Ricochet News

The future of Overstrand waste recycling being reviewed

Sep 12, 2018
The future of Overstrand waste recycling being reviewed

Many residents are rightfully concerned about the abrupt halt to waste recycling activities in the Overstrand since the riots in Hermanus in July 2018.

Unfortunately the fact is that the material recovery facility in Hermanus, including all the equipment, has been destroyed during the riots, to such an extent that the repair and re-commissioning thereof may take years to complete. 

There is no alternative facility available in the area where sorting and bailing of such volumes of recycled waste can take place in the interim.

The transport of material which has not been sorted and bailed is very expensive, and therefore not attractive to potential buyers in neighbouring towns or the city. 

The current situation is however presenting an opportunity to eventually move to a higher level of recycling and improved diversion of waste from landfill.

Overstrand Municipality immediately commenced with a feasibility study to investigate the possibility of relocating the recycling facility to the Karwyderskraal Landfill site, to be operated as a regional facility by the Overberg District Municipality, thereby handling larger volumes, also including waste from neighbouring towns in other municipalities.  The report should be completed by the end of September 2018.

Should the relocation option prove to be feasible, the planning and budgeting process will commence, and it is possible that the reinstatement of the damaged facility at its current location be abandoned, especially in view of the need for land for housing in the specific area, and the perceived risks associated with the previous operating arrangements.

The possibility of temporarily transporting all recycled material from the Kleinmond/ Bettiesbaai/Pringle Bay/Rooi-Els areas to Gordon’s Bay has also been investigated. 

Challenges include that official approval of the City of Cape Town Municipality will have to be obtained, an extended procurement process for the transport of the material will have to be completed, which will take several months, and the issue of “donation” of municipal property (i.e. collected waste) to a single receiving “beneficiary” without an open tender process will be especially challenging to address in terms of legislation.  Indications are that the transport will be expensive, considering the only routes available for large trucks between Kleinmond and Gordon’s Bay.

Many residents enquire about the possibility of transporting all the recycling to our material recovery facility in Gansbaai for sorting and bailing. Unfortunately that is not an option as the facility is too small to handle such a large volume of recycling and even further for transporting the recycling to the markets in Cape Town.

Overstrand Municipality will keep residents informed of progress made in reaching a solution. It is a high priority for the municipality to find the best possible solution as soon as possible, to ensure the long term sustainability of efficient waste management.