2.1 Objectives of National Waste Management Strategy

Section 6 (1) of the Waste Act requires the development of a National Waste Management Strategy that gives effect to the objects of the Act, which are:

to protect health, well-being and the environment by providing reasonable measures for—
    minimising the consumption of natural resources;
    avoiding and minimising the generation of waste;
    reducing, re-using, recycling and recovering waste;
    treating and safely disposing of waste as a last resort;
    preventing pollution and ecological degradation;
    securing ecologically sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social
    promoting and ensuring the effective delivery of waste services;
    remediating land where contamination presents, or may present, a significant risk of harm to health or the
        environment; and
    achieving integrated waste management reporting and planning;
to ensure that people are aware of the impact of waste on their health, wellbeing and the environment;
to provide for compliance with the measures set out in paragraph (a) and
generally, to give effect to section 24 of the Constitution in order to secure an environment that is not harmful to health and well-being.

The primary focus of these objects is the achievement of the waste hierarchy, but there is also a set of broader social and economic objectives which the strategy aims to achieve, summarised in Section 6 (1)(a)(vi) above. These objects of the Waste Act have been distilled into a set of high level goals and objectives for sustainable development and for each step of the waste hierarchy. The goals and objectives of the NWMS are summarized in the table below.

Goal Objectives
Table 3: Goals and objectives for NWMS
Securing ecologically sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social development
  • To ensure the protection of the environment through effective waste management measures
  • To protect the health and wellbeing of people by providing an affordable waste collection service
  • Grow the contribution of the waste sector to GDP
  • Increase number of jobs within waste services, recycling and recovery sectors
  • Promote SMMEs in waste sector
Avoiding and minimizing the generation of waste
  • Ensure the design and manufacture of products that avoid or minimize waste generation
  • Discourage waste generation through cost reflective and volume based tariffs
  • Increase consumer awareness of waste minimization issues
Reducing, re-using, recycling and recovering waste
  • Increase reuse and recycling rates of products
  • Reduce the percentage (%) of recyclable material to landfill
  • Ensure separation at source in all metropolitan  and local municipalities
  • Encourage the establishments of Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs)
  • Encourage waste to energy options
  • Support the diversion of high calorific waste from landfill to recovery options
Promoting and ensuring the effective delivery of waste services
  • Facilitate the provision of at least a basic level of waste service to all
  • Ensure an efficient and effective  solid waste management
  • Implement free basic refuse removal policy for indigent households
  • Promote the regionalisation of waste management services
Treating and safely disposing of waste as a last resort
  • Stabilise quantity of waste disposed to landfill then reduce this volume
  • Improve landfill management to comply with legislation
  • Increase thermal treatment and conversion of waste to energy
  • Ensure the diversion of certain waste tyres from landfill
Remediating land where contamination presents a significant risk of harm to health or the environment
  • Quantify the extent of contaminated land
  • Implement contaminated land measures in the Waste Act
  • Remediate priority areas of contaminated land
  • Clarify extent of state liability for contaminated land

In addition to the above high level goals and objectives, there are a number of process related goals and objectives relating to the mechanisms required to achieve the overall goals, which reflect intermediate level outputs. The goals and objectives for these are summarized in the table below.

Goals Objectives
Table 4: Process related goals and objectives
Achieving integrated waste management planning
  • Reliable information on waste flows and an accurate national waste balance
  • Establish and implement an effective system of performance based IWMPs at all levels of government
  • IndWMPs approved for key industrial sectors
Sound budgeting and financial management for waste services
  • Sound financial planning for waste services
  • Full cost accounting for waste services
  • Cost reflective and volumetric tariffs implemented
  • Waste services sustainably financed
Adequate staffing and capacity for waste management
  • WMOs appointed at all levels of government
  • Additional technical capacity developed to deal with norms and standards, industry regulation and remediation
  • EMI capacity expanded to deal with Waste Act
  • Private sector capacity mobilized to support waste service delivery and community based collection models
Effective compliance with and enforcement of waste regulations
  • Conduct systematic monitoring of compliance with regulations and permit conditions
  • Create a culture of compliance with Waste Act regulations
  • Establishment of a hotline to report non-compliance
  • Successful prosecutions of waste offenders.
Effective monitoring and reporting on performance with waste functions
  • Implement systematic monitoring of key performance indicators by each sphere of government
  • Reporting on key performance indicators in line with Waste Act
  • Conduct regular evaluation of performance with waste functions and IndWMPs
Ensure that people are aware of the impact of waste on their health, well-being and the environment
  • Develop national and local awareness campaigns on the social importance of waste management
  • Promote waste minimization and recycling through education system
  • Establish an equivalent to the “Blue Drop” award for waste management by municipalities

Progress against the achievement of these goals and objectives will be measured in terms of indicators and targets set for the NWMS in Section 5.10 below. DEA’s annual performance report will report on progress against a priority list of the indicators.

Section 6(5)(e) of the Waste Act states that the strategy must be reviewed by the Minister at intervals not exceeding five years, and as part of the five year review a comprehensive assessment of progress against the indicators will be undertaken.

The Waste Act further prescribes that the strategy must include the following elements:

  • Strategies, objectives, plans, guidelines, systems and procedures relating to the protection of the environment and the generation (including the avoidance and minimisation of such generation), re-use, recycling, recovery, treatment, disposal, use, control and management of waste in order to achieve the objectives of the Act.
  • Mechanisms, systems and procedures for giving effect to the Republic’s obligations in terms of international agreements.
  • National norms and standards for waste management, including planning, and service delivery.
  • Practical measures for achieving co-operative governance in waste management matters.
  • Guidance on raising awareness regarding the impacts of waste on health and the environment.
  • Approaches for securing compliance with the requirements of the Act.
  • Targets for waste reduction.

These elements have all been addressed in this NWMS. The Minister may also prescribe additional items to be included in the strategy that are considered necessary for achieving the objects of the Act.