The City of Cape Town’s upcoming ban on organic waste in landfill is on track thanks to successful projects like the Langa Organic Waste Diversion Project.
Langa, South Africa (01 June 2022) – Things are looking really good in Langa where about 10 tons of organic waste has been diverted from landfill thanks to a new project. This in the wake of the looming organic waste ban by the City of Cape Town.
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 in Cape Town.
Annually devastating amounts 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.
While implementing the ban, the City also launched projects that will assist with organic waste, so there is somewhere for the waste to go. The Langa Organic Waste Diversion Project was launched and has been successful to date.
According to the City, approximately 10 tons of organic waste has been diverted from landfills since November 2021 to create compost for local feeding schemes. This project involves collecting waste from five fruit and veg traders, and transporting it to a composting facility, where it is beneficiated for use by local food gardens.
They are currently scaling up the project to reach even more people. Approximately 400 households have been recruited through local schools to participate in this project, and from the beginning of the new school term they are being requested to separate their organic waste for the benefit of local feeding schemes. EPWP workers will be operating bicycle-drawn trailers, which will be used to collect the organic waste.
Those employed to the project are responsible for collecting the organic waste and processing it over a duration of time to convert it into usable compost.
‘Landfills are surprisingly big contributors to carbon emissions and climate change. When organic waste breaks down in a landfill, it produces landfill gas. This gas, made up primarily of methane, is understood to have a global warming potential 25 times higher than carbon dioxide.
‘Diverting organic waste to composting programmes avoids the production of landfill gas, and can also help the food gardens that feed so many of our most marginalised residents. Whatever angle you look at this project from, it is a win for the people of Cape Town,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Alderman Grant Twigg.
Projects like these can change communities throughout South Africa, creating jobs and affordable, locally produced compost. The more communities request these types of services, the better our planet does in the long run. Plus we all get to have happier soil and gardens too!