Govt drafts guidelines for waste management

Written By: Christine Muchira
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The Ministry of Environment has developed a waste management policy that is calling for a paradigm shift on how we manage our waste.

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According to Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Dr Chris Kiptoo, the government is moving away from the linear approach in waste management to a circular approach in that there will be value addition through recycling of waste and also creation of jobs.

Most of Covid-19 items are single use resulting to increased waste generation which if not well addressed could pose both cross infections and environmental risk.

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These protective and safety materials are being used across the country in hospitals, shopping places, offices, and at homes.

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85% of healthcare waste in Kenya is non-infectious while the remaining 15% is considered infectious material that may be, toxic or radioactive.

The ministry issued an advisory through NEMA on how waste generated from Covid-19 pandemic should be handled to avoid cross infection and avert the environmental risks.

Kenyans generate 22,000 metric tonnes of waste per day with Nairobi County generating 3000 metric tonnes daily.

60% of the generated waste is organic, 30% to 35% is recyclable while 5% cannot be recycled and has to be safely disposed.

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Dr Kiptoo called on Kenyans to segregate waste at source and urged businesses to learn how to manage potentially dangerous waste to keep their employees and customers safe.

“All protective and disinfecting waste should be separated from general consumer waste to prevent contamination,” he said.

He noted that the ministry had a waste management action plan, which will be private sector driven by companies like Synergy, Takataka solutions among others.

While lauding Kenyans for appreciating green spaces by spending time at parks, he said the ministry has doubled its efforts to rehabilitate parks like Arboretum, Karura forest, Michuki Memorial Park among others noting that the ministry´s mission is to reclaim and restore green spaces across the country.

 

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