Category Archives: Waste Management


Local artist wants your old paint

This gallery contains 2 photos.

I came across a very interesting and inspiring painting project the other day, by local artist Carolyn Parton. After becoming aware of the impact of paint on the environment, Carolyn collects leftover paint from her projects, other artists, home improvers and ordinary people like us and turns it into art. If you have any old, used or leftover paint lying around please donate it to Carolyn and she will turn it into a masterpiece! Continue reading


From rubbish tip to something hip

This gallery contains 9 photos.

I came across a small furniture shop called Recreate in Woodstock the other day, created and owned by Katie Thompson. She started her business just over 2 years ago and it has grown from strength to strength. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of shops in Cape Town all selling furniture, but what makes Katie’s business stand out is that all the items in her shop were previously something different, something completely different!

Taking reusing and recycling to a new level, Katie takes dicarded items from the rubbish dump, tip or dustbins and transforms them into something wonderfully original and useful. Continue reading

P90 clubs clean up a storm


60 pupils from 8 of the Project 90 Core clubs in KZN helped clean up an area along the Umgeni River in Howick and then spend a fun morning at Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve on World Clean Up Day on 18 September. 

The morning started with everyone meeting outside Nocqaza Primary School to assist the school with the terrible litter problem that they experience right outside their school. This school lies very close to the Umgeni River so the litter collecting  exercise benefitted the school and prevented more waste from being washed into the river. It was a heart warming sight to see so many school children coming together to work for a common cause for a community some of them do not even know. (See our flikr photos) 

After roughly one and a half hours the children had picked up 55 bags and were starting to get tired as it was a very hot day. We decided to make our way to Umgeni Valley.  Luckily there were lovely clean facilities there for washing hands before having our tea in the shade if the yellowwood trees at the offices. 

We then walked down to the “pine trees”, a well known spot for picnics.

After arriving at the picnic spot we had the opportunity for each school to come up to the front, be introduced to the group and tell a little about what they were doing for the environment. 

After this we played the “Puzzling Climate Change” game. The Dodo team narrowly beat the Zebra team but all got prizes in the end!  By this time everyone was happy to see the packed lunches coming out !  I am sure everyone had a good time, and as one Michaelhouse boy said “When are we going to do this again, Mam?” 

Apologies from St Annes School who could not be present on this day, but sent girls down to PMB to help clean up the banks of the Duzi on Friday afternoon. 

A most sincere thank you to those teachers and learners who gave up their time on a Saturday morning to pick up other people’s rubbish. Thanks to them the world is now a better place! 

Report by KZN Clubs Coordinator, Liz Taylor


Steaming hot property

Robert Fischer, our Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency expert, went along to watch the installation of a Biogas Digester at a household development in Newlands.

What is a biogas digester?
A biogas digester, or more correctly, an Anaerobic Digester, is essentially a big stomach. It accepts food in the front end, in the form of animal, human or plant waste products, which are broken down by special bacteria. This “digesting” of the food results in the production of biogas, and a much reduced volume of waste coming out the back end. This biogas is methane rich, which means it can be burned to produce electricity, cook food or provide light or heating. Read more here

Biogas digesters prove that ‘sewage’ does not have to be a dirty word. One of the biggest unsolved public health and environmental problems facing all of us is the untreated or partially treated sewage that is flowing into our rivers, our townships and our ground water. For more information visit:

Mr. Bruce Kerswill, the proud owner of the latest biogas-digester called a ‘BiogasPro’ from AGAMA Biogas, is convinced that the biogas digester installed at his newly-built residential building will cover most of his family’s cooking needs. It is fed with “black water”, (i.e. sewage from toilets) to ensure that the digester doesn’t get over-filled. In addition it will get fed with kitchen off-cuts and biodegradable garden waste.

Mr. Kerswill is the executive chair of the Green Building Council so for him there’s no question that such technology should be introduced in residential housing developments. The benefits are clear: household waste is effectively utilised, a switch from carbon emitting electricity towards biogas for cooking, no transport costs for garden waste, a perfect fertilizer for the garden and a reduced load on the sewage system.

The environmentally friendly installation at this development in Newlands does not stop at the Biogas digester – it continues on the roof, a Solar Water Heater will be installed to supply all residents with perfect hot water!

Congratulations to AGAMA Biogas and Mr. Bruce Kerswill – keep on cutting carbon!

For more information about biogas digesters please visit our website
Contact Mr. Greg Austin or Ms. Marisa Naude at AGAMA Biogas:

Visit AGAMA Energy

Green Goal or Green Wash?

Brenda and I were invited to attend the FIFA World Cup Green Goal exhibition centre in the fan park at the Grande Parade in Cape Town last week. I went along feeling quite skeptical, as one tends to be when large multinationals start boasting about their eco-credentials.  

What I wanted to know was: was FIFA really implementing valuable sustainability programmes that would result in a reduction in carbon emissions and, would they continue after the World Cup had ended, or was this no more than a great big PR exercise?

I was particularly concerned after reading an article in the Engineering News which explained how three initiatives under the ‘Reducing the carbon footprint of major sporting events, FIFA 2010 and the Green Goal’ Project had been launched. The three initiatives were Greener Lighting to World Cup Host Cities, Green Passport and offsetting teams’ emissions. 

I became quite excited when I read that these initiatives received $10million between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Unep and the Department for Environmental Affairs.

Although the three initiatives sounded great, on closer inspection I discovered that it only included twelve billboards being switched to solar power; 60 solar traffic lights and 78 streetlights upgraded to use solar power. It also included offsetting team player’s flights and the handing out of a “green passport” eco information leaflet to football fans. Pretty meagre when you look at the budget they received!

What is also interesting to note was that this year the FIFA family itself and the Local Organising Committee has not made any contributions or committed to offset their emissions. They did however do so at the previous World Cup.

The 2010 World Cup is expected to generate 2,7 million tons of GHG – around eight times the footprint of the 2006 Germany World Cup.  Only 11 of the 32 participating teams have agreed to offset their emissions this year.

The carbon footprint of hosting the World Cup in Cape Town is around 180 000 tonnes of CO2. The determination of the carbon footprint of the event is an essential starting point and it seems that the City of Cape Town, with the Green Goal programme, has implemented some great programmes to reduce this footprint.

 A total of 41 projects have been identified across nine target areas:

  • Energy and climate change
  • Water
  • Integrated Waste Management
  • Transport, mobility and access
  • Landscaping and biodiversity
  • Green building and sustainable lifestyles
  • Responsible tourism
  • Green Goal communications
  • Monitoring, measurement and reporting

One excellent initiative which must be mentioned is the Cape Town Green Map. This interactive map, available on-line and in print, gives a comprehensive list of all things green in the city; green spaces, nature reserves, organic eateries, farmers’ markets, recycling drop-offs, sustainable living projects, eco products and other green choices useful to tourists and locals alike. Visit their website for more information: There are however concerns that once the World Cup is over there will no longer be funding for this excellent project.

Cape Town has also instituted a host of public transport options in and around the city – intercity busses, the first ever public transport from CT International airport, trains and park & ride facilities. However, whilst this is a great initiative it is discouraging that the majority of the transport in the city is only there for the World Cup and will not automatically continue. (The airport shuttle will continue but the inner city distribution services won’t.)

Recycling bins can be seen across the city centre allowing people to separate their wet and dry waste. The dry waste is sent to Athlone where it is sorted for reuse and recycling. Cape Town set a target for 20% of all waste from the World Cup to be recycled or reused. Project 90 has confirmed that this excellent recycling initiative will continue after the World Cup – and let’s hope that 20% will increase.

Another Cape Town initiative is promoting the drinking of tap water (Cape Town’s drinking water meets the highest international standards) and taps have been installed along the fan walk and at the fan fest. Although these will not remain in place after the World Cup they will be used when other events are planned in the city.  Videos promoting Cape Town’s safe tap water have been shown on the big screens at the Fan Fest throughout the tournament. 

Greenpoint stadium was fitted with water saving technologies and collects rain water on the roof . Spring water from table Mountain is being used to irrigate the green spaces around the stadium, which previously ran straight out to sea. This rain water and spring water will also be used to irrigate the nearby golf course instead of potable water.

GreenStaySA is a Green Goal legacy project that works with accommodation sites to become more environmentally friendly. Read more here:

So, in conclusion I was most impressed with the City of Cape Town’s Green Goal programme, but a careful watch must be kept to ensure that these programmes continue now that the World Cup has ended. On the other hand, I am less than impressed with the Greener Lighting to World Cup Host Cities programme. The fact the FIFA is not making any contributions or committing to offset their emissions this year is a deplorable state of affairs.