PICS: #WarwickZeroWaste Project pilots composting initiative at the Durban Botanic Gardens

Picture: The Urban Futures Centre

Picture: The Urban Futures Centre

Published Mar 28, 2023


The #WarwickZeroWaste project, an initiative stemming from a collaboration between the Durban University of Technology’s Urban Futures Centre (UFC), local NGOs Asiye Etafuleni, groundWork and GAIA Africa will be piloting an organic waste diversion and composting initiative at the Durban Botanic Gardens.

The #WarwickZeroWaste team, along with the Durban Botanic Gardens and the eThekwini Municipality Business Support Unit, will be implementing the project within the uMphafa area at Gardens.

The #WarwickZeroWaste team is working together with informal fresh produce traders and waste pickers within the Warwick Markets in Durban to collect organic waste and transport this waste to the composting site for processing into high-quality compost.

Picture: The Urban Futures Centre

The composting of organic waste reduces the amount of waste in landfills and combats climate change by reducing the amount of methane which would have been produced during decomposition of organic waste material.

The Urban Futures Centre said on Facebook that the site is “used for the pilot, is the perfect site for composting and by extension, combating climate change, for a number of reasons.”

The site’s gradient is completely flat, a feature not as common in Durban as one may think. The site is also adjacent to a permaculture garden, where the compost produced can contribute to food production and enhance the environmentally educational aspects of the existing design.

Picture: The Urban Futures Centre

The organic waste will only have to be transported around 2km from the markets to the gardens while the organic waste from the market is usually collected and transported by Durban Solid Waste to a landfill site over 80km away.

This will drastically reduce travel distances and carbon emissions stemming from the transportation of this waste.

One of the key aims of the project is to support initiatives which seek to integrate waste pickers into Durban’s broader waste management systems.

The UFC said that the “potential for green jobs in the diversion of waste and composting is exponential. As the team moves forward with up-scaling the diversion and composting pilot, we look forward to sharing more about the benefits, the process and the outcomes.”

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