Only eight of the 28 vehicles in the Gaborone City Council’s refuse fleet are operating, with the mayor saying the situation has led to poor collections and unpleasant smells.
In his second full council address yesterday, Kagiso Thutlwe described the situation as a major challenge that residents have complained about for months.
“It must be an indictment on the council leadership that the city is often plagued with unpleasant smells due to the failure to collect waste in time.
“Each area is scheduled to be collected at least once a week. This schedule is sometimes not met due to frequent breakdowns of the refuse truck.
“The waste hauling from Gaborone to Gamodubu landfill is (also) still impacting negatively in waste collection,” he said.
Periodically in Gaborone, particularly over summer, residents are subjected to powerful odours of rotting garbage due to infrequent collections by the local authority. Some residents have also resorted to dumping uncollected waste in ungazetted areas, worsening hygiene in the city.
The mayor said one remedy to the problem would be for refuse collection to be done in day and night shifts. “This would ensure that refuse is collected all the time even with the little resources at our disposal,” he said.
Another solution being prepared by the local authority is the development of a recycling centre, which will be located at the old council abattoir. In this endeavour, the council has partnered with Vasteras Municipality of Sweden.
“The station when complete is expected to reduce the amount of waste that is being transported to Gamodubu and therefore increase waste collection times,” he said.
“A delegation from Gaborone City Council, which was headed by the deputy mayor went to Sweden on March 16 as part of the progress of the transfer station.”
The council has also engaged independence refuse contractors for Tsholofelo and Gaborone West Phase 1.
In Tsholofelo, the contractor is responsible for a total of 4,428 residential plots, 93 open spaces and 11 government facilities.
The contractor has a three-year contract with the council of which P3.1 million has already been paid out.
The contractor for Gaborone West Phase 1 on the other hand, is servicing 2,657 residential plots, eight skips, 85 open spaces and 245 government institutions on a three-year contract. Thus far, the council has spent P2.4 million on the contract.