Moun­tain of refuse from Com­rades to be re­cy­cled

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE -

TO­DAY’S 93rd run­ning of the Com­rades Marathon is sure to gen­er­ate moun­tains of plas­tic refuse, con­sist­ing mainly of wa­ter bot­tles and sa­chets.

To re­duce car­bon diox­ide emis­sions at land­fill sites, ethek­wini Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s Cleans­ing and Solid Waste Busi­ness Unit (CSW) is to en­sure the col­lected refuse is re­cy­cled.

The act­ing head of the unit, No­luthando Magewu, said it had been ap­pointed by the Com­rades Marathon As­so­ci­a­tion as its of­fi­cial waste man­age­ment ser­vice provider.

She said re­cy­clable items em­a­nat­ing from the race would be col­lected and then taken to re­cy­cling cen­tres.

“This is in align­ment with the gov­ern­ment strat­egy of di­vert­ing waste from land­fills, which is pre­scribed in the CSW In­te­grated Waste Man­age­ment Plan, the City Cli­mate Change Plan as well as the Mu­nic­i­pal Cir­cu­lar 88 of the Na­tional Trea­sury,” said Magewu.

It has be­come cus­tom­ary for sup­port­ers who line the Com­rades route, be­tween Dur­ban and Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, to of­fer run­ners wa­ter in bot­tles and sa­chets.

Af­ter drink­ing, the run­ners usu­ally drop the empty con­tain­ers on the ground.

Magewu said ethek­wini Mu­nic­i­pal­ity had not yet reached its goal of re­duc­ing the amount of waste taken to land­fills by 10%. How­ever, dur­ing the 2018/19 pe­riod they were work­ing on re­vi­tal­is­ing their re­cy­cling pro­gramme and planned to use the Com­rades to test their progress.

“The re­cy­clables gen­er­ated from the race will be taken by the net­work of re­cy­clers,” Magewu said.

Data on the ori­gins of and types of plas­tic the race gen­er­ated would be col­lected by staff of the Bre­men-dur­ban Ocean Cham­pi­ons pro­gramme – a joint ini­tia­tive be­tween the cities of Bre­men and Dur­ban – and the in­for­ma­tion would be used to de­velop in­no­va­tive waste man­age­ment strate­gies and mon­i­tor­ing tools.

Magewu also promised that day and night mop-up op­er­a­tions had been planned to en­sure that all lit­ter was col­lected and streets were swept and cleaned where nec­es­sary dur­ing and af­ter the event.

Staff of the CSW have been pre­par­ing for a huge clean-up op­er­a­tion dur­ing the Com­rades Marathon.

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