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Businesses urged to do their part to reduce organic waste by 50% by the end of the year

The Organics Recycling Association of SA chairperson Melanie Ludwig said that annually, more than three tons of organic waste end up in landfills in the Western Cape. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

The Organics Recycling Association of SA chairperson Melanie Ludwig said that annually, more than three tons of organic waste end up in landfills in the Western Cape. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 12, 2022

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Cape Town - The Organics Recycling Association of SA, with the City of Cape Town, has appealed to all large organic waste generators to register with the City and submit their integrated waste management plans.

Last year, the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning announced that an organic waste landfill ban was to be implemented which required a 50% reduction in organic waste going to landfill by the end of this year, and a 100% reduction by 2027 for all municipalities.

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Spokesperson Rudolf Van Jaarsveldt said this was being done to protect limited available landfill airspace, reduce the environmental impacts of this waste type, and encourage the beneficiation of organic waste as a resource.

The Organics Recycling Association of SA chairperson Melanie Ludwig said: “Annually, more than three tons of organic waste end up in landfills in the Western Cape.

“Not only is this waste taking up scarce landfill space, but organic waste produces environmentally harmful greenhouse gases when landfilled, which contribute to climate change,” Ludwig said.

She said the City took a proactive role in promoting the recycling of organic waste, to divert it from the two remaining landfill sites in Cape Town.

“What many businesses are not aware of is that, under the City of Cape Town Integrated Waste Management by-law, all waste generators – producing business and industrial waste – are required to register and submit an integrated waste management plan to the City,” Ludwig said.

Mayco member for Urban Waste Management, Grant Twigg, said the City was developing capacity to monitor compliance with this section of the by-law. This included building databases of those who generated the categories of waste that this provision applied to, as well as building capacity to monitor and enforce.

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“Unfortunately, as the database is still being developed, it is not yet possible to give a percentage of those who are compliant or non-compliant. However, feedback from the By-law enforcement Unit, to date, indicates that the vast majority of commercial waste generators have a waste management plan in place,” Twigg said.

Organics Recycling Association of South Africa chairperson Melanie Ludwig said 22 495 households in Cape Town received free home composting bins and were composting food and garden waste in their backyards, but the real difference would be seen when large organic waste generators, such as retailers, restaurants, hotels and big food producers, source-separated food waste and signed up to have the waste collected and processed into compost. Picture: Supplied

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