Learning from others about waste

Learning from others about waste

On 28 November 2023, following a request from Dr Tamlynn Fleetwood of Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) to do an information sharing session with the eThekwini Municipality of the KwaZulu–Natal province that includes the city of Durban and surrounding towns, Overstrand Municipality hosted officials from their Cleansing and Solid Waste, Parks, Recreation and Culture Departments as well as their Business Support Unit. Also in attendance was Mayoral Committee Member for the City of Cape Town, Alderman Grant Twigg.

The visit formed part of a Zero Waste municipal learning exchange to help the officials to collate views to understand what each municipality is doing to divert waste from landfill and the costs associated with such projects.

In his welcoming address, Councillor Clinton Lerm, Overstrand Mayco Member of Investment, Infrastructure and Tourism, stated that such visits are a valuable way to share information and enhance knowledge for all involved.

Each eThekwini Department provided the Overstrand with an informative overview of how and what they are doing to improve waste management and reduce pollution to increase the lifespan of their landfills.

Working towards a zero-waste to landfill, the eThekwini Municipality partnered with the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Urban Futures Centre as well as the non-profit organisations, groundWork and Asiye eTafuleni, to improve waste management practices in and around Durban, focusing specifically on the informal fresh produce markets as this is a significant portion of organic waste that is generated in the area.

Input was also received from Dr Tamlynn Fleetwood of DUT, who explained how the organic waste of the early morning street market of Warwick in Durban, is used near its source at the botanical garden to generate compost.

She said the goal of the Warwick Zero Waste Project is to create an easy to replicate pilot project so that more large informal markets commonly found in Africa, can use it to get to the zero waste to landfill. She also explained how waste pickers and SMME’s can benefit from this model to improve quality of life while sustaining themselves.

Craig Mitchell, Overstrand Municipality’s Manager of Solid Waste Planning then shared a presentation on the Overstrand waste diversion initiatives including Chipping, composting, recycling, soil and builder’s rubble diversion.

Following on after the presentations, there was extensive discussion about changing the behaviour of the communities regarding recycling, illegal dumping and costs thereof both positive and negative.

The educational visit closed with site visits to showcase the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), the public drop-off facility and Garden Waste Site in Hermanus as well as the Karwyderskraal Regional Landfill composting facility and a second privately operated composting facility.

The visit to the second composting facility was a fitting end to a very productive day. There it was demonstrated that a well managed compost windrow be utilised to heat water in an environmentally friendly manner by using


The delegation from the eThekwini Municipality in the KwaZulu–Natal was accompanied by Overstrand Mayco Member of Investment, Infrastructure and Tourism, Cllr Clinton Lerm, CoCT’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Ald Grant Twigg.
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