Johannesburg – Last Wednesday Joburg Environment Infrastructure Services MMC Nico De Jager encouraged over 800 pupils at the Bertrams Junior Primary School to play a role in reducing waste going to Pikitup’s landfill sites through recycling.
De Jager emphasised that litter and illegally dumped waste end up in the city’s waterways; and then in the ocean; where plastic kills large quantities of marine life.
“If we do not recycle in large quantities we may not have an ocean to talk about because the large quantities of plastic that ends up in our oceans kill our fish,” de Jager said.
The MMC has requested Pikitup to undertake awareness campaigns in schools on the importance of refraining from littering, and for the children to be advocates of protecting the environment by discouraging littering and illegally dumping waste.
The children were also taught about the separation at source programme; which compels residents in certain areas to dispose of recyclable materials into plastic bags that Pikitup distributes, to divert recyclable waste from landfill sites.
Pikitup’s four landfill sites have just over four-and-a-half years’ life span remaining. Pikitup is also working on a school recycling competition to increase the amount of waste being recycled.
Since the launch of the Separation at Source programme in July last year, there has been a notable diversion of recyclable waste from landfill sites. However, more still needs to be done to ensure that large quantities of recyclable materials are not disposed of in landfill sites.
The school’s principal Khanyisile Thwala appreciated the efforts of Pikitup to educate children about responsible waste management practices; and requested that such initiatives also culminate in cleaning campaigns in areas next to the school.