22 495 households in Cape Town have received free home composting bins, and more are encouraged to register; businesses are the next target for awareness about the looming organic waste ban.
Cape Town, South Africa (09 May 2022) – Organic waste is all the rage these days as more people take up gardening at home; however, landfill is still being overwhelmed by organic waste.
At the end of 2022, the Organic Waste Landfill Ban in the Western Cape will kick in, requiring a 50% reduction in organic waste going to landfills. The Organics Recycling Association of South Africa is actively marketing the new requirements regarding the management of organic waste to ensure valuable organic waste is saved from landfills.
While 22 495 households in Cape Town have received free home composting bins and are composting food and garden waste in their backyards, the real difference will be seen when large organic waste generators such as retailers, restaurants, hotels and big food producers source separate their food waste and sign up to have the waste collected and processed into compost. A single restaurant can produce up to 5 tons of food waste per month and a hotel between 10 and 20 tons per month.
Annually more than 3 tons of organic waste end up in landfills in the Western Cape. Not only is this waste taking up scarce landfill space, of which we are rapidly running out of, but organic waste produces environmentally harmful greenhouse gases when landfilled, which contribute to climate change. Given the rising costs of fertilisers in the world today, recovering nutrients from waste is also vital for sustainable, organic food production.
The City of Cape Town is an example of one municipality that has taken a proactive role in promoting the recycling of organic waste to divert it from the two remaining landfills in Cape Town, Vissershoek and Coastal Park landfill. Not only have they handed out free home composters to households, but they have established 20 recycling drop-offs scattered around the city where garden waste is chipped and sent for composting. In the near future, the Department of Solid Waste is hoping to open up 7 of these drop-offs to accept source-separated food waste from households and are piloting a community composting initiative in Langa in partnership with an NGO. Another trial underway is the collection and composting of food waste generated by informal traders through a contract with a private composting company.
What many businesses are not aware of is that under the City of Cape Town Integrated Waste Management By-law, 2009, all waste generators producing business and industrial waste are required to register and submit an integrated waste management plan to the City of Cape Town. These plans are required to include how organic waste will be source-separated (food waste, non-recyclable paper (e.g. paper towels) and garden waste), transported and processed into new products.
With the upcoming ban on organic waste to landfills being implemented at the end of this year, the City will be focusing on those businesses generating large amounts of organic waste, particularly retailers, restaurants, hotels and food processing factories.
It is not only up to municipalities in the Western Cape to put plans in place to divert organic waste from landfills but everyone who creates waste, both at home and at work, to do their bit to preserve our resources by recycling organic waste into compost that can feed our soil and prevent climate change. Landfills in the Western Cape will be completely closed to organic waste by 2027, so plans need to be made now to divert this waste for a better use.
The Organics Recycling Association of South Africa, along with the City of Cape Town, are appealing to all large organic waste generators to register with the City and submit their integrated waste management plans in order to fulfil the Western Cape’s 50% organics landfill ban at the end of 2022.
For households in Cape Town, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to order your free home composter and start composting today.
Businesses, please register with the City of Cape Town as a waste generator at http://web1.capetown.gov.za/web1/swma/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2Fweb1%2Fswma%2F
For assistance with compiling a waste management plan and finding organic waste service providers, please contact The Organics Recycling Association of South Africa on 083 696 5138 or email email@example.com. More information on the landfill ban and current members can be found on the website www.orasa.org.za.