This report describes the current situation in the waste management industry, possible solutions to the challenges and factors influencing the success of the sector. The report also profiles 21 industry players, ranging from EnviroServ Waste Management Ltd which specialises in the transport and disposal of hazardous waste and employs 2,285 people to Talbot and Talbot based in KwaZulu-Natal which is a specialist water management and treatment company employing 140 people
This report covers the management of solid waste and the collection and treatment of domestic wastewater, a sector where both public and private companies are involved.
Challenges in the Sector
Research shows that in the solid waste sector 90% of South African municipal waste ends up on landfills. A critical shortage of current landfill space, worsened by the lack of availability of space for future landfills, strict regulatory requirements and lengthy environmental impact assessment processes are all problems confronting the solid waste sector. Added to these are the increasing amounts of e-waste and the lack of medical waste disposal facilities, which has resulted in medical waste being dumped illegally. In the water sector many municipalities lack the technical capacity to build and manage their wastewater treatment systems. The DWS Green Drop 2013 assessment report shows that of a total of 824 Waste Water Treatment Works, 248 or 31% are in a critical state, and require regulatory surveillance, and only 50% are rated average and above.
The Way Forward
The National Waste Management Strategy promotes waste diversion from landfill through waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery. Initiatives using alternative treatment technologies for a range of waste streams have been encouraged and are being implemented. By optimising the economic value of waste as a resource, the Department of Science and Technology believes the direct contribution of the waste sector to GDP can grow from the current estimate of 0.51% to 1.0%.