By Tonderai Saharo
The flagrant disposal of diapers in Masvingo has become a cause of concern for residents and Masvingo City council with both parties at each other’s throats over the issue.
Residents are accusing Council’s refuse collection department of refusing to collect diapers from refuse bins an allegation denied by the latter.
Masvingo collects refuse once a week from residential areas but sometimes refuse goes uncollected for two weeks owing to a dilapidated refuse fleet.
Only one refuse truck is operational and is responsible for servicing10 wards.
Residents said the situation has forced them to dump the diapers on open spaces.
The situation is worse for families with elderly citizens who use the diapers and can not keep the used diapers for long periods.
“We try to separate our waste and put our grandfather’s diapers in bin liners and when the refuse collection crew came they told us that they cannot collect them since there were heavy.
“They told us to find means and take the diapers to the dumpsites.
“We just end up taking the diapers at night to open spaces although we know we are messing the environment.
“However, there is nothing we can do about it as council should find ways” said one of the affected residents.
Clean Diapers First-Council
On the other hand, council officials denied the accusation.
Instead, they accused the ratepayers of failing to properly manage the disposal of diapers.
“Residents are just being arrogant on this issue.
“As far as my office is concerned our crew is mandated to collect all refuse within the city and those who are facing problems should approach our office with their challenges, such that we all work together in keeping the environment clean,” said Brain Madamombe Council refuse collection Superintendent.
An environmental health officer with the local authority said residents should be educated on best practices in the disposal of diapers.
“Used diapers are a major menace that we are seeing when we do our operations although we might not deny that council is partly to blame for the problem.
“However, residents should also know that they should first wash their used diapers before wrapping them in bin liners.
“(This makes sure that) when our refuse collection team delay on their schedule the cleaned diapers will not be problem in homes with their unpleasant smell,” said the official.