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When will people see "Green" as "Better"?

There is an old saying that goes like this, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – this really pisses me off…

Who said anything was broken and who in their right mind knows of the correct direction in which to make things better? This post raises the question, “when will going green be seen as better“? My honest opinion on the matter is, I have no idea, I wish I knew and more so, wish the general public knew it too. South Africa is slowly starting to embrace what they believe is a “better and greener” future. Pikitup, our governmental crap-collectors, have now commissioned a new initiative into waste separation by means of fantastically coloured bags, it’s brilliant…but not so brilliant at the same time…why was this initiative not activated 10 years ago? Has anyone been to the national Landfill we have decorated our beautiful Midrand with? It is disgraceful to say the least, if I had a cent for every time I gagged at my last visit I would be able to fund Julius’s Presidential Campaign trail…FFS!

Johannesburg’s Executive Mayor, Amos Masondo may appear to be pulling out all the stops when it comes to environmental awareness in South Africa, but to us Eco-Foondies, this initiative goes into the spam pile. We, the few, have been separating our waste for years now, making their jobs easier. In the patriotically written blurb in Thursday’s, The Citizen (10/09/09), it highlights some of the key factors of Pikitup’s pilot project:

Part 1 (which I love dearly…)

“The Red Card initiative is aimed at empowering ordinary citizens. If citizens see anyone littering they can show them the Red card and say it is not cool to do what the offender is doing. A citizen will have the right to immediately call the contact number on the card to inform the authorities who in turn will take the appropriate action” said Masondo.

What a load of sh-t. Are you telling me that if you see someone littering, you have the right to walk straight up to them, in referee style stance, and show them the “Red Card”? Oooooh, I’m shaking in my crocs, come on, they cannot be serious, and where are those “Red Cards”, where the hell are mine? I would have gone through a governmental sized years supply of blady Red Cards just this weekend alone. I’d love to see this initiative being enforced in South Africa, someone is just looking for a slap here. As much as I have just slammed this, Part 1, maybe instead of such a tactile approach to littering, why not set up an “Environmental Protection” Hotline, it can even be SMS based to make it easier for “budding environmental protection agents”? Haven’t we got a Hotline for practically everything in South Africa…why not this? Why a flipping Red Card…?

Part 2 (Too little, too late…?)

“Separation at Source” – brilliant! What an excellent term that no doubt will be coined upon over and over again in time to come. What Masondo has put forward is an initiative not to teach people nor to educate people on the benefits of waste separation, but to simply give the general public the means to separate their waste. Paper goes in this one, Plastic in this one? Brilliant, 7 more plastic bags for every one South African out there…I mean, where has the common sense disappeared to? Look, I admire the initiative and I think it’ll be great in the long run, but what happens if the “long run” is too far to blady run? I feel as though a community based education should have been their first priority, to teach the general public the simple benefits of waste separation! It’s all well and good giving people pretty coloured bags to put their waste into, but from that point, if they have no inkling as to where that separated waste is going and why…why should they separate that waste to begin with? Because they’re going to get Red Carded by the “Green Police”…seriously, give me a break!

Another couple of points I dislike about this new “waste separation” initiative, why have Pikitup designated a bag for “Garden Waste”…have they never heard of a compost heap? It’s education like that that needed to be communicated before this initiative went public.

I fear for the worst when I think about all of this, where were the warnings? Where were the Public Relations? Where are the Public Announcements? The community awareness is almost nil, and it’s a shame, really it is.

Any thoughts Sustainable South Africa…?


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This entry was posted on September 13, 2009 by in Greening, Johanneburg, Pikitup, Recycling.
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