Companies Face Penalty for Waste

THE Windhoek municipality has given companies and individuals who generate more than five tonnes of waste per month, 30 days to register and get licences or risk to be penalised.

Generators of hazardous waste, health care risk waste, e-waste, waste tyres and any other waste are considered by the municipality as priority waste that need to be registered irrespective of quantities. Companies involved in recycling are also required to register.

The registration process includes the submission of information regarding the activities and operations of the waste generators, followed by inspections to ensure that generators comply with the set requirements.

On completion of the process and satisfactory compliance, waste generators will be issued with a certificate, valid for a period of two years.

Head of education and marketing solid waste management at Windhoek municipality Nguvitjita Kapere yesterday said so far 18 of the 39 companies identified as among the biggest waste generators have been registered and licenced.

During the commissioning of the registration system of waste generators yesterday, deputy mayor Muesee Kazapua said the companies should register with the department of Solid Waste Management, while those that hire waste contractors should use only licenced ones.

Among those registered are four hospitals – the Roman Catholic Hospital, Medi-Clinic, Rhino Park and Eros Family Practice. Others include Pick ‘n Pay Family Stores, Namib Mills, Kalahari Sands Hotel and Casino, Blood Transfusion Service of Namibia, Analytical Laboratory Services, Kansai Plascon Namibia, Nakara Tannery CC, Neo Paints Factory, Pupkewitz International Trucks, Scrap Salvage, Proqual Diagnostic Imaging, Simpex, Swavet and NamPharm.

Kapere said these waste generators met the requirements to get the licences, which cost N$1 340. Kazapua said although the level of cleanliness in the city is achieved through cooperative efforts between various tiers of government, the private sector and the residents, the rapid pace of urbanisation and high rate of industrial waste generated put more pressure on the council when it comes to waste management.

“The management of waste at industry level currently follows a react-and-treat approach instead of an anticipate-and-prevent approach, which is not ideal,” said Kazapua.

The deputy mayor also said research conducted during the formulation of the Solid Waste Management Policy revealed a gap in the monitoring of waste management activities at industry level.

Kazapua said this has been made worse by the lack of information pertaining to the quantities and the types of waste generated and the limited waste tracking systems which are in place to ensure that waste is transported to approved facilities for disposal.

He, therefore, appealed to companies who have not yet registered, to approach the Division of Solid Waste Management and obtain the relevant information to be registered.

“The success of this process will require the collective efforts of all stakeholders and the municipality hereby requests the cooperation of all residents,” he said.

Windhoek municipality spokesperson Lydia Amutenya yesterday told The Namibian that they took the decision as a pro-active approach to protect the environment and public health by ensuring that all waste generated is managed in a safe and optimal manner from the point of generation to disposal.

“We want to put measures in place to ensure that waste is not disposed off at random places. We have different approved facilities that are considered safe for dumping waste,” she said.

Amutenya said that medical waste generated from pharmaceutical companies poses a threat, not only to the environment but is a hazard to people’s health as well.

Source : The Namibian