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​​Pikitup kitted out for waste summit​

Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Environment and Infrastructure Services Councillor Matshidiso Mfikoe yesterday officially handed over R90 million worth of equipment to Pikitup to assist the City’s waste management entity in dealing with mounting waste challenges.

The equipment included six trucks with 12 recycling bin trailers to be used at major events and in under-serviced areas, 25 caged trucks, four garden or wood chippers, six builders’ rubble crushing machines and 1 000 fixed recycling bins for schools. But speaking at a media conference ahead of next week’s two-day Waste Management Summit, MMC Mfikoe said waste management was everybody’s business and urged everyone to change their behaviour and mindset around the issue.

The summit, to be hosted by Johannesburg Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau, will be held under the theme: “Jozi@Work: A Shift Towards Innovative Waste Management – Join the Conversation” on 24-25 March at the Sandton Convention Centre. The two-day lekgotla is expected to bring together various stakeholders from labour, business and civil society to address issues and challenges around waste management.

The City also aims to use the summit as a platform to encourage residents to generate less waste by reusing waste, separating it at source to facilitate recycling, looking at other waste management trends and assisting with the establishment of cooperatives to drive the collection of waste and recyclables through the Jozi@Work Programme. More than 6 000 tons of waste is collected daily by Pikitup.

“Johannesburg is fast running out of landfill space and we need to encourage responsible waste management. We need to move away from irresponsible generation of waste and its disposal, to one that acknowledges that waste management is an acute concern for each one of us,” said MMC Mfikoe.

Pikitup Managing Director Amanda Nair said the summit would also provide a platform for the entity to strengthen existing and develop new partnerships to create an improved waste management value chain as well as take the opportunity to learn from other global cities.

“There are major cities globally that are increasingly recognising the importance of waste avoidance and best practice waste management strategies,” said Nair.

Top international speakers who will make presentations at the summit include coordinator of the Southern African e-Waste Alliance Susanne Yvonne Karcher, Managing Director of Waste-to-Food Roger Jaques, C40 UK Manager of the Sustainable Sold Waste Network Amrita Sinha Kataria and Kenyan waste management and policy expert Leah Oyakea.