With 3,6 million residents generating between 5000 and 6000 tons of domestic and industrial waste per day, the City’s existing landfill sites are quickly nearing capacity. As older landfill sites reach capacity, new landfill sites have to be developed and waste has to be transported further and further.  Ageing refuse truck fleets also have to be renewed. These needs are driving up costs for the collection and disposal of waste.  The current Solid Waste Management’s capital budget is R295,5 million.  Although the City is driving a recycling effort to reduce waste, refuse collection is becoming more expensive. 

To meet the increasing demands of waste removal in the fast growing city, residents will need to pay 18% more for refuse removal, as from 01 July 2010 which is an average of about R13 more per month.

As from 1 July 2010, people who take builders’ rubble to landfill sites will pay R57 per ton to do so. This service was free, but the increasing amount of builders’ rubble taken to landfill sites has placed a heavy burden on the City’s waste budget, hence the new charge.

In addition, from 1 July 2010 it will cost an additional R70 per ton to deposit large amounts of general waste at a landfill site. This increase covers the operating cost for a new waste transfer station in Kraaifontein. This new transfer station will be able to process 960 tons of refuse per day. The increase will also make a liability provision for the cost of the future rehabilitation and closure of landfill sites that have reached capacity or end of their legal life.

 For more detail on any of the New Solid Waste Management Tariffs, please contact the City’s call centre at 0860 103 089.

What is the budget for Solid Waste Management spent on?

The City is in the process of extending the Vissershok Landfill Site, to provide additional capacity.  A large amount of the money allocated in the 2010/11 budget will be spent on this development.

One of Solid Waste Management’s main focuses is on waste minimization and reducing the demand for increasing landfill space. The City is forming valuable partnerships with the private sector to improve the City’s waste minimization capacity. An overall waste minimization target of 16% has been set, and the City is committed to a national target of 20% during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The City also plans to replace 30 of the full maintenance lease compactor trucks in the refuse removal fleet with the City’s own trucks, at a cost of R67 million on the capital budget. The construction of the Integrated Transfer Stations will reduce the distance these vehicles have to travel between collection and disposal, which will in turn extend the lifespan of the vehicles. These vehicles service the city’s 900 000 households (formal and informal areas), which are spread over an area of 2 487 km², on a weekly basis for basic refuse removal.

While the City has increased the average cost of refuse removal, it is also cognisant of the need to assist those in need. Subsidies totalling R166 million have been allocated for refuse removal in the 2010/11 financial year and the property value threshold for rebates on refuse bins has been increased from R300 000 to R400 000 as per list below. The rebate categories range from 100% for properties valued at under R100,000 to 25% for properties valued at under betw, R350,000 and R400,00.

Abbreviated version of Media Release  Issued by: Communication Department, City of Cape Town   Media enquiries: Alderman Ian Neilson, Executive Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Tel: 021 400 1306 or Cell: 083 306 6730

EDS Comment:   The City is still hooked into an unsustainable system of waste collection and waste disposal.  We are running out of landfill – why is recycling still at the stage of pilot projects and high profile one off initiatives.  Where are genuine incentives for citizens to recycle and penalties for not doing so.  Like a number of households that I know, we recycle, re-use, compost etc so that now we have reached the stage that the cost of waste disposal is inversely proportional to the amount of waste we generate – the less we produce, the more we pay.  The warm glow people  feel for saving the planet by managing their household waste responsibly is not enough.  What has happened to the user pay principle?   KimK