House passes Bill on sustainable waste management

A garbage collector on a heap of trash in Nairobi [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

A new Bill has been passed in Parliament aimed at reducing air, land, fresh water and marine pollution by promoting sustainable waste management.

The Bill which seeks to establish an environmentally sound setup waste management will see waste grouped differently during disposal.

Dubbed, the Sustainable Waste Management Bill, 2021, it is said to have been passed by Parliament and is headed for Senate for more deliberation.

The Bill, if passed into Law will have organic and inorganic waste divided into three categories during disposal, indicated by green, blue and yellow bins.

Organic waste is re-usable while the latter will be deemed hazardous. Green dustbins will hold organic waste as blue bins carry re-usable waste. Hazardous waste will be disposed of in yellow bins.

Speaking to KTN News during the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Chris Kiptoo said, “It is going to be a paradigm shift in the way we manage our waste, not just plastic. We are moving away from a linear approach to a circular one. All along all our waste have not been sorted and it is transported before they are sorted and we dump them. We want to move away from that mixed form of waste. There is a value from waste.”

“The Bill went to Parliament and it was approved. Because waste management is a devolved function it has now gone to Senate for further debate and enactment. After that, we will have a new Law dealing with waste management. It is going to be a must for all of us to segregate waste at source,” he added.

Garbage will not be taken to dumpsites but to material recovery centres where it will further be sorted for recycling.

The PS’s sentiments come at a time when Kenya hosted leaders and dignitaries from different parts of the world at UNEP’s headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi.

The theme for the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly was “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Objectives of the Sustainable Waste Management Bill, 2021

Encourage sustainable waste management.

Improving Kenyans’ health by ensuring a clean and healthy environment.

Reducing air, land, fresh water and marine pollution.

Promoting and ensuring effective delivery of waste services.

Creating an enabling environment for employment in the green economy in waste management, recycling and recovery.

Establishing an environmentally sound infrastructure and system for sustainable waste management.

Promoting sustainable procurement practices.

Mainstreaming resource efficiency principles in sustainable consumption and production practices.

Instil responsible public behaviour on waste and environment.