Legislative Summary: The Sustainable Waste Management Bill, 2021

The Sustainable Waste Management Bill, 2021 (“The Bill”) is a Senate Bill that seeks to provide for the sustainable management of waste. It provides for the creation of extended producer responsibility schemes as well as a circular economy for the reduction of waste. The Bill provides for take back schemes and the labelling of products that may cause pollution. It provides for the creation of material recovery facilities in every county as well as the creation of incentives to encourage recycling.

Object and Purpose
The purpose of the Bill is to establish the legal and institutional framework for sustainable waste management and the realization of the constitutional provision on the right to a clean and healthy environment.

“Extended producer responsibility measures” means measures that extend to a person’s or firm’s financial or physical responsibility over a product up to the consumer stage of the product including:
• Waste minimization programmes;
• Deposit-refund and take-back schemes;
• Financial arrangements for any fund established for the promotion of reduction, reuse, recycling, or recovery of waste;
• Awareness programmes to inform the public on the impacts of waste emanating from the product on health and the environment; and
• Any other measures to undertaken for the reduction of the potential impact of the product on health and the environment.

Policy, Co-Ordination, and Oversight of Waste Management

The Cabinet Secretary shall be responsible for policy formulation, development of regulations and coordinating adherence to international obligations.

The Bill establishes the Waste Management Council. The Council shall:
• Provide support on sustainable waste management;
• Be the national knowledge center on sustainable waste management;
• Coordinate Kenya’s international obligations on waste;
• Develop a national strategy for the reduction of land-based pollution to the marine environment;
• Provide technical assistance to county governments.

The Bill mandates the National Environment Authority (NEMA) to develop standards on sustainable waste management, enforce waste management legislation with county governments among other duties as outlined in the Bill.

NEMA is mandated to develop an action plan for the implementation of the National Waste Management Strategy.
The Bill mandates County Governments to, among others, implement the devolved function of waste management and ensure waste disposal is done within the county’s boundaries.

They shall also provide central collection centers for recyclable materials and mainstream waste management into county planning and budgeting.

Measures and Actions
The Bill states that products and packaging that may cause negative impacts on the environment shall be returned to the seller after their use. These products shall be marked with a special label.

The Cabinet Secretary shall prescribe regulations to guide further on these take back schemes.

The Bill provides that an entity engaged in the production, conversion or importation of products and packaging shall bear extended producer responsibility over the products or packaging for the purpose of reducing the
environmental impact of the products or packaging.

This includes the design of environmentally friendly and recyclable products and packaging, physical collection,
and management of waste and financial contributions to a collective scheme.

The Bill states that products that may cause pollution shall be marked with a special label and returned to the seller. The Cabinet Secretary may prescribe design standards for these products. A manufacturer or retailer of such materials shall join an extended producer responsibility scheme within one year of the Act being passed.

A producer, importer or distributor may establish a collective producer responsibility organization.

The Bill states that there shall be one collective producer responsibility organization for a specific waste stream. The Cabinet Secretary shall make regulations on extended producer responsibility and special return marks and labels.

The Bill states that each county government shall establish a materials recovery facility.

Waste Management Functions
The Bill mandates the Cabinet Secretary to prescribe measures for waste reduction. The Cabinet Secretary shall also develop a National Waste Management Strategy.

The Bill provides that the accounting officer of a public entity shall be responsible for the management of waste generated by the entity.

The functions of the county shall be to:
• Enact a county sustainable waste management legislation within one year of coming into operation of this Act;
• Establish waste recovery and recycling facilities and sanitary landfills for the disposal of nonrecoverable waste;
• Incentivize the collection and separation of waste at source in neighborhoods and informal settlements;
• Ensure that cities plan for waste management facilities as part of city expansion;
• Prepare a county waste management plan and quarterly monitoring reports for cities, urban areas, municipalities, and administrative units;
• Submit annual reports to the Authority and County Assembly on the implementation of the county waste management plan; and
• Maintain data on waste management service provision by waste management service providers and share the information at least once a year through the national waste information system developed under section 8 (1) (f).

The Bill provides that each County Government shall prepare and submit to the County Assembly for approval an integrated waste management plan once every five years.

The Bill states that a private sector entity shall also prepare a three-year waste management plan and submit an annual monitoring report to the Authority. It shall be an offence for a private entity to fail to prepare and submit the
report. The Bill lists the measures to be taken by a private sector entity to manage waste management.

Financial Provisions
The Bill provides that each County Government shall allocate all waste collection and tipping fees for the improvement of waste management activities and services. The Bill also mandates the Cabinet Secretary to
introduce incentives for locally produced and imported sustainable waste management equipment and materials and incentives to expand private investment in materials recovery and recycling activities.

The Bill states that the Cabinet Secretary shall prescribe incentives and make regulations for the preferential use of recovered or recycled materials over newly manufactured materials with no recycled content.

Monitoring and Compliance
The Bill provides that NEMA shall monitor and review the performance of private entities and County Governments in carrying out their functions. It is also mandated to develop regulations for the procedure for reporting on compliance by private entities.

The Bill provides that the National Environment Complaints Committee shall establish a complaints and redress
mechanism. NEMA is mandated to establish a partnership programme with waste management industries and sectors for continuous education on waste to encourage compliance.

The Bill states that the counties shall develop a framework for inter-county co-operation on waste management. The Cabinet Secretary shall develop regulations to govern the same.

The Bill provides that a person who fails to manage waste shall be required to clean up and restore the site to its natural state.
The Bill provides for the development of a curriculum on sustainable waste management. Schedule – Provides for the provisions on Public Consultation

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