Beat­ing plas­tic pol­lu­tion

We need to re­mind our­selves that what we do to­day will im­pact the lives of those that fol­low

Inner City Gazette - - News - By Staff Re­porter [email protected]­

Jo­han­nes­burg re­cently held a World En­vi­ron­ment Day clean-up cam­paign. This comes af­ter the United Na­tions de­cided to have the first World En­vi­ron­ment Day in 1972. Since then, this aus­pi­cious day has been cel­e­brated all over the world, with this year ’s theme be­ing “Beat­ing Plas­tic Pol­lu­tion.”

“As the gov­ern­ment of the City of Jo­han­nes­burg, we are mind­ful that a sus­tain­able city re­quires part­ner­ships with all com­mu­ni­ties to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment - and ul­ti­mately - our­selves. We need to re­mind our­selves that what we do to­day will im­pact the lives of those that fol­low. With June be­ing Youth Month, this year ’s theme could not be more rel­e­vant,” said MMC for En­vi­ron­ment and In­fra­struc­ture Services Nico de Jager.

Due to the in­creas­ing de­pen­dancy on plas­tics, Cllr de Jager says that it is there­fore our re­spon­si­bil­ity to ed­u­cate youth about the im­por­tance of sus­tain­abil­ity and the im­pact of plas­tic on the en­vi­ron­ment.

The sus­tain­able growth of the City of Jo­han­nes­burg is premised on five pil­lars, namely:

• To grow the econ­omy and to cre­ate jobs;

• To en­hance qual­ity of life by im­prov­ing services and tak­ing care of the en­vi­ron­ment;

• To ad­vance pro-poor devel­op­ment that pro­vides mean­ing­ful re­dress; and

• To build car­ing, safe and se­cure com­mu­ni­ties

• To in­sti­tute an hon­est, re­spon­sive and pro­duc­tive gov­ern­ment.

Pil­lar Two specif­i­cally frames the En­vi­ron­ment and In­fra­struc­ture Port­fo­lio’s man­date, namely to en- hance the qual­ity of life by im­prov­ing services and tak­ing care of the en­vi­ron­ment.

“That is why we must en­sure that we re­duce the con­sump­tion of nat­u­ral re­sources; re­duce car­bon emis­sions and mit­i­gate the im­pact of cli­mate change and specif­i­cally ex­treme weather events; min­imise en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion; and pro­tect the City’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment,” he adds.

Af­ter last year ’s En­vi­ron­ment Day, the City launched the A Re Se­bet­seng monthly clean-up cam­paign on 14 Au­gust 2017. A Re Se­bet­seng means let’s work, and is based Rwanda’s monthly clean-up cam­paign Umu­ganda, which has proven to be highly suc­cess­ful due to the in­volve­ment of gov­ern­ment em­ploy- ees. A Re Se­bet­seng is based on this con­cept and with Mayor Her­man Mashaba at the fore­front, the City also launched a monthly em­ployee clean-up on 14 Fe­bru­ary 2018, where of­fi­cials clean around their of­fices. A Re Se­bet­seng en­cour­ages all res­i­dents to as­sume re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ar­eas where they live, work and play ev­ery day. Since the launch last year, more than 35 000 peo­ple have since par­tic­i­pated in more than 1300 clean-up events city wide.

Cllr Nico de Jager also said that, “at a mu­nic­i­pal level, specif­i­cally in the City of Jo­han­nes­burg, we find that up to 70% of the house­hold waste re­cep­ta­cle com­prises of dry re­cy­clables and or­ganic waste (gar­den waste and food waste), waste that could have been re­cy­cled.”

Pik­itup in­tro­duced the Sep­a­ra­tion-at-Source Pro­gramme in 2009 and although the par­tic­i­pa­tion rate is low, Pik­itup con­tin­ues to roll out more re­cy­cling pro­grammes.

Through ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness pro­grammes, we have seen an in­crease in par­tic­i­pat­ing res­i­dents. From 1 July 2018, a phased ap­proach to make Sep­a­ra­tion-at-Source manda­tory will be in­tro­duced:

• The public will be no­ti­fied of Coun­cil’s in­ten­tion to im­ple­ment Sec­tion 22 of the City of Jo­han­nes­burg Waste Man­age­ment By-laws. The pur­pose of this no­tice is to com­ply with the sec­tion as stated in the Waste Man­age­ment By-laws, pro­mul­gated on 30 July 2013, No 216.

• Pik­itup is cur­rently pro­vid­ing the ser­vice of source sep­a­ra­tion of dry MMC for En­vi­ron­ment and In­fra­struc­ture Services Nico de Jager.

re­cy­clables in certain ar­eas and has also de­vel­oped or­ganic/gar­den waste drop-off cen­tres (i.e. gar­den sites) for the pur­pose of re­ceiv­ing or­ganic gar­den waste from com­mu­ni­ties re­sid­ing within the city.

• For dry re­cy­clables, Pik­itup will con­tinue to pro­vide the ap­pro­pri­ate bags or re­cep­ta­cles and col­lect the dry re­cy­clables on a pre­scribed col­lec­tion sched­ule ap­pli­ca­ble to each area.

• For or­ganic gar­den waste, it is the duty of the house­holds to sep­a­rate, store and trans­port their own or­ganic gar­den waste and dis­pose of it at the near­est or­ganic gar­den waste drop off cen­tre.

• Fail­ure to sep­a­rate waste at source in the af­fected sub­urbs shall hence­forth be an of­fence. De­tails on the af­fected sub­urbs are avail­able at Pik­itup de­pots and on the Pik­itup web­site: www.pik­

Pik­itup has recorded the fol­low­ing fig­ures in 2016/2017:

• 1, 425 mil­lion tonnes of waste was land­filled;

• Green waste di­verted: 49000 tons;

• Builders rub­ble: 62000 tones and

• Dry re­cy­clables: 39000 tons. On this World En­vi­ron­ment Day, let’s keep the fol­low­ing in mind: “If you can’t re­use it, then you must refuse it!” Cllr de Jager con­cludes.

Miss Earth South Africa 2017 Irini Mout­zouris joins learn­ers in clean­ing around their school and com­mu­nity.

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