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2014-10-14
The reason behind Waste recycling


Historically, South Africa followed the “end-of-pipe approach to waste management. i.e. Generated waste was collected by the municipalities and disposed of in landfill sites. The focus, at the time, was on finding more space for more landfill sites. Environmental issues have now become a matter of public concern and enviromental awareness is growing resulting in pressure forcing us as a public to change from this behaviour.


Having said that, waste disposal remains the predominant means of managing waste in South Africa. Waste disposal sites are controlled under Chapter 5 of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act 59 of 2008) with effect from 1st July 2009. Technical guidance on the development, operation and monitoring of waste disposal sites is provided through Government's Minimum Requirements
Over 42 million cubic metres of general waste is generated every year across the country, with the largest pro-portion coming from the Gauteng province (42%) (DWAF 1997). In addition, more than 5 million cubic metres of hazardous waste is produced annually, mostly in the provinces of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal (this is due to the concentration of mining activities and fertiliser production in these provinces). The average amount of waste generated per person per day in South Africa is 0.7 kg. This is closer to the average produced in de-veloped countries (73 kg in the UK and 0.87 kg in Singapore), than to the average in developing countries such as 0.3 kg in Nepal (DWAF 1997).
By far the biggest contributor to the solid waste stream is mining waste (72.3%), followed by pulverized fuel ash (6.7%), agricultural waste (6.1%), urban waste (4.5%) and sewage sludge (3.6%).

Waste management in South Africa is based on the principles of the White Paper on Integrated Pollution and Waste Management (IP&WM) and the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) published by the De-partment of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in 1999 and 2000 respectively and the subsequent enhance-ment of the new National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008).
South Africa now supports the waste hierarchy in its approach to waste management, by promoting cleaner production, waste minimisation, reuse, recycling and waste treatment with disposal seen as a last resort in the management of waste.

The National Environmental Management: Waste Amendment Act, 2014 (Act No 26 of 2014):

We have to change this as it is becoming a threat to our enviroment.

Recovery- refers to the controlled extraction (of material) or retrieval of (energy) any substance, [or] material or object from waste [to produce a project]

Re-use- refers to the utilise the whole, a portion of or a specific part of any [articles] substance, material or object from the waste stream[again] for similar or different purpose without changing the form or properties of such[articles] substance, material or object.

Recycling- means a process where waste is reclaimed for further use, which process involves the separation of waste from a waste stream for further use and the processing of that separated material as a product or raw material

Do your bit to save the planet. it is the only one we have

Johannesburg, Cape Town and eThekwini (Durban) have started pilot projects to increase the amount of waste that is recycled. Johannesburg’s waste collection company, Pikitup, wants 80% of the city’s waste to be treated in this way. The company currently has four landfill sites which at the present rate of disposal will be full in 12, 9, 7 and 3 years respectively.
Some municipalities are also looking at capturing methane gas from landfill sites. eThekwini has already com-pleted one such landfill gas-to-electricity (the first in SA) and are planning on opening a second. It is claimed that the two sites could produce 7.5MW of power.
The Industrial development Corporation (IDC) are also looking into waste disposal with a view to producing biogas / fuel from biomass as well as the more conventional ways of producing electricity. Initially they are look-ing at these technologies for use in the Gauteng province and are seeking tried and tested solutions in the U.S.A., UK and Switzerland.


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