11 months ago

Service Issue 81

  • Text
  • Economy
  • Energy
  • Waste
  • Services
  • South africa
  • Government
  • Wwwglobalafricanetworkcom
  • Digital
  • Sustainable
  • Departments
  • Petco
  • Electricity
  • Sector
  • Municipal
  • Recycling
  • Municipalities
  • Infrastructure
Service magazine addresses key issues related to government leadership and service delivery in South Africa.

S waste Waste sector

S waste Waste sector income is on the up More than 40 local, district and metropolitan municipalities countrywide have seen the socioeconomic benefits of strategic waste management for their communities thanks to successful partnerships with South Africa’s leading plastic producer responsibility organisation PETCO. OOne such drive involves the Zonda Insila Programme (ZIP) which was launched in Breyton in 2019 with only four projects and now boasts 14 projects supporting 240 community members spanning the Nkangala, Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni district municipalities in Mpumalanga. “With the level of interest shown and the growing number of informal waste pickers, there is no doubt that ZIP is encouraging more and more young people to shift their thinking towards waste as a form of potential income generation. To say waste is trash is outdated,” says ZIP coordinator Linah Duduzile Ndala. For the past 17 years, South Africa’s most experienced plastic producer responsibility organisation (PRO), PETCO, together with its members, has been engaging with municipalities on sustainability programmes to improve effective waste management and recycling rates. Key among municipal waste management priorities is the diversion of waste that has value from landfills, as well as accommodating waste pickers in the recycling value chain. “Waste is not trash, it is economy,” Ndala continues. “The role of stakeholders like municipalities, PETCO and the province is very important because they need to take the lead.” PETCO’s role in such municipal waste management partnership projects comes in the form of equipment provision and infrastructure support for waste pickers and buy-back centres – with the goal of incorporating waste pickers in the formal recycling sector – as well as training and skills development for municipal employees involved in waste management. “Currently, there are very few municipal separation-at-source collection systems, so we work with interested municipalities to establish collection projects and expand PET collection into new areas,” says PETCO CEO Cheri Scholtz. “We help grow sustainable businesses and sponsor infrastructure and equipment to unlock collections and improve the quantity and quality of post-consumer PET collected,” she says. Another successful drive has seen the Drakenstein Municipality reaping the rewards of a recycling programme launched four years ago at the Wellington Landfill Site, with several success stories emanating from it. According to Thys Serfontein, senior manager: solid waste and landfill management at Drakenstein Municipality, PETCO had been “amazingly supportive of this project right from the start and still are today”. Drakenstein Municipality has been one of the first municipalities to successfully complete the “integration of waste pickers into the formal waste industry at municipal level – one of national government’s focus areas,” Serfontein says. “As soon as our Material Recovery Facility and Refuse Transfer Station are fully functional in 2022/23, these wastepreneurs will be accommodated. They will be able to increase their production and it will also mean that approximately 50 tons less material will reach the landfill site,” says Serfontein. Zonda Insila Programme Coordinator, Linah Duduzile Ndala. 24 | Service magazine

waste S To say waste is trash is outdated. metres of municipal landfill space. A further R1.2-billion was injected into the economy from the sale of recycled materials.” Scholtz adds: “The impact of partnerships on the recycling value chain cannot be underestimated, and collaboration is critical to ensuring that change can be implemented at a national scale.” Plans are currently underway to assist a further 21 sustainability projects with equipment, branding and accredited training. S PETCO CEO Cheri Scholtz says waste pickers “play an important role in diverting waste from landfill and will play an increasingly valuable role in municipal waste collection systems and rolling out kerbside projects”. “Their integration advances South Africa’s priorities such as job creation, poverty alleviation, environmental protection and economic transformation,” Scholtz says, adding that PETCO’s experience in working with the entire PET value chain made it qualified to assist municipalities with sustainability efforts. “In the past year alone, PETCO and our partners ensured that 90 402 tons of post-consumer PET, which equates to 2.1-billion bottles, was collected for recycling, saving 560 495 cubic Service magazine | 25

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