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08 Chapter 05 Solid Waste Management

08 Chapter 05 Solid Waste Management

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Sustainable Neighbourhoods Design Manual - produced by the Sustainability Institute 2009/2010
Sustainable Neighbourhoods Design Manual - produced by the Sustainability Institute 2009/2010

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Published by: Sustainable Neighbourhoods Network on Nov 29, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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page 61
“The earth
is a closed system or matter – nothing disappears. In nature, the cycle o lie operates in acircular system and waste generated by one organism becomes ood or another. Fallen leaves decay andthe nutrients are returned to the earth, to become again ood or the tree. An exciting challenge acing citycommunities is to begin to imagine lie without waste, where everything that is thrown away at the end o onelie becomes the technical or organic nutrient or another lie.”
City o Cape Town Smart Living Handbook 
by Lisa Thompson-Smeddle: Sustainability Institute
Solid WaSte
defining WaSte
 There are many
denitions o waste in South Arican legislation. The most recent denition can beound in the National Environmental Management Waste Act (DEAT. 2008). This denition states that wasteis “…any substance, whether or not that substance can be reduced, reused, recycled and recovered—
chapter 5
page 62
(a) that is surplus, unwanted, rejected, discarded, abandoned or disposed o;(b) where the generator has no urther use o or the purposes o production, reprocessing orconsumption;(c) that must be treated or disposed o; or(d) that is identied as a waste by the Minister, but—(i) a by-product is not considered waste; and(ii) any portion o waste, once re-used, recycled and recovered, ceases to be waste.”Section 1 o the South Arican Environmental Conservation Act also provides or the ormulation o adenition o waste by regulation. This denition is:“An undesirable or superfuous by-product, emission, residue or remainder o any process or activity, anymatter, gaseous, liquid or solid or any combination thereo originating rom any residential, commercialor industrial area, which is discarded by any person, is accumulated and stored by any person with thepurpose o eventually discarding it with or without prior treatment connected with the discarding thereo,or which is stored by any person with the purpose o recycling, reusing or extracting a useable productrom such matter,” (Environment Conservation Act. 1989).Solid waste can be classied in two main categories. General waste and hazardous waste. General wastedoes not pose an immediate threat to the environment and includes household waste, garden reuse,builder’s rubble, some commercial and dry industrial wastes. Over time, however, these waste streamscan pose a threat and must be managed careully. Pressure, decomposition and inltration by waterproduces leachate (liquids which orm during the decomposition process) which may be hazardous tothe environment.Hazardous waste is any waste that may (or may not) be likely to cause danger to human health or tothe environment. This includes many chemicals, heavy metals, fammable wastes like petrol, diesel,thinners, nail polish, aerosols and alcohol. Other types o hazardous waste include batteries, most paints,corrosives like acid, drain and oven cleaners, bleach, rust removers, and pesticides.Medical and inectious waste which generally comes rom hospitals, clinics and biological research acilitiesare also classied as hazardous, and include inectious, pathological and chemical waste streams, heavymetals, pharmaceuticals, genotoxic, radioactive and any other waste that is classied as hazardous interms o the Minimum Requirements (Department o Water Aairs and Forestry. 1998).In terms o the National Waste Management Strategy all local authorities are required to develop anintegrated waste management plan and promote the prevention, minimization and recycling o waste interms o the revised waste hierarchy. The ollowing table rom the National Waste Management Strategiesand Action Plans or South Arica (DEAT. 1999), provides an overview o SA’s waste hierarchy.
page 63
WaSte hierarchy
1. Cleaner ProductionPreventionMinimisation2. RecyclingRe-UseRecoveryComposting3. TreatmentPhysicalChemicalDestruction4. DisposalSanitary Landfll
(Source: DEAT. 1999)

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