• Projects
  • Dealing with waste management in the capital of Tanzania
Climate change

Dealing with waste management in the capital of Tanzania

Dealing with waste management in the capital of Tanzania
Dealing with waste management in the capital of Tanzania

Online advice

PUM expert in Waste & Environment, Emiel Huijbregts, started with a remote advice. He gathered data and informed the RECODO management about possible waste disposal solutions. He focused on recycling solutions for plastics and paper waste and gave advice on a strategic plan, including affordable machinery and technologies. The information and conclusions were the basis for a visit.

Collaboration on different levels

During his visit, Emiel together with RECODO and BUDEO visited various stakeholders in the process of waste management. He explains: “We visited the government, the collectors, the sorters, the recyclers and the producers of end-products. We held several brainstorm sessions with all parties involved resulting in the following areas of concern: lack of money to get the waste system off the ground properly; lack of education and information; insufficient collaboration between the stakeholders; not enough knowledge about setting up a structural plan of action.”

Complex issue

Because of the different stakeholders involved, the poor infrastructure, households without waste containers, low payments, lack of monitoring, and corruption at various levels, it is very complicated to set up a properly functioning system. At this moment, no such system exists for collecting, sorting and recycling waste. As a result, almost all collected waste is dumped on the so-called ‘dump hole’. About 1,600 people live on the landfill site and dig into the waste with their bare hands every day to extract something valuable from it, mainly metals. Emiel comments: “We visited the dump hole and met the garbage pickers. Although there are governmental guidelines, there is no control and therefore a lot of hospital waste. As a result, the garbage pickers run great risks of infections and diseases. We also visited a private initiative for both collection and sorting. Afterwards, we have made a sketch of what a sorting plant connected to the dump hole could look like: simple in design but sufficient to be able to take a first step forward.”


“We are grateful for the opportunity of working together with PUM expert Emiel. He opened doors for us, resulting in discussions with politicians. We were able to share our findings and indicate that a systematic approach is needed to solve the waste problem. We are looking forward to working with more PUM experts to set up an integrated sustainable waste management system.”


Systematic approach

PUM Sector coordinator Robert van der Ouderaa concludes: “There is a lot of work to do in establishing a stable first part of the chain. Only after that, the next step towards recycling can be taken. PUM shares expertise and knowledge at several levels of this integrated approach. First of all efficient, clear information and communication towards households, parallel with setting up a working waste system for both collection and sorting. Only after that, an action plan for recycling can be drafted. This should include legislation, mandating the percentage of reuse in the production of new products; and a tax policy, making polluters pay and rewarding good behaviour.”