Ecosystems Ltd.

Landfill Crisis: Rethinking Issues of Waste Management in South Africa

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Courtesy of Ecosystems Ltd.

As a result of the closure of many landfills in South Africa and the difficulty of locating new sites, there is now a need to rethink the issue of waste management. The National Waste Management Strategy (initiated in 1997) of South Africa advocates the implementation of integrated waste management strategies in order to meet socio-economic and environmental requirements. This paper reports on an integrated and environmentally sound waste management strategy introduced into a small coastal town, Zinkwazi, in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Through reuse, recycling, repair, composting and incineration, the waste generated by this town has been reduced substantially in volume, obviating the need to landfill. In so doing, local communities have also benefited in that employment opportunities have been created, mainly in the sorting process. Skills pertaining to creating crafts from waste have also been taught to local community members.

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