Taking advantage of erratic refuse collection by the Lilongwe City Council, private players have cropped up in the city to render the service at a fee.
The private operators have sprung up in areas 49 and 25 and charge a modest registration fee of K1 000 (about $2) and a monthly rate of K600 ($1.71).
Lilongwe City Council spokesperson Tamara Chafunya welcomed the idea, but said it is wrong to charge people for the services without due consultations.
“It is acceptable where communities wish to partner with stakeholders and come up with terms in tasks that will in the long run benefit their communities through such partnerships.
“If a private entity wishes to perform such tasks at a fee without liaising with communities, it is unacceptable. It is only the mandate of the Lilongwe City Council to perform such duties,” said Chafunya.
She said the private refuse collectors are creating future problems as they are dumping waste in places not designated as dump sites.
“We have had reports and complaints from other sectors of the city that the garbage that is being collected by some of these private garbage collection companies is being deposited alongside the city boundaries; hence, creating a nuisance to surrounding areas.
“We strongly appeal to any one operating as a private garbage collection company to desist from dumping any solid waste in areas that are not designated as dumping sites. This practice is not only illegal, but unacceptable by the city council,” said Chafunya.
Efforts to speak to one of the private garbage operators, who ply their trade in Area 49 Shire, proved futile as their phone could not be reached.
A recent Nation on Sunday snap survey of the city of about 800 000 inhabitants showed that the council has been erratic or completely stopped collecting garbage in most
parts of the city, forcing residents to dump garbage in streams and roadsides.
Twenty percent of the country’s population lived in urban areas as of 2010, while the current rate of urbanisation stands at 5.3 percent.
It is projected that by 2030, the 80 percent that live in rural areas will inhabit urban centres.
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