The City of Cape Town is the first municipality in the country to introduce a new waste management bylaw in line with new national legislation.
The new bylaw will regulate recovery and recycling activities, besides the usual waste activities, as well as the minimum requirements for waste storage and infrastructure.
“The Integrated Waste Management bylaw is aimed at regulating and controlling the management of waste within the City of Cape Town. It replaces old bylaws and ensures a uniform approach to waste management throughout the city,” said mayoral committee member for utilities Alderman Justus.
The new bylaw is closely aligned with the National Waste Management Strategy, as well as the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 59, which was gazetted on March 10, 2009.
“It is also underpinned by the city’s Integrated Waste Management Policy, which was adopted in 2006,” he says.
The city’s head of integrated waste management policy Barry Coetzee said the municipality’s broad obligation is to ensure that waste management services are provided to maintain a safe and healthy environment and to reduce resource and human impacts owing to waste.
In terms of the new national legislation, municipalities will regulate all entities that provide waste management services or generate waste. Accreditation will be required to ensure that all service providers abide by the city’s bylaws and general environmental legislation.
There is also provision for the separation of waste that has value and can be recycled. The city is already piloting this project in certain residential areas and will roll it out on a broader scale, subject to budget constraints.
The bylaw spells out the city’s rights regard- ing waste management services and its obligations regarding cleaning and cleansing; the responsible disposal of waste that cannot be recovered for recycling; collection and recovery for recycling; and the processing and treatment of waste and recyclable materials.
The bylaw also provides for the reduction of waste by industries, commerce, government departments and major events organisers, and places an onus on businesses to provide waste and recycling information.
The new national legislation also requires municipalities to recover costs for services rendered. There will be no immediate effect on tariffs, as the council has already budgeted for the infrastructure and services that include the pilot projects to introduce waste reduction services.
Cape Town’s 3,2-million residents produce some 6 000 t/d of waste, which is an average of 2 kg/d for each person. With waste generation growing at 7% a year, the city’s landfill sites at Vissershok, Bellville South and Strand-fontein are almost filled to capacity.