File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
In response to councillor Xanthea Limberg’s reply in the Cape Times on February 7:

Dear Councillor Limberg, I have a constitutional right as a councillor to make inputs routinely in the course of my duties.

Since I last raised this matter in September, nothing seems to have happened.

The landfills at Bellville South, Coastal Park and Vissershok are fast nearing capacity.

Benchmarking the city against San Francisco would give them some longevity.

According to Cape Town Green Map and other sources, between 6 000 and 7 000 tons of waste is produced in the city each day.

To this we can add the immense quantity of plastic waste polluting our streams, rivers and oceans.

Over a year ago, Minister Edna Molewa announced the Source to Sea initiative to combat plastic pollution threatening freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Embracing the Source to Sea initiative is in our local and national interest.

Are we at present diverting 5000 tons or 80% of our waste from landfills as San Francisco is doing?

Seeing that the Integrated Waste Management Policy is being updated, it would have made sense not to kill off the motion, but as with my Integrated Development Plan motion, forward it to the councillors and officials overseeing that revision.

When the executive mayor announced the availability of 26 drop-off facilities for garden waste and builders’ rubble, at no fee, I immediately wrote to him to consider using helium-filled balloons to draw attention to these sites.

It is clear that many people do not know about them.

The entrance to Mew Way, for example, has become a massive dumping site.

While a lot is being done, a great deal more remains to be done to avert an impending crisis.

In my motion, I urged council to look at vermicomposting. MyNOKE in New Zealand process 150 000 tons of organic waste annually on 60ha of land to produce 30 000 tons of very valuable natural fertiliser.

The huge volume of wet diapers and sanitary pads, composted at high temperature, could be turned into pathogen-free compost. Toronto in Canada has much to teach us in this regard.

Joburg is ahead of us in requiring residents to separate waste at source.

Our focus needs to be on new measures and innovations to avert another crisis.

Environmental politics must hold sway.

Farouk Cassim

Century View

Cape Times