Letter to the Mayor

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Dear Honourable Mayor

It was with a sense of relief (rather than celebration) that I read your recent “Update on Refuse Removal” detailing the end of the municipal strike and the encouragement of community based recycling projects.

I do, however, feel that the recycling buck is being passed by you to the community. You are correct in your knowledge that the community has to buy into the recycling programme and we all welcome your plan to encourage community based recycling projects. Unfortunately though, the establishment of some kind of an umbrella programme has to be implemented at a municipal level – one that can be financially and environmentally sustainable. A programme that will attract the community level recyclers with financial or (in the case of those not looking for financial reward) environmental conscience incentives. A programme that will ensure separation, distribution and re-processing of as many waste products as possible.

I have read of the “Status Quo of Waste Recyclers” paragraphs in the Integrated Waste Management Plan on the makana.gov website, which is dated August 2017, and to which you refer in your press release. In this section, I found the following of interest: “Makana LM initiated a two-bag voluntary system, to promote household separation, and to support this, there are plans to pull a trailer with the compactor truck during collection, so that all the sorted recycable material is collected separately and can immediately be delivered at the designated centres.” How is this programme doing? Is the trailer being used? Why is only one trailer mentioned, when the fleet database in the same document lists three compactors in Grahamstown? Where are the education programmes to encourage people to use this system?

Also mentioned in the Waste Management plan to which you refer us to in the press release, is the Integrated Waste and Recycling Services (IWARS) programme being the “lead reclaimers and recyclers in Makana LM”. According to a February 2019 article in the Grocott’s Mail, “None of the IWARS units in Grahamstown are operating.”

I feel that this “UPDATE on Refusal Removal” is not an UPDATE at all, as it contains outdated, dolled up information designed to fool the public.

The establishment of a working recycling programme falls squarely on your shoulders, and not the grassroots level community. Until such a workable programme is instituted by the municipality, your vision of Makhanda being the cleanest city in the province remains rather far-fetched.

David Stoloff
Interested Makhanda Resident

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