Waste generation by households is expected to increase as South Africans prepare to stay indoors for the next three weeks, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) said on March 25.
Owing to this, the institute said it supported the continuation of waste collection, processing and effective disposal during the national lockdown period in order to ensure communities remain clean and healthy.
“Continuing public waste management is essential; waste generation will increase at household level, while it will decrease at a business level. Household waste collection is an essential service and should continue within all municipalities,” IWMSA president Leon Grobbelaar said.
He warned that the nonremoval of waste would have “devastating consequences” on communities owing to the spread of other diseases.
The institute also encouraged all South African citizens to “be mindful of their waste generation” during this period so as to not overburden municipal and private waste services with increased and mixed waste volumes.
According to Grobbelaar, potentially contaminated waste streams could have detrimental health effects for all the thousands of waste reclaimers residing illegally on the about 1 000 landfill sites within South Africa.
“At an individual level, we should be separating our waste as much as we can during this time. Your recyclable waste should be separated from your non-recyclable waste, cleaned and rinsed with water and soap before being stored for collection. Recyclables can then be collected when the waste system is operating at full capacity again,” said Grobbelaar.
“Now is the time to implement and maintain good household waste disposal habits.”