City of Joburg warns of penalties over failure to recycle
From 1 July, Joburg residents will have to wash their recyclable refuse, separate it from other waste and dispose of it in a clear bag provided by the city.
JOHANNESBURG - The City of Joburg says residents won’t be fined immediately for failing to comply with the new recycling project, but penalties are inevitable.
From Sunday (1 July), Joburg residents will have to wash their recyclable refuse, separate it from other waste and dispose of it in a clear bag provided by the city.
WATCH: Joburg’s waste woes: Trash vs treasure
Recycling is the new reality for Joburg residents, this is the message from the City of Johannesburg. But what about those against the initiative?
MMC for Environmental Affairs Nico de Jager says the city will have to impose penalties in the near future to compel those refusing to comply.
“The response from our residents has been very positive. There’s definitely an appetite, right now, because suddenly our residents realise our oceans are being polluted by what we’re doing in Johannesburg.”
But for now, the focus will only be on getting residents into a new habit with just six years left before all the city’s landfill sites reach maximum capacity.
The City of Joburg says its new recycling project will create healthier and safer conditions for waste pickers, which will ultimately make their job easier.
Thousands of waste pickers, who make a living out of exchanging recyclables for money, fear they might be pushed out of business.
De Jager says they want private companies to get on board and sponsor protective gear and trollies for waste pickers
“We’ll also be looking into having mobile mini-buyback centres coming to the reclaimers. At this point in time, reclaimers are expected to travel quite a distance.”
Waste pickers at the largest dump site in the city, the Robinson Deep Landfill, are exposed to several health risks, mostly as a result of not wearing masks or gloves while rifling through rubbish.
Maxwell Zungu has been working at this site for seven years, he says although the risks are high, it’s the only way to survive.
“You get used to it. I know it’s so many risks each and every day.”
Pikitup has urged waste pickers to form a formal group, so the city can better engage them as the project rolls out.
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)