By: Nghiinomenwa-vali Erastus
The councillors and management of the City of Windhoek have approved making land available for waste-buy centres, including incubators for the practice of a circular economy approach.
The city councillors agreed on this at a special council meeting that took place at the end of June 2022.
The summary of the special meeting shows that under the circular economy incubators, the city will identify six waste incubators who will be empowered for 12 months through the payment of monthly stipends to the incubators.
The programme will be established to enable young and unemployed residents to develop and test business models geared towards the goal of creating a waste-free city and increasing prosperity within the local population.
Under the circular economy approach, the economy has no waste as recycling, reuse, repair and return are normalised through innovation; as a result, there is a reduced burden and pressure on the environment to provide raw materials.
This, as opposed to the linear economy, which is currently adopted by the global economies and produces waste and constantly harvesting raw materials from the planet.
The city council has updated that the the circular economy incubators will be situated in the identified erven approved for the construction of two pilot waste buy-back centres as part of the Improving Solid Waste Management in Windhoek initiative.
Two identified erven were approved for the construction of two temporary waste buy-back centres for a pilot project over two years funded by the European Commission.
This is part of the Improving Solid Waste Management in Windhoek initiative under the framework Windhoek- Bremen cooperation.
The Improving Solid Waste Management in Windhoek initiative was identified as a focus area in the CoW’s five-year strategic planning from 2022 to 2027.
The erven are: Erf 10713 measuring plus minus 3 000 square meters in extent situated on the corner of Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Bondel Streets in Katutura, and Erf 3451 measuring plus minus 5 140 square meters in extent situated along Frankfurt Street opposite the Mamadu kindergarten.
The city explained that the erven were identified as they are ideally located to service multiple suburbs and are connected via arterial roads for easy access to the centres.
The construction of two waste buy-back centres (recycling and sorting of waste) will be built as part of a two-year pilot project.
The waste recycling initiatives are intended to play an important role in implementing the CoW Solid Waste Management Reduction Strategy to encourage the collection, reuse, and recycling of waste materials.
This will include the collection of recyclables from environmentally sensitive areas, including hotspots, taxi ranks, tourist areas, and public open spaces.
The initiative also involves capacity building for senior CoW administration officials in waste minimisation, recycling, and the reuse of waste to improve basic services for underprivileged residents of Windhoek’s informal settlements.
Moreover, awareness raising for school children will be targeted through environmental education activities to be developed together with community-based groups.
The Namibian economy has more characteristics of a linear economy, producing tons of waste with minimal reuse, recycling and repairing for further use in the economy.
As a result, various municipalities have resorted to burning as a way of getting rid of economic waste. In contrast, every town has a dumping field where waste accumulates with minimal reuse and innovative ways to turn the waste into something else.
Apart from beer empties, scrap metals, cans and a few others, the Namibian economy has and produces tonnes of waste with limited reuse or recycling approaches.