The first of June was also a day of firsts for Kruger and a number of its partners in waste management in the Park. Dr Bandile Mkhize, chief executive officer of Kruger, Syd Carter, chairman of Petco and Bill Naude, executive director of the Plastics Federation of South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the Park's landfill site. Enviromark, Petco and Buyisa-e-Bag donated a mobile plastic baling machine to Kruger.
This is the first project where Buyisa-e-Bag and other partners work together to recycle after Valli Moosa introduced legislation that placed a levy on the use of plastic bags in supermarkets and shops. The donation prompted Ben du Plessis, water and waste manager at the Park, to equate to donation to a "gift of gold".
He says the baler will enable Kruger to reduce the burning of waste in the Park by 70 percent as no more plastics will be burnt. The donation goes hand in hand with training in recycling that will cover aspects such as the correct identification, sorting and baling of plastic. Ben says the Park strives for the minimisation of waste and looks to do maximum recycling to be in line with legislation.
"We are now looking into our options of either transporting the baler to the different camps or moving the waste to Skukuza," he added. In his address, Mkhize told the guests that before 1992, the conservation department assumed responsibility for waste management at the various camps, ranger posts and picnic sites.
Recycling was only done at the bigger camps. This arrangement changed in the 1990s and many of the smaller waste sites were closed down. New sites were identified and only the 11 bigger camps now have sites in operation, under the management of the Park's technical department. Collect-a-can has a 20 year contract with the Park to remove all tins from Kruger and Green's Waste, based in Nelspruit, has a similar contract to remove all the glass from the Park.