District to develop R4,6-mln waste plan

2009-07-16 00:00

THE uMgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM) is to take part in an international project aimed at improving waste management infrastructure and services.

It is the only South African district municipality that was selected for the project, which is the outcome of a development support partnership between South Africa and Germany.

South Africa’s participation is led by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Germany’s through the German Development Bank.

UMDM applied to be considered for support and was told recently that it is to receive support of up to €400 000 (R4,6 million).

The project comes at an opportune time since the recently approved Waste Act creates a legal duty for municipalities to recover, recycle and treat waste before disposal at landfill sites.

In terms of climate change mitigation, the project eventually aims to develop and operate recycling and waste treatment facilities that will significantly reduce the production of greenhouse gases in the district and enable income to be earned through carbon credits and waste-to-energy projects.

The first phase will examine the feasibility of establishing and operating facilities to separate waste for recycling and reuse or treat waste to produce fuel and biogas.

The study will be conducted across all local municipalities in the district and is expected to provide detailed options within six months about how to develop, finance and operate waste recycling, recovery and waste treatment facilities.

The tender process will seek to attract international experts in recycling and waste treatment.

The project team will start work in August and the project is due for completion by April 2010.

The second phase could involve the implementation of the most feasible option and possible German funding.

UMDM is already involved in integrated planning that will for the first time develop waste management plans for local municipalities which seek to develop ways to improve services and introduce waste prevention, recycling and treatment options.

It is also seeking a permit for a new large landfill site that could deal with the district’s waste disposal needs for the next 50 years.

In the 2009/10 financial year it intends to extend the Curry’s Post landfill site and to rehabilitate and partly close the landfill site at Mooi River.

The UMDM is also planning to install a weighbridge at the Curry’s Post landfill site to gather information about waste streams and to lay the foundation for billing certain consumers in the 2010/11 financial year.

Waste management has been identified as an area needing critical interventions at a local and district municipal level given local government service delivery failures.

Collectively the projects will inject almost R14 million in capital funding over the next year to help improve the delivery of waste management services within the UMDM and the local municipalities that are part of it.

This investment represents 10% of the UMDM capital budget for the 2009/10 financial year and goes some way towards improving service delivery and embracing new policies and technologies for turning waste into the valuable resources.

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