Media Release: Reduce, reuse and replant – home composting project rolled out in Bitou
For Immediate Release
19 October 2020
Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) continues to roll our home composting projects throughout the Garden Route.
Home composting not only keeps material from overburdening landfill sites but also reduces transport costs of refuse removal services. An earlier waste characterisation study revealed that large quantities of organic waste still got transported from households and businesses in the Garden Route district. Since most landfills sites in the Garden Route are already closed or nearing their fully capacity, the GRDM initiated a home composting pilot project in 2018 to practically and gradually advocate and promote the reduction of organic waste from households going to landfills.
The home composting project aims to motivate the different councils to roll out this project to all households in the municipal areas, and thus extending the lifespans of landfills. After months of waiting due to COVID-19 restrictions, officials from the Bitou Municipality’s Waste Management section and residents from Bitou welcomed the rollout of the project.
A formal information and handover session took place on Wednesday, 14 October 2020. At the event, the Bitou Municipality’s Waste Management Manager, Mr Douglas Baartman, who officially open the session, expressed his Councils gratitude towards the GRDM for initiating the project in the Bitou municipal area. He also mentioned that residents responded in excitement and great numbers to the project – a lot of applications were received. In concluding he thanked the GRDM Waste Management team for their leadership role and guidance.
Mr Johan Gie, Waste Management Officer of the GRDM did an in-depth presentation about home composting, which was followed by a question and answering session. He discussed topics inclusive of benefits of home composting; what and what not to compost; how to compost; and the different types of composing. One of the highlights of the session was when participants were provided with established worm farms. In addition, each participant also received a troubleshooting guide and guidelines on composting; an electronic scale to record monthly waste diverted for composting, and datasheets to complete monthly statistics.
GRDM Municipal Waste Management section agreed with participants to complete monthly updates to enable the GRDM to monitor the progress of the project and capture data for future reference. The pilot project will run for a year and results from the study will be presented to Local Municipal Councils. In this report, the exact quantities of organic waste diverted from landfills with the assistance and buy-in from households and businesses will be listed.
Considering that 30% – 40% of the normal household black bag waste contains organic waste originating from the garden and kitchen, the project will seek to change these worrying numbers. Composting is a simple, environmentally friendly and cheap way to add nutrient-rich humus to fuel plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil.