Cape Town at forefront on war against waste

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town plans to set up split-bins in strategic public areas to recover recyclable materials during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

This initiative forms part of the city's war against waste, says Alderman Ian Neilson, the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Finance and Economic Development.

Speaking at the opening of the city's 2nd Summit on Waste Minimisation being held in Observatory, Mr Neilson said the metro had used its pilot split-bins programme as a basis to evaluate what it would cost municipalities and ratepayers to set up waste minimisation infrastructure.

The city was the first municipality in South Africa to develop a by-law and calculate the cost for integrated waste management in line with the new National Waste Management Bill which provides for waste minimisation to become a municipal responsibility.

However, Mr Neilson said the new legislation failed to provide for the necessary funding.

"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," he said.

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.

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, said Mr Neilson.

"This spirit will be further enhanced around 2010," he said.

Cape Town 3.2 million residents produce up to 6 000 tons of waste per day - which works out at an average of almost 2kg per person per day.

Waste generation is growing at 7 percent 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," said Mr Neilson.

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