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The Executive Mayor of George Ald Leon van Wyk, during his recent site visit to the construction site of the new composting facility, expressed his satisfaction with the progress made so far. The George Municipality commenced with the establishment of a compost facility in the 2019/2020 financial year.

“Today, we have come to inspect the progress made on the first platform of the new composting facility,” said Mayor van Wyk during his visit on Wednesday, 11 May 2022. “I would like to commend the team from Community Services who have taken the initiative to establish and initiate this project and made the progress we have seen here today. I would also like to thank the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers on-site for their invaluable input in making this project a success.”

In June 2021, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries promulgated Norms and Standards for the Treatment of Organic Waste. In terms of these norms, compost facilities must meet certain standards, and one of them is that the final platform layer works must contain a concrete platform or include a clay layer within its layer structure.

Mayor van Wyk confirmed that this construction is in line with the norms and standards for the Treatment of Organic Waste. “Effectively, builder’s rubble is used to fill the ground to the desired level whereafter a layer of clay is laid on top, and the working surface will consist of a wearing course material classified as G5, according to Committee of Land Transport Officials (COLTO) specifications. The idea is that the green bags that are collected from residents every week will go into a source which will make up compost.  Eventually, we are going to add garden refuse, kitchen waste and sludge from the sewerage works to create the compost. This is all to reduce the amount of refuse going into landfill sites in the municipal area.”

“Work is already underway to expand the size of the platform for future use. We are also introducing a green bag levy so that our residents can become part of the solution in dealing with our refuse and maintaining the critical environmental balance that we, as citizens of George, are custodians of. The levy will provide the funding to launch this project and to make a success of George becoming a Green City,” Ald van Wyk added.

The Municipality’s Department of Community Services assured that the Municipality will finalise the construction of phase 1 of platform A of the composting in the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 financial years. “Phase 2 of platform A is also underway, and the public is requested to divert and dispose of builders’ rubble at the Gwaing waste disposal facility to assist the municipality in finalising phase 2 of platform A,” said Sivuyile Mtila, senior manager for environmental services at the George Municipality.

“An attenuation pond will be constructed in the 2022/2023 financial year to treat and store stormwater runoff. Platform A will only be able to accommodate 76% of the George Municipality’s green waste. However, once platform B is built, all green waste will be accommodated. The maximum number of windrows that platform A can accommodate is 13. This equals a maximum volume of 2 486 m3. The average volume of compost produced for 6 weeks is 243 m3,” said Mtila.

The municipality urges the public to dispose of all builders’ rubble at the Gwaing landfill site instead of dumping illegally, as the material is required to complete the construction of the compost facility.

“We also urge the community to use the three-bag system to the benefit of reducing the landfill footprint. All three bags must be placed out on the same day on the designated refuse collection day,” Mtila added.

The municipality intends to operate the compost facility from 01 July 2023.