Waste management in Ekurhuleni : evaluation against the instruments of the National Waste Management Strategy
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The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) has been developed to, amongst others, address many of the waste-related issues that municipalities are facing, by proposing the use of certain environmental management instruments. These include the use of norms and standards, waste management licencing, implementation of the extended producer responsibility, the development and implementation of integrated- and industry waste management plans, as well as economic instruments, to name a few. The aim of this study was to establish the extent to which the City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (CoE) has implemented the instruments of the NWMS. The objectives of the study included (a) assessing the status quo of the waste management system of CoE against the instruments of the NWMS; and (b) establishing the challenges/gaps of the waste management system to make recommendations for waste management. The study concluded that the Waste Classification and Management System was implemented for waste disposed of at municipal landfill sites through third parties. The CoE was found to have implemented instruments to give effect to norms and standards regulating waste management activities. However, Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) did not control all industries to ensure regulatory compliance. Licensing of waste management activities was implemented for all five (5) of the licensed operational landfill sites, namely: Rooikraal, Weltevreden, Rietfontein, Platkop and Simmer & Jack landfill sites. The economic instruments were partially implemented. The other instruments, such as the development and implementation of Industry Waste Management Plans (IndWMPs) are not applicable at a municipal level and national government has made little progress, as most IndWMPs have not been submitted and approved by the Minister. Extended producer responsibility (EPR), and the declaration of Priority Wastes were not applicable to CoE because the mandate lies with Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), and these have also not been implemented on a national level. Challenges faced by CoE, as far as the implementation of the instruments were concerned, included polices or strategies not being in place, and that the fact that the mandate for the implementation of many of the instruments falls under another sphere of government. This was identified as a gap, which hinders municipalities to implement many of the instruments provided for in the NWMS and sometimes delaying the achievement of the goals set out in the NWMS.
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