BCM looks to Sweden for help with handling its solid waste

Two waste management projects will soon be implemented in Buffalo City Metro as a result of a newly established partnership between the city, the national Department of Environmental Affairs and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

Municipal service portfolio head councillor Helen Neale-May said council had approved a visit by a team from BCM and the Department of Environmental Affairs to Sweden between December 9 to 17 to finalise the implementation plan.

The projects will be funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, which has already committed R1-million to BCM to kickstart the projects.

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch yesterday, Neale-May said: “We recently came back from a study tour in Sweden. We worked in the agency’s offices and we finalised the plan to be implemented in BCM. The actual projects will start mid-2018 as we are busy with phase 1, which is putting everything together.”

While the finer details of the projects were still under wraps for now, Neale-May said the aim of the waste management projects was to start with the minimising of waste at home.

“From homes it should move to outside the homes, in supermarkets. I have already engaged with Spar and they are interested. There are no waste sites in Sweden.

“Most of their waste goes towards energy – the whole country is like that.

“We definitely want to implement recycling in BCM.

“You can’t keep sending waste like batteries to waste sites. This is about waste minimisation.”

The two projects are:

lA zero-waste strategy for the diversion of certain waste streams for landfill disposal that also aims to minimise generation of greenhouse gases resulting from the disposal of such wastes;

lA household hazardous waste management project to ensure that the hazardous waste generated at household level is separated from other general waste collected by the metro.

Acting head of municipal services Kholekile Tapile said the Department of Environmental Affairs had identified BCM as one of six municipalities around the country with which it would work to implement the two waste management pilot programmes.

“The department of solid waste management services welcomed the proposed programmes as these will assist the department in ensuring compliance with the recently promulgated National Norms and Standards for disposal of waste by landfill. These norms and standards require municipalities to prohibit landfill disposal of the listed wastes within the listed time-frames.

“Also, although hazardous waste is generated at household level, BCM has no licensed waste management facility for hazardous waste. It is against this background that the department believes the programmes will be of value to BCM,” Tapile added. — mamelag@dispatch.co.za

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