Towards a sustainable incremental waste management system in Enkanini: a transdisciplinary case study

von der Heyde, Vanessa (2014-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2014

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As the global population grows and more countries industrialise, waste streams will grow proportionately. Current waste management practices and product manufacturing processes dictate that a large proportion of waste ends up in a landfill or incinerator. The predominant manufacturing design is a linear, one-way model that extracts resources for manufacture, which eventually end up in a landfill or incinerator, rendered useless. This is an unsustainable use of resources, not only of the ones that were extracted to manufacture the product, but also of the land used to dump waste. Along with this goes the increasingly significant issue of food waste and the issues of global hunger and food insecurity. It is estimated that globally one third of all food that is produced is wasted, equalling a total of 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste a year. Wastage of food causes a loss of potentially valuable food sources, or a potential resource for other processes, such as composting or energy generation. The poor are normally the first affected by limited or dwindling resources, and as yet, there are no significant signs of poverty alleviation. Worldwide, there is a proliferation of informal settlements, or slums, and how to deal with these settlements has formed part of international political and societal discourse for a long time. In South Africa, policies dictate that informal settlements should undergo an incremental, in situ upgrading process, where possible. Although this marks a positive development from the previous housing policy, substantial uptake on the ground has as yet not occurred. Consequently, this study attempted to combine the issues of waste management, in particular of food waste, and incremental upgrading of informal settlements through a transdisciplinary case study that focuses on upgrading the food waste management system in Enkanini, an informal settlement in Stellenbosch, South Africa. A waste characterisation study undertaken by Stellenbosch Municipality showed that food waste makes up a substantial part of the waste stream generated in Enkanini. As informal settlements often lack adequate waste collection services, the food waste poses a health risk by breeding pathogens and attracting pests. Through a transdisciplinary approach, an alternative food waste treatment method was piloted in Enkanini in partnership with Stellenbosch Municipality and Probiokashi (Pty) Ltd. The method used bokashi substrate to treat food waste with microorganisms. This was then processed further into compost through the sheet mulching method and by black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae. The outcomes were assessed according to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of this method of waste processing and indicated a positive impact in all three of these categories.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Soos die globale samelewing groei en al hoe meer lande industrialiseer, sal afvalproduksie ook proporsioneel toeneem. Moderne afvalbestuurpraktyke en vervaardigingsprosesse behels dat groot volumes afval in vullingsterreine of verbrandingsoonde beland. Vervaardiging behels hoofsaaklik ’n lineêre proses, waarin grondstowwe vir vervaardiging onttrek word en uiteindelik in sodanige vullingsterreine of verbrandingsoonde beland. Hierdie produkte is dan onbruikbaar. Hierdie praktyk is ’n onvolhoubare manier om hulpbronne te gebruik, nie net wat die grondstowwe vir vervaardiging betref nie, maar ook die grond wat gebruik word om die afval op te stort. Verwant aan hierdie probleem, is die kwessie van toenemende voedselvermorsing en die probleme rondom wêreldwye hongersnood en voedselonsekerheid. Daar word benader dat een derde van alle voedsel wat ter wêreld vervaardig word, vermors word. Dit kom neer op 1.3 miljard ton voedsel per jaar. Voedselvermorsing veroorsaak ’n verlies aan waardevolle, potensiële voedselbronne of potensiële hulpbronne vir ander prosesse, soos bemesting en energievervaardiging. Die armes is gewoonlik diegene wat die gouste deur beperkte of afnemende hulpbronne geraak word en, tot nog toe, is daar geen beduidende vordering in armoedeverligting nie. Wêreldwyd is daar ’n toename in informele nedersettings, of agterbuurte, en maniere om hierdie probleem aan te spreek, vorm lankal deel van die internasionale politiese en maatskaplike diskoers. In Suid-Afrika dui beleide daarop dat informele nedersettings, waar moontlik, ’n inkrementele, in situ opgraderingsproses moet ondergaan. Alhoewel hierdie plan ’n verbetering is op die vorige behuisingsbeleid, het wesenlike vordering nog nie plaasgevind nie. Gevolglik het hierdie studie gepoog om die kwessies rakende afvalbestuur, spesifiek van voedselafval, en inkrementele opgradering van informele nedersettings in ’n transdissiplinêre gevallestudie te kombineer deur te fokus op die voedselafvalbestuurstelsel in Enkanini, ’n informele nedersetting in Stellenbosch, Suid-Afrika. ’n Studie, uitgevoer deur Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit, wat die inhoud van vullis ontleed het, het bevind dat voedselafval ’n beduidende deel vorm van die vullis wat in Enkanini geproduseer word. Aangesien informele nedersettings dikwels tekortskiet aan voldoende vullisverwyderingsdienste, hou voedselafval ’n bedreiging in omdat patogene daarin broei en dit peste lok. Deur middel van ’n transdissiplinêre benadering is ’n proefprojek aangepak waartydens ’n alternatiewe metode om voedselafval te behandel, getoets is. Hierdie projek is in samewerking met Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit en Probiokashi (Pty) Ltd (Edms.) Bpk. in Enkanini uitgevoer. Hierdie metode het van bokashi-substraat gebruik gemaak om deur middel van mikroörganismes die voedselafval te behandel. Dit is daarna verder deur swartsoldaatvlieglarwes (Hermetia illucens) tot kompos verwerk. Die uitkomste van die studie is geassesseer ten opsigte van die sosiale, ekonomiese en omgewingsvolhoubaarheid van dié afvalverwerkingsmetode. ’n Positiewe impak is in al drie hierdie kategorieë opgemerk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86274
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