BY SILAS NKALA
The Hwange Local Board has criticised residents who are wantonly dumping garbage, saying this poses health and environmental risks in the coal mining town.
The local authority called on residents to utilise part of the waste generated at their households to reduce littering in communities.
Dumisani Nsingo, the Hwange local authority’s public relations officer, said there was need for residents to complement the local authority’s efforts to keep the environment clean.
“While more emphasis has been placed on the traditional collection of waste, the principles of integrated solid waste management have not been fully followed,” Nsingo said.
“We appreciate that council is supposed to collect refuse, but there is a need for residents to also embrace integrated solid waste management through practising the concept of reducing, reusing and recycling waste.”
He said modern trends demanded sustainable management of solid waste through waste minimisation, material recovery, full collection and sanitary disposal of waste.
Nsingo said not all waste should be discarded so as to reduce the amount needed to be sent to landfills as well as allowing products to be used to their fullest extent.
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“Residents can reuse some of the waste generated at their households instead of disposing of it,” he said.
“Every citizen has a right to a clean environment, but there is a need for a collaborative approach by all stakeholders in curbing illegal waste dumping.
“Everyone has a right to a clean environment as enshrined in the Environmental Management Act and Public Health Act and these are also constitutional rights.
“However, there are some residents that tend to violate others’ rights through dumping litter at undesignated areas. Solid waste management has become a major concern both to the natural environment and society virtually in all suburbs.
“Council can chip in through disseminating information against illegal solid waste dumping as well as community policing.
“We do offer a reward to anyone who reports someone found littering because it’s actually an offence to do that.”