Kinshasa Cleanup: Plastic Means Cash and Mission | Phnom Penh Post

2021-11-16 19:45:57 By : Mr. Duncan Zhang

Agence France-Presse | Publication Date October 21, 2021 | 20:41 Information and Communication Technology

Jeanne Bopena puts a basin of plastic garbage on his head and puts it on the scale. They show six kilograms. She smiled and offered 1,500 Congolese francs—or 0.75 dollars.

"Today, I don't sell much," said the 39-year-old mother of two children. "Since this factory opened, I have come to sell them all kinds of plastic waste. It helps me support my family."

Under the large hangar of Clean Plast Company in Kinshasa, about 20 men wearing green T-shirts and red gloves sorted the garbage and sorted it by plastic type and color.

The capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a populous city with a population of at least 12 million. It is notorious for its garbage dumps and rivers blocked by plastic bottles. So that its nickname "Kin the beautiful" has become "Kin the trash can".

Alexander Bamanisa, the managing director of the company established in 2018, said: “We collect, process and recycle all types of plastic waste from Kinshasa with the goal of cleaning up the city.”

According to technical director Jagdeep Pandya, Clean Plast is located in the working-class and impoverished community of Kingabwa, with about 100 employees, and its plastic recycling plant is still “operating at only 20% of its capacity”.

In cooperation with the Kinshasa City Hall, the company established 15 plastic waste collection stations in the city, collecting approximately 10 tons of plastic waste every day.

Bamanisa said that the goal is to establish at least two stations in each of the 24 communes in the capital to collect 4,000 tons of garbage every month.

Like Boppena, other local residents also come to sell relatively small amounts of plastic garbage, which they carry with their hands or carts.

In the Ngaliema community of Kinshasa, a young girl stands on the bank of a dirty river full of rubbish. Agence France-Presse

Behind the factory, a large pile of garbage was brought in by vehicles.

Everything is there: bottles, bags, chairs, tables, dolls.

In the fence, piles of compacted plastic bottles are next to huge crushed garbage.

On the right side of the factory, a worker is operating a paper shredder. The other pours a bag of new plastic bottles into the compactor.

"This is factory waste sent by a local manufacturer. We have established partnerships with major plastic manufacturers. They send the waste to us and we use it to make recycled materials," Pandya said.

“Our goal is to produce a series of 100% recycled products in Kinshasa,” Bamanisa added.

The crushed and compacted materials are driven to the cleaning equipment through the metal conveyor belt in turn.

Then they are melted and poured into a granulator. According to the color, recycled materials are put in white bags and stored, ready to be sold to the plastic manufacturing industry.

In Kinshasa, environmental organizations have many private initiatives, but the problem has not been resolved.

From 2008 to August 2015, the European Union injected US$1 million per month into a project to deal with household waste.

In October 2019, President Felix Tshisekedi launched the "Kin Bopeto" (Clean Kinshasa).

According to the city council, since then, only a few trash cans have been installed in some neighborhoods in Kinshasa, generating 9,000 tons of trash every day.

"It is very important for us to find sustainable solutions to this waste management problem," Parmanisa said.

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