In this day and age, one must guard equally against information overload and over-sharing, depending on which end of the information stream you find yourself. This is especially so when it comes to the nastier parts of our existence as human beings, such as sewage and waste disposal.
It is far more comfortable to be ignorant about what happens after the flush and/or putting the bag out than to follow the product to the end.
But sadly, sometimes there is no easy way out and we need to pay attention to what happens next and it is with this in mind that we share the latest information on solid waste management in Bitou municipality.
- Landfill Site: A meeting to discuss and review the closure plans and proposal prepared by Aurecon was held on 19th A final survey of the site was completed at the end of January and, based on this, Aurecon had conducted stability studies and had completed the final design of the site closure. Their proposal has since been submitted to the Department of Water Affairs for their approval. The closure plan allows for completion of the closure by the end of 2020 at an estimated cost of R25 million.
- Transfer Station: Equipment availability problems have caused a build up of domestic waste at the Transfer Station. Because of an apparent shortage of funds and because of municipal fleet management problems, the Waste Management Department have been unable to hire a suitable front end loader to handle the accumulating waste, leading to an unacceptable situation at the Transfer Station. The following photographs, taken on 2nd April, show the effect of the apparent cash shortage and the fleet management problems on the physical condition and the perability of the Transfer Station. At the time of writing this was being remedied as a result of action by the senior municipal management.A similar problem (shortage of funds) has prevented the hire of a chipper to handle the green waste at the Transfer Station, which has been accumulating since the Landfill Site was closed in December. Bulky waste remains a problem and will continue to do so until the new regional landfill site is brought into operation towards the end of this year.Permission for temporary storage of both bulky waste and builder’s rubble has been obtained for the KK Sands quarry site.
- Waste Minimisation Project: A workshop, facilitated by Aurecon, to discuss this project was held on 20th Regrettably, only two of the Ward Councillors attended the Workshop.
The Waste Minimisation Strategy was based on the Integrated Waste Management Plan, compiled in 2014, and on a waste characterisation study conducted in 2016. The project has 5 major objectives:
- To increase recycling, recovery and reuse rates.
- To minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill and, in the long term, to reduce this to zero
- To increase understanding and engagement in waste ad recycling for the local community ad key stakeholders.
- To ensure effective, efficient service delivery.
- To grow the economy through job creation.
The presentation by Aurecon concluded with a detailed action plan and recommendations for action by Bitou Municipality, including a review and publication of integrated waste management by-laws to include recycling and the waste minimisation plan.
- Drop-Off Facilities: The initial quotes for completion of the site adjacent to Old Nick, which was planned for completion before the end of this financial year, exceeded the project budget and this is under review.
- Waste Collection Problems: These problems persist and, at the beginning of this week only two of the five municipal compactor trucks were in service. Again, fleet management problems appear to be the cause, with one truck, in particular, standing for a month while waiting for a new battery.
- Recycling: The existing contractor continues to provide the recycling service to the municipality while fresh tenders have been issued for a new service provider. These tenders are due to close in two weeks.
- Recycling and Disposal Bins: Earlier this year, the recycling and disposal bins situated in Longships Drive, at Agri, and at the picnic site on the banks of the Piesang River were removed as they were being abused and had become a public nuisance. However, similar disposal bins are available at the Municipal Depot and the NG Church in Marine Drive and at Old Nick for those looking for disposal facilities.
As you will see from the report all is not well, and each one of us needs to be aware of the problems being experienced and to keep it in mind when we choose how we dispose of our waste. The situation is critical and one of the few things you can personally do is to minimize the solid waste you dispose of into the municipal system;
Effects of poor waste disposal.
- Environmental Effects
Surface water contamination:
Waste that end up in water bodies negatively change the chemical composition of the water. Technically, this is called water pollution. This will affect all ecosystems existing in the water. It can also cause harm to animals that drink from such polluted water.
- Soil contamination:
Hazardous chemicals that get into the soil (contaminants) can harm plants when they take up the contamination through their roots. If humans eat plants and animals that have been in contact with such polluted soils, there can be negative impact on their health.
Bad waste management practices can result in land and air pollution and can cause respiratory problems and other adverse health effects as contaminants are absorbed from the lungs into other parts of the body.
Liquid that forms as water trickles through contaminated areas is called Leachate. It forms very harmful mixture of chemicals that may result in hazardous substances entering surface water, groundwater or soil.
- Municipal wellbeing:
Everyone wants to live and visit places that are clean, fresh and healthy. A city with poor sanitation, smelly and with waste matter all over the place do not attract good people, investors and tourists. Such cities tend to have poor living standards.
- Recycling revenue:
Cities that do not invest in recycling and proper waste control miss out on revenue from recycling. They also miss out on job opportunities that come from recycling, composting and businesses that work with them.
PLEASE RECYCLE, IT HELPS!
Only 10% of waste recycled in South Africa
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