Community participation in waste minimization : the case of Emfuleni Local Municipality
Ludidi, Nompazamo Alma
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The purpose of this research is to understand factors contributing to successes and challenges in community participation especially in waste minimization initiatives; in order to inform policies and contribute to improve the design of the initiative. The objectives of the research are: firstly, to understand the current state of public participation in waste minimization at Emfuleni Local Municipality. Secondly, it is to determine the extent of willingness of the community to participate in waste minimization initiatives. Thirdly, to determine strategies on how to promote public participation in waste minimization. Fourthly, to identify constraints and challenges of public participation in waste minimization and what kind of support is required for the community to participate in waste minimization initiatives at Emfuleni Local Municipality. Respondents were drawn from fifty households within the community of Bophelong Extension 13, Emfuleni Recycling groups, Waste Management officials, Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment stake holder participation unit and Waste Buyers in Vanderbijlpark. The researcher employed mainly a qualitative research design and data was collected through questionnaires and interviews. Quantitative study was done on officials and responses were ranked according to the importance of the factors influencing community participation. The findings of this research indicate that the community is willing to participate in waste minimization initiatives. 42% of respondents are currently NOT participating in waste minimization initiatives. It was noted that all community respondents promised and are willing to participate in waste minimization strategies. The research further indicates that there is a considerable number of constraints and challenges prohibiting successful community participation in waste minimization. The constraints include lack of knowledge especially regarding composting initiatives to minimize organic waste and the separation of waste, lack of infrastructure to exchange waste for cash, lack of time, lack of transport, lack of political support, lack of starter packs to initiate own waste minimization plant and lack of financial support to ensure that waste minimization initiatives create opportunities for job creation. This study recommends, amongst others, that the community requires support to participate meaningfully in waste minimization initiatives in the form of: awareness and education, infrastructure for reclaimed waste, waste recycling bins, project funding, community involvement and support from the Emfuleni Local Municipality and the private sector.