Residents neighboring Nduba dumpsite in Gasabo District and workers who sort the waste have raised concerns, saying the site poses health risks to them.
The New Times visited the dumpsite and found out that the residents had various complaints.
The workers manually separate soft waste from solid waste while liquid waste collected from toilets is dumped separately just a few meters from neighboring residential houses, shops and bars.
At least 450 tonnes of waste is collected in the City of Kigali every day.
“The waste, especially liquid waste from toilets emits a bad smell. Besides the bad smell, the site is a breeding ground for flies, which attack our homes especially during the rainy season,” said one resident who did not want to be named.
During the interview, a garbage truck was dumping liquid waste just opposite her home.
“Our children are exposed to risks from the holes in which liquid waste is dumped since they are not even fenced. It is better for us to be to relocate,” she said.
Jean-Pierre Nshimiyimana, one of the workers raised complaints related to poor working conditions and low wages for people who work at the site.
“Some of us do not have protective gear because they became old and (the employer) never gave us others,” he said.
Workers who sort the waste are paid Rwf60,000 per month while those who sort plastic waste are paid Rwf30 per kilogram of waste that they sort.
Nduba dumpsite employs over 250 workers and 24 transport companies, according to the site manager.
The problem could soon be solved after the city identified an investor to recycle the waste into other products.
Portuguese firm, Mota Engil, was selected to construct a waste recycling plant.
Mota, which will be tasked with using sustainable technologies to turn the waste into different products, is now required to submit a proposal containing the investment outlay.
Patricie Mukangarambe, the Director of Public Health and Environment in the city of Kigali, told The New Times that the city has outlined various initiatives to turn waste into revenue.
Jean-Paul Ngenzi, the owner of Agruni Company, which collects and transports garbage to Nduba landfill told The New Times that they have designed a Rwf24 billion project to turn waste into valuable products. The project will be implemented in three phases.
“Since we want zero waste, we want to recycle all types of waste including soft, solid and liquid waste into valuable products under three phases,” he said.
Currently, the company takes some of the sorted waste from Nduba and recycles it while others are taken to other recycling plants in the country.
“We have started our trial under phase one to turn plastic waste into pavers, roof tiles, and manure,” Ngenzi said.
The company says that it has ordered a Rwf10 billion machine from Belgium that will be used in the sorting and waste recycling process.
Jean d’Amour Rwunguko, the Acting City Engineer, said that the central sewage system will also recycle liquid waste from toilets and other waste into fertilizers and reusable water especially in irrigation and direct the rest into rivers.