With the start of the new year looming, Ward 20 Clr Jill Humphreys has already made a list of the issues she aims to address and achieve in the year 2018.
And recycling is right at the top of her list of priorities.
“The potential for recycling in our suburbs is enormous and largely untapped,” said Humphreys. “This needs to change. Our landfills are brimming, and the thought of creating a new landfill site in pristine veld just can’t be done; it is unthinkable.
“Waste minimisation is essential and it starts with us, the community. Being mindful of what we buy, use, reuse, is as important as any structure that may or may not be put in place by the metro.”
Humphreys urged community members to make use of whatever recycling opportunities there are, as most shopping malls have recycle bins.
“I have high hope that several comprehensive recycling initiatives are being put in place and will make a big difference.”
Her dream best-practice option would be separation at source of all organic material.
“This to be collected separately and sent to bio-gas plants to generate cheap energy. All garden refuse can be included in this, and/or composted. None of it to go to landfill. Most of the remaining material can be recycled – uncontaminated. No smell, no rats.”
Wildlife corridors is another issue Humphrey plans to tackle in the new year.
“In spite of the relentless urbanisation, it is always amazing to find that our wildlife, if given half a chance, can survive.
“Serval cats, genets, dassies, vervet monkeys, even jackals are secretly and quietly living in our neighbourhoods,” she said.
“If we provide enough safe space for them, places where they can move around and hunt without being poisoned, run over, attacked by dogs, they will very effectively clean up the rodent infestation. Owls also need habitat and protection.
“These animals need to have corridors; access in and out of gardens, parks, the koppies and even the highway verges. I would love to have our parks planted with our natural highveld grasses and wildflowers.”
For Humphreys, it is also important that residents have a strong sense of community, that they feel they belong and are an important part of a robust, diverse and caring community.
“Such a community has enormous strength and can achieve goals and overcome adversity,” she said. “It happens because of the strength and caring we find in and for each other. We can do this. I do hope that you, the reader right now, are feeling that.”