Solid waste management (SWM) in Johannesburg : alternative futures

Chisadza, Charity-Ann (2015-04)

Thesis (MDF)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Johannesburg generates in excess of 1 500 000 tonnes of general waste annually and has on average 10 years’ lifespan remaining on its four landfill sites. As a signatory to the Polokwane Declaration, the City of Johannesburg has recognised the need for new interventions to divert waste from landfills by various methods, such as separation at source; alternative treatment methods and the conversion of waste to energy. Progress has, however, been slow and this research aims to investigate alternative waste management techniques that can be applied in the City of Johannesburg to fast track the realisation of these targets. Using scenario planning techniques, the research considers implications for policy and management decisions in realising the best possible future in the area of waste management in Johannesburg. The scenario process was used to develop the following scenarios for waste management in Johannesburg: Long walk to freedom. Waste collection coverage includes pockets of the community where waste collections services are less than optimal. The residents of the city, particularly in these underserviced areas, are also not very knowledgeable of the impact that the waste generated within their communities can have on the environment and what alternatives there are to manage this. Pick it up. The City provides full services to a society that functions in relative oblivion of the implications of their behaviour on the environment. It is assumed to be the role of government to “pick up” after communities and dispose of waste. This scenario is oblivious of the waste hierarchy and the role communities could play in minimising waste. Wishing on a star. The city continues to have under-serviced areas, public awareness is high and this fuels correct behaviour and a mind-set shift with regard to waste management. Working together we can do more. The City optimises its service provision to cover all areas while also ensuring maximum public awareness and behaviour change with regard to waste management.

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