No accurate figures available on waste generated in South Africa
Submitted by: Amanda Botes, Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The amount of waste that goes to landfill in South Africa is currently unknown, says Albi Modise, Chief Director Communications, for the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). This is because landfill sites are not yet required to provide waste figures to the DEA. However, this is set to change from the 1 January 2013, says Modise, when it will become compulsory for landfill sites to disclose this information to the DEA due to the implementation of the National Waste Information Regulations.
South African Waste Information System
The DEA is aiming to improve the availability of waste information in South Africa by setting up an online waste information system, the South African Waste Information System (SAWIS), that aims to “provide accurate and reliable figures on tonnages of waste landfilled in the country” says Modise. In the future this system will provide useful and up to date figures on waste in South Africa but presently “the information currently stored on SAWIS … does not give a true reflection of waste landfilled in South Africa” adds Modise.
National Waste Information Baseline Study
A National Waste Information Baseline study for the 2011 year is also currently being prepared in order to provide a baseline going forward for waste information in South Africa. This baseline is due to be completed in October this year says Modise.
According to a draft of the National Waste Information Baseline study that is available on the SAWIS website, South Africa created 59 million tonnes of general waste and 49 million tonnes of unclassified and hazardous waste in the 2011 year. This information is still in draft and is in the process of being verified.
In the general waste category, waste in the other category, mosly biomass waste, was the highest contributor for 2011, with non-recyclable municipal waste the next highest. See graph below.
Under unclassified and hazardous waste, the highest contributor in South Africa is fly ash and dust from miscellaneous filter sources. Fly ash and dust are produced during the combustion process in coal fired power stations.
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