Only 7% of South Africans households are recycling waste

Cape Town – Despite the benefits and need for recycling, studies report that as few as 7% of South African households recycle.

According to research by Statistics SA: “Although some South Africans are aware of the environmental and ethical value of recycling, most households do not recycle their household waste.”

On Wednesday a panel discussion at the Landfill 2019 Conference agreed that sustainable waste management practices – such as waste reduction, re-use of waste, recycling and use of biogas technology – will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the total carbon footprint of municipalities.

Speaking on the panel were head of research and development: solid waste disposal at the City of Cape Town, Margot Ladouce; a past Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) president, Jan Palm; the current IWMSA president, Leon Grobbelaar; and a principal scientist at the CSIR, Linda Godfrey.

One of the topics discussed was how municipalities should adopt waste minimisation practices.

In the Drakenstein municipality, this has meant, recycling at source by certain formal high-income households; the chipping of green organic waste; and use of builders’ rubble as covering material on the landfill site.

To add to the growing need to divert organic waste from landfill, the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs recently announced a 100% ban on organic waste to landfill by 2027, with a halfway target of 50% by 2022.

Earlier in the year, National Treasury implemented SA’s first carbon tax bill, imposing a carbon tax for carbon emitting activities.

An exhibitor at the conference was BiobiN, a new waste management system that brings an easy solution for diverting food and organic waste away from landfill sites by composting.

Brian Küsel of BiobiN said: “Having a BiobiN on your premises, not only are you able to produce high quality compost, you also alleviate the pressure on landfill sites due to the biodegradation of organic waste.”


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