LACK OF AWARENESS, PROPER DISPOSAL SYSTEMS AND FUNDS - VINO SHARES SOME OF HER VIEWS ON CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF WASTE POLLUTION IN SOUTH AFRICA
What do you think is the root cause of waste ending up on the streets/in nature in rural areas?
Lack of knowledge and understanding of the consequences of not disposing litter properly. People also lack the means to properly dispose waste, such as refuse bins and reliable waste collection systems.
If people are empowered to recycle and reuse , thereby reducing the amount of litter produced by households, there will be significant reduction in the amount of litter in the streets/ending up in the natural environment.
What is the main difference between waste management in cities and rural areas?
Firstly, the local government system in rural areas differs from the one in cities.
People in cities pay rates and taxes and therefore are able to hold the municipalities accountable for the waste management, while in rural areas people don't pay rates and taxes and therefore there is often a lack of funds.
The ideology behind this design is meant to help rural residents, because they are usually with less means and this system is in place to not burden these people.
Furthermore rural areas are often occupied by the young and old people who lack knowledge on issues such as environmetal and waste management and what their rights are regarding those services.
How is the mentality/mindset around waste and the proper disposal of it?
What l have observed in rural areas is that people just don’t care about shared spaces, but keep their homesteads and yards clean. They need encouragement to manage ther waste better. A waste management problem develops when there isn’t a proper system in place and people restore to illegal dumping.
However, it is worth noting that the isn’t a lot of recycling initiatives in rural areas, therefore the accumulative waste piles up.
What are the consequences of the waste pollution?
Unfortunately, the consequences of littering are not immediate to most people. Of course, littering immediately destroys the aesthetic beauty of an area. However, most people don’t see beyond this, they do not see habitat degradation, chemical leaching into the soil and water course. They don’t immediately see the bacteria and biological hazards caused by waste pollution neither do they consider that they actions will be felt thousands of kilometres away from the source.