
The county government will not relocate the filled-up Dandora dumpsite because land is not available
The county is counting on a recycling plant at the waste yard to manage garbage, which has been compacted to create more space. The tender has not yet been awarded but ground-breaking is expected in November or December.
The 43-year-old waste yard, was declared full in 1996 but the 30-acre site has continued to receive garbage. It is the city’s only legal dumpsite.
The county says it does not have land for relocation and will pursue what it calls the only option — recycling and using waste to generate clean, renewable electricity.
“We don’t have land in Nairobi. The only land we have is Dandora and there is technology that can fit within Dandora,” Environment executive Larry Wambua said.
The county has been forced to compact waste to create room after several attempts to relocate it failed. It was to be relocated to Ruai, but the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority opposed the move, saying birds attracted to the garbage could pose a danger to aircraft through bird hits.
Speaking to the Star yesterday, Wambua said, “We don’t have to put ourselves under pressure to find land, when Dandora itself can be used for a recycling plant,”
Wambua said at least 60 local and international firms have expressed interest in the multi-billion-shilling project.
“EOIs [Expressions of Interest] have closed. We did an evaluation and we are formulating the request for proposals,” he said.
The serious bidders will be short-listed and the city will meet them to determine how serious they are, what kind of technology they offer and what kind of investment they want to make. “As I promised, in November or December we are breaking ground,” Wambua said.
The plant is expected to produce 40MW per hour from methane gas generated from waste. More than 2,500 tonnes of garbage are deposited in the city daily. The energy is clean and renewable as waste is continually deposited.
Collection of garbage, which has been choking the city, has improved greatly at estates, roadsides and backstreets in the CBD that had become miniature dumpsites.
Wambua credited devolution of garbage collection to the ward level, improved enforcement and more garbage trucks.
The county collects 1,800 tonnes of waste daily, up from 800 tonnes last year against daily generation of 2,500. “So we still have 700 tonnes generated daily that we are not collecting. But we are better off. The CBD is clear and generally our city is better,” he said.
The county has declared first Saturday of the month as cleanup day.
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