A few weeks ago, Mangaung Executive Mayor, Olly Mlamleli, held a meeting with various stakeholders in waste management to share ideas on how to resolve the challenge of waste management in the city. Heidedal resident, Chelleroy Buys, headed the call and approached the municipality with a pilot project for environmental bins (e-bins) where residents can place waste, which the municipality can then collect from this central point.
“A while ago, I noticed that the municipality was failing in picking up our waste, so I thought about how I could assist the municipality and the community, and that’s when I came up with the idea of the e-bin. I asked a few guys from the community to help me make my idea and design a reality. The idea is to have people put their rubbish in this bin so that when the municipality comes to collect it, it’s all in one place, making easier and more cost-efficient for them. It will also make our streets look better and cleaner because the bags are at a central point, dogs can’t tear up the bags, all adding to the issue of cleanliness,” said Buys.
The bin is made of waste materials found in scrapyards, such as corrugated iron, steel poles and wooden pallets at the base. They been placed in three points around Heidedal, as part of the pilot process.
Sello More, Head of Directorate: Solid Waste & Fleet Management in the metro, said that when Buys offered the pilot project to them for free, they welcomed his initiative and knew they had to support it as it would help them in improving the well-being of citizens.
He reassured residents that the rubbish in those bins will be collected, adding that between him, Buys and the local councillor, they will constantly check on the state of the bin. “We are working on regularising collection broadly. We are in the process of procuring additional fleet and possibly hiring more personnel, because our challenges have mainly been that we are working with an aging fleet and aging personnel,” said More.
He added that their main focus regarding waste collection is the southern areas of Bloemfontein, including Heidedal. Areas such as Bloemfontein north, Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu and Naledi have seen changes in the waste collection, except for times when there are worker issues. More says they hope to have this matter resolved by August 2019.
Chelleroy Buys reminded residents that the waste management issue in the metro is not only the municipality’s responsibility. “The community must take ownership for the bin, and its safety and cleanliness, as this is an initiative to keep our environment clean. These bins are for the community not only for certain individuals. If we all stand together and take care of these bins, this pilot project could lead to greater initiatives for the entire metro, and more importantly a cleaner environment,” he concluded.