Environmental Future-thinking

Environmental Future-thinking 2021

Twice this year the city dump has been on fire. Fortunately for us, and not so fortunately for others, the prevailing winds have carried the smoke away from us and we have been, coincidentally, largely unaffected. The summer fires happen because the Dump does not have the compacting machines required to condense the refuse and this provides ideal conditions for a three day fire, where plastic and textiles achieve sustained combustion.

Blaming the City Manager or the Dump Management seems futile, although one would assume that by law they have responsibility for air quality. There is of course a solution which does not seem to be tabled any where - perhaps it is because it seems unthinkable to our collectively apathetic natures as South Africans. In theory, at least we should not be designing dumps for the future but rather we should be planning to eliminate them altogether.

If organic waste were to be sent through the sewer system via garbage disposal systems, and all packaging was legally required to be recyclable, there should be no need to send rubbish to the dump. Those items which require specialized disposal should be paid for by individuals, similar to the way that obsolete electronic equipment needs to be taken apart and you pay for the recycling process.

We need to rethink— new-think—and future-think our way to responsible and sustainable manufacturing where the whole life-cycle of a product and its packaging, can be accounted for. In the same way that demand for organic foods have created an avenue for those whose consciences direct them to pay more so that the products they buy do not have adverse effects on the environment, those who believe that we cannot continue in this cycle of dumping waste need to put their consumption habits and money where their consciences direct them.

Over the next three years we wish to reduce our contribution to the dump to zero. So when the rubbish burns we can be indignant - because it won’t be ours.

You’re Invited - We know that many of our parents are passionate about this topic. Please send any ideas, research or advice to principalspa@scc.co.za and help us accomplish this goal. If you are in the business of recycling send us details and we will publish your services to the city.

3 Responses

  1. Karen Choice

    Could you have recycling bins like St Johns has?
    We used to have a service, come to our farm & collect, but since closed down.

  2. Hamish Muir

    2 basic solutions.
    Firstly plastics can get melted down and made into outdoor furniture, fence posts or other items of use.
    Organic waste could be processed through a bio digester. The yield from the digester is in 2 main parts. Methane and compost. The methane could be used for heating water. Compost can be used on fields.

  3. St Charles College

    Thanks so much for all your suggestions!

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