The Waste Management Department has faced a number of challenges during the past year, with service delivery delays caused by maintenance administration problems and temporary closures of the waste transfer station to allow for sanitising after employees tested positive for Covid-19. However, in general, the department was able to perform its function despite these difficulties and, apart from one or two occasions, waste removal and collection of recyclables took place as scheduled throughout the year.
Positive developments included the following:
· Finalisation of the closure plan for the landfill site and its acceptance by the relevant authorities, followed by the award of a contract for the closure work which should start early next year.
· The purchase of a chipper to handle the green waste, which had been accumulating at the waste transfer station. The chipped green waste is readily accepted by local farmers for mulching purposes and the accumulation problem has been eliminated.
· The purchase of two new compactor trucks, to supplement the existing fleet, improving the reliability of waste collection services, particularly during the holiday season, as well as a tipper truck, a skip truck and a front-end loader, to facilitate waste handling.
Construction work on the regional landfill site outside Mossel Bay was delayed by the imposition of the national lockdown at the beginning of April. Subsequently, the main private partner company withdrew from the project, causing further delays as alternative sources of funding were sought. This has still not been resolved and, whereas the new landfill site was expected to come into operation in January 2021, this is now unlikely to happen before 2022. Negotiations have taken place with the Mossgas refinery to allow the Garden Route District to extend their use of the Mossgas landfill site for a further year, until the regional landfill site has been commissioned.