H0W? to clean area and create jobs

Ward councillor Roberto Quintas opens the gate of the central recycling station to officially launch the H0W? project. With him are Ronel Williams, left, and Bronwen Lankers-Byrne.

After months of planning, the Hangberg Zero Waste (H0W?) initiative was officially launched in Salamander Road this week.

The project is the result of talks on Mandela Day last year, when residents organised a 67-minute meeting to discuss ways to clean up their area while simultaneously creating a sustainable business opportunity.

With the support of the City of Cape Town via the Hout Bay Partnership, support from the Hangberg Peace and Mediation Forum and mentoring of Thrive Hout Bay, the H0W? projects sees 12 local “eco-warriors” educating households in U and H blocks in the Hangberg area on how to sort daily waste into the categories of recyclables, compostables and landfill waste.

Several storage areas have been established around Hangberg, and collected waste is then transported to the central sorting area in
Salamander Road for sale and collection. The past two weeks
have seen the first of this waste collected, marking a significant moment in the three-month pilot project.

“I am delighted that this project has come to fruition,” said Thrive director Bronwen Lankers-Byrne
at the launch on Tuesday February 7.

“Eco warrior Ronel Williams and her team have been instrumental in getting this project
off the ground. Previously we had tremendous difficulty getting funding but thanks to the Hout Bay Partnership, and with the assistance of the Hout Bay Harbour Market we have been able to move forward. The feedback we have received so far has been tremendous.”

Ms Williams praised her team for “showing how to do it”.

“With this pilot project, what we achieve here can be carried over to the next area and the area after that. One of the great challenges we’ve had is getting the buy-in from the community, but we are getting there. We set ourselves a target of reaching 200 homes, and so far we are working with 120 households. The good news is that all our stations are full.”

Also at the launch was Xolisile Mama, the City’s head of solid waste cleansing – Atlantic division. Mr Mama stated that in order for waste to be effectively managed, “all the legs of the table must be functioning”.

“One of those legs is community involvement. There is no doubt that this process involves patience, but the team is showing this. You will have our undivided support with this project.”

Ward councillor Roberto Quintas paid tribute to Ms Lankers-
Byrne and what had been

“Projects like this create opportunities. They create a safer and cleaner Hout Bay which unlocks opportunities for investment. In turn this goes a long way towards the long-term vision of sustainable employment.”