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Western Cape to enforce 50% restriction on organic waste in landfills by 2022

31 July 2021 10:32 AM
Tags:
Food waste
Recycling
reducing food waste
Western Cape landfills
landfill sites
landfills
weekend breakfast
organic waste
The Organics Recycling Association of South Africa
Melanie Ludwig
Orasa
wet waste

Amy MacIver interviews recycling consultant Melanie Ludwig (The Organics Recycling Association of South Africa).

- Approximately 40% of all waste delivered to landfill in the Western Cape is organic waste

- The province will institute a 50% restriction on organic waste being disposed to landfill by 2022

- The aim is to reach a full prohibition of organic waste disposed to landfill by 2027


In the Western Cape, approximately 40% of all waste delivered to landfill is organic waste.

This is estimated to amount to more than 3-million tons every year.

The landfill ban of organic waste comes into effect in 2022 with a requirement of a 50% reduction and 100% reduction by 2027.

© gastas/123rf.com

Recycling consultant Melanie Ludwig (The Organics Recycling Association of South Africa) says there are 23 or 24 landfill sites in the Western Cape, a lot of which are nearing their end of life.

A lot of municipalities are running out of money to manage these sites.

They need to come up with diversion plans to divert waste from landfills.

Melanie Ludwig, Founding member - Organics Recycling Association of South Africa

In 2018, each municipality had to, based on levels of organic waste, put into place plans to divert this organic waste.

Melanie Ludwig, Founding member - Organics Recycling Association of South Africa

They are no longer going to be able to accept organic waste at the landfill sites.

Melanie Ludwig, Founding member - Organics Recycling Association of South Africa

We are going to have to rethink waste, Ludwig says.

She explains that organic waste is any organic material that will break down biologically.

That is anything that used to be alive - paper waste, wood waste, food waste, abattoir waste, sewerage sludge...

Melanie Ludwig, Founding member - Organics Recycling Association of South Africa

The real key to recycling is source separation... If we can remove especially food waste from the waste stream, the rest of the waste is actually fairly clean and much easier to recycle.

Melanie Ludwig, Founding member - Organics Recycling Association of South Africa

What is the best way to do this at home?

Ludwig recommends the three bin system.

Your food waste should go into a 5-litre container lined with a paper bag.

This "wet" waste includes things like egg shells, coffee grounds and vegetable peelings, even paper towels.

You have a larger bucket like a 25-litre outside, where every second or third day you then empty your kitchen bucket into that is sealable, that you can treat with sawdust.

Melanie Ludwig, Founding member - Organics Recycling Association of South Africa

Then you have a larger bin for your dry recycling - plastic, paper, glass and tins. (Rinse all your packaging first)

Melanie Ludwig, Founding member - Organics Recycling Association of South Africa

And a much smaller bag for your landfill which would be things that are not recyclable like lightbulbs, cling wrap, tin foil... contaminated waste.

Melanie Ludwig, Founding member - Organics Recycling Association of South Africa

The best option for your food waste is to do home composting.

Ludwig recommends visiting the City of Cape Town's website to find out about the provision of free composting kits.

She says they're trying to get municipalities to open up their recycling drop-off points to food waste for residents who are unable to home compost.

Overseas they collect the food waste along with the garden waste to be taken for industrial composting at a larger site.

Melanie Ludwig, Founding member - Organics Recycling Association of South Africa

Find more information at orasa.org.za.

Scroll to the top of the article for the audio to listen to the interview with Ludwig




31 July 2021 10:32 AM
Tags:
Food waste
Recycling
reducing food waste
Western Cape landfills
landfill sites
landfills
weekend breakfast
organic waste
The Organics Recycling Association of South Africa
Melanie Ludwig
Orasa
wet waste

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