Recycling 'expensive' in Namibia

The high cost of recycling in Namibia has emerged as a major obstacle to the country's efforts to promote a circular economy and reduce waste, experts have said. 

Stakeholders in the recycling industry highlighted the need for improved infrastructure and transportation solutions to make recycling more accessible and economically viable. 

Abraham Reinhardt, Vice Chairperson of Rent-A-Drum, and Anita Witt, Coordinator for Recycle Namibia Forum, shared their perspectives on recycling challenges and potential solutions during a recent conference on circular economy hosted by the Finnish Embassy.

Abraham Reinhardt emphasised the importance of implementing visitation programmes to encourage recycling.

"You need to get visitation in place because if you don't have visitation in place, then people will not feel forced to start recycling, will not feel forced to really take care of nature.That's the biggest challenge, to get that in place," he stated.

Reinhardt also expressed optimism, citing the success of FMC investors who reduced waste by 1%, and believed that Namibia could achieve similar results.

Anita Witt echoed Reinhardt's sentiments and stressed the need for infrastructure support in smaller communities.

"Especially in smaller communities where you've got your local authorities or your towns or village councils, they do not have the infrastructure. So once somebody in a small town would like to recycle, where do they take it? Who's going to keep the recyclables?" she quizzed.

Witt highlighted the challenges of waste management in a vast country with a small population, emphasising the transportation of recyclables to South Africa, where most of them are processed.

Witt proposed empowering communities by providing them with bailing machines and support for small collectors in remote areas. 

She emphasised the logistical challenges posed by the long distances involved in transporting recyclables and acknowledged that transport costs often outweighed the potential earnings.

Witt also praised the community's enthusiasm for recycling and the annual cleanup campaign organised by the Ministry of Environment, stating, "From that, we can see how keen the community is to do the right thing, to have a cleaner Namibia and to be able to recycle."

Both Reinhardt and Witt agreed that while there are opportunities for recycling in Namibia, significant investments in infrastructure and transportation are necessary to overcome the cost barriers.

 The stakeholders called for increased collaboration between government, recycling companies, and local communities to establish more collection points and develop efficient transportation networks.

By enabling individuals and communities to participate in the circular economy, Namibia can make significant progress towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly future, the duo highlighted.




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Last modified on Tuesday, 06 June 2023 21:58

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