2.2.5 Waste recycling, treatment and disposal

(a) Waste recycling

This section entails the identification of existing recycling initiatives and it must be indicated whether these are recycling initiatives by the municipality or industry lead. This can be for the various waste streams such as paper, glass, plastic, metal or even composting and these could even be community run initiatives through private individuals, co-operatives/recycling groups including NGO's. The available recycling infrastructure such as buy-back centres, Materials Recovery facilities should be identified in order for the municipality to publicise these through education and advocacy to ensure maximum participation by the residents.

Established recycling facilities should be described for each local authority, as follows:

  • Existing recycling facilities (name of the facility, location, the capacity i.e. can process so many tonnes of waste per month, treatment, age, etc.);
  • Commodities recycled (e.g. waste paper, cans, plastic and glass); and
  • Quantities of waste recovered

(b) Treatment and Disposal

Municipalities should keep a record of waste disposal facilities under their area of jurisdiction and should indicate the status of these waste disposal facilities (i.e. whether they are licensed or unlicensed) including treatment facilities for hazardous waste (even if they are owned and operated by the private sector). Municipalities are required to ensure that waste is properly managed and disposed of according to Waste license conditions. It is also important that municipalities must establish the size of their waste disposal facilities; the anticipated lifespan and/ or available airspace, types and quantities of waste disposed, and should take note of whether these are operated in a sound and environmentally acceptable manner.

(i) Determining available airspace at waste disposal facilities

Determining the available waste disposal facilities' airspace assists in understanding the amount of waste that can still be accepted as well as in knowing the remaining airspace. Importantly, it will assist a municipality to plan for the future i.e. if the waste disposal is almost near its end of life then a municipality could be proactive by lodging the necessary applications to obtain a license for a new waste disposal facility, and or secure funding for upgrading the existing waste disposal facility/ies or securing funding to construct new ones.In order to determine the available waste disposal facility's airspace, various methods can be employed. Topographical method is one of them. Using the topographical method in determining the remaining capacity of a waste disposal facility; a municipality needs to know the current and final capacity of the currently licensed waste disposal facility. According to this method, the current and final capacity of the waste disposal facility is used to determine the current and final volumes. The remaining capacity is calculated using the final capacity/volumes minus the existing capacity/volumes, for example:

Final capacity-Existing capacity= Remaining Capacity
If a waste disposal facility has a final capacity of 500 000m3 and the existing capacity is 300 000m3 then the remaining capacity would be 200 000 m3 calculated as follows:
500 000m3-300 000m3=200 000m3

In instances where there is no information available to determine airspace/capacity in a given municipality; it can be obtained from the following sources:

Box 2: Sources of information for determining the available waste disposal facilities capacity

Sources of waste disposal facilities capacity information:
  • Available EIA reports
  • Municipality: Waste disposal facility owner/ manager and town and regional planning department

The following table provides an example of how this information can be recorded in instances where there are more than one waste disposal facilities in a given municipality.

Table 11: Status quo of waste disposal facilities in a particular municipality

Name/s of Disposal site/s Status Total capacity Available waste disposal facility/ies airspace
Vondeling waste disposal site Licensed 2,500 000 m3 1,500 000 m3
Giyani Waste disposal facility Unlicensed 2,000 000 m3 1, 350 000 m3