3.9 Treatment, processing and disposal

This section describes how the strategic priorities for the disposal of waste will be implemented in terms of the regulatory framework provided by the Waste Act. Chapter 4, Part 6 of the Waste Act prohibits the unauthorised disposal of waste, and requires that where there is no household waste collection service the waste must be disposed of in the most environmentally and economically feasible manner. Section 26(1) (b) requires that waste disposal must be explicitly authorised, and accomplished without polluting the environment or harming human health and well being.

In terms of Section 68(1) a maximum penalty of R10, 000,000 or a jail sentence of up to 10 years can be imposed for unauthorised waste disposal, depending on the severity of the impact on health and the environment.

S.27 (1) of the Act provides regulatory instruments focused specifically on littering. It stipulates that private land owners that provide public access to their property must provide suitable receptacles for litter and ensure that it is disposed of (in an authorised manner) before it becomes a nuisance. This is reinforced by Section 27 (2), which prohibits littering of public places by individuals.

In terms of Section 68(2) a maximum fine of up to R5, 000,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years can be imposed for littering offences, depending on the severity of the offence.

The waste disposal and anti-littering measures provided in the Act are commonly implemented as municipal by-laws and are usually enforced by local law enforcement agencies. These measures should be seen as providing the minimum requirements that need to be implemented in terms of such by-laws or that apply in the absence of by-laws. DEA will develop model by-laws that will serve as a template for the implementation of the Waste Act by local authorities.

The system for monitoring, compliance, and enforcement and the role of Municipal Waste Management Officers (WMOs) is described in Sections 5.2 and 5.4 of this strategy.

DEA will develop norms and standards as part of the WCMS as it applies to disposal facilities, and will promulgate them in terms of Section 7(1) (c) of the Waste Act. The norms and standards will include:

  • Norms and standards for the operation, maintenance and reporting requirements for general and hazardous waste landfills that will be build on the existing Minimum Requirements for Waste Disposal by Landfill guidelines and applied using the listing and licensing mechanism as described in Section 3.5.
  • Norms and standards to be implemented as special measures for the disposal of priority wastes.

Standards for thermal treatment of waste and the use of waste in cogeneration have already been developed through the Air Quality emissions standards and the National Policy on Thermal Treatment of General and Hazardous Waste.

A task team will be formed under the Authorisations and Waste Disposal Management Directorate of DEA to develop and co-ordinate the implementation of the programme for licensing described in Section 2.6 of the strategy.