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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  12 Mar 2009

MANAGEMENT: Cape Town Leads War Against Waste


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The City of Cape Town is the first municipality in South Africa to develop a by-law and calculate the cost for integrated waste management in line with new national legislation.

“The National Waste Management Bill provides for waste minimisation to become a municipal responsibility, but fails to provide for the necessary funding,” says Alderman Ian Neilson, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Finance and Economic Development.

Opening the City’s second summit on waste minimisation, underway at the River Club, Observatory today(11 March 2009), Neilson said the metro had used its pilot recycling programme as a basis to evaluate what it could cost municipalities and ratepayers to set up a waste minimisation infrastructure as required by the new Act.

“The cost modelling report is groundbreaking work by Cape Town’s Solid Waste Management Department and the University of Stellenbosch, and will lead the way for other municipalities,” says Neilson.

In the interim, Cape Town’s Integrated Waste Management by-law will be advertised soon for final public comment before submission to Council for adoption.

“Cape Town 3,2 million residents produce up to 6 000 tons of waste per day – which works out at an average of almost 2 kg per person per day. With waste generation growing at 7% per annum – Cape Town’s landfill sites at Vissershok, Bellville South and Strandfontein are almost filled to capacity.

“To pro-actively address these challenges, the City’s Solid Waste Department produced a policy and arranged its first waste minimisation summit two years ago.

“Since then, the municipality has launched a pilot waste recovery programme in selected residential areas. Results of the programme, under the banner “Think Twice”, have proved that one size doesn’t fit all.  Affluent communities and less affluent communities have different needs that require different services,” says Neilson.

For the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the City plans to roll out the split bin system in strategic public areas to recover recyclable materials.

“The Council’s policy to reduce, re-use and recycle was put to good effect by utilising tons of rubble from the demolition of the old Green Point Stadium to construct the foundations of the new 2010 stadium,” says Neilson.

He also commended private sector initiatives, which have placed Cape Town at the forefront of waste management in the country.

In 2007, the energy crisis prompted Woolworths and Pick n Pay to introduce a public service for the collection of CFL lamps.

Eskom has also developed guidelines to involve non-waste management companies in diverting more waste to achieve savings on landfills. These were presented to Neilson at the summit by Eskom’s Western Cape representative, Lodine Redelinghuys.

Century City, the largest shopping and office complex in Southern Africa, has also taken the lead in the property management sector by developing its own integrated waste management system.

“Cape Town presents a unique opportunity for the establishment of a PET plastic processing company. It is geographically distant from other major industrial centres, and the City needs additional integrated waste management facilities to cope with growth and expansion,” says Neilson (PET = polyethylene terephthalate, the type of plastic used for clear cooldrink or bottled water bottles).

Other speakers at the waste minimisation summit were Dee Fischer of DEAT, Dr Martin de Wit of the University of Stellenbosch, Lorraine Gerrans, the City’s Manager: 2010 Green Goal, Sheryl Ozinsky, Chris Blackshaw of Century City, Andre Nel of Pick n Pay, Justin Smith of Woolworths, Chandru Wadhawani of Extrupet, and Barry Coetzee, Head of Integrated Waste Management Policy of the City of Cape Town.


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