Waste pickers to be moved to formal recycling sites

Some of the litter at the recycling hub.

Some of the litter at the recycling hub.

The informal recyclers, who operate by the roadside, are to be moved to more formal places where they can conduct their business without harming the environment.

The Tshwane metro has allocated R9,2 million for the provision of waste recycling sites, reports Pretoria East Rekord.

This will form part of formalising so-called “informal recyclers”, Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa said in his maiden State of the Capital speech on Thursday.

Mokgalapa said the informal recyclers, who operated by the side of the road, would be moved to more formal places where they could conduct their business without harming the environment.

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“We are a capital city and waste removal is thus crucial,” he said.

“It is against this background we allocated R9,2 million for landfill sites or waste recycle sites in the draft integrated development plan (IDP),” he said.

This was part of the metro’s efforts to keep the city clean, because the informal recycling hubs often caused escalated littering.

Part of the plan would also see the provision of waste containers and the development of waste water transfer stations.

Waterkloof residents and local businesses have been up in arms about an informal recycling hub that has been operating in the area

The hub, which is located in the veld on Solomon Mahlangu Road, is occupied by about 50 people who collect and sell recyclable materials.

Some of them now live there permanently.

Structures made out of cloth, corrugated iron and bricks have also been built in the veld.

Waterkloof BP garage manager Jacques Louw previously said he complained about the filth and the possible hygiene problems to the Tshwane metro.

However, the people were only moved a few metres away.

The recyclers initially set up camp right opposite Louw’s garage, which also houses a fast food outlet.

Huge heaps of recyclable material such as plastic, steel, paper and rubber could be seen in the field.

“It is a big operation,” said Louw.

“Tractor loaders and other big machinery come here to collect and drop off materials.”

The recyclers said they would agree to be moved to another area where they can continue their work.

“We are only trying to make a living as opposed to resorting to crime,” said Tawanda Muhlawuri, one of the recyclers.

“So it would really be helpful if the municipality gave us a more formal place.”

Mokgalapa said in addressing service delivery problems, the metro would always consider its obligations to the environment.

“Strategies developed should not compromise the environment in any way, shape or form.”

He said the metro had also set aside R17-million towards formalising informal trade markets in the inner city.

He acknowledged that illegal land occupations were a major problem in the city, but said the metro had done a lot in dealing with the issue.

“We have done well to sell property that has fallen prey to illegal occupants. Land grabs and illegal occupations are a nationwide scourge giving rise to slumlords. Collaborative efforts with law enforcement and the provincial government are currently being pursued to deal with this matter in Gauteng as a whole.”

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