A significant development within the waste management industry over the last 20
years has been the acceptance, by those responsible for the implementation of an efficient
and effective waste management system in any community, that the members of the community
are an essential element in the process. They produce the waste and they also have a
responsibility to ensure that the waste is disposed of correctly.
In order for waste to be correctly managed in any community therefore there needs to be:
- An agreed upon standard of cleanliness that needs to be attained or maintained;
- The provision of adequate technology and facilities in order to meet this standard;
- The capacitating of all sectors of the community so that, the importance of a clean
environment is understood, the facilities and technology are correctly utilised and there
is community involvement in the cleansing and beautification initiatives; and
- The agreed upon standards are enforced.
- The successful experience I will be sharing with you has included the contracting out of
the waste collection service to small emerging entrepreneurs, professional monitoring to
ensure that the service delivery meets the required standards, one on one education of all
sectors of the community and the initiation of community based cleanliness and
- Background Information
- In September 1996 the two Durban Central Local Councils assumed responsibility for the
former R293 Townships (Umlazi, KwaMashu and Ntuzuma), Ningizimu (Lamontville, Chesterville
and the five of the six city hostels) and Inanda. Following from this Durban Solid Waste
was tasked with introducing an effective waste collection service to these areas.
Currently this services is being provided for the residents of the 167, 500 dwelling
units, both formal and informal, in these areas through the outsourcing of the service to
37 individual contractors. The work is allocated through the affirmative procurement
public tender system, minimum standards are set. The service includes the distribution of
refuse bags, minimum of one per household per week, the collection of all refuse that is
put out for collection on refuse collection days, litter picking and verge cutting. The
services are managed on behalf of DSW by Munitech.
- In line with the current waste management trends, identified earlier, it was accepted by
- the provision of waste disposal facilities alone was not sufficient and that these
should be complemented with a waste management education programme. Through funding, from
DSW, a grant was made available to the Association of Clean Communities Trust for 14
Community Development Workers (CDWs) to be employed by the Keep Durban Beautiful
Association (KDBA) to implement a waste management education programme.
- COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WORKERS
- The first CDW was employed in March of 1997. Initially the contract period for a
CDWs was one year. KDBA was however able to make the first grant extend to cover an
18 months period. Further funding was then secured to extend the contract for the
CDWs to the end of June 2000.
- The role and function of the CDWs can be presented as follows:
- To represent DSW/KDBA in the community
- To have a thorough knowledge of, as well as an association with the community, in which
he or she is working
- To have a working knowledge of the Clean Community System.
- To be responsible for:
- - Creating an awareness amongst all sectors of the community of the importance and
benefits of a clean environment.
- - Providing information on the waste management facilities available in an area.
- - Enabling every individual in the community to accept responsibility for a clean
- The above to be achieved by:
- Taking every suitable opportunity to inform members of the community about waste
- Developing and implementing specific programmes and projects aimed at changing the
communitys attitudes and behaviour regarding the way that they dispose of their
waste and enabling them to accept responsibility for the cleanliness and beautification of
- Identifying and participating in opportunities created by other organisations/municipal
departments to reach the community.
- The CDWs account for their activities through;
- Report back and interaction with the community
- Regular meetings and written reports required by the management of KDBA.
- Taking of the required Photometric Photographs.
- GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY
- Six CDWs work in the North Central Council area and six in the South Central
Council area. There are two CDWs in the City Centre - one in the Warwick Junction
area and one at the City Hall - linking what is happening in the suburbs to what is
required in the central city area.
- The CDWs meet jointly once a month ,with an Education Officer and the Education
Coordinator from DSW, responsible for the CDWs, to set tasks and objectives.
Individual reports on work undertaken during the preceding month are given at this
meeting. A weekly meeting is also held in the North and the South to coordinate the
practical implementation of projects and for the CDWs to assist each other in
developing their programmes. Although basic tasks are set for each month the CDWs
are encouraged to go beyond these and to use their initiative and creativity in order to
implement the most appropriate and effective waste management education programme for
- TARGETED SECTORS
- The CDWs work with all sectors of the community these include: Educational
Institutions; Business ( Formal and Informal ); Churches; Youth Structures; Taxi
Operators: Households ((Formal and Informal settlements); Social clubs; Organisers and
Managers of Crowd Events;
- Councillors; Development Forums; etc.
- COMMUNITY PROGRAMMES AND ACTIVITIES
- The CDWs initiated their programmes by compiling a profile of each area that they
were going to work in. The profiles included details such as population size, number and
type of dwelling units, businesses, educational institutions, hospitals and other relevant
government institutions offering a service in that area, etc. Programmes and projects
- Door to door house visits
- This is a community centred activity and enhances the communitys understanding of
- It also prepares households for the practicality of waste management education when it
comes to starting projects such as Adopt a Spot /Verge.
- Door to door also serves as a research tool for the Association in establishing the
level of service that is provided and identifying peoples attitudes to waste
- The project in many instances has served as a starting point for identifying key people
in different communities, the formation of committees such as street committees and clean
community committees representatives.
- Clean up campaigns and a number of adopted verges have been the most common follow up
activities after door to door.
- Gardening Projects
- The CDWs through their contact with the different sectors of the community
identified a concern about, as well as a willingness to do something about, combatting the
problem of illegal dumping. A workable solution has been found in that after an area has
been cleared of illegally dumped waste it is used for vegetable gardening. The result has
been the mushrooming of vegetables gardens on a number of street corners, on households
verges and on previously neglected open spaces. The most successful gardening projects in
the new suburbs areas have been the Isishebo club a Umlazi, Qedidlala at Ntuzuma , Khula
Gardening Club at Inanda. Their success is enhanced by their ability to cascade with many
of the initial clubs now having more than ten groups under its name.
- Adopt a spot / verge
- This project is aimed at encouraging communities to be practically involved in waste
management and beatification. The adopted spot /verge is initially cleaned and beautified,
handed over to the community member or group, and thereafter the cleanliness is regularly
monitored. Adopted areas are identified with an Adopt-A-Spot/Verge sign. Different sectors
of the community - schools, churches and businesses are involved in this projects.
- Information Umbrella/ Display Stands
- This has been used mainly at crowd venues and at strategic points where there is a
potential for reaching large numbers. The information umbrella/ display stand is mainly
used to promote KDBA activities in the developing areas and to disseminate educational and
promotional material to communities.
- Most of the churches that have been targeted have been keen to participate in KDBA
activities. They have been used as a medium to reach out to residents. Women group from
the churches have played a major role in starting gardening projects and the
beautification of church yards and verges.
- Schools programme
- The CDWs have introduced waste management education to schools through the
establishment of Environ Clubs. Schools have also been involved in projects such as clean
ups, recycling, waste audits, schools beautification projects, competitions, etc.
- Special Events
- Special events organised by the CDWs or in which they have participated include:
- Clean-ups - these have not been seen as the solution to the litter problem but rather
have been organised with various sectors of the community as a process towards instilling
a commitment and responsibility for a cleaner environment. The cleanup becomes the
starting point from which communities start to give attention to waste management problems
in their area and together coming up with possible solutions.
- Launches of various environ clubs and gardening projects.
- Joint projects with other organisations/departments, etc.
- Award ceremonies.
- Recycling Projects
- Masakhane Road Shows
- Participation in the Mayoral Awards.
- Participation in the KZN Industrial Waste Management Award.
The following statistics are for the period 1 April 98 to 30 March 1999
|No of Households reached
|No of Adopted Spots
|No of Adopted Verges
|No of Garden Projects
|No of Schoold Reached
|No of Workshops - Teachers
|No of Presentations
|No of Displays
|Environ Clubs formed
|Photographic Survey Stages
||3rd & 4th
||3rd & 4th
- The very challenging work being undertaken by the CDWs in the developing areas is
slowly but surely reaching out to all sectors of the community. There has been a positive
response to the messages conveyed by the CDW which is evidenced in the support given to
the projects they have been run. They have been able to recruit a large number of
volunteers who are also active in their areas and have further enjoyed the support of key
persons in the community. The work of the CDWs has been invaluable in the
introduction and implementation of the waste management services by DSW. Their efforts
ensure that each resident can make an informed decision regarding the way that they
dispose of their waste.
- Education and particularly attitude change is however an ongoing process and there is
still a lot of work that needs to be done in: inculcating a cleanliness ethic amongst all
members of the community; achieving individual responsibility for an improved physical
environment; and introducing waste minimisation options as choices for the correct
disposal of waste.
- In conclusion the benefits of a well managed waste
collection system, the contracting out of services and an ongoing intensive waste
management education programme can be measured by the cleanliness of the area. The
cleanliness of the new suburbs within the Durban North and South Central Council is
remarkable and an invitation is extended to you all to come and visit them to view the
success for yourselves.