THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality was named the 2017/2018 second runner-up in a National Greenest Municipality competition for metro municipalities.The Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Public Health, Councillor Lance Grootboom, has paid tribute to the municipal staff as well as the community of Nelson Mandela Bay following the announcement.“As the second runner-up, the NMBM received prize money of R2.5 million. We are proud of this achievement. This is part of our commitment to ensure a clean and green environment,” Grootboom said.In February this year, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) invited the NMBM to participate in the Greenest Municipality Competition.Out of the metro municipality category, NMBM managed to secure second runner-up. The City of Cape Town was first runner-up and eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality (Durban) was named the overall winner for the metro category.“The Greenest Municipality Competition started as the Cleanest Town Competition with the primary focus to implement the national waste management strategy. The key elements were reducing, recycling and reusing waste materials.“Although the initial competition was fairly successful in achieving its primary objectives, development within the greening movement required modifications of the concept to embody elements outside the waste management category,” Grootboom said.The incorporation of the new elements came within a new name called The Greenest Municipality Competition and focused on addressing environmental protection, social upliftment and economic growth.A panel of adjudicators from the Department of Environmental Affairs evaluated Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on April 16 and 17. The sub-directorates involved in public health are Waste Management, Environmental Health and other directorates including Electricity and Energy, Infrastructure and Engineering, and Constituency Services. “The Greenest Municipality Competition committee evaluated our metro in the areas such as waste management, energy efficiency and conservation, water management, landscaping (tree planting and beautification), leadership and institutional arrangements and overall presentation,” Grootboom said.“Achievements like this do not come without innovation, proper planning and hard work of municipal officers,” he said.