Lagos PSP operators blame inaccessible dumpsites for refuse heaps

Scavengers picking up trash for recycling at the Olusosun dump site

Renewed efforts by the Lagos State government to revamp the waste management system may have run into a hitch, following complaints by the Private Sector Participants (PSP) that the poor state of the dumpsites are hindering their services.

The outcry stemmed out of long wait for the engineered sanitary landfills promised by the state government last year and alleged inability of the concessionaires to make the dumpsite accessible for the use of PSP operators engaged for the collection of waste in the metropolis.

Lamenting their handicap after their general meeting in Ikeja, Chairman of the PSP operators, Olabode Coker said operators are meant to stay between a day and two days in the dumpsites for their turns to dump the waste where as it should not take more than 30 minutes.

According to him, the situation at the dumpsite currently in use for the disposal of waste is inaccessible and therefore making the multi billion naira business a herculean task.

Basically, you are expected to pick waste from the metropolis and drop them at the dumpsite within 30 minutes but now, we are sleeping in the place for two days with the concessionaries awarded to do the job.

Coker stressed that only two dumpsites are available for use with the closure of others until the completion of works on the landfill, the State should help the concessionaires because the dumpsites are already saturated.

“In the dumpsite, there is only one bulldozer, if there is government intervention in the dump sites, there is no reason to stay for one hour at the dumpsites. The resultant effect is that Lagosians are experiencing terrible waste problem because of the dumpsites, who are saturated with waste”, he added.

Another operator, who gave his name simply as Ladeola said it might be a ploy to sabotage their efforts in riding the state of waste, which are being generated every day.

She said: “the PSP operators are still functioning. We are doing our jobs. Some of us can go two rounds but how can we do that when our loaded trucks are yet to be evacuated?

“We want to appeal to the governor to intervene in the dumpsite and provide the funding, they cannot leave the concessionaires only for that job because it is affecting the environment and the waste fleet all around Lagos is increasing by the day “. She added.

On the recent out of court settlement with the government over the state’s decision to jettison them for a new investor, for the collection and disposal of waste in Lagos State, Coker said the critical issue is that it was agreed that every operator with capacity to operate with a minimum of two trucks is eligible to be licensed as an operator.

He however expressed worries that about 122 of their member with adequate capacity are yet to absolved in the scheme as agreed during the settlement meeting

Coker further stated that the operators do not also want to be limited to commercial waste, which attract about N300million a month unlike the domestic waste that generate N800 per month.

But the Lagos state commissioner for the Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare has promised to visit the dumpsite for on the spot assessment of the situation with a view to ameliorating the problem.

He urged the PSP operators to be patient with the government as it plans to build engineered sanitary landfills to take over the dumpsites in the state.

Meanwhile, the state Government plans to enforce the National Environmental Noise Standard and Controls regulations 2009 and the State Environmental Laws 2017.

Adejare disclosed this at a meeting with the representatives of Churches in Magodo residential estates in Alausa.
He stressed that the acceptable noise levels for residential areas is 55 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night.

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