On September 11, the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) played a significant role in National Cleanup and Recycling Week by organising a cleanup operation at the Bredell Cemetery. Municipal workers and various stakeholders joined forces, dedicating their time and effort to restoring dignity to this essential facility through activities such as grass-cutting and litter-picking.
Throughout the week, the city’s focus extended to address various environmental challenges, including combatting illegal dumping, litter removal, cemetery maintenance, and cleaning open spaces, water bodies, and pavements. These efforts were undertaken in addition to the city’s routine responsibilities, such as waste collection, grass cutting, and other environmental management services.
National Cleanup and Recycling Week serves as an annual reminder of the importance of a cleaner environment and the need for collaborative efforts involving all levels of government, schools, businesses, producer responsibility organisations (PROs), and communities. It aims to inspire communities to take proactive steps in preserving their local environments and to promote awareness of proper waste management practices, such as litter collection and the proper disposal of waste in designated facilities.
Zweli Dlamini, the CoE spokesperson, emphasised the week’s role in promoting recycling activities and educating communities about the economic benefits of recycling. Communities were encouraged to participate in waste separation initiatives, support local recycling cooperatives and small businesses, and raise awareness about the environmental and financial advantages.
National Cleanup Week 2023 took place from September 11 to 16, encouraging stakeholders and concerned parties to commit at least one day to organising cleanup events in specific areas of concern. These initiatives included addressing illegal dumps and cleaning streets, cemeteries, taxi ranks, parks, and streams.
Dlamini outlined the city’s week-long program, which involved cleaning identified central business districts (CBDs), cemeteries, and a school. The Bredell cemetery cleanup was the first on the list, with subsequent activities planned for Meyer Street in Germiston, Phumlani Cemetery in Daveyton, and Silindokuhle Primary School in Etwatwa.
Notably, National Cleanup Week coincided with Arbor Month in South Africa, an annual nationwide campaign in September promoting tree planting, conservation, education, and awareness about the importance of planting and caring for trees. This campaign aims to enhance overall cleanliness and create a healthy, aesthetically pleasing environment.
To ensure the successful execution of both National Cleanup Week and Arbor Month, the CoE partnered with several stakeholders, including the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Environment, PETCO, OXFAM, Plastics SA, Fibre Circle, local recycling organisations, local environmental organisations, and The Green Army. The main event for both initiatives took place on September 15 in Etwatwa.
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Photo: Supplied by African Reporter