It is not waste until we waste it!
The landscape in our City is changing. A hole has become a mound and is now a substantial hill visible from the sea and from kilometers away across the city. Have you seen the same in your City – or where does your waste go? Our city dump, euphemistically called the False Bay Coastal Park landfill has already filled the land allocated to it. Fed with a steady stream of `waste’ generated by locals the landfill is now growing skywards! Will this monument to wasteful consumption eventually need navigation lights to warn air traffic? Home to Table Mountain the Seventh Natural Wonder of the World, my city, Cape Town is building a legacy landfill that will surely have future generations and archaeologists pondering the nature of our society! And so should we – not for the sake of leaving an archaeological record, but simply to survive into the future as a civilized society.
Nature knows no waste – everything is recycled. Modern human societies in contradiction with natural processes have a linear approach to the use of materials. We extract or harvest resources, refine them into products, input energy and water, use and consume, dispose and pollute. If ever the writing was on the wall – or in this case writ large on the land and circulating across the sea – it is now. The good news is that we know about diminishing resources, poisonous pollution and increasing costs and we now have the technology and systems to learn from Nature’s model of recycling.
Email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for a home, school or small business waste audit
Go to Business Directory of Recyclers & Re users.
See below the list of materials that are commonly dumped (wasted) and the environmentally responsible options of avoidance or re- use and recycling.
Y / N
Y / N
|Kilos per week put into refuse||Commitment to avoid or divert from refuse|
|Paper & card|
|Printing & letters||Y as rough note paper||Y||0||Only print what is needed.|
|Magazines||Share with friends||Y||0||Share with friends|
|Glass bottles & jars||Y as storage containers||Y||0|
|Tin & Alu cans||Y||0|
|Pet1 bottles||Y||0||Use refillable beverage bottles|
|PVC 3||infrequently||Avoid. Difficult to recycle.|
|LDPE 4 bags||As packets||Y||0|
|PP5||Y as containers||Y||0|
|PS 6 polystyrene||Y but not all PS6 is recycled||Less than 1kg||return to shop|
|No7 mixed plastic||Not recyclable||Less than 1kg||return to shop|
|Cooked food incl meat||Worm farm & bokashi bin|
|Cooking oil||Recycled for diesel|
|Garden prunings||Compost & mulch|
|e-waste computers cell phones etc||To specialist recyclers|
|Batteries||Battery deposit bin||Reduce by using rechargeable batteries|
|CFLs & Fluorescent tubes||Cfl deposit bin||Purchase LED lights|
|Chemicals e.g. paint, cleaning agents, pesticides||Take to Official Toxic waste drop off points||Find safe alternatives to toxic chemicals|