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Town in garbage crisis after dumpsite closure

By Lydiah Nyawira | August 5th 2019

Uncollected garbage on the streets of Nyeri last year. Garbage collection is still a problem in the town. [File, Standard]

Residents of Nyeri may have to pay more for garbage collection after the county ordered all garbage collected to be disposed at Karatina and Othaya town dumpsites.

This comes after the county government started construction of a Sh600 million project to construct a bus terminus on the only dumping site.

According to the county government records, Nyeri County produces at least 150 tonnes of garbage daily.

For the last two weeks, piles of garbage have been littering estates and outside business premises as both the county government and the private garbage collection companies have no disposal site.

The populous Ngangarithi and Skuta residential estates which are served by private garbage collectors issued a notice to clients that they had a challenge collecting refuse because of unavoidable circumstances.

“Dear client, this is to inform your that starting August 2019, the collection day is Wednesday morning.Please adhere to the change since the dumping site is now at Karatina,” the notice read.

County Executive for Water and Sanitation Frederick Kinyua said the county had made the decision to use Karatina and Othaya dumpsites as it seeks for an alternative site for Nyeri town.

“We can no longer dump garbage at Asian Quarters and we had to post armed guards to keep people from using the area to dump their refuse,” he said.

He said the county had already communicated to three private garbage collection companies to use alternative dumping areas based on the location of their areas of operation.

“Residents of Skuta, Ruringu, Kangemi estates and parts of the town will have their garbage dumped in Karatina town while those in Kingongo, Mathari, Pembe Tatu and Kimathi University will have their garbage dumped in Mweiga dumpsite,” he explained.

The county official denied having been caught unprepared in finding an alternative site for refuse disposal.

“I know this is an inconvenience to the private service providers, we have explained to them that this is a temporary measure, and garbage will be collected as scheduled. Hopefully they will not transfer the added cost to their clients,” Kinyua said.

Each business owner in Nyeri town pays for refuse collection which is inclusive of the payment made for their business permit.

While some businesses pay Sh1,000 for refuse others pay upto Sh4,800.

Garbage collectors

Homeowners who are served by private garbage collectors in their homes pay between Sh300 and 250 per month.

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga last month signed an agreement between the county and Awesome Concept Limited, a youth-based company for an erection of fiber garbage bins.

The two-in-one bills will be installed for free as from this September in all towns across the county.

The company will run and maintain the bins for the next four years before being reverted to the county government.

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