Waste management in South Africa faces numerous challenges which include:
Waste Pickers pick recyclable waste materials to sell an for income. You see them every day roaming the streets picking up glass and plastic bottles paper and cardboard, and famous dragging their makeshift sled which holds their daily hoard. Some Waste Pickers work in the landfill sites, thereby facing serious health risks for the few rands they do get.
The aim of the Waste Pickers Programme is to research and analyse data to find ways to assist waste pickers to improve their working conditions, which may include sharing information with regard to funding opportunities, and organisational skills.
We are an apolitical group, with an aim to provide the disadvantaged community, with a platform via which they can express concerns about the enviroment and other developmental issues and solicit potential solutions.
Waste material continues to be found in areas not designated for dumping, roads sides, rivers, dams to name a few. Some areas which receive waste management service also have illegal dumping sites which are a confusing story. Advise will be given by Green Network to organised groups who see a need to unite and eradicate and rehabilitate illegal dumping sites into food gardens and beautification.
The New England Road Landfill has long since reachd its end of life and is well overdue for closure or for preparations to decommissioning to begin. The present council and higher authorities are moving too slowly. In 1993, the authorities acknowledged the severity of the matter and commissioned a regional landfill site, which proved too expensive to run and manage. In this time, the authorities agreed that the 10 to 15 year life span of the site is well exceeded, and subsequently heading for disaster as the oldest landfill site in Kwa-Zulu Natal, its time for change.
Already there have been a number of fatal waste picker incidents and fires, with smoke which ingulfs the neighbouring N3 freeway and the communities both on the south and the west of Pietermaritzburg, with numerous environmental health complaints.
To educate and encourage waste awareness management and education at all levels.