Sustainable Waste Management Act (2022): The immediate interventions

Written by
Dr Ayub Macharia

On 8th July 2022, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya signed into law the Sustainable Waste Management Act 2022. The signing concluded a lengthy process of discussion among stakeholders to chart the way forward with regard to waste management.

The new Sustainable Waste Management Act (SWMA) ushers a new era in waste management in Kenya whereby a linear model is discarded and a circular model of waste management is embraced. The Act provides for new governance framework in waste management with establishment of Waste Management Council, expanded role of County Governments and Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes. In addition, the Act prescribes the need to establish new infrastructure for waste management such as segregation at source, proper transportation, material recovery facilities, closure of dumpsites, sanitary landfills, and national waste information system.

Like any new law, implementation process begins in earnest. The SWMA has provided a sequence of interventions to be prioritized to ensure a smooth transition to the new waste management dispensation. The table below indicates these prioritized interventions.

TimelineSWMA sectionDetails
Within 1 yearSection 6CS shall establish a Waste Management Council
 Section 6(11)CS shall establish a Waste Management Secretariat for the Waste Management Council
 Schedule 1 (15)(1)CS shall second a senior officer from the Ministry to serve as Secretary to the Waste Management Council
 Section 7(2)CS shall make regulations for the operationalization of the WM Council
 Section 12(6)CS shall in consultation with NEMA and County Governments gazette the National Color Coding System for Waste Management
 Section 19(2)CS shall within six months of coming to force of SWMA Gazette the category of private sector entities that shall be required to prepare waste management plans which shall be based on the volume of production of waste
 Section 34CS shall in consultation with CS responsible for Education and NEMA, develop a curriculum on sustainable waste management
 Section 35(1)CS shall in consultation with County Governments develop a timetable for county governments to adopt the SWM Act and regulations made thereunder
 Section 9 (2)County Governments shall ensure that County Waste Management legislation is in conformity with SWMA
 Section 9(4)County Governments shall provide central collection centres for materials that can be recycled
Within 2 yearsSection 10(1)CS shall in consultation with NEMA and County Governments, make policies and regulations for proper administration of the SWMA
 Section 11(1)County Governments shall in consultation with relevant national government agencies, the public and other stakeholders, develop county legislation
 Section 13(3)CS shall make regulations on Extended Producer Responsibility
 Section 15(3)CS shall develop a national Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan which shall be reviewed every 5 years
 Section 17(a)Each County Government shall enact a county sustainable waste management legislation
 Section 18Each County Government shall prepare and submit to the County Assembly for approval an integrated county waste management plan once every 5 years

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