KZN Recycling Forum questions success of Durban’s orange bag project

Author: Khethukuthula Xulu

Chairperson of the KZN Recycling Forum, Chris Whyte predicts that as long as DSW or any other government department are involved, it will either under-perform or fail.

ETHEKWINI Municipality has announced the resuscitation of the Kerbside Orange bag recycling project after it was marred by supply and collection challenges followed by legal investigations and delayed by Supply Chain Management processes.

Also read: For now, black is the new orange

According to the municipality, every project comes with its challenges which require immediate attention to ensure smooth development and DSW has been experiencing challenges with the project which has hindered the recycling project in the city.

“The distribution and collection of orange bags has resumed and we are hoping the challenges were a learning curve and a new direction has been taken,” said eThekwini Municipality spokesman, Msawakhe Mayisela.

Chairperson of the KZN Recycling Forum, Chris Whyte, doubts the effectiveness of this project because of its recent failures, but still hopes that it does succeed so it can benefit citizens not only in decreasing

waste but creating much needed employment.

Also read: The move from orange bags not so ‘clear’ for residents

“At their peak in 2016 they recycled 10 500 tons – a paltry 0.6 per cent of the city’s waste. Compared to global curb side recycling programmes which achieve greater than a 15 per cent diversion. My hope would be for Durban to get to at least 10 per cent. That will create thousands of jobs and secure materials that will result in millions in investment for local beneficiation,” he said.

Whyte predicts that as long as DSW or any other government department are involved, it will either under-perform or fail.

“Until they put this into the hands of the private sector where it is run like a business for profit, they will continue to run this like a social project where distribution of bags is the only box they need to tick” he added.

Whyte said he will do everything in his power to support the initiative if they (DSW) let him assist.

“In the interim I have heard nothing from DSW or the city regarding future partnerships and there has been no effort to make contact. If they do, I will be waiting with open arms in the vain hope that they might actually listen to me,” he explained.

Marge Mitchell of the Keep Hillcrest Beautiful Association is hopeful that the return of the project will result in less people dumping at the depot.

“I received orange bags last week, yet have not received communication about when the bags will be collected,” she said.

The DSW customer service phone numbers are: 031 311 8804 or 031 322 0780.

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