All residents of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) area are urged to participate in the metros All Hands on Waste Campaign that is currently being rolled out – it is easier than you may think!

With natural resources rapidly depleting and landfills getting fuller by the day, it is up to each of us to do what we can to reverse these effects and ensure a clean, healthy environment for ourselves, and for generations to come.

This is the message of the All Hands on Waste Campaign, an exciting project aimed at giving practical, easy-to-understand waste management information to households in the Metro.  ‘This programme is funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs and implemented by the East London IDZ on behalf of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.

“Recycling is simple”

“Many people hear the word ‘recycling’ and think it’s a complicated and a time-consuming process,” says BCMM Community Services Portfolio Head Councillor Nomfezeko Ngesi. “But the truth is, recycling is simply the act of disposing of items correctly, once they can no longer be used by the household,” continues cllr Ngesi. “Absolutely everyone can recycle and the smallest effort makes a huge difference.”

“With the implementation and role-out of this programme we fully expect to win the war on waste in Buffalo City,” says Nosi Sikweyiya from BCMM Waste Minimization unit.

Colour-coded System

The All Hands on Waste Campaign will be implementing a colour-coded waste separation system within selected wards during this initial pilot phase, and urge the public to get involved and be proactive about the waste they create. To facilitate this, households will be given three different-coloured bags to keep their waste separate.

Clear Bag – The clear bag should be used for all material that can be recycled – in other words, processed and made into something else. This includes paper, cardboard, glass, metal (cans) and plastic, including plastic shopping bags. The public are to ensure that these materials are rinsed prior to putting these into the clear bags.  All the recyclable materials collected will be transferred to the Oriental Plaza Buyback centre where it will be further processed in the recycling value chain.  The BBC will be opened to the public at a later stage of the project and the public will be informed.

Green Bag – The green bag supplied should be used to dispose of organic waste; anything that decomposes naturally. This includes fruit and vegetable waste, kitchen waste such as tea bags and coffee grinds, and waste from the garden.  All the organic waste will be transferred to the composting facilities that will be located in Mdantsane and the ELIDZ.  The compost produced will be used for organoponics (a process of growing ‘organic’ low carbon food).  The food produced will be sold back to the communities where the waste is being sourced as well as to organic food markets.  The surplus compost will also be sold back to the community for use in their gardens.

Black Bag – The black bags should be used for all other municipal waste that cannot be recycled and won’t decompose naturally. These black bags should be put out on a different day in accordance with the municipal schedule and as detailed in the pamphlet to be handed to the householders targeted in this pilot phase.  According to Cllr Ngesi, separating household waste into three different bags is a habit, which once formed, is incredibly easy to maintain.

“Other ways household members can get involved include keeping their own area and community clean,” adds Cllr Ngesi. “Also by reducing their energy consumption, not littering in any way and ultimately – learning to make less waste in the first place.”

Roadshows will be held in the selected wards, schools as well as door-to-door campaigns.  Students from the Department of Environmental Affairs Youth in Waste Programme will be used to conduct the door-to-door campaigns and will be identifiable with their uniform, a t-shirt branded with the department’s logo and identification badge.  They will be informing the households about the project and also collecting huseholders’ information such as cellphone numbers to be utilised for SMS campaigns about the project.

For more information on the project and to find out collection times for different East London suburbs, members of the public are invited to contact BCM Waste Directorate on (043) 721 1969.

Caption – Students from the Department of Environmental Affairs Youth in Waste Programme will be used to conduct door-to-door campaigns to encourage households to recycle their waste. The participants will be identifiable with their uniform, a t-shirt branded with the department’s logo and identification badge.  They will be informing the households about the project and also collecting householders’ information such as cellphone numbers to be utilised for SMS campaigns about the project.  For more information on the project and to find out collection times for different East London suburbs, members of the public are invited to contact BCM Waste Directorate on (043) 721 1969.