Thaba Chweu Local Municipality (TCLM) due to their own mismanagement were experiencing problems in collecting and transporting the town’s refuse to the landfill site during early January 2018. I was part of a Sabie resident contingent that assisted in getting the towns refuse consolidated to a central point as TCLM had not collected for two weeks. TCLM then further removed the refuse to the local landfill site west of Simile.
While loading and unloading the refuse bags I observed some interesting and troubling aspects of refuse removal and disposal thereof. One aspect and perhaps the main one is, it’s at best an unpleasant task. Many of us do not think twice about what we place in the refuse bags: disposable nappies, sharp objects, broken glass, blood-tainted cling wrap and Styrofoam.
Another aspect was the volume of refuse some households had placed for removal. Some families are more than just two occupants and pro-rata may produce more refuse. What was troubling, is that in some instances the large volume was made up of garden refuse which included soil, the property owner’s land was being thrown away! Also, garden refuse is placed in black bags and disguised with normal refuse which is in contradiction to municipal regulations.
We need to consider the following: what is refuse (garbage, waste, rubbish, litter or junk)? Anything you bring/buy onto your property unless borrowed actually belongs to you. Thus refuse is a product produced by you and your family. When purchasing produce we expect a neatly packaged/presented item. Let us dispose of it neatly with consideration to end users and the environment.
Many of us Sabians already practice recycling to a varying degree and I was pleasantly surprised to see many residents had separated items such as plastic soft drink and bottled water containers into a separate black bag. Likewise, an unpleasant product, used disposable nappies, were all placed in one bag and not mixed with other possible recycle items. The consideration is appreciated.
Part of the recycle awareness program would be to conduct information exchange sessions whereby not only home and business owners may attend but charladies, garden assistants and employees will be invited.
Anyone with positive ideas is welcome to share with me and all Sabie residents. Please contact Richard Quinnell on 079 150 7749 or firstname.lastname@example.org.