Solid waste collectors at Gioto dumpsite have urged Nakuru County government to set up light industries at the yard.
Led by their spokesperson Peter Kanja, the waste collectors said the dumpsite is capable of employing thousands of youths in the region.
“This dumpsite is a permanent working station of hundreds of people who toil daily to earn a living and I urge the county government to woo private partners to set up light industries to process the solid waste,” said Mr Kanja.
Mr Kanja said their biggest challenge is getting market for their solid waste products.
“We urge the devolved unit to identify a partner to transform this dumpsite into a thriving solid waste management unit,” said Mr Kanja.
He added: “We need a light industry to process the waste instead of collecting them and selling to outsiders at throw away prices.”
The waste collectors said they are facing many challenges including being required to get National Environment Management Authority (Nema) licence to transport broken glasses out of the dumpsite.
“Nema requires such waste to be transported in a vehicle and we have no money to hire trucks,” said Mr Kanja.
They also urged the county government to conduct First Aid awareness campaigns to help them handle emergencies.
Mr James Githae said the dumpsite is home to more than 150 families who rely on it to earn a living.
Nakuru County Chief Officer in charge of Water Environment, Energy and Natural Resources, Kiogora Murithi said the county has embarked on an ambitious programme to upgrade the 42 acres dumpsite.
“We have improved its environment by planting trees and creating an embankment to ensure a good working environments for all users of the facility,” said Mr Murithi.
He said the county has facilitated the formation solid waste management associations which comprises private waste service actors to manage waste at the site.
The chief officer revealed that the county is facing a challenge of how to deal with organic waste.
However, he said the devolved unit was closely working with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Green Belt Movement on how to make organic fertilisers.
“We have enhanced waste collection through private waste providers in the estates, streets and markets to address the waste management problem,” he added.
He clarified that electronic waste is not brought to the dumpsite since it is collected by other waste collectors at the source.
He admitted that the county stands to increase its revenue base and create more jobs besides improving health and sanitation to millions of the residents if the dumpsite is upgraded.
According to a feasibility study conducted by World Bank in 2017, about 300 metric tonnes of solid waste is processed at the site per day.
The dumpsite was established in 1974 and about 200 trucks drop waste per day.