The Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Rejoice Mabudafhasi has launched the War on Waste project in Butterworth, in the Mnquma Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

The War on Waste project was launched to showcase the work of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in its effort to preserve the environment and create job opportunities. War on Waste was launched alongside the War on Leaks project which form part of the Department of Water Affairs’ work to fight water loss. Mabudafhasi noted the interventions made by the department in promoting waste and water management efforts and the implementation progress made by the municipality in this regard.

The DEA has provided R23.5 million funding for the War on Waste project in Mnquma Local Municipality through its Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme (EPIP). The project was part of the proposals that were submitted by the municipality, following a call for proposals by the DEA.

War on Waste address the challenge of waste management, job creation and skills development, whilst minimising and diverting waste that was meant to go to landfill sites. Revenue will be generated by the communities associated with the project through recycling initiatives. The project will use labour intensive methods as per requirements of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), creating 250 job opportunities, some permanent, for the local community.

Some of the aspects that the War on Waste project include:

  • support to Solid Waste Cooperatives to undertake waste management services at Mnquma Municipality
  • rehabilitation and closure of Magqudwana (main site), Ngqamakhwe and Centane landfill sites
  • encouraging sorting and recycling at Ibika landfill site using available recycling facilities
  • environmental education and awareness
  • street cleaning in municipal towns

“[F]or many years Butterworth was one of the dirtiest towns in the country. The Department of Environmental Affairs through Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme have turned that situation around by declaring the War on Waste by implementing [these] projects,” said Mabudafhasi.