Residents in Thohoyandou and Sibasa are becoming eco-friendly, thanks to a new campaign called Separation at Source which aims to see environmental waste reduced and reducing the unemployment rate. Plastic manufacturing company, Safripol sponsored Limpopo’s Thulamela Municipality with 200 waste separation bins worth over R160,000.
According to Gert Claasen, Technology and Innovation Executive from Safripol, “There is a huge need to support recycling, especially in rural areas where the waste management is not well serviced or prioritized. We are committed to helping uplift communities and stimulating income generation wherever we can,” he said.
The handover of the bins was on the 4th of March 4 and was overseen by PETCO in collaboration with the municipality and departments of Economic Development, and Environment, Forestry and Fisheries. The colour-coded bins, green (glass), yellow (plastics), blue (paper) and red (cans) will be placed at schools and municipal offices in the two towns, allowing residents to separate out their household waste for the first time. This means that that only waste which cannot be recycled will end up in the municipality’s landfills.
In turn, the municipality will be able to allow recycling collectors access to the separation of waste bins, creating much-needed recycling income opportunities in the area. “We have partnered with recycling collectors within the municipality who will remove the bins when they are full,” said Vhutshilo Revele,Thulamela Municipality Superintendent of Waste Management.
Belinda Booker, Collections and Training Project Manager from PETCO added that the support came at a time when the municipality could not afford the separation bins, which are a first for the area. “Partnerships with government at all levels is key to unlocking meaningful strategies to address waste reduction behaviour in South Africa. The knock-on effect is that the environment will be less polluted, in addition to which the project will also bring more attention to recycling as a source of income,” she said.
As part of its mission to empower municipalities throughout South Africa to recycle more, PETCO reached out to Thulamela Municipality in 2019. “The municipality explained that they lacked the budget to embark on waste separation at source initiative within Thohoyandou and Sibasa,” concluded Booker.