Waste recycling business booms in Lusaka

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Chunga waste disposal site most waste remains on the surface, because the site management lacks excavators and other equipment.
Chunga waste disposal site most waste remains on the surface, because the site management lacks excavators and other equipment.

RECYCLING of waste material has become a booming business in Lusaka with scores of people rushing to Chunga dumping site where they are collecting empty bottles and used sacks and selling them to manufacturers.
The situation has attracted scores of scavengers who are collecting various waste materials from the dumping site for resell to waiting businesswomen just outside the premises of the site.
A check at the dumping site during the week found several people loading empty bottles as well as sacks and card boxes in readiness for sale to various manufacturers.
Lusaka City Council (LCC) acting public relations manager Habenzu Mulunda said some people were illegally going to the site following the collapse of the wall fence.
“That is why we are now rebuilding the wall fence in places where it had collapsed,” Mr Mulunda said. “We want to ensure that those that are going there have uniforms and identity cards from the council, not everyone.”
Scavengers found at the site said they were selling empty bottles and sacks to the Chinese who were using them to make clothes and trays.
“It is one Kwacha per kg (kilogramme) and this is how we have survived these days although it is embarrassing that we can be getting what has been thrown into a bin,” said one of the scavengers who did not want to be named.
She said she had heard that the local authority was about to chase away some scavengers, adding, however, that this would only affect many families who were now relying on waste business.
In a bid to enhance security, and prevent the scavengers, the local authority is currently rebuilding the wall around the site.
There are also claims that plastic bottles that were being picked from the filth were refilled with water for sale without necessarily going through a thorough cleaning process.

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