1. Introduction

South Africa has come a long way with regards to the management of waste. Historically, waste was managed by various pieces of legislation that were governed by different government departments and which were often fragmented in nature resulting in gaps and poor waste management practices. The promulgation of the Waste Act (Act No. 59 of 2008) on 1 July 2009 was a key milestone in consolidating waste legislation in a bid to have common goals and understanding of how the country's waste should be managed.

The Waste Act adopts the waste management hierarchy approach to dealing with and addressing waste issues in the country, where the emphasis is on waste reduction, if not possible re-use, recycling and composting, recovery to create energy, with disposal as a last resort as illustrated on figure 1.

Figure 01

Figure 1: Waste Management Hierarchy

In developing IWMP's all three spheres of government are required to follow the waste management hierachy approach as depicted in Figure 1 above where possible.