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Over the past two years it has been largely the affluent areas of Durban that have been recycling their waste.
Recycling suburbs include areas such as Kloof, Hillcrest, uMhlanga, La Lucia and Durban North.
This is according to eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Solid Waste head Raymond Rampersad, who said even though the city did not have the orange bags for recyclables, residents of these areas were putting their recyclables in other bags and these were collected by the city.
“We are still awaiting the appointment of a contractor to manufacture and deliver orange bags,” he said.
According to the National Environmental Management Act (Nema) of 1998, waste is to be avoided, or where it cannot be altogether avoided, minimised and reused or recycled where possible, or otherwise disposed of in a responsible manner.
The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) had set goals to divert 25% of recyclables from landfill sites for re-use, recycling or recovery; and for all metropolitan municipalities, secondary cities and large towns to have initiated separation-at-source programmes by 2016.
The strategy had also set a goal for 80% of municipalities to have been running local awareness programmes by 2016.
eThekwini Municipality provides waste management services to more than 1million formal and informal households, but not all residents had been receiving the orange bags.
“The programme includes all formal households and we are working on a plan to be implemented for a staggered rollout of the orange bags in the informal areas.
“The unit will appreciate it if areas that are not receiving bags notify the department,” said Rampersad.
According to Statistics South Africa, from 2002 to 2016 there was little improvement in the number of households receiving solid waste management in KZN.
Rampersad said, however, the numbers had grown in eThekwini over this period from around 750 000 to 120 0000 households.
“There are about 465 000 informal and 735 000 formal households,” he said.
He added that the formal households paid for these services and the informal households did not.
Rampersad said eThekwini had four landfill sites: Illovo, Buffelsdraai, Mariannhill and Bisasar.
“Bisasar has had some of the waste redirected because it has reached capacity. It is not completely closed. We are now looking at other ways to re-engineer the Mariannhill site, which is also nearing capacity,” he said.
The Bisasar landfill turned methane gas from the chemical reactions in the dump into enough electricity to supply 1000 suburban homes and accepted selected waste streams, such as garden refuse.
About 60 schemes like this already exist in South Africa.
Rampersad said the city was in the process of securing another landfill site.