Garbage and waste as an opportunity
Bergrivier Municipality (Piketberg)
In July 2018, representatives from Exchange travelled to Bergrivier in South Africa. The purpose of this study trip? A partnership focused on strengthening the ‘Turning Waste Into Prosperity’ programme run by the Bergrivier Municipality.
The Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities, also known as the VVSG (Vereniging van Vlaamse Steden en Gemeenten), has an international twin cities agreement with Bergrivier. Under this programme, Heist-op-den-Berg is the twin to Bergrivier. The Flemish municipality also plays a role in this partnership.
In preparation for the growth programme, an assessment was performed on the current situation in the Bergrivier Municipality. GreenCape, a South African non-profit organisation with a focus on green economy, ran the assessment. Using recommendations from GreenCape and in consultation with Bergrivier Municipality and Heist-op-den-Berg (linked city), an action plan was drafted by the growth-programme coach. The first volunteer experts were immediately appointed. The growth programme will primarily focus on the collaboration with local recycling companies, composting and raising awareness.
Awareness remains the key in the waste and garbage processing programmes for South Africa.
Bergrivier has already abandoned the concept of public garbage dumps and tips. Concepts such as recycling and separation of waste types at the source have become second nature in the meantime. The recycling of construction waste and glass remain points for improvement. In order to come to sustainable, organised waste management in Bergrivier, innovation, work simplification and education by ‘Waste Ambassadors’ will become the most important spearheads for the partnership.