A City of Johannesburg Press Statement by
the MMC for Environment Infrastructure Services, Cllr Nico de Jager
MMC de Jager advocates responsible waste management to school children
7 August 2019
The City of Johannesburg’s MMC for Environment Infrastructure Services Department, Cllr Nico De Jager, today addressed a group of over 800 school children at the Bertrams Junior Primary School, encouraging them to play a significant role in reducing waste going to Pikitup’s landfill sites through recycling.
De Jager emphasised that litter and illegally dumped waste also ends up in City’s waterways and ends up in the ocean where plastic is responsible for killing large quantities of marine life.
“If we do not recycle in large quantities, you will not have an ocean to talk about because the large quantities of plastic that ends up in our oceans kills our fish,” de Jager told the leaners.
The MMC has requested Pikitup to undertake educational and awareness campaigns in schools around the City to impress upon children the importance of refraining from littering as well as for school children to be advocates of protecting the environment by discouraging community members from littering and illegally dumping waste.
The children were also taught about the separation at source programme – which compels residents in certain areas of the City to dispose of recyclable materials into plastic bags that Pikitup distributes in order to divert recyclable waste away from landfill sites. Pikitup’s four landfill sites have just over four-and-a-half years’ life span remaining. Pikitup is also working on a school recycling competition in an effort to increase the amount of waste being recycled.
Since the launch of the mandatory Separation At Source programme in July last year, there has been a small notable diversion of recyclable waste from landfill sites. However, more still needs to be done to ensure that large quantities of recyclable materials are not disposed of in landfill sites.
Bertrams Junior Primary School Principal, Ms Khanyisile Thwala, appreciated the efforts of Pikitup to educate children about responsible waste management practices and also requested that such initiatives also culminate in cleaning campaigns in areas next to the school.
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