Recycling ‘key to green economy’

Barbara Holland

EASTERN Cape Environmental Affairs MEC Mcebisi Jonas said yesterday that a provincial forum should be formed to integrate waste management systems in a practical way, and that mindsets should be changed to incorporate recycling strategies.

Speaking at the Eastern Cape Provincial Recycling Indaba at the East London International Convention Centre, the MEC said waste management was no longer a policy issue and that more should be done to implement the National Environmental Management Waste Act (Nemwa) of 2008.

There were opportunities for entrepreneurs in this field, but he said it was vital that there was a more coordinated approach to managing waste.

“There is a lot of money flying around. We need to coordinate both human and material resources to attract projects.”

He said poverty alleviation and job creation opportunities were a “key vehicle” of a green economy.

“The green economy is fast becoming the only viable way to do good business.”

Sharing resources among the three spheres of government as well as industry and civil society could make momentous changes in the waste management sector. He said it was important to coordinate existing waste management resources in the province.

Jonas said this would need relevant skills and capacity as well as infrastructure. This could be done through FET colleges and science and technology centres.

He warned that if municipalities did not have the relevant infrastructure to manage waste, recycling initiatives could be “completely undermined”.

“We need to minimise waste and all of us must invest in building that consciousness,” he said, adding that throwing rubbish out of car windows and leaving it lying around was unacceptable.

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