Waste management and recycling:
Each year in Knysna alone we throw away tonnes of waste a lot of it is hazardous. It is clear that treating and disposing of all this material- without harming the environment – becomes a major headache. Between 2000 and 2013, the amount of waste generated in the Greater Knysna Municipality area increased. Most of what we throw away is either burnt in incinerators, or dumped into landfill sites. Both of these methods create environmental damage.
Land filling not only takes up more and more valuable land space, it also causes air, water and soil pollution, discharging carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) into the atmosphere and chemicals and pesticides into the earth and groundwater. This, in turn, is harmful to human health, as well as to plants and animals.
We have to reverse this trend if we are to avoid being submerged in rubbish. The waste that is left lying around also attracts troops of baboons in to our town which can be counter acted by living more responsibly.
Knysna’s Environment Action Plan identifies waste prevention and management as one of our top priorities. Its primary objective is to decouple waste generation from economic activity, so that growth will no longer lead to more and more rubbish.
The Municipality is aiming for a significant cut in the amount of rubbish generated, through new waste prevention initiatives, better use of resources, and encouraging a shift to more sustainable consumption patterns.
The Municipality’s waste management is based on three principles:
Waste prevention: This is a key factor in any waste management strategy. If we can reduce the amount of waste generated in the first place and reduce its hazardousness by reducing the presence of dangerous substances in products, then disposing of it will automatically become simpler. Waste prevention is closely linked with improving manufacturing methods and influencing consumers to demand greener products and less packaging.
Recycling and reuse: If waste cannot be prevented, as many of the materials as possible should be recovered, preferably by recycling.
Improving final disposal and monitoring: Where possible, waste that cannot be recycled or reused should be safely incinerated, with landfill only used as a last resort. Both these methods need close monitoring because of their potential for causing severe environmental damage. The Municipality is setting strict guidelines for landfill management. It bans certain types of waste, such as used tyres, and sets targets for reducing quantities of biodegradable rubbish. Another recent development lays down tough limits on emission levels from incinerators.
An easy way of sorting and recycling:
Newspapers and magazines
All plastic (cooldrink/milk bottles, clean plastic shopping bags, plastic containers like household cleaning agents must be cleaned, clean wrapping and packing plastic.
Aliminium (food containers, cooldrink cans etc.)
Not suitable for recycling:
Any wet, smelly soiled material
Chemically treated paper (old faxes and heat sensitive items)
Used paper towels and serviettes, wax paper, ply- or plastic coated glossy paper, milk/juice cartons
Metal paper fasteners
Tinfoil and cling wrap plastic
Light bulbs and neon tubes
Crockery, pottery, plates, cups etc.
Please collect transparent bags at waste management department. You can put them out with your other bags on your day of collection.
Garden Waste only in blue bags that can be bought at the customer care centre.
Knysna was one of the first municipalities in the country to introduce a recycling programme as part of its waste collection schedule and have been doing so since 2000.
It is very easy to recycle in Knysna.
Collect transparent bags at:
- Waste Management Department in Clyde Street Municipal Offices
- Sedgefield Municipal Service Centre, Tarentaal Street
- Public holidays – Knysna Fire Department, Waterfront Drive, Knysna
- Public holidays – Sedgefield Fire Department, Main Street, Sedgefield
Garden refuse bags are blue and can be obtained from municipal service centres at a cost of R58 for a packet of ten heavy duty blue bags. Only two blue bags filled with garden waste are permitted per property per week.
Enquiries at Waste Management on +27 (0)44 302 6405.