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Solid Waste Management
The most recent statistics from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) revealed that in 2011 South Africans generated approximately 108 million tonnes of waste and 90% of this amount was disposed of at landfill. According to the Gauteng Provincial Government, which published waste-related statistics based on the Phakisa Lab, August 2017 findings this total has now 111 million tonnes, with 75% being disposed in landfill. The public and private waste sector contributed 0.62% to GDP up from 0.51% and an estimated value of R15.3bn in 2011.
Moving away from Landfilling
South Africa and its major metropolitan municipalities are facing one of their biggest challenges as more and more people come to live in cities, putting a strain on infrastructure and service delivery in terms of solid waste management. Although updated information on the current scale and status of the solid waste management sector is not available from the DEA, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa confirmed that there has been “an increased focus on resource recovery in Southern Africa’s waste management landscape. Moving away from landfilling towards recycling, waste disposal alternatives and waste-to-energy initiatives, the industry at large is embarking on waste as a resource to ultimately lighten the load on the ever-decreasing landfill airspace.”
The detailed report on the management of solid waste in South Africa examines current conditions and developments as well as factors that influence the success of the sector. Profiles are provided for 21 companies including global waste management group Averda which announced the acquisition of Solid Waste Technologies (SWT), a healthcare medical waste company, in February 2017. The acquisition of SWT alongside SharpMed, acquired in 2016, makes Averda one of the largest and most comprehensive end-to-end healthcare waste management businesses in South Africa. Also profiled are smaller role players such as Rapid Spill Response CC and Jobe Environmental Systems (Pty) Ltd.