If the water crisis has taught us anything, is that we need to create more resilient cities and towns. We need to reduce our water use, for the foreseeable future, especially as rainfall remains an uncertainty and the population grows.
Now that we know how to save water, and now that we’ve seen that we are capable of working together to preserve this precious resource, attention is starting to shift to the way we handle our waste.
The MEC of Environmental Affairs Anton Bredell recently warned the next crisis looming in the province would be waste management. He called on the private sector and the public to assist with ideas to tackle the problem pro-actively.
The fact is our landfill sites are starting to run out of space. But there is action being taken.
The City has announced that almost a quarter of Cape Town’s waste is now being diverted from landfill sites. It comes after six years of hard work, and the roll-out of waste minimisation initiatives, including assisting the public to recycle.
In the current financial year, the City has set aside approximately R118 million for these initiatives, also aimed at reducing illegal dumping.
Recently, two new waste drop-off sites were opened, the Kensington and Induland sites, which the City says is helping reduce illegal dumping. There are now 24 drop-off sites in the greater Cape Town area, each within a 7 km radius of the next, with this distance reducing as more drop-offs are added.
Like with the water crisis, the City’s mayoral Committee member for waste services Xanthea Limberg, says it’s time for residents to take responsibility for the waste they produce.
‘Instead of throwing away all of the waste that we produce, we need to start thinking more carefully about how to produce less waste in the first place, as well as what can be recycled, composted and reused. This is increasingly becoming the new lifestyle choice of so many consumers.’
We have shown the world how to beat a drought collectively. It’s now time to show the world once again how to get waste-smart.
‘Capetonians really are known for being resource efficient, just have a look at how we cut our water and electricity usage over the years. If there is one city in the world that can be a leader in responsible waste management, it is Cape Town. We encourage all of our community organisations, residents and ratepayers’ associations, private sector business and media partners to help us to reduce our footprint on the earth.’
You can find out more about how you can reduce your waste footprint by visiting the City’s website capetown.gov.za