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​Speaking at the “separation at source” campaign launch held in Kliptown, Soweto, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Environment Infrastructure and Services Cllr Matshidiso Mfikoe said households would be provided with reusable plastic bags and new bins. She said they would then be required to put different types of waste in different bags for recycling purposes, hence the term “separation at source”.
Pikitup Acting Managing Director Lawrence Boya said the operation would cost the entity more than R40 million to implement. Separating waste at source meant it was no longer going to be the responsibility of only Pikitup to manage waste.
He said the campaign sought to actively engage residents to appreciate waste in their own households.“Separation at source is the way to go,” said Cllr Mfikoe. “Gone are the days when people used to dump waste because they disliked it. From now on, households will be required to manage their waste properly.
“Our aim is to work with those who eke out a living by selling waste and creating sustainable opportunities for themselves. In this regard, we will explore all legal avenues to ensure that we manage waste differently.”
The project not only encourages residents to recycle their household refuse, which is ordinarily tossed away, but it also promotes job creation through the exchange of money for recyclable waste.The rollout of phase two of the project starts at Zondi depot-serviced areas in Soweto from October 1.
The idea is to get residents to start turning trash (waste) into treasure (resource), thereby evoking a change in mindset and extract value from what was previously viewed as useless.
The “separation at source” concept has already been applied in the Waterval area, which covers suburbs such as Northcliff, Cresta, Westcliff and Fairlands.
Essentially, the concept requires residents to use separate receptacles to collect waste. A black bin is used for non-recyclable household waste; a clear durable plastic bag for glass, cans, plastics etc; and a reusable white bag for all paper materials. “We aim to reduce waste, educate people about the benefits of recycling and create jobs for Joburg,” said Cllr Mfikoe.
Explaining why the concept was not being rolled out across the City yet, Cllr Mfikoe said: “The phased implementation process is so that we can learn as we implement and also ensure that more residents in the city become involved by 2014. “If we want to preserve our environment, we need to start practising environmentally friendly habits now. One of these habits is recycling. Many residents are unaware of how poor waste management practices costs the environment,” said Cllr Mfikoe.
Johannesburg is one of the first cities in South Africa to embark on such a large recycling initiative.A total of 325 000 household are expected to be using the concept between now and next year. At present, the City collects 1,8 million tons of garbage a year, with some 224 200 tons dumped illegally. At this rate, the City will run out of landfill sites in about eight years.
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