New standards for waste collection have been gazetted for comment and aim to provide the necessary levels of service deliv- ery required for all citizens, in line with the New Waste Act (Act 59 of 2008) and the new National Waste Management Strategy now in place, says Institute of Waste Manage- ment of Southern Africa (IWMSA) president Stan Jewaskiewitz.
“These new and improved standards include providing more stringent requirements for landfills, while simultaneously reducing and limiting the amount of waste that arrives at landfill sites, especially hazardous industrial liquid wastes. Many landfill sites are not presently licensed and of those that are, some are poorly run or managed, causing a detrimental impact on the environment and local communities,” he says.
“In terms of the new Waste Act, all relevant waste management facilities will need to be licensed and must appoint waste manage- ment officers, who will have significant legal responsibilities with regard to compliance.”
Municipal service delivery in terms of domestic household waste collection and disposal currently varies from very poor to good in South African cities and towns.
“Government recognises that, at local government level, there is a significant lack of capacity and expertise. To this end, they have started a number of interventions, such as training and assisting in the financing of various initiatives, all of which entail investing funds into training and capacity building.”
The IWMSA is proud of its involvement in municipal training workshops and is now offering accredited basic waste management training courses, says Jewaskiewitz.
“The Department of Environmental Affairs has been running a yearly Waste Khoro for the past two years, aimed at informing and training municipalities to meet the requirements of the new legislation.
“However, many municipalities do not have the necessary skills, capacity or management experience to run effective waste collection and disposal systems. They also do not have any planning processes in place and, as a result, do not have sufficient financial budgets to implement such systems, he says.
Industrial and commercial wastes are, therefore, generally handled by private-sector waste companies, whose service, while not excellent, is adequate in respect of both general and hazardous wastes, he explains.
“Companies in this sector have already begun a process of looking into and implementing waste recycling and waste treatment systems, especially for industry, and are gearing up in anticipation of the implementation of the new standards,” Jewaskiewitz concludes.