SOLID WASTE IN SOUTH AFRICA
Solid waste is classified as hazardous (radioactive, pesticides,
medical, poisons) which is health and life threatening; or non-hazardous (domestic, urban,
mining, industrial, scrap metal) which is unsightly and disposal takes up much space.
The effective and environmentally responsible disposal of Metropolitan
Solid Waste (MSW) is a process comprising storage, collection, transportation and
landfilling. A breakdown or deficiency in any one or more of these operations can result
in either a total or partial disruption of the service. Many developing countries are
struggling to provide an effective waste management service and this problem is
exacerbated by rapid urbanisation (Theron, 1992). The situation is further clouded by:
- The rent boycott resulting in the disruption of, amongst others, essential services
including refuse removal.
- The delay in establishing new local authority structures.
- The provision of services, especially in the townships.
SOLID WASTE WITHIN GREATER JOHANNESBURG
Waste management must be carefully planned to curtail the risk associated with
the handling and disposal of waste to the point where it is acceptable to man and the
environment. In terms of Section 20 of the Environment Conservation Act, 1989 (Act 73 of
1989), "waste can only be disposed of at a waste disposal facility". Thus waste
prevention and minimisation are the best options to manage the waste problem. For waste to
be properly managed its properties and the risk that it poses must be fully understood,
whether it poses minimal risk or a significant risk. One of the main problems facing the
local gevernments today is the management of waste in townships and informal settlements.