This month another milestone in the roll out of waste minimisation in our country is reached, when Cape Town’s northern suburbs join the Think Twice curb-side recycling initiative to have their domestic recyclables collected and transported to a nearby materials recovery centre.
Altogether 38 000 new households from Welgemoed to Kraaifontein, north of the N1, will now benefit from the curb-side collection of household recyclables by the waste minimisation company WastePlan.
All clean recyclable plastics, glass, paper, cardboard and cans will be transported to the newly completed Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Kraaifontein Integrated Waste Management Facility.
The Kraaifontein Integrated Waste Management Facility is the first comprehensive waste management facility comprising a drop-off centre, a MRF for clean recyclables, a Refuse Transfer Station (RTS) for dirty, or wet waste and a garden refuse and chipping area, altogether on one site.
First integrated system in SA
‘The integrated system of the Kraaifontein plant is the first in South Africa and the biggest in the southern hemisphere,’ said Deon Kotze, senior foreman.
This is also where the country’s first mechanical sorting conveyor technology, designed and built by Akura, a manufacturing company from nearby Paarl, will speed up and refine the sorting process and improve the working conditions for the onsite workers.
Recyclables arriving at the MRF are fed onto the new electronic conveyor belt up to a platform, where staff members manually pick out specific materials, which they then drop into a container below. From there it continues along another conveyor belt to be compacted or crushed and transported for recycling.
For participating residents, all clean recyclable domestic waste will be collected from their homes in a special new wheelie bin with a green lid. Bins must be collected free of charge from the following walk-in centres: Kraaifontein municipal offices, Durbanville municipal offices or the Bloemhof Centre, taking along their municipal utility bill and ID. Only mixed clean recyclables should be deposited into these bins. Residents will receive a free leaflet listing all recyclable and non-recyclable materials, plus a number to call in case anything is not clear.
Each bin contains a tracker chip which is scanned when it’s collected. Each time the contents of a bin is tipped into the new truck, it will be scanned again. This way Wasteplan will know who is participating and who is not. Collectors will also look into the bins and refuse those with dirty waste. If bins aren’t used or if recycling is not done properly, a red sticker on the bin will warn the household,’ said Bertie Lourens, Managing Director of Wasteplan.
Residents living in the peri-urban and farmland areas within the boundaries of the City of Cape Town, who are not serviced because their access roads are not tarred, are entitled to deliver their clean and garage waste for free at the drop-off centre. Non-hazardous, dry, domestic waste as well as garden waste, motor oil and e-waste is permitted at the drop-off facility. Hazardous materials such as asbestos, diesel, acids, fluorescents and batteries are not welcome. However, clean building waste can also be disposed there.
‘At the garden refuse area under 1.3 tons per day can be delivered by a Cape Town resident for free. Dropping off waste more than once a day, or using a vehicle with a carrying capacity of more than 1.3 tons will require a coupon. Gardening services are permitted to use the drop-off three times a day for free,’ says Rapheal Martin, senior superintendent of the Kraaifontein Integrated Waste Management Facility.
From the drop-off point, recyclable materials are taken to Wasteplan’s MRF and the non-recyclables are moved to the Refuse Transfer Station. Before transporting waste to landfill, non-recyclables are compacted. ‘Space on a landfill is extremely valuable,’ Kotze said. The Kraaifontein facility currently uses the Bellville landfill, but it is expected to be full to capacity within the next two years. After that, non-recyclables will have to be transported all the way to Vissershok.
‘If people sorted their waste properly, very few items would have to go to landfill. In fact 90% of waste to landfill could have been recycled.’
‘We want to encourage people to recycle. It’s about changing mindsets. The City of Cape Town, in partnership with Wasteplan, leads by example and is the first to make a success of the integrated approach. We are educating people and showing them what can be done,’ Martin said.