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22 March 2024 Media Release: Empowering Communities through Waste Management: A Celebration of Global Recycling Day

Media Release: Empowering Communities through Waste Management: A Celebration of Global Recycling Day

For Immediate Release
22 March 2024

In honour of Global Recycling Day, on Monday, 18 March 2024, the Waste Management Section of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), in collaboration with Mossel Bay Municipality, arranged a Global Recycling Day: Handover Waste Characterisation event. This gathering not only celebrated the ethos of recycling but also recognised the diligent efforts of participants involved in the GRDM Waste Characterisation Project in Mossel Bay over the past months.

Nombuyiselo Majola, the representative of Mossel Bay Municipality, commended the participants for their commitment to the ‘War on Waste,’ acknowledging the challenges they faced in sorting through waste yet determined with unwavering dedication. “You took bags with waste, went through it; came across things that are smelly and not pleasant, but still you did not miss a day,” she said.

Following Majola’s address, Johan Gie, the GRDM Waste Manager, echoed into the significance of the Waste Characterisation Project and the invaluable contributions of the participants. He highlighted the importance of understanding waste composition in effective waste management strategies, emphasising that “a person cannot manage something if there isn’t knowledge of what is being managed.” Gie expressed gratitude to the participants for their role in providing essential data for informed decision-making regarding waste management initiatives.

During his presentation, Gie showed interesting insights collected from the project, such as the difference in waste composition between different socio-economic areas. He explained how the data collected, influenced strategic planning, such as implementing composting and recycling initiatives based on waste patterns observed in the different neighbourhoods through the study. “Because of the similar studies, we found a lot of organic waste came out of the lower-income areas, explaining that people who earn less, peel their own potatoes and vegetables and in general end-up with a lot of peels and organic waste. In contrast, where people in high-income areas reside, we saw that they tend to buy packets that’s already peeled and cut, which results in a lot of packaging waste” said Gie.

The event also featured a message of support from Charlotta Lamprecht, CEO of Henque Waste, situated in Mossel Bay. She shared the remarkable work her company does in recycling and waste management, inspiring the audience with tales of environmental ownership and community empowerment.  “I always tell people, we are working with waste, but we are not waste. We are proud of what we are doing; we are not stealing and we are not begging; we are working hard. Even though it is sometimes smelly and not good,” she said. Her message was powerfully driven with – if you throw-away you trash, it does not disappear, but it is where people like them comes in.

Participants of the Waste Characterisation Project, like Chriswell Sandile Nongezana and Monwabisi Matthews Sigxavu, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to learn and contribute to waste management efforts. “With what we have learn here, we can now teach our children and families at home on how to separate waste and how to practise recycle,” Monwabisi Matthews Sigxavu said

As a token of appreciation, all participants received certificates recognising their invaluable contributions, symbolising their role as champions in the ongoing battle against waste.

The Global Recycling Day: Handover Waste Characterisation event served as a emotional reminder of the collective responsibility we bear towards safeguarding our environment. Through community engagement, education, and strategic initiatives, the Garden Route District Municipality and Mossel Bay Municipality are paving the way towards a cleaner, greener future for generations to come.

The Programme was directed by Innocentia Sikweyiya, GRDM District Waste Management Officer who also coordinated the project.

Featured image caption: Participants and stakeholders of the Mossel Bay Municipality Waste Characterisation Project.