- City of Cape Town Department of Solid Waste Management
- South Africa
Dinner time! On this winter’s eve you decide to make for yourself tomato soup. You start with two cans of tomato base, followed by a container of baby tomatoes, and finish it with a container of cream. As an environmentally conscious person you plan to recycle the two metal cans containing your base, the plastic container housing the tomatoes, and the small plastic container holding your cream. You separate these from your true waste and put them in a small bag destined for the recycling plant.
When it comes time for you to take out the trash you realize you have no idea where to dispose of your recycling collection. It’s easy enough to dispose of your true waste as every street has an abundance of bins destined for disposal at the nearest land fill. So where to put the recycling?
Still having a heart for the environment, you hold on to your small recycling bag. As bowls of tomato soup go by, your recycling bag grows bigger. After enough time this recycling bag has turned into an obtrusive structure in your home.
You realize that in the year 2009/2010 the city of Cape Town produced 1.6 million tons of waste! You’ve read on the City Of Cape Town’s Solid Waste Department’s website that of the six plots of land surrounding the city for land fill, only three are left and they are “quickly filling up.” You don’t want to contribute unnecessarily to the mountains off trash surrounding your beloved city!
Before too long you discover that there are actually twenty drop off sites for your recycling, placed not so strategically throughout the city. After driving to one of these spots you realize that recycling in the city of Cape Town is actually a not-so-efficient way of disposing of your waste. Even further, you realize that none of these drop-off sites are funded by the city’s government. In fact, all recycling drop off points in the city of Cape Town are privately funded. This simple fact is a testament to the heart of the people in this city.
That the city’s waste department can’t afford proper recycling provisions is a fallacy. More of our tax dollars go to funding “company holidays” and lavish private “conferences” than to bettering the life of those in the community. Is it not a simple enough suggestion to propose that everywhere there is a trash bin in the city destined for the land fill, right next to it sits one destined for the recycling plant?
It’s time we demand that our government take more responsibility for recycling in Cape Town. With the government’s funds behind it, recycling can become a simple, everyday activity in our lives.
Recycling is actually an inexpensive option to the statistics of our waste tonnage that will benefit the city by creating jobs and minimizing our waste, and the world at large, by preventing the need to extract resources from our planet only to bury them shortly thereafter in a landfill.