The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Barbara Crissy, has called on all South Africans to join national Clean Up and Recycle Week events across the country.

“Litter is a major problem in South Africa and most waste material can be recycled and thus diverted from landfill. By participating in cleaning and recycling activities in both rural and urban areas, we are contributing to a cleaner environment that will contribute to a healthy society,” the minister said on Tuesday.

Each year, around 120,000 volunteers participate in a series of clean-up activities along roadsides, rivers, schools, residential buildings and illegal dumps.

Provincial governments, local municipalities, environmental organizations, businesses, schools and communities support these initiatives. This year, the events will take place from September 12 to 17.

Organized by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Protection, the event will be part of the Green Good Things programme, which emphasizes the importance of active citizenship in protecting and managing natural resources and pollution in the areas in which they live. , rivers, beaches and oceans.

The minister called on all communities, schools, businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to clean up their areas so that South Africa is litter-free.

If possible, the collected waste should be recycled or sent for repurposing.

“We would like to see a society where we all recycle, encourage reuse and reduce the amount of waste we create. We strongly oppose illegal dumping and garbage. A week like this is the perfect opportunity for everyone to start regular community clean-up activities,” Chrissy said.

The Department launched the R44.5 million National Waste Collection and Landfill Management Fleet as an intervention to address waste collection in underserved areas, illegal dumping and landfills in selected municipalities in all provinces.

Municipalities have also stepped up their clean-up efforts, especially those that have benefited from the reform of the Municipal Infrastructure Grants Policy through the acquisition of the required yellow fleet.

According to the department, recycling of packaging and electronic products increased in 2022 thanks to the historic legislative investment by various manufacturers of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fee.

These EPR fees are currently used to improve the collection of recyclable materials, compensate waste collectors and improve overall recycling.

Various manufacturers and producer responsibility organizations have submitted interim waste recycling performance reports by 30 August 2022 on their recycling efforts towards the 2022 targets.

Clean and Recycle Week is an annual local industry initiative supported and endorsed by a variety of packaging and retailers.

Awareness and clean-up activities will be held in Polokwane and Nobody Ga-Mothiba village in Limpopo, Umbongintwini on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal and along the Entshawini River in KwaDukuz, Emotafeni and Elandshuk in Mbombele, Mpumalanga and in Roodepoort, Gauteng.

Cleanups will also be carried out at Dakota Beach and Scottsburg, Blydesdale, Zinkwazi, Balito and Tugela, KwaZulu-Natal and Alkantstrand, Buffalo City, Eastern Cape, and Groote Braakriver and Tegniet and Rybok beaches in Mossel Bay , Western Cape. –

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