Community recycling initiative launched

Global Recycling Day commemorated

15 March 2021 | Environment

The Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF) announced the launch of its very first Community Recycling Project in celebration of Global Recycling Day on 18 March.
The project is run in conjunction with Development Workshop Namibia (DWN) and the City of Windhoek’s Solid Waste Management division in the Samora Machel constituency in Windhoek.
The RNF sourced three recycling “igloos” in early 2020 as part of its commitment to enable communities (where no household recycling takes place) to have a collection point for their recyclables.
Given the RNF motto of “Taking hands today for a cleaner Namibia tomorrow”, it was decided to partner with DWN, which already has its Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme in this constituency, together with the support of City of Windhoek’s Solid Waste Management Division (SWM).
According to DWN: “The collaborative igloo community recycling initiative between DWN, RNF and City of Windhoek SWM came at the right time. Solid waste is a massive challenge for most informal settlements, and introducing community recycling in Hadino Nghishongwa of Samora Machel constituency, is a milestone for piloting sustainable sanitation enterprises which makes provision of solid waste management facilities and creating educational awareness on how to manage and recycle waste.”
The collection and sorting of the recyclables will also remain within the community – with a resident waste collector responsible for the processing of the recyclables.

Educational drives
In order to create awareness about the importance of good waste management and the value of recycling, educational teams from both the City of Windhoek and DWN will be active within the community over the next few weeks, to introduce and encourage the sorting of their household waste.
Anita Witt, coordinator of the RNF: “With Windhoek growing at a rate of approximately 5% annually, the collection of waste places a great demand on our municipal services. Creating awareness for proper waste management and the importance of recycling, the launching of this collection bin is a highlight for the RNF – not only enabling the residents to do the right thing, but also minimizing what goes to Kupferberg landfill.”
From the DWN’s side Project Coordinator Sheya Gotlieb Timo said that recycling initiatives in the informal settlements is silent, but it is also an opportunity and solution to challenging issues of solid waste ending up into riverbeds. “Although many communities need awareness on the importance of this before any initiations, the CLTS project areas have been sensitized on waste management and therefore are ready to pilot the igloo recycling drum.

‘Opening doors’
“The introduction of Solid Waste Management in the CLTS project areas has opened doors for more innovative options that could be used for piloting. With improved understanding and change of social behaviour toward managing household waste in an appropriate way, it has proved to work after community sensitization and outreach awareness programmes,” Timo said.
The launch of the recycling igloo within this community will be beneficial in these areas:
• Keeping Windhoek clean and minimizing what goes to Kupferberg Landfill, which is nearing capacity;
• Provision of the igloo will create a physical space of awareness on how and the importance to recycle and the waste type that could be recycled;
• Setting a scene for educational component with the possibility of it turning the idea of recycling into various creative viable opportunities for local entrepreneurs in solving the solid waste management issues in their communities.

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