Posted by GlobalRec
Written by GroundWORK; South African Waste Pickers Association
Country South Africa
October 06, 2014
Written by GroundWORK; South African Waste Pickers Association. change.org. 10/03/2014
Say what?! Yes, you read it correctly. Hundreds of waste reclaimers and small recyclers in South Africa stand to lose their climate-friendly jobs and be forced to return to a life of poverty. In a country with an over 45% unemployment rate, waste recycling becomes a source of income for those who would otherwise be impoverished.
Not only this, diverting valuable waste such as plastic, cardboard, tin, glass and organics off the landfill to be recycled mitigates climate change by stopping the creation of methane through decomposition and having to create new landfills.
This will go up in smoke if the Department of Environmental Affairs agrees to private company Enviroserve’s proposed construction of a waste-to-energy incinerator to take in general waste in Kempton Park, Gauteng.
In the short term, incinerators burn this waste to create energy, however, its social and environmental impacts outweigh the minimal energy it creates. Toxic air pollution and ash landfills are the main by-products produced by incinerators. This impacts on people’s healthin general and contaminates soil and groundwater with poisonous chemicals and heavy metals.
In the long term, if materials are not being recycled, the extraction of more raw materials will take place through industrial practices that are destructive and promote climate change.
Take action now by signing the petition calling on the Department of Environmental Affairs to promote green, climate jobs and not pass this waste-to-energy incinerator. Together with hard copy petitions signed by waste reclaimers across the country, the online petition will be sent to the Minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs in making sure that they do not approve the incinerator.
groundWork and the South African Waste Pickers’ Association