WINDHOEK – Many of the capital cities of the world are struggling with the rising tide of refuse, but Windhoek is one of the exceptions to the rule thanks to a capable, efficient and effective waste disposal system.
The Kupferberg dumpsite outside Windhoek, which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently, is managed by Enviro-Fill Namibia – a company which specialises in waste management services, management of landfills, management of waste facilities and the disposal of hazardous waste.
The company, which is owned by Sampson Kaulinge, Mathews Hamutenya and Anne Gebhardt was established in 2001, winning the tender to manage the dumpsite for five years and went on win a subsequent tender to manage the dumpsite for another ten years.
It has since branched out of Windhoek, with operations in Tsumeb and Swakopmund. The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) first financed Enviro-Fill Namibia’s acquisition of a truck to transport waste in 2006. Recently the DBN again financed the acquisition of a skip transporter, as well as a tyre cutter.
“By providing finance to improve the operations of Enviro-Fill, we believe that we are contributing as well,” said Inkumbi.
The company shreds the tyres in small pieces since the quantity of tyres recovered in Namibia is not sufficient to set up a recycling plant. Shredding the tyres into smaller pieces reduces their bulk, making the Kupferberg dump site more sustainable for dumping tyres, according to Enviro-Fill managing director Samson Kaulinge.
“Our aim is to ensure that waste is stored properly and safely. In the same vein it is our company’s social investment contribution to keeping the environment safe and clean not only for people living today, but also for future generations. When a dumpsite reaches full capacity there are requirements to ensure that the site is rehabilitated so that the land can be re-used.”
“In order not to contaminate underground water, a lot goes into the quality of the storage system we use. We also test boreholes in the area as often as we can to ensure that water is not polluted, although we are confident that our system is very efficient,” said Kaulinge.
Head of lending at DBN, Martin Inkumbi said the development bank has a policy of providing finance for viable initiatives that improve or preserve the quality of the environment.
Enviro-Fill Namibia employs 56 people and creates temporary employment at least once a month when it employs casuals to clean the site. It has 24 employees based at the Kupferberg dumpsite, 22 employees in Tsumeb, six employees in Swakopmund and four at the head office in Windhoek.