SWAKOPMUND, Sept. 22 – The Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF) in partnership with Pick n Pay (PnP) Namibia and VARTA Consumer Batteries Namibia, expanded its environmental services to the coast, on its mission to promote and instigate the three R’s of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
On the 15th of September 2017, the official launch of household battery collection points took place in Swakopmund, giving residents the platform to safely dispose of their household batteries. RNF Coordinator, Anita Witt said: “During the past year, it has become evident that residents of Swakopmund are aware of the damages caused to the environment when disposing household batteries in normal household refuse, given the number of queries received after launching the first Windhoek bins. It is not only creating the awareness of the 3 R’s that is important, but also for the RNF to seek ways to encourage minimizing waste sent to landfills and dumpsites, as well as to find solutions for problem items, such as batteries in this case. A total volume of 200kg of household batteries has been safely disposed of in a two month period in Windhoek.”
The Swakopmund Municipality has joined the initiative as one of the partners, as they will take over the responsibility for the collection, plus safe disposal of these batteries. Environmental Health Practitioner at the Swakopmund Municipality, Robeam Ujaha said the Municipality of Swakopmund has a vision to be the first Sustainable town in Namibia, and to realise this ambition there is need for the adoption of best practice in terms of recycling.
“This initiative will not only safeguard our environment, but also raise awareness on the safe disposal of such batteries, as it contains chemicals that has a high potential to pollute the entire ecosystem. Hence this recycling initiative is applauded. The initiative forms part of NACOMA’s Biodiversity Week (CBW) which aims to raise awareness amongst coastal residents and the nation at large on environmental issues and concepts inter alia impacts of pollution and littering, illegal and overutilization of resources, conservation and sustainable development. The CBW has grown hugely in popularity amongst coastal residents as it creates a good platform for especially learners to learn more on environmental issues and concepts.”
Ujaha further stressed that the greatest environmental concern surrounding a battery is the impact it has at the end of its life, as batteries are classified as Hazardous waste. Ujaha: “Batteries are widely used all over the country and are a vital source of energy (light, powering appliances), especially in rural areas and informal settlements. Despite the extent of use and the hazard posed, the majority remain unaware. The country currently only has two landfill sites where hazardous waste can be disposed of safely. Your initiative is therefore very important toward safeguarding our environment and raising awareness on safe disposing of batteries.”
Harald Bartsch from Vision Sales and Marketing, the distributors for VARTA Consumer Batteries in Namibia expressed excitement at the expansion of the project to the coast. “So far the Windhoek initiative has been a great success and it just proves that Namibians are concerned about our environment, and I am sure the coastal project will be very successful too. VARTA Consumer batteries is looking forward to joining our partners and to contribute towards this worthy cause,” he said.
O&L Group Environmental Manager, who is also the chairman of the RNF, Gloudi de Beer calls on the public for cooperation and support in making a success of this initiative. De Beer: “This is another opportunity for us to contribute to creating a safe environment, and sustaining our environment not only for ourselves but also for future generations. It is critical that we all support initiatives such as this, for the health and safety of us all and the future of this country. If we do not participate and support, this will not work.”
PnP Marketing Manager, Victoria Moller says as a leading retailer, PnP fully embraces this project. Moller: “In line with the O&L Value ‘naturally today for tomorrow’ PnP eagerly supports this project as it ensures future sustainability of our environment and natural resources. I commend the RNF for their efforts in contributing to future sustainability as we join hands in taking on the responsibility to keep our environment clean, safe and healthy. I encourage the community to participate in this project enthusiastically as it creates hope for generations to come.”
Collection points are available at PnP Swakopmund with the Walvis Bay point currently being pursued. – NDN Staffer