Challenges and opportunities of inorganic solid waste reuse and recycling in Thika Town, Kiambu County.
Kinyanjui, Joseph Ng’era
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The recovery of items from waste for reuse and recycling of waste represents an important strategy for waste minimization. The objectives of this study was to determine the type and amount of inorganic solid waste recycled, stages involved in collection, separation, reuse and recycling of ISW, institutional arrangement and policies in place for ISW reuse and recycling and opportunities and challenges encountered in ISW reuse and recycling. Sampling methods used to select the study units included stratified sampling and random sampling which was used to obtain the samples of households, businesses and Sub County workers and middlemen who were issued with the questionnaire. Purposive sampling was used to select Sub County senior officials and NEMA officials who were interviewed. A total of 235 households and businesses enterprise, 13 middlemen and 24 Sub County workers were issued with questionnaire. Three senior Sub County officials and two officials from NEMA were interviewed. Personal observation was also used. Data obtained from questionnaire was analysed using SPSS and Pearson coefficient was used to test the correlation between, age, level of education and separation of waste for reuse and recycling. The percentages for the qualitative data were presented using tables, bar charts and pie charts. The study revealed that 4.5% of the total inorganic solid waste generated is reused and recycled. There are several stages involved in inorganic solid waste recycling and reuse; these are households where by 34% sort their waste before disposal and 66% dispose their waste in mixed state. The study showed that there was significant relationship between, level of education and separation of ISW (P = 0⋅87), but insignificant relationship between age and separation of ISW (P = 0.05). The second group is the Waste pickers who collect from the streets and illegal dumpsite. The third group is Sub County collection crew who separate while loading the trucks and fourth are the dumpsite collectors who separate after the truck has offloaded. Thika Sub County lacks policy and by laws on waste reuse and recycling, Thika Sub County does not offer any incentives to enterprises involved nor does it train its staff and residents on inorganic solid waste reuse and recycling. There are opportunities which can be utilized to increase amount reused and recycled, the residents are willing to partner with Thika Sub County, other residents and private sector to increase the amount of ISW reused and recycled. Reuse and recycling can create employment for the residents. The challenges are vandalism is rampant within Thika town; the enterprises have not formed cooperatives. The recyclers lack proper ways of disposing the waste which they do not require after separating. The recommendations are the Sub County should facilitate public and private sector collaboration and participation, educate residents about inorganic solid waste reuse and recycling, encourage formation of cooperatives by enterprises involved in inorganic solid waste reuse and recycling. The enterprises should form cooperatives to increase their bargaining power and be involved in developing policies and by laws regarding inorganic solid waste reuse and recycling.