Waste collection centre to promote the circular economy

The EU has invested €2.2 million so far
The first Namibian waste buyback centre has been inaugurated to promote recycling, job creation and community development, promising economic stability and environmental protection.
Jemimah Ndebele
The Waste Buyback Centre (WBBC) inaugurated in the heart of Katutura on Hans-Dietrich Street opposite the Katutura Customer Care Centre last Friday, is an important step in the ambitious project “Improving Solid Waste Management in Windhoek” carried out by the European Union (EU) in collaboration is financed by the German city of Bremen.
With the dual aim of tackling the accumulation of waste and the deterioration of environmental conditions, the WBBC comes at a crucial time in Namibia's search for sustainable solutions to waste management. Through creative waste reduction projects, the centre aims to reduce waste, reduce harmful environmental impacts, promote recycling activities and support job creation.
Queen Kamati, Mayor of Windhoek, emphasised that the WBBC plays an important role in promoting environmental protection, economic empowerment and community development.
Ana-Beatriz Martins, the European Union Ambassador to Namibia, said the EU's significant financial support for the project, amounting to €2.2 million since its inception in 2020.
She reiterated the project's overarching goal of transitioning Namibia to a sustainable model, the so-called "circular economy", with Windhoek leading the pilot initiative.
Circular economy
"Transitioning to a circular economy not only reduces the environmental impacts associated with resource extraction, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and mitigates pollution. The establishment of the waste collection center in partnership between the City of Windhoek, the City of Bremen and the European Union is an excellent example of how the model is put into practice," she said.
Stellio Tsauseb, Deputy Chief Engineer of the City of Windhoek, emphasised the importance of waste separation for efficient recycling to create the operational framework of the WBBC.
"By separating different types of waste such as aluminum, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and paper, we not only ensure cleanliness, but also accurate measurement of the individual waste components," explains Tsauseb.
He also explained the incentive mechanism for waste producers, pointing out the possibility of receiving payments in cash or in the form of vouchers that can be redeemed at retail partners for a variety of goods, including food. “The sorted waste will be weighed and we will try to set tariffs in line with international standards.”
The establishment of the center will allow residents to benefit financially from the city's efforts to improve waste management. The center is the first of two to be built under the joint partnership during the pilot phase, which is expected to run until March next year.
"We are aiming for a public-private partnership, but the city will remain involved in the management operations of the first center during the pilot phase in order to fully understand the operating model before the second center in Havana is set up, also during the pilot phase," Tsauseb added . The sorted purchased waste is exported to countries such as South Africa for recycling.