City’s response

Mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy, Xanthea Limberg responds to questions asked about recycling options.

The story “Bin picking an asset” (Bulletin, October 12), refers.

The City’s Think Twice programme collects recyclables from households in certain areas.

Visit the waste recyclers app to see which areas qualify, as well as a list of alternative (private) recycling services. The City of Cape Town does not allow waste pickers to operate on any active areas of landfills under the control of the City, since this is unsafe and is prohibited by the authorisation we have to operate each landfill facility.

With regards to who should collaborate with bin pickers, the City is progressively working to increase recycling capacity by augmenting the current recycling systems in place at certain drop-off facilities, and
insofar as we are able to, we are ensuring that members of local communities are employed therein.

Currently the City is working to implement a sorting facility at the Coastal Park Landfill drop-off, similar to
the facilities at the
drop-off at the Bellville refuse transfer
station and some of our stand-alone drop-off facilities.

Once the site has been prepared, the City will put the recycling operation out to tender, with one of the contract requirements being that individuals from surrounding areas be employed.

The City is working to increase its capacity to recycle and has created a digital platform whereby residents can market the recyclable materials to which they have access.

With regard to whether the City would consider input by bin pickers in future or present planning priorities, individuals from surrounding areas may be employed at sorting facilities at their drop-offs and landfill sites.

Furthermore, the waste exchange platforms act to stimulate the industry, and indirectly create more formal employment opportunities in the sector.