Brazil’s ‘waste for food’ pilot in Jika Joe

2008-02-28 00:00

IN EFFORTS to improve the cleanliness of informal settlements and their surrounding areas, people living in over 23 informal settlements around the city will have the opportunity to manage the cleanliness of their surroundings and receive food parcels as a reward for their efforts.

This follows a joint-initiative community-based waste management project. The one-year pilot due to launch in March, was inspired after a delegation of representatives from the Transport Department, the Msunduzi, eThekwini, Ugu and Hibiscus coast municipalities went on a study tour to Columbia and Brazil.

The community-based waste collection system, where recyclable waste is collected in exchange for food vouchers, is based on the world-renowned waste management programmes used in the city of Curitiba in Brazil.

Disposable and recyclable waste will be collected by residents of informal settlements and taken to a recycling plant for sorting. Recyclable items will be sold to local industries and 20% of the money received by the municipality will be given back to community associations for various community projects.

A “green exchange” will also be done where municipal waste trucks will pick up refuse at collection points at the settlements, which will be weighed and collected in exchange for food parcel tokens to residents.

Mandla Zuma, community services process manager, said that the project will target recovering alcoholics, unemployed immigrants and the disabled.

“This will ensure that informal settlements inaccessible to refuse trucks have their waste collected regularly and that there is less city litter, improved hygiene and less dumping near rivers, as well as alleviating poverty in slum areas,” he said.

The project is due to be launched at the Jika Joe informal settlement.

Councillors welcomed the project, saying it would go a long way to cleaning up informal settlements, however, they expressed concern at the implications it may have on the slums clearance project.

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