Behaviour change needed to tackle waste management
Currently, only 10% of waste in South Africa is recycled. As our population grows, so the increase of waste generated highlights the inadequate nature of existing waste management services – leading to an increasingly polluted environment in which South African’s are forced to live.
During the Johannesburg Waste Summit recently, Mayor of Johannesburg Parks Tau said: “By collaborating with stakeholders we are working to make Johannesburg a resilient, sustainable and liveable city. Waste management is a big problem in our city and through this summit we hope all stakeholders will come together to look at ways to transform how we deal with waste in the city.”
Johannesburg residents were also encouraged by the Mayor to generate less by reusing waste, and separating it at source to facilitate recycling. The Mayor also highlighted the necessity of looking at other waste management trends and assisting with the establishment of cooperatives to drive the collection of waste and recyclables.
REDISA (Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa), through the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan (IITWTMP) is setting the trend – having already found that there is worth in waste and is realising the value in waste tyres specifically.
According to the Green Jobs Report from the Industrial Development Corporation, South Africa’s green economy could create 460 000 new jobs by 2025. With the unemployment rate at an all-time high in South Africa, and government looking for new ways to create job opportunities, it’s vitally important that private enterprise creates a new breed of entrepreneurs. While the informal sector has managed to put bread on the table for many South Africans, there is a clear demand for more innovation and skills in the entrepreneurship sphere.
REDISA is making significant headway towards ensuring that South Africa is clear of all tyre waste and in the process is assisting with government’s mandate of creating jobs. Currently this is being achieved through the development of infrastructure required to collect waste tyres from across South Africa and delivering them to approved recyclers – for the first time guaranteeing a consistent supply of raw material essential for the successful development of the new formalised recycling industry.
REDISA believes that one must recognise the importance of entrepreneurship as an economic driver and poverty eradicator. “What we need to be focusing on is pairing both entrepreneurial spirit and finding solutions to the many challenges and problems that we face as a country and a continent. We should also particularly recognise the opportunities which lie in our own industry, the green economy, for all those who are able to create and identify sustainable solutions and reduce our carbon footprint in the world, “says Davidson.
As part of contributing to the growth and development of the country, REDISA is building a viable and sustainable waste management industry, focusing on tyre recycling initially and educating communities about turning waste into worth. By changing the country’s mind set, waste will be recognised as a sustainable resource for economic development and sustainability.
In the coming months the REDISA team will continue to meet and converse with entrepreneurs to discuss solutions to the many challenges being faced in terms of developing these new small business owners. REDISA aims to create a true balance between government requirements, environmental sustainability and industry ambition, through its waste management system by contributing to the economy and creating jobs in the process.
Source: Africa Environment
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