FLOOD OF LITTER NARROWLY AVERTED
On 11 May of this year we posted an article with the headline “Knysna Estuary to Face a Flood of Litter and Refuse.” At the time, we wrote: “Approximately 100 big black trash bags of litter and refuse are currently being collected each week all along the shore of the Knysna Estuary by two Working for the Coast teams. Unfortunately, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ current funding cycle ends this month, and new funding will not become available until November 2018 at the earliest.
The impact on the estuary will be severe unless someone steps in to bridge the gap. Much of the litter and refuse will inevitably end up in the estuary, fouling beaches and creating a growing unsightly mess all along the shore.”
Today, we are delighted to report that Knysna Municipality’s Environmental Manager Pam Booth has stepped into the breach and provided funding to carry the program through to 12 September 2018. At that point, additional funding will need to be found to bridge the gap till November, when funding should again become available from the Department of Environmental Affairs, which funded the original program.
The money will pay for two teams of 10 workers each.
The first team will work its way around the estuary shore, picking up litter from the intertidal zone at Crab’s Creek, then the Railway Bridge, then on to The Point, Simola-KADA, Laguna Grove, the stretch from the Yacht Club to Thesen’s Bridge, Thesen’s Bridge to Food Lover’s Market, Food Lover’s Market to George Rex Drive, then on to Cathy Park, the Airfield, Leisure Isle, and The Heads. Clean-up at Brenton-on-Lake and Featherbed will continue to be handled by SanParks, which sends workers over by boat.
The second team will work its way up the culverts, primarily in the CBD, picking up as they climb up to the watershed, before the litter ever reaches the estuary.
All of the litter and refuse that can be recycled will be: plastic, cellophane and similar materials to stuff plastic bottles for use as building bricks, bottle caps to be recycled in George by an organisation that donates a wheelchair for a given volume of caps, etc.
So we now have a breather until September 12th. Under our new mayor, Mark Willemse, Knysna Municipality will now begin looking for bridge funding from then till the DEA funding cycle hopefully kicks in again sometime in November.