2.4.1 Identify and evaluate alternatives

Under this section a municipality must undertake to identify the different alternatives that can be employed to achieve the desired end state and it should indicate the different approaches to achieve the targets. It is crucial to explore different approaches that can be employed for all aspects to waste management. A municipality must indicate the best possible way of attaining the goals by weighing the costs vs the benefits of each.

A municipality is required to critically look at all the requirements and should decide based on its available capacity and financial resources, which of the requirements will be attained in the short-medium to long term and what the implications would be if no action is taken. During the consultation phase of the development of an IWMP, it is important to make stakeholders aware of the requirements in terms of the Waste Act, in order that if there are tradeoffs to be made, they too can be involved in prioritising the services to be delivered.

As an example:

In municipality X, the following was identified as a goal:

Goal 1: Promote recycling and the recovery of waste

Target: (separation at source and recycling)

In order to attain this goal the municipality will need to put in place the following measures:

Legal requirements/framework

Develop and/or observe the legal framework governing waste separation at source i.e. National domestic waste collection standards. Develop a system to roll out separation at source in terms of the standards wherein receptacles will be provided for recyclables and non-recyclables to be collected from households.

The municipality should lay out the standards that must be adhered to i.e. how many and what types of receptacles will the municipality deliver per household? Will these be two plastic bags one clear for recyclables and another one black for all other waste? Where will the recyclables be taken for recycling? How many times will the receptacles be collected?

The municipality should consider where the receptacles will be placed in areas where door-to-door collection is not feasible.


How will the municipality finance separation at source programmes? The programme could be financed through the sale of receptacles or it could be financed through a joint venture with industry where the municipality could ensure that a contractor has access to the recyclables and in turn the service provider will fund the transport costs as well as will employ locals in the collection and recycling of the material. What is important is that the municipality must ensure that the service is delivered in a sustainable manner.

The sub-contractor/s could also be advised to collect recyclables separately in order to generate more income from the sale of the recyclables.

Or if the service will be delivered in-house a municipality must indicate that it will use that method.

Human resources:

A municipality could look at its current organogram in order to determine whether sub-contracting the service would be more effective as opposed to sub-contracting the service. If it is going to be delivered in-house, does the current organogram have sufficient human resources to deliver the service? If not how many additional staff members should the municipal have and at what cost?

Goal 2: Ensure the effective and efficient delivery of waste services

Target: Roll out waste collection to un-service areas (including indigent households)

In order to achieve this goal a municipality would need to undertake the same exercise as in goal 1 where it should consider the following:

Legal requirements/framework:

What are the applicable policies for waste collection and how do those suggest the service should be delivered to residents? i.e. National policy for the provision of basic refuse removal services to indigent households. Are there any municipal by-laws regulating the delivery of waste management services and if so what methods are recommended for the collection of waste in the different settlement types?


Options on how to provide the service in a cost effective manner must be considered. These could involve making use of locals to service densely populated settlements such as informal settlements.

Increase SME participation by encouraging locals to explore opportunities in waste through using labour intensive collection models.

The main aim is to increase the number of households receiving a waste collection service and by promoting labour intensive collection methods a municipality could realize other spin offs such as creating job opportunities as well as encouraging entrepreneurship.


How many vehicles will be required to deliver the service and how many personnel should be employed to carry out the delivery of the service? What types of vehicles can be utilized to deliver the service in the different settlement types i.e. will compactor trucks work in informal settlements or are these areas better serviced by a local contractor using a normal bakkie?

Further, a municipality could explore mapping out waste collection routes and this could lead to fast turnaround times and therefore the service could be delivered in the most economical manner.

The cost-benefit analysis will indicate the best possible options i.e. whether the service should be provided in-house or certain aspects to waste management should be sub-contracted. The chosen options must be indicated in the implementation plan.

The evaluation of alternatives should be performed for all the goals as listed in the desired end state.

Lastly, a municipality should also indicate the implications should there be lack of action on the strategic goals

Goal 1: Promote recycling and the recovery of waste (separation at source and recycling)

  • If no action is taken to achieve this goal the municipality will be in contravention of the Waste Act which requires municipalities to promote the waste management hierarchy approach to waste management where as much waste as possible should be recycled.
  • The National domestic waste collection standards which calls for municipalities to provide receptacles in order to divert recyclable waste to landfill.
  • Waste that could otherwise be recycled will be disposed of in a waste disposal site; the resulting impact would be; failure to contribute to government's target on diverting recyclables to landfill.
  • Will experience environmental impacts associated with land filling such as the contamination of underground water resources, poorly run waste disposal facilities posing health and safety challenges to workers and reclaimers.
  • The municipality will miss out on an opportunity to create employment and contribute towards local economic development if no recycling is promoted

Goal 2: Ensure the effective and efficient delivery of waste services

  • The municipality will be in contravention of the National policy for the provision of basic refuse removal services to indigent households which requires that waste collection services should be delivered to indigent households.
  • Will not contribute to government targets (Outcome 10 targets) which aim to increase the number of households receiving a waste collection service from 64% to 75% by 2015.
  • Further, it will contravene any applicable municipal by-laws including the municipality's Constitutional obligation on the delivery of waste collection services
  • The poor and the most vulnerable will continue to live in unhygienic conditions posing health and safety challenges such as vector borne diseases

This exercise should be performed for all the chosen goals in order for the municipality to have a thorough understanding of what is required, how to achieve the goals and what the implications could be if there is no action.