Forty municipal councillors of the 18 municipalities of the Mpumalanga Province received in-depth training into the recycling of packaging material thanks to a two-day workshop arranged by Packaging SA and hosted at the Plastics SA head office in Midrand recently.
According to Charles Muller, Executive Director of Packaging SA, this workshop was a joint initiative of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the Departments of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA) and Environmental Affairs (DEA) and was an excellent example of the first fruits being reaped as a result of a concerted effort to improve public-private partnerships.
‘The municipal councillors who were invited to attend the workshop were all responsible for the Climate Change, Environmental and Waste Management Portfolio in their respective municipalities. The main focus of the workshop was to educate these important role players in a “train the trainer” format how plastics, glass, metals and papers are recycled in South Africa and the importance of recycling to our economy as part of the Local Government Support Strategy Interventions,’ Muller explained.
The councillors learnt specifically about certain recycling processes and products made from recycled materials through presentations delivered by PRASA, Tetrapak, TGRC, MetPac-SA, PETCO, Polyco, SAVA, Plastics SA and Destination Green Recycling. Once the theory was completed, it was time for a practical, hands-on experience as the municipal councillors visited a recycling collector and the Tufflex recycling facility.
‘The feedback we received from our government colleagues was that the training they received was hugely beneficial. Not only are they now empowered to promote recycling initiatives in emerging and potential recycling companies within their communities, but we have also equipped them with the necessary skills and knowledge to further uplift their communities through job creation and ensuring that valuable waste with high recycling value stays out of our already burdened landfills and oceans,’ Muller concluded.