Increased global population growth, coupled with greater levels of urbanisation, has led to the nightmare that is solid waste disposal. In South Africa, there is now an urgent need to divert millions of tonnes of solid waste from landfill. As such, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), in partnership with the German Development Cooperation, embarked upon the Waste Management Near-Term Priority Climate Change Flagship Programme, which seeks to divert waste from landfill in at least six pre-selected municipalities. It includes identifying areas for strategic interventions that advance the objectives of both the National Climate Change Response Policy and the National Waste Management Strategy (2011).
Waste is not waste. Practically all biomass, materials and items that are discarded, dumping and disposed, have value. We want to extract that value, and have formulated the financial instruments to do just that. Along with our technical, environmental and legal partners, we drafted business and implementation plans for alternative waste treatment (AWT) interventions in 6 municipalities. We designed these waste interventions to change the value proposition of solid waste in those municipalities, by creating an enabling environment for waste beneficiation in the long-term. The project’s three key focal points were (1) the diversion of waste from landfill, (2) greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and (3) inclusive, sustainable job creation, which were enhanced by our integrated financial modelling and funding approaches.