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Waste management headache

DELAYS in the re-opening of the R2-million refurbished Kragga Kamma transfer station are causing problems for residents in the area.Ward 9 DA councillor Heinrich Muller said that illegal dumping has dramatically increased, making the area a health and safety hazard.According to Muller, strikes in the steel industry, rain and bad weather were some of the reasons for the delays in construction, while delays to the opening were due to the municipality awaiting approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs.

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“It has been a headache since the closure as people need to travel much further to have access to a transfer site. Unfortunately illegal dumping has increased dramatically, not only in my ward, but also the surrounding wards,” Muller said.

 A community member who wished to remain anonymous said he had suffered financially because of the closed refuse station. “I have to travel to other areas to dispose of my rubbish every week. This is financially crippling considering the petrol price today. I’ve seen people and businesses illegally dumping trash. If the municipality doesn’t do anything soon, this area will be filthy,” he said.

In June 2012 the municipality was reprimanded by the provincial Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism for poor management of the Kragga Kamma waste site.

This led to the then public health director, Dr Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni, requesting the site be closed while it was upgraded to comply with the waste licence conditions.

The municipality (according to local news reports) was allocated only R6-million for waste management in the whole metro in the draft 2012/13 budget, while R132-million was needed.

Municipal spokesman Roland Williams said the situation had improved as the council had provided funding for the purchase of trucks to be used in increasing the frequency of collection in low-income areas over a three-year period.

The waste management operating budget for the 2014/15 financial year had drastically improved to R423-million, with R1,5-million of that set aside for the operation at the Kragga Kamma drop-off site.

“The major problem being experienced by residents is that refuse collection in low-income areas is only done once every two weeks. The frequency of collection has been increased as of March 30 to a weekly service in the Ibhayi area and other areas will follow in due course.

“There are 19 formal transfer stations in Nelson Mandela Bay, which generate about 49 000 tons of waste a year,” Wiliams said.

Although he could not specify when the Kragga Kamma site would re-open, he explained that the site would not only operate as a drop-off Centre for garden refuse and bulky waste, but would before the end of this year operate as a recycling station where members of the public could drop off their recyclable materials.

Although many challenges were experienced with illegal dumping, the metro was still seen as one of the cleanest cities in the country, he said.

“We have prepared and approved a comprehensive strategy to eliminate illegal dumping. Once the strategy has been fully implemented, visible changes will be noticed.”

Source: News 24


 

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DEA launches environmental projects in Umtshezi

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has launched Community Parks and Street Cleaning projects worth R13.8m in Umtshezi, KwaZulu-Natal.
The projects was recently announced by the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson. It is anticipated that the implementation of these projects will create at least 235 work opportunities. This entails amongst others employing 160 women, 160 youths and people living with disability.
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The DEA, through its Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme, funded the Working on Waste, Working for the Coast, Working for Land, People and Parks, Wildlife Economy, Youth Environmental Services, and Greening and Open Space Management programmes. These projects are aimed at creation of job opportunities, small business development and skills development through labour-intensive methods.

Rehabilitation of parks

The Umtshezi Community Parks and Street Cleaning projects involve the rehabilitation of community parks and planting of trees in and around Umtshezi local municipality. The projects aim to restore, enhance and rehabilitate open spaces, thereby maximising measures towards pollution mitigation.

Through the Umtshezi Community Parks Project, the DEA will build parking bays, plant grass and provide general landscaping as well as ablution facilities. In addition, existing fencing to the parks will be refurbished.

The Umtshezi Street Cleaning Project, which is implemented as part of the Department’s Working for Waste Programme, the DEA is making a colossal contribution to the municipality to carry out basic solid waste management operations. These include collection and safe disposal of waste, hence the purchasing of skip and concrete bins.

Thomson urged members of the community, as beneficiaries of these projects, to take ownership of the projects by ensuring that they are kept clean and well maintained.

Source: Bizcommunity

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Johannesburg named the country’s ‘greenest’ metro

The City of Johannesburg, whose environmental policy innovations include an integrated waste management plan that covers all relevant environmental legislation, has been named the country’s most environment-friendly metropolitan municipality in the Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA’s) fourth Greenest Municipality Competition (GMC).

The Mogalakwena municipality, in Limpopo, was named the winner in the local municipality category, boasting waste management efforts that included discouraging the use of bottled water and exploiting digital media to communicate with the public.

The City of Johannesburg and the Mogalakwena municipality would each receive R3.5-million in prize money, which would be used for projects and activities that enhanced the DEA’s green agenda, were aligned with the aims of the GMC and were implemented in terms of the Expanded Public Works Programme.

First runner-up in the metropolitan municipality category, Nelson Mandela Bay, in the Eastern Cape, was awarded R3-million, while second runner-up, Buffalo City, in the Eastern Cape, would receive R2.5-million.

In the local municipality category, first runner-up Umhlathuze, in KwaZulu-Natal, was awarded R3-million, while second runner-up Nkomazi, in Mpumalanga, would receive R2.5-million.

Announcing the winners of the yearly competition at an award ceremony in Limpopo, on Wednesday, EnvironmentalAffairs Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson said the competition, which was first introduced in 2001, aimed to raise awareness on issues around environmental protection, social upliftment and economic growth.

The competition accommodated developments within the greening movement and considered elements such as energy efficiency and conservation, water management, landscaping, tree planting and beautification, public participation and community empowerment, leadership and institutional arrangements.

“The reality of the matter is that actions to fight and curb [climate change and human-induced climatic conditions] should start at local government level. If the municipalities’ integrated development plans incorporate measures to address this, we can be assured of tackling the problem successfully in the end, no matter how long it takes,” Thomson commented

Source: Engineering News


 

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