An Investigation into Solid Waste Management in Townships:

An Investigation into Solid Waste Management in
Townships: The Case Study of Clermont, Kwa-Zulu Natal
Precious S’thabile Ngeleka
An Investigation into Solid Waste Management in
Townships: The Case Study of Clermont, Kwa-Zulu Natal
Precious S’thabile Ngeleka
Submitted in fulfillment of the academic
requirements for the degree of Master
in Science in the School of Environment,
Faculty of Science and Agriculture
University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
March 2010
As the candidate’s supervisor I have/have not /approved this thesis/ dissertation for
Signed ____________________Name __________________ Date _______________

An environmental challenge that is currently plaguing the South African townships in the
Metropolitan Area is the volume of solid waste being illegally disposed in open spaces along
road verges as well as in streams. The research aims to identify the root cause of illegal
dumping in the township of Clermont, Kwa-Zulu Natal. The researcher used quantitative,
qualitative and observation methodologies to collect data from member’s of the community of
Clermont. The severity of the problem will be measured by looking at different age groups;
level of income per household as well as gender. In general waste management and
environmental management has received little attention compared to other socio-economic
problems like un-employment.
As the bulk of the world’s population move from rural areas to urban areas, poverty is
becoming an increasingly urban phenomenon. Environmental problems range from
impairment of human health, economic and other welfare and extinction of the ecosystem.
The urban poor bear the greatest burden of urban environmental risks. The most significant
environmental challenge in South Africa is effectively management of waste. Currently the
focus in South Africa has been on waste disposal rather than on waste prevention.
Consequently there are no incentives for reducing waste and industries are not required to
submit plans for waste management when commencing a new business. Waste management
legislation is fragmented; as a result there is a lack of control in waste management.
This research will investigate whether community members are aware of what is expected
from them by the municipality and private waste collection companies. It will further analyse
at the norm of waste disposal within the developing countries compared to developed
countries. The study will attempt to provide practical solutions for the township of Clermont.
The study has five chapters. The first chapter introduce the problem, objectives and
hypothesis. The second chapter deals with the theoretical review to help the reader
understand different cases and how waste management handled in different parts of the
world. This has been done by looking at the international, national and local level, comparing
waste management trends. The third chapter describe the study area in detail and different
scientific methodologies researcher used to prove or disprove the hypothesis and objectives
that were set in the first chapter. Chapter four analyses all the data that was collected from
the community of Clermont and unpack other underlying factors that lead to poor waste
management in this township. For example the researcher will conclude using the data
collected if the frequency of waste collection is sufficient for the community and what can be
done to minimize illegal dumping. Chapter five, which is the last chapter of this dissertation
will suggest recommendations that can be used to correct all problems that associated with
illegal dumping in Clermont Township.
Table of Content
Table of Content
Abbreviations and acronyms
Chapter 1: Introduction and Contextualization of the problem
1.1 Preamble 1
1.2 Waste disposal 4
1.3 Contextualization of the problem 6
1.4 Aims, Hypothesis and objectives 7
1.4.1 Aims 7
1.4.2 Objectives 7
1.4.3 Hypothesis 8
1.5 Chapter Sequence 8
1.6 Conclusion 9
Chapter 2: Solid Waste management: A Theoretical Review
2.1 Introduction 10
2.2 Hazardous waste 11
2.3 Waste Management 12
2.4 Landfill Management 26
2.5.1 Classification of landfills 29
2.5 Privatization of solid waste services 31
2.6 Case studies on solid waste management 33
2.7 Landfill management in developing countries 34
2.8 Transportation and collection of solid waste 35
2.9 Resource recovery 37
2.10 Importance of open spaces 40
2.11 Waste minimization in South-Africa 43
2.12 Solid waste management and world summit on sustainable development (WSSD) 44
2.13 Conclusion 46
Chapter 3: Study Area and Methodology
3.1 Introduction 48
3.2 Study Area 49
3.3 Methodology 54
3.3.1 Survey method 54
3.4 Sampling 57
3.5 Conclusion 63
Chapter 4:Results and data analysis
4.1 Introduction 65
4.2 Results and analysis 65
4.2.1 Nature of the solid waste problem 65
4.3 Collection frequency and subsequent problems 75
4.4 Conclusion 86
List of figures
2.1 Functional elements in solid waste 13
2.2 Ecosystems services provided by open spaces 43
3.2.1Locality Map 49
3.2.2 Map showing different wards of Clermont 51
4.1 Illegal dumping being a problem 66
5.1 Rating needs in Clermont 89
List of tables
4.1 Types of solid waste disposed 67
4.2 Methods of garden waste disposal 69
4.3 The number of persons in a household and refuse generated 71
4.4 Occurrence of illegal dumping in the area 72
4.5 The impacts of illegal dumping 73
4.6 Preferred types of recycling program 77
4.7 Reasons for introducing recycling projects in the area 77
4.8 The perception of solid waste management in Clermont 79
4.9 Suggestions from the community about waste management related problems 79
4.10 Problematic waste in Clermont 83
4.10.1 Ranking of waste problems 83
4.12 Income per month 81
4.13 Levels of education 85
List of plates
3.1 Plate: Illegal dumps in Clermont township 53
3.2 Plate: Rich bio-diversity threatened by illegal dumping 54
4.1 Facilities used to collect garden waste in Clermont 68
4.2 The use of black refuse bags to store garden waste 70
4.3 Illegal dump 74
Chapter 5: Discussion, Recommendations and Conclusion
5.1 Introduction 87
5.3 Recommendations 90
5.3.1 Solid wastes in developing countries 91
5.3.2 Development of the national policy 93
5.3.3 Resource recovery and recycling 94
5.3.4 Source reduction 98
5.3.5 Composting 98
v Formulation of guiding principles for privatization of
solid waste collection services 102
5.3.7 Environmental education and dissemination of knowledge
about solid waste management policy (SWMP) 105
5.4 Gender issues 108
5.5 Introducing waste collection facilities and decentralization of services 109
5.6 Conclusion 111
I would like to thank the following people for contributing to the success of this research:
Johnny Lutchmiah, who was supervising the research, for being professional and
The community of Clermont for opening their homes and taking time to answer long
questionnaires. All the councillors that I had interviewed with and different stakeholders.
A special thanks to the following organizations that sponsored my research, the National
Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) and DUCED (Denmark).
I dedicate my work to Mrs. Rejoice Zodwa Ngeleka, my mother for giving me a strong
foundation to be a better person.
A special thanks, to my friends Nolwazi Dlamini and Musa Khanyile for giving me emotional
Most of all I thank God for all the blessings he had given me and giving me strength to go on
when the world said it’s impossible. I have learnt that through prayer everything is possible
and if life gives you lemon make lemon juice.
I Precious S’thabile Ngeleka declare that
1) The research report in this thesis, except where otherwise indicated is my original
2) This thesis has not been submitted for any degree or examination at any other
3) This thesis does not contain other person’s data, graphs or other information,
unless specifically acknowledgement as being sourced from other persons.
4) This thesis does not contain other person’s writing, unless specifically
acknowledged as being sourced from other researchers. Where other written
sources have been quoted, then:
a) Their words have been re-written but the general information attributed to
them has been referenced
b) Where their exact words have been used, then their writing has been placed in
italics and inside quotation marks and referenced
5) This thesis does not contain text, graphics or tables copied and pasted from the
internet, unless specifically acknowledged and the source being detailed in the
thesis and in the Reference sections.
Signed ____________________________________
Precious S’thabile Ngeleka
CO2 – Carbon dioxide
CH4 – Methane
CT – Cleaner Technology
DMA- Durban Metropolitan Area
D’MOSS – Durban Metropolitan Open Space System
DEC – Department of Environmental Conservation
DEAT – Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
IDP – Integrated Development Plans
KAB – Keep America Beautiful
LA21 – Local Agenda 21
LAC – Latin American Countries
LCA – Life Cycle Assessment
LD – Lethal Dose
MSW – Municipality Solid Waste
NFPA – National Fire Protection
NGO – Non- Government Organisation
NWMS – National Waste Management Strategy
SWMP -Solid Waste Management Policy
WTE – Waste-to-Energy
Chapter One
Introduction and Contextualization of the Problem
1.1 Pre-amble
The study of degradation, since the Earth Summit of 1992 has become a global
phenomenon. The subject has gained phenomenal interest among the international
community. Conservationists, environmentalist, planners, researchers, academics and
those that are concerned with environmental issues began documenting the alarming rate
of environmental degradation and subsequent impacts. Reference in this regard can be
made to air pollution for example ninety 90% of South Africa’s electricity is generated by
burning coal, which contains 1.2% of sulphur and 45% ash. Burning of coal contributes
to air pollution.
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) admits that 160 of the country’s 294
dams did not comply with modern safety standards. The destruction of indigenous forests
in South Africa is estimated to be about 2.2 million square kilometers of indigenous
forest that have been degradated including soil erosion. It is estimated that approximately
25% of South African topsoil is lost due to water erosion, about 2.5 tons of hectares of
soil is lost annually. Human dependence on these resources, most of which are nonrenewable,
compounded by growth in population numbers will inevitably impact on the
quality of life of the global community (Moyo, 1995).
Simmons (1989) cited in Moyo 1995) notes that energy consumption has played its role
in environmental degradation in that the use of coal, oil and natural gas has reduced direct
dependence of industries on biological energy fixation through plants. Consequently this
has changed the way human beings relate to the environments. In developed countries
eighty percent (80%) of the population use electricity instead of fuel wood, however the
electricity generation also cause air pollution due to coal burning. This is a result of the
scarcity of fuel wood and also to avoid air pollution.
Concerns about the environment gave rise to certain global meetings in order to come up
with some solutions. These included UN Conference on Human Environment in
Stockholm in 1972; Brundtland Commission Report of 1987; and Earth Summit at Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. In all these conferences, the nations of the world met to discuss
environmental problems related to human impacts. Rio conference was important in that
it initiated two legally binding conventions for protecting the global environment; these
are Local Agenda 21 (LA21) which was to be implemented at a local level and
Environmental Management Policies that could result in the sustainable use of
environmental resources (Remmen, 1999).
Insufficient and ineffective waste collection, storage and disposal are, inter alia, one of
the environmental problems in Namibia. Consequently such conditions threaten public
health and the aesthetic nature of the environment. According to Re’Source (2000),
insufficient bins at residential and commercial properties results in waste collectors
having to collect loose waste which is time consuming and of course there is the problem
of wind blown litter. To exacerbate the existing problem the vehicles utilized for waste
collection are conventional open trucks without covering nets.
According to Seaberg (1988), the problem in Namibia can, to a large extent can be
attributed to the lack of awareness with reference to waste and the low priority given to
solid waste management as a municipal service. Educational programs related to waste
management were implemented to create awareness. Waste collection vehicles were
improved and waste bins were installed in residential areas as well as in commercial
properties. Research concerning solid waste management was done, which helped to
identify the needs of different areas in Namibia and also to implement strategies to
overcome the problem of waste disposal.
Barbara (1998) estimates that in the United States agricultural and industrial waste
disposed per capita per year is in excess of one ton. In New York 4,4 kg of solid waste is
generated by each person per day, which amounts to 24 000 tons being disposed off daily.
The cost of waste disposed in California amounts to 1 billion dollars per year.
Latin American countries are characterized by high population growth, increase in
urbanization and economic growth, and are confronted with increased disposal of solid
waste especially non-biodegradable products. The packaged goods market is the primary
cause of solid waste in these countries (Prates &Eli, 1995).
Foreign knowledge of managing solid waste is being implemented in various countries of
Latin America. The Latin American Countries have to purchase waste management
technology and this had been proven to be very expensive, with Mexico and Venezuela
spending vast amount of money. One must bear in mind that these countries are still
developing countries with limited finances. Research suggests that for a country to be
successful in managing its environment indigenous knowledge must be considered
(Nozick, 1992). This will enable the country to effect savings that can be used for other
basic needs that includes education, health, housing and food. There is also a plastic ban
in Latin American countries. This will mean considering a biodegradable material that
can substitute plastic. However other countries have different strategy of dealing with the
problem, for example using lubricant oils for special recycling regimes. The 1992 Rio
Summit led to the introduction of tougher new environmental laws in LAC (Latin
American Countries) region. Landfills are filling rapidly, while local opposition to new
sites and incineration are growing. Consequently, solid waste management is climbing up
the political agenda in the region (Nozick, 1992).
Currently the ownership in the waste management companies is monopolized, in that
there is no evidence of new companies coming in the business. The landfill tax is said to
play an important role in boosting leading operators in the United Kingdom, the main
benefit of the landfill tax is that it has influenced business’s waste management decisions
in that most companies in the United Kingdom have began practicing recycling, re-use
and waste minimization. The main objective of the landfill tax was to minimize the
amount of solid waste that comes from households and companies (Nozick, 1992).
1.2 Waste disposal
Waste disposal is when humans throw away-unwanted materials on land. Such materials
are regarded as useless, however through research it has been proven that waste materials
can be reusable through recycling.
The past forms of governance in South Africa have, to a large extent exacerbated the
environmental challenges confronting the country. The denial of access to land
ownership, education and certain essential services created a sense of unworthiness
among the affected communities. This contributes significantly to the levels of natural
resource degradation such as water and land, in areas occupied by affected communities.
The severity of the detoriation of these natural resources however is not restricted only to
those areas where services are lacking (informal communities) but also to formal
established areas, especially African townships (South Africa Year Book, 2001/2002).
Solid waste disposal in South Africa has been a major problem for many years. This is
characterized by illegal dumping and improper management of waste that result from
poor agricultural practices, wood processing industries, repair shops and scrap yards as
well as service stations and mining related activities. According to the South African
White Paper on Environmental Management (May 2000), the environmental and socially
unacceptable practices such as illegal dumping and littering can impact negatively on
human health. Waste disposal facilities themselves are sited and designed in such a
manner that is detrimental to communities. Reference in this regard can be made to the
Bissesar Road landfill site as well as the one in Umlazi which has been decomissioned.
Both of these sites are situated in close proximity to densely populated residential areas.
According to Environmental Management Policy for Durban Metropolitan Area
December 1998, the latest statistics indicate that 350 million tones is generated annually.
Currently, the control over land pollution is exercised through thirty-seven Acts of
Parliament, sixteen Provincial ordinances and Local authority by-laws. Apart from the
Environmental Conservation of Act 73 of 1989 the focus of the by-laws dealing with
solid waste is on the protection of public health and prevention of nuisances related to
solid waste.
According to Environmental Management Policy for the Durban Metropolitan Area
December 1998, an integrated pollution and waste management policy is currently being
developed for the Durban Metro Area (DMA). The policy will be developed and
implemented in collaboration with all stakeholders concerned. All relevant authorities
will collaborate in an attempt to control pollution and manage waste disposal. The local
government of the area with the co-operation of CBOs, NGOs, business and labour will
be jointly involved in problem solving and determining common goals and standards for
pollution and waste management. Such positive attempts will contribute to a sustainable
economy and a clean and healthy Metropolitan Area. (Durban Metropolitan Open Space
System Framework Plan ,1999)
1.3 Contextualization of the problem
Several goals have been mentioned in the report of Environmental Management Policy
for the Durban Metropolitan Area December, 1998, but the goal that is of interest in this
research is to have a clean and healthy metropolitan environment through establishing an
integrated system of pollution and waste management and effective solid waste
management. In order to achieve such objective the local government is obliged to work
towards avoiding, minimization, recycling, collecting and disposing responsibly of
commercial, domestic and industrial solid waste produced in the Durban Metropolitan
Area. This will mean that there responsibility will shift from waste collectors to waste
As the bulk of the world’s population move from rural areas to urban areas, poverty is
becoming an increasingly urban phenomenon. The World Bank estimated that in 1988
approximately one quarter of the developing world’s absolute poor was living in urban
areas and projects that by the year 2008 this proportion will increase to one-half (URT,
1997). It is said that within the next 20 years more poor people will live in the cities than
in rural areas (URT,1997). Increasingly, the lives of urban slum dwellers, street children
and those forced to drift between the city and its fringes will characterize the face of
global poverty. Environmental problems range from impairment of human health,
economic and other welfare losses to extinction of the ecosystem. The urban poor bear
the greatest burden of urban environmental risks.
Currently the focus in South Africa has been on waste disposal rather than on waste
prevention. Consequently there are no incentives for reducing waste and industries are
not required to submit plans for waste management when commencing a new business.
Waste management legislation is fragmented; as a result there is a lack of control in waste
According to the report of Environmental Management Policy for the Durban
Metropolitan Area, December 1998, an environmental challenge that is currently
plaguing the African townships in the Metropolitan Area is the volume of solid waste
being illegally disposed in open spaces along road verges as well as in streams. The
situation has become a major concern to authorities, especially in view of the fact that,
unlike the apartheid era, services relating to collection and management of solid waste are
being rendered in these areas. One such township where solid waste management is a
problem is Clermont. The township, despite being a formal residential area is similar to
informal communities with respect to waste disposal. Mountains of solid waste disposed
in vacant spaces characterize the area of Clermont. Such sites serve as a breeding ground
for rats, insects, worms and rodents. These together with the noxious odours emanating
from the illegal dumps pose a major health hazard to the communities. Waste disposal
services are being rendered in the townships, but yet illegal dumping is as rampant as
ever in the area. This study is being undertaken to determine the reasons for such a
1.4 Aims, Objectives and Hypothesis
1.4.1 Aim
The aim of this study is to assess solid waste management in the Township of Clermont.
1.4.2 Objectives
· To identify waste streams that is generated in Clermont Townships in order to verify
whether they can be recyclable.
· To record if the waste collection frequency is adequate and can minimize illegal
· To examine the impact of illegal dumping on the communities
· To review the waste management mechanisms
· To assess the main root cause of illegal dumping.
· To recommend appropriate waste management strategies to local authorities
1.4.3 Hypothesis
Illegal dumping of solid waste result from poor waste management practices.
1.5 Chapter sequence
The first chapter, is primarily concerned with contextualising the problem under
investigation, which is followed by a comprehensive review of literature pertaining to
solid waste management. The study area and methodology approach that was chosen to
execute the study will be discussed in the third chapter. The fourth chapter will focus on
the results of the investigation presented in tables and graphs. Discussion of the results
and recommendations together with the overall conclusion will encompass the fifth
1.6 Conclusion
For communities to achieve better quality of life, waste minimization plans must be put in
place and be implemented properly. Formal waste management techniques must be
implemented as we experience increased population in both developed and developing
countries.. Likewise it is important for the townships to have a strategy on how to better
handle their waste materials that are generated. This will reduce the amounts of waste
being disposed in landfill sites South Africa. This study sets to investigate how the
community of Clermont township deals with waste management.
Chapter two
Solid Waste Management: A Theoretical Review
2.1 Introduction
Solid waste is commonly called a third pollution after air and water pollution. Solid waste
results from human activities and usually refers to discarded, useless and unwanted
material. It is composed of highly heterogeneous mass of unwanted materials which, inter
alia, includes homogenous accumulation of agricultural, industrial and mining waste
(Darmstadter, 1992).
According to Technobannoglous (1983) solid waste may be categorized on the basis of
content and partly on moisture and heating values. The typical classification is given as:
· Garbage – which refers to perishable solid waste constituents produced during
the preparation or storage of meat, fruit or vegetables. These solid waste have a
moisture content of about 70% and heating value of 6x 10¹º (J/kg);
· Rubbish –refers to non-perishable solid waste constituents either combustible or
non-combustible. Combustible material will include paper and non-combustible
will include metal and glass;
· Pathological waste – these are dead animals and human waste. The moisture content
is 85% and there are 5% non-combustible solids. The heating value is around 2.5x 10
· Industrial waste- refers to chemical paints, sand, metal ore processing and sewage
treatment sludge; and
· Agricultural waste –these are animal manure and crop residues. The principal sources
of solid waste in this category are domestic commercial, industrial and agricultural
activities (Rao, 1995)
2.2 Hazardous wastes
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) hazardous waste is a
combination of wastes that pose a potential hazard to human health or living organisms
(Environmental Protection Agency, 1996). This is due to the fact that such wastes are
non-degradable; biologically magnified and lethal. Hazardous waste tends to cause
detrimental cumulative effect. However all waste can be harmful to our environment
when it is not properly managed. For example when waste is not controlled and dumped
in open spaces, it can cause significant problems to the environment, especially if such
waste is hazardous(Keep America Beautiful, 1996). In most cases environmental
problems are exacerbated by the general inadequacies of the collection and disposal
systems (Rao, 1995). There is no doubt that the issue of hazard waste disposal needs
urgent attention in South Africa, but the acceptability of a landfill continues to be
questioned due to shortage of land. Incorporating environmental issues into the initial site
selection studies can optimize the location of a hazardous waste landfill
The main sources of harmful biological wastes are hospitals and biological research
facilities. The ability of such waste to infect and produces toxins for the living organisms
are the most significant characteristics of harmful biological waste. Such wastes include a
group of solid waste like malignant tissues taken during surgical procedures and
contaminated materials such as hypodermic needles, bandages and expired drugs.
Biological waste is also generated as a by-product of industrial biological conversion
process (Rao, 1995).
2.3 Waste Management
Solid waste management maybe defined as a discipline that is associated with the control
storage, collection, generation, transfer and transportation, processing and disposal of
solid waste in a manner that is in accord with the best principles of public health and
other environmental considerations. Solid waste management will include administration,
financial, legal and engineering functions in finding solutions to all solid waste
management problems. The solutions to such problems may involve the integration of
disciplines such as political science, city and regional planning, geography, economics,
public health, sociology conservation and other material sciences (Tchnobanglous, 1993).
Fig 2. 1. Functional elements in Solid Waste
( Tchobanoglous etal.,l983)
There are six functional elements in waste management. These are solid waste generation
collection , waste handling separation, storage and processing at the source, transfer and
transportation , separation and processing. There are several elements that are involved in
solid waste management, however the most important ones are the handling and
separation of solid waste and the collection of waste. These elements will be discussed
Element 1-solid waste management
The quantities of solid waste generated vary in different societies. This variation can be
used to select appropriate equipment and achieve the best solid waste management
practice. For example residential waste generation rates usually peak during holiday
Solid waste
Waste handling,
separation, storage
; processing at the
Transfer ;
Separation ;
processing Disposal
seasons and housecleaning days. In some communities, during such periods extra waste
collection services are provided. There are factors that affect waste generation These
Source Reduction: solid waste reduction can be achieved through the design, packaging
and manufacturing of the product with minimum volume of material. Solid waste
reduction can be achieved in households through selective buying patterns and reuse of
products and materials. Residents can also achieve source reduction in following ways:
· By decreasing unnecessary packaging. In general by using minimum material when
wrapping a product;
· Develop and reuse the products with greater durability and reparability for example
more durable tires and appliances;
· Use fewer resources for example two sided photo copying or printing ( to minimize
the use of paper);
· Increase the recycled materials content of products. For example in South Africa the
law forces manufacturers to produce recyclable plastic bags as from May 2003. This
was done to eliminate plastic bag waste on the environment ; and
· To develop structures that encourage generators to produce minimum waste
Public attitude: For the reduction of waste to occur people must be willing to change
their attitude towards waste management. It is also imperative for them to alter their
lifestyles and habits in order to conserve natural resources. This will also help in reducing
economic burdens associated with the management of solid waste. (Tchobanoglous,
Seasons of the year: the amount of waste generated is also affected by seasons of the
year. For example the large quantities of food waste that is usually generated during the
growing season of fruit and vegetables (Tchobanoglous et al., 1983).
Element 2-Collection
If there is unlimited collection service of waste in a community, more waste will be
collected. The uniqueness of the collection service in an area can influence the quantity of
solid wasted generated for instance the quantities of garden waste that is generated in
wealthy communities is considerably greater compared to other low or medium income
Generally collection of waste is provided under various management arrangement that
range from municipal services to private contractors. Collection of services for industries
vary according to the type of industry. In some industries solid waste is handled in the
same way as residential wastes. Other industries have their own disposal site on their
properties. The latter is used for mineral and agricultural wastes. Consequently each
require s individual solutions to its solid waste problems ( Tchobanoglous, 1983).
Element 3 Solid waste handling and separation, storage and processing at the source
Waste handling and separation is regarded as an important element of all six functional
elements of solid waste management. Handling of waste refers to the activities associated
with managing solid waste until they are placed in a container for storage before
collection. Separation of solid waste is when different wastes are stored separately. Such
solid waste will include components like aluminum cans, papers, glass and card board.
The best place to separate waste materials for reuse and recycling is at the source of
generation. Residents are now more aware of the importance of separating of newspapers,
aluminum cans, cardboards and bottles. The separation and handling of solid waste at the
source before they are collected is a critical step in residential solid waste. Separating
waste at the source is also an important element of solid waste management strategy.
Once the waste has been separated the major question is how the homeowner will store it
till is collected. In some homes they have different containers where they store separated
waste until it is transferred to recycle centers. The separated waste is placed in special
containers or in bags (Environmental Protection Agency, 1996; Tchobanoglous, 1983).
Storage and processing at the source
The factors that need to be considered on onsite storage of solid waste include the type of
container that is to be used and the contamination of waste components. The type of
containers that is to be used to store waste depends on its characteristics and types of
wastes to be collected. Plastic and metal containers are commonly used to collect solid
waste. However there are limitations that are associated with such containers, for
example they can be damaged over time. Containers add extra weight that must be lifted
during collection. Containers are not aftern large enough for bulky solid waste. The
majority of household utilize disposable plastic bags for storing solid waste. Such bags
are used alone or sometimes as a liner inside the waste container. Problems that are posed
by this type of storage is the high cost that is associated with storage bags. Plastic bags
can also tear easily. Commercial and industrial areas often uses large container. The main
problem about these containers is the high initial costs. In cold areas snow accumulates
inside the container lowering the carrying capacity (Techobanoglous, 1983).
Contamination is the main problem that is experienced in solid waste storage. Major
wastes can be contaminated by small amount of containers such as motor oil. This
contamination can reduce recycle value of recyclable solid waste (Samuel, 1983).
Element 4- Separation and processing
Solid waste processing is practiced to reduce the volume, recover usable material and to
alter the physical form of solid waste. The most common type of solid waste processing
is the food waste grinding, component separating and composting. In previous years food
grinders were commonly used in many households and they have gained popularity in
new homes. Food grinders are primary for waste from food preparation, cooking and
serving of food. However such grinders could not be used for bulky items and large
bones. Where food waste grinders are used there is a remarkable reduction in the amount
of waste collected (Techonobaglous,1983).
Separation of waste components is an effective way of achieving the recovery and reuse
of material. The 1970’s have been marked by the increased popularity of recycling
organic material by composting. This method has been effective in reducing volume and
altering physical composting of solid waste. In some countries law requires the
composting of leaves. Composting of leaves or garden waste can solve problems that are
posed by the disposal of garden waste. The is what we call backyard composting whereby
residents develop methods of composting garden waste. The method involves the
placement of waste materials to be composted in a pile. To speed up the process one may
water the pile on occasional basis and turn it to provide moisture and oxygen to the
organisms. The pile of waste will undergo bacterial and fungal decomposition until only
humus material (compost) is left. Another type of composting involves leaving grass
clippings where they were cut. They will eventually fall through the humus layer. This
method will reduce the amount of waste generated at the source and also allows nutrients
to be recycled (Tchobanoglous, 1983).
Element 5- Transfer and transportation
Transfer and transportation of waste refers to the facilities used to transfer waste material
from one location to another. The functional element of transfer and transportation
involves two steps viz, the transfer of waste from smaller collection vehicles to larger
transport equipment and second one is subsequent transportation of waste to disposal site.
Such transfer usually happens at the transfer station. Motor vehicles are normally used to
transport waste, but rail cars are also used to transport solid waste. For example in the
city of San Francisco the collection vehicle haul their loads to a transfer station at the
southern boundary of the city. At the transfer station the waste is unloaded from the
collection vehicles and reloaded into large tractor-trailer trucks. There various reasons
that tend to make the use of transfer operation attractive. The first factor is the
reoccurrence of illegal dumping due to long haul distances. For example high fuel costs
and the absence of nearby solid waste disposal sites has made the use of transfer stations
become common again. The second factor is the location of disposal sites that are
relatively far from collection route, as a result the occurrence of illegal dumping
increases. Generally small quantities of waste from small collection vehicles are
transferred to larger vehicles that are utilized to transport waste over long distances.
Transfer and transport operations are also used to transport recovered materials to
markets or waste –to-energy facility and the remaining materials are transferred to
landfills (Theisen, 1983).
Element 6- Disposal
The last element of the six elements is the disposal of waste. The waste is normally
disposed by land filling or land spreading. The modern landfill is not merely a dumping
site, but an engineering facility that is used for disposing solid waste on land without
creating hazard to public health. Waste disposal is an integrated component in regional
planning. As a result land use planning becomes a primary factor in the selection, design
and operation of the landfill. Environmental impact statement is required for new landfill
sites to ensure compliance with aesthetic and future land use (Tchbanoglous,, 1983).
The early waste minimization practices have been linked directly to domestic waste as
Danish people define it as “Kitchen maddens”, (Jolley and Wang, 1993). It was possible
to manage solid waste in the past because there was plenty of land for disposal. At
present land is very limited and we have a lot of industries globally, which produce a lot
of solid waste. As the global community becomes more and more sophisticated the need
for solid waste collection services is imminent. There are mainly two methods that can be
utilized to manage solid waste. The prevention or controlling of solid waste at all sources
is very cheap than purifying the contaminated environment Waste minimization is also
important at early stages of production.
Biotechnology can play an important role in the reclamation and recycling of wastes
particularly the municipal, agro-industrial mining and chemical sectors. Biotechnology
includes the usage of bacteria in the processing of waste. The technology is currently
used in the US. This technique is considered to be less expensive and can serve as a
means of environmental monitoring. Community waste such as sewage sludge and urban
refuse can be utilized as fertilizer. Low-grade ore left at dumps in mining areas can be
economically used through bio-Beneficiation and in situ bacteria leaching.
It is clear that the major producers of solid waste are industries; therefore it is essential
for them to practice waste minimization. Senior management of these industries must be
committed towards such programs. However there are obstacles that can hinder the
implementation of solid waste minimization in industries, for example there might be a
change in the manufacturing firms, whereby the product might be very expensive to the
public than before. The technology may incur high capital investments. However the
company might try to seek technology that requires low capital investments (Seaberg,
When considering industries in the generation of solid waste one can note that the most
environmentally problematic are those that utilize no-renewable resources in their
production. These include paper and power generating industries. Therefore the change
from non-renewable resource to renewable resource is necessary for the prevention of
environmental degradation. Historically the issue of waste management in the world of
industries was not a serious issue; it was taken to be a minor subject. As the decades went
by, there were visible negative impacts on the environment that resulted from free
disposal of industrial waste on land, air and water (Sivaramakrishran, 1995).
Currently the norm is that, industries that produce less waste will have competitive
advantage from the local, national to global markets. Over the past 15-20 years waste
management has became more of a regulatory compliance issue, this is evident in the
number of laws that had been passed in order to protect the environment. Such law
includes Polluter Pays Principle (PPP), ISO 14000, and ISO 14001 and recently there is
Solid Waste Management Policy. . Because of the demands of the buyer in the global
market the big corporations have considered environmental Laws as part of the business.
According to Seaberg (1988) in United States alone federal regulations relating to the
environment increased by 25% per year over the past 10-15 years. The future expectation
can be one or more environmental regulation at all levels. This can be attributed, largely
to the increase in the number of Environmental groups and exposure by the media. The
community as a whole is giving forth their concerns about public health. The records in
the markets have shown the popularity of products that are environmentally friendly. For
example Germany and Canada have programs that are able to identify environmentally
friendly products (Moyo, 1995).
Some countries such as Japan, Korea and New Zealand have high degree of waste
reduction, separation at the source and recycling. This is achieved through environmental
education and new practices such as curbside collection and volume based collection
fees. Korea is implementing a volume based fee system, which was extended to all towns
in 1995. Waste generators must put out their wastes in bags bought from the municipality
and must separate recyclables. Local governments are responsible for collecting the
source separated materials. These initiates have resulted in a 20% -30% decreases in
waste that require disposal (Moyo,1995).
Promoting the American concept of the “garage sale” as a means of waste reduction,
some Japanese cities are now actively encouraging exchanges and gift of unwanted
clothes or daily necessities within neighbourhood, encourages exchanges, particularly of
furniture and electrical goods. This reduces white elephant waste.
The Hong Kong Productivity Council is promoting waste education in several ways.
There are sophisticated waste trading businesses, some dealing international (for instance,
used clothes export companies in Yokohama, Japan). These cities have specialized
companies to collect recyclables for processing, sale and export for use and recycling. For
example, 38% of the total Municipality Solid Waste (MSW) generated in Singapore is
recycled by commercial companies. Although in this city-state waste materials recycled
are largely from industries and commerce , commercially viable wastes such as papers,
cardboard, textiles, plastics and glass are collected from households. In Singapore, the
Ministry of the environment encourages private enterprises to set up recycling plants on
land set aside at a closed dumping ground. There is little or no direct financial support
from the government (Moyo, 1995).
In the Republic of China and Vietnam, waste recovery and recycling has been organized
at the city level and supported by national ministries. In China, especially, the major
cities have large recovery companies, which collect recyclables from offices, institutions,
and factories. There are also neighbourhood redemption centers where people can sell
bottles, papers and clothes. State policies govern the trading of materials and prices and
these companies are often inefficient. Since the new economic policy, they have preferred
to deal mainly with profitable materials, such as metals, and not in most household
recyclables. Other materials are now collected and traded by private entrepreneurs who
may either sell to the government companies or directly to factories. The neighbourhood
redemption centers have declined and as a result, more recyclables are put out as waste
by residents. There are new attempts to deal with household recyclables, such as the
source separation being organized in residential complexes (DSNI. 1999).
In Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, a greater part of waste recovery and recycling is in the
hands of family businesses. In Hanoi, there are close connections to particular rural
villages from which most of the waste traders come. A notable feature of this sector in
Ho Chi Minh City is that 50% of the operators are women; women are also prominent in
Hanoi. This may be the result of the traditional trading culture and the opportunities that
women gained in both government services in solid waste management and informal
waste trading during the war period, when most men were in military service.
The quantity of plastic material has surpassed the recovery capacity of even the high –
recycling cities. Now the larger cities of China are beginning to experience the
proliferation of plastic waste that is so problematic in Hong Kong, Indonesia, The
Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand. Even in Yangon, where non-organic wastes are
minimal, increasing numbers of small plastic bags are found in open drains. The ban of
plastic bag material has been proposed in these cities (DSNI. 1999).
Different strategies are used to overcome poor solid waste management like tree planting
from urban forestry. There are several important reasons why they chose tree plantation
as part of waste management plan, in that trees mitigate pollution by reducing energy use
carbon dioxide emission and ground-level ozone. Urban forests purify air and control soil
erosion. Wetlands provide crucial service in that they filter pollutants, recycling of
nutrients on the urban ecosystem and reducing destruction of floods. Tree plantation in
urban areas promotes soil conservation in fragile ecosystems where landslides can easily
occur with steep terrain, a little vegetation and protecting people’s lives and their homes.
Tree planting especially agro-forestry systems can be labour intensive; consequently this
provides job opportunities for the urban people who are unemployed. This strategy may
be essential to developing countries, which are facing poverty. Tree planting provides
work and the opportunity for informal learning, for example the youth in Baltimore,
Maryland and United States participate in an educational tree -planting project in a city
park (Environmental Protection Agency, 1996)
Unutilized and degraded land and terminated landfill sites are increasingly being
reclaimed through forestation and converted to Parks. Where land is contaminated,
particularly with heavy metals, some trees are capable of absorbing the pollutants.
Through felling and removal of timber, the level of contamination can gradually be
reduced. By incorporating green areas in the network will improve biological
conservation and biodiversity and can serve as biological corridors, social benefits such
as entertainment parks (DSNI, 1999). Community building and property value had
improved because of this tree-planting project that was meant to curb the waste
management problem. Studies have shown that an increase in house prices where
property is associated with urban tree planting project was 5% in Hong Kong.
Solid waste collection and disposal is one of the major challenges in Lusaka. The lack of
proper equipment and resources to provide collection services has resulted in rampant
illegal dumping and subsequent deterioration in public health with people suffering from
such diseases as TB, asthma and cholera. The Resource Cities programme was introduced
to overcome the problem. The programme managed to establish a better management
strategy for waste collection services in the area. As a result the city became more
effective in developing a process under which they would routinely collect and dispose
solid waste. Such a program in Zambia has sharpened citizen’s awareness about health
and environmental importance of proper waste disposal. The programme also initiated
public education campaigns by using brochures, radio announcements and public
meetings to help develop environmental awareness. Local officials worked very hard to
draw the attention of citizens and non-government organizations into the process of
reshaping the system of refuse collection and disposal. The result of such campaign was
the partnership of different people working together to improve environmental quality
(The U.S. Department file Program, 2002).
The reality of not having proper facilities for certain types of waste like clinical and
batteries ensures that the environment is left at the mercy of our own bad habits. For
example in Greater Banjul Area located in Gambia, Africa there are only two landfill
sites apart from the MRC incinerator, the municipal landfill at Mile Two and the one in
Bakoteh are the only disposal facilities available for the whole area. Consequently a wide
range of wastes is being disposed in them without considering its capacity and the
capabilities. Un-favorable environmental conditions are visible in these disposal sites, the
workers are exposed to health hazards and other dangers that is characterized by poor
handling facilities. The waste that is deposited in these landfill sites includes industrial
and clinical waste that can pose a danger to the environment and people. The significant
problem that is mostly encountered in African cities is transportation of waste. In general
the overloading of vehicles in windy conditions cause waste to be blown in the streets. It
is not unusual to see to see plastic bags and other solid waste littering the streets after the
waste-carrying vehicle has passed. As a result we are left with the same dirt that we were
trying to get rid of, meaning we are trapped in the same cycle of doing same thing
numerous times without any progress. The city environment is largely affected by such
vicious cycles (DSNI, 1999).
2.4. Landfill Management
Land filling as a means of waste disposal has been recognized as the most economical
and environmentally acceptable strategy for the disposal of solid waste in most parts of
the world. Although there are new techniques in solid waste management, landfills still
plays an important role in integrated solid waste management strategy. Landfill
management includes the planning, design, operation, closure and post-closure control of
landfills (Selke, 2001).
Landfills manage about sixty one percent (61%) of Municipality Solid Waste in general.
Modern landfills are managed on a grid system where only a small part of the landfill,
called a “cell,” is exposed for receiving Municipality Solid Waste on any day. The era of
“open dumps” is over: modern landfills manage waste in such a way that the top ground
can be used for parks and recreation without any gas or water contamination. Safeguards
such as protective liners are used to prevent leachate, or the liquids or gases that can seep
from a landfill. A network of drains is installed at the bottom of the landfill to collect any
leachate and protect groundwater sources. Monitoring wells are installed around the
perimeter to test for contamination. Fans vent and draft gas from the landfill and collect it
in a pressurized tank. The gas is then recycled for Waste-to-Energy burn-off. For up to 30
years after final capping and sealing of the landfill, landfill operators are required to
monitor the site for leaching. Landfill sites can settle and therefore are not used for
housing or building construction (Smink, 2001).
Landfill gas is the mixture of gases found within a landfill. Globally, including South
Africa the bulk of landfill gas consists of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Landfill liners are materials that are used to line the bottom area and below-graded sides
of a landfill. It usually consists of layers of compacted clay or geo-membrane material
designed to prevent migration of landfill leachate. Landfill closure is a term used to
characterize the steps that must be taken to close and secure a landfill site once the filling
operation has been completed. Post closure care refers to the activities associated with the
long-term monitoring and maintenance of a completed landfill, more likely 30 to 50 years
(Smink, 2001).
The impact of the land filling of solid wastes will include the uncontrolled release of
landfill gases that might migrate off-site and cause odour and potentially unhealthy
conditions. The uncontrolled gases also contribute to the green house effect in the
atmosphere. The release of leachate that might migrate down to underlying groundwater
or surface water can produce contaminated water. The breeding and harboring of disease
vectors in improperly managed landfills and the health and environmental impacts
associated with the release of trace gases result from the hazardous material disposed in
the landfills. The main goal of developing modern landfills is to minimize such concerns
(Technobanoglous, 1983).
According to Zambia Solid Waste Strategy (1997) there are other impacts caused by
landfilling with water pollution being a principal one. This happens when water entering
landfill as rain run-off becomes contaminated primarily by the process of decomposition
of organic waste and by absorbing contaminants from the items in the wastes such as
batteries. When landfill sites are allocated in areas where the underlying rock material is
porous or permeable, contaminated water will reach the aquifer below.
Leachate material is very hard to get rid off than gas that can be utilized for energy. Gas’
environmental effects are very limited. Leachate is defined as a medium by which soluble
materials inside the landfill may subsequently be transported in the environment. It is
necessary for the leachate to be transported continuously in order to avoid leachate
hydraulic head over the barrier system. In order to avoid negative environmental effects
landfills are lined, the leachate is collected and treated (Tchnobanoglous,1983).
According to Selke (2001) there are several barrier systems that have to be considered
when constructing a landfill system. The bottom barrier has to prevent leachate and biogas
from escaping into the environment. It has to provide mechanical support for the
waste mass and avoid accumulation of leachate by means of filtration, drainage and
collection system located above the bottom barrier. The side barrier in the landfills found
below surface level should provide impermeability to leachate and external water fluxes,
mechanical resistance to water pressure, drainage leachate and prevent lateral migration
of biogas. The top cover in the landfill system should prevent biogas from escaping into
the environment; reduce rainwater infiltration through a combination of sealing and
drainage function. Lastly it must provide support from aftercare options such as
vegetation and erosion control. The barrier system components are clay soil and gravel.
In the quest to save natural resources, synthetic materials have been utilized as barrier
systems. Such materials are able to perform same functions as barrier systems mentioned
earlier. These materials are referred to as Geosynthetics. Various components of lining in
a landfill have different characteristics and advantages. A single liner of natural material
of low permeability soil is considered acceptable only under specific and fully safe
hydrological situations. The single liner of synthetic material geo-membrane may be
utilized only under conditions similar to natural material lining, single composite liner
clayey soil + geo-membrane is widely recommended for municipal solid waste (MSW)
land filling and is included in the guidelines of many industrialized countries. Currently
for municipal solid Waste landfill lining a minimum clay liner thickness of 1.0m is
deemed necessary with a maximum permeability of 10-9 minutes per seconds (ms-1)
(Selke, 2001).
For the landfill to function properly, it has to have a drainage system that will drain
leachate that is produced by the landfill. It is vital for the drainage to be designed in such
a way that it resists the potential damage by operating machines Hoeks, (1987 cited in
Christensen; Stegmann, (1994).
2.5.1 Classification of landfills
The most widely accepted classification is the one adopted by the State of California in
1984. There are mainly three categories under this classification. According to
Technonglous, 1983 these are:
Designated wastes
Designated waste is defined as non-hazardous wastes that may release constituents in
contraction that exceed applicable water quality objective.
There are mainly three types of landfills, the first one being the conventional landfills for
commingled Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). The second one is the landfill for milled
solid wastes and lastly the non-fills for designated or specialized wastes.
Landfills for commingled (MSW)
Generally the landfills of United States are designed for commingled MSW. This class
of landfills also accepts industrial solid waste, sludge from water waste water treatment
plants. However in many States the sludge from treatment plant are accepted only if it
has 51% water.
The native soil is used as a intermediate and final cover material, but in countries like
Florida and New Jersey where the amount of indigenous soil available for such
purpose is limited, the alternative materials such as compost produced from yard
wastes has been utilized.
Landfills for Shredded Solid Wastes
One strategy that is adopted as an alternative from traditional disposal methods in
several United State locations concerns shredding of solid wastes prior to placement of
it in the landfill. The toned waste can accommodate up to 35% greater density than the
un-shredded waste and it can do without daily cover. Flies, rats, blown litter and
odours are not a major problem to such waste. The disadvantage of this strategy
include the need for shredding facility and the need to operate the conventional landfill
section for waste that can not be easily shredded. This form of waste disposal has
tremendous potential in view of the conventional landfilling being very expensive. The
process of compaction enabling greater capacity makes this method comparatively
more attractive. However shredded waste can be used to produce compost that can be
utilized as an intermediate cover material.
In South Africa landfill sites can be categorized as follows:
1. General landfill sites that accommodate non-hazardous material for example
food waste generated in households. These are normally operated by the local
2. H-h landfill sites accommodate low hazardous waste material. This type of
waste can be generated by small businesses and households. For example paint
containers and oil contaminated materials.
3. H-H landfill sites accommodate highly hazardous material that is generated by
industries. The example includes nuclear waste.
2.5 Privatization of Solid Waste services
Privatization can be defined as a process of disconnecting state owned enterprises or state
provided services from the government control to the market forces. In most African
countries privatization differs from the above in that it is characterized by expanding the
sphere of the market through a host of regulations that can create an enabling
environment for free enterprise to operate as a strategy for sustainable economic
development. Privatization of municipal services generally refers to the reduction of local
government activity within the given service like solid waste management. Furthermore
there is a reduction in local government ownership (Santa Monica Sustainable City
Programme report, 1997).
In Nairobi privatization can be perceived as both reduction of the city and municipal
council activity through the involvement of private sector as well as the reduction of
government ownership. Through the commercialization of government agencies where
the municipal council has re-organized itself into an accountable and financially
autonomous semi-private enterprise for the delivery of a specific service, the definition of
privatization also includes the management of contracts, concessions, franchise, leases,
commercialization and pure private entrepreneurship. Privatization can be viewed as a
form of decentralization of management functions from government to private enterprise.
It can also be seen as a shift of responsibility for direct services and infrastructure (DSNI,
In Dar-es-Salaam there are several modes of privatization established countrywide. These
include open competition, whereby licenses are prograted for the provision of private
firms. In open competition individual households establishments make private
arrangements with individual firms for services delivery. In this mode no firm holds a
zonal monopoly that means any number of firms may compete within the same zone. The
second mode is the management contracts that can be awarded to private firm. In this
mode of management contract there is a placement of municipal services under private
management for the specific period of time. The private sector has extensive autonomy as
stated in the contract. Services operated under this mode include solid waste
management, public toilets and parking lots (DSNI, 1999).
The concession mode described as a contractual arrangement, is where certain private
companies are awarded a license to provide specified services over a certain period of
time. The ownership of principal assets remains with the private firm. In normal
circumstance concessions are awarded after a competitive tendering process. In this
mode there is an obligation on the part of the service provider in that they must provide
services that are economically and socially important and need significant improvement
and is large and usually enjoys a monopoly position within an area (DSNI, 1999).
Compulsory competitive tendering is where, through force of legislation, the city council
has defined types of work to external competition and the contracts are awarded on merit.
Compulsory competitive tendering has occurred in the privatization of solid waste
collection and disposal in the city of Dar es Salaam where a number of private firms bid
for the award of contracts to provide the services. The last mode is the Shifting of
responsibilities where the services, which were once nationalized, are re-allocated to the
community-based organization (CBO). Shifting of responsibilities has also occurred in
the local areas where CBOs have been established and assigned service duties. Shifting of
responsibilities have also occurred at local level where CBOs have been established and
assigned service responsibilities.
2. 7 Case studies on Solid Waste Management
Americans are usually generating an estimated 223 million tons of municipal solid waste
(MSW)for year. While tonnage continues to increase, the amount deposited in landfills
continues to decrease due to recycling and composting programmes (Keep America
Beautiful, 1996). Effective waste management involves an integrated approach utilizing
the programs of source reduction, recycling, composting, waste-to-energy, and sanitary
The concept of conducting a detailed examination of the life cycle of a product or a
process is referred to as “Life Cycle Assessment” (LCA). LCA, involves taking detailed
measurements of a product and assess its life expectancy from “cradle to grave”. Some
products, like steel and aluminum, can be recycled indefinitely (with some melt losses)
without ever reaching a “grave” stage, while others, like paper, can be recycled only four
or five times (Keep America Beautiful,1996).
Urban growth in Kenya has been associated with unemployment, low levels of life
expectancy related to health problem. In most cases the health problems are associated
with illegal dumping of solid waste in open spaces. People turn to dump solid waste in
these open space because Local Urban Management can not cope with a high urban
influx rate. 70% of households in urban areas in Kenya are low-income household as a
result they have no adequate access to services such as clean running water, road
infrastructure and garbage collection. They are therefore exposed to various kinds of
diseases that include TB, Asthma and other skin diseases.
2.8 Landfill Management in developing countries
Successful management processing of wastes will largely depend on the types, quantities
and composition waste material. The bulk density of residential wastes in the developing
countries varies from about 180 to 390 kg/m3 (Smith,1992). Currently the majority of
solid wastes generated in the developing countries like South Africa are disposed in open
dumps. Most of the open dumps lack the proper equipment and trained personnel
necessary for conducting the operation in the manner such that the public health and the
environment are protected. There are very few modern landfills in the developing
countries and the majority of them are designed as sanitary landfills.
In South Africa there are new environmental standards for the design of landfill sites.
Currently the landfill management scheme owns and controls seven hi-tech disposal sites
that are well developed and manages eighteen general landfill sites for local authorities
through out South Africa (Smith,1992). The landfills have scientific expertise that
controls operating procedures, site auditing and surface and storm run-off. They also
monitor methane extraction and rehabilitation processes, for closed landfills. Such
management standards reduce long-term environmental liability that might have negative
impacts on the environment.
In the National Gazette there are provisions for waste disposal and the environment as a
whole. Environmental Conservation Act 73 of 1989 provides principles that should be
followed by the Minister when issuing a permit to operate any disposal site. The Minister
of Water Affairs and Forestry has a right to alter or cancel any permit or condition in the
permit and the minister may refuse to issue a permit (subsection 1). It is also stated in this
Act that no person is allowed to dispose waste in any other manner except at the disposal
site for which the permit has been issued. The authorization shall only be issued after
consideration of reports concerning the impacts of the proposed activities and alternative
proposed activities on the environment.
2.9 Transportation and collection of solid waste
A wide range of methods and equipment is utilized in the collection of wastes. The
methods vary from labour-intensive to fully mechanized. Types of equipment and
vehicles vary from simple hand-drawn carts and wagons to modern compaction vehicles.
Generally, a collection crew consists of three or four workers, although crews of as few
as two or as many as eight have been observed. In some locations, unauthorized
individuals who take part in the collection activity in order to recover materials from the
wastes may increase the number of people working in a particular vehicle. Excessive
handling and the use of inefficient methods characterize the collection activity. This
results in high collection costs (Smith, 1992).
The use of compactor trucks in developing countries is becoming popular practice in
waste removal. Some features include may not be considered at the time that the vehicle
is purchase. These features include the importance of matching the compaction chamber
to the truck chassis; the possibility that the loaded weight of the truck exceeds the bearing
capacity of streets and roads; inaccessibility of the vehicle to remote areas and narrow
streets; the need to have proper machinery and equipment, as well as trained personnel to
conduct repairs and preventive maintenance; and the need for a supply of spare parts to
maintain the regularity of the collection service (Smith, 1992).
Despite the fact that it has been amply demonstrated that the implementation of sound
preventive maintenance is absolutely necessary to maintain a collection fleet in proper
operating condition, neglect of preventive maintenance is a common situation in
developing countries. Generally, maintenance is carried out only after a catastrophic
failure of the equipment. A maintenance programme is extremely important since
collection and transport account for a substantial proportion of the total cost of the waste
management system. Due to the absence of maintenance programmes, those responsible
for dispatching the vehicles to their respective routes generally are not aware of the exact
number of vehicles available on any given day (Furley, 1994).
The frequency of collection varies from daily to monthly. In some locations, particularly
low income areas and human settlements; waste collection is provided only on special
occasions, such as during cleaning campaigns. In most situations, collection routes are
not firmly established. It is a common practice to leave the decision for the route to the
discretion of the driver. Consequently, it is common for a particular vehicle to arrive at
the disposal site only partially loaded due to inefficient routing. In some instances, an
indirect route is taken to the disposal site in order to discharge part or even the entire load
for use as animal feed or for salvaging some of the materials that may have some
monetary value (CNN, Environmental World Report, June 22, 2002).
2.10 Resource Recovery
The term “resource recovery” is used to mean the recovery of materials discarded as
wastes, and to the institutional arrangements leading to resource recovery (for example,
scavenging and governmentally or industrially operated enterprises). Scavenging is the
process through which materials are recovered by entities not sanctioned by the
government (Re’ Source, 2000).
The following three factors generally contribute to the practice of resource recovery in
developing countries: 1) Economics – a relatively undeveloped economy of the country;
2) Material and Energy Conservation shortage of inexpensive raw materials which are
essential to local industries, lack of affordability or production capacity for items that can
be remedied by recovery of useable materials from wastes, and shortage or cost of
energy; and 3) Soil Conservation — soils that are of low quality or that are being rapidly
depleted of organic matter (Re’ Source, 2000).
Resource recovery is an advisable policy for developing countries because it usually
catalyzes the development of organized systematic waste management and leads to a
reduction of the amount of wastes that require disposal. Furthermore, resource recovery
provides a source of income for a relatively large number of people in the lower
economic sector. Finally, if the system is properly planned, implemented, and
administered, some of the revenue obtained from the sale of the materials can be used to
defray part of the cost of waste management.
The status of the economy of a particular region or country plays a critical role in all
aspects of resource recovery. Since the economic situation is most Developing Countries
leaves them with little or no access to capital to import raw materials, one alternative
available is to conserve raw materials by recovering and recycling materials. This
approach is worth consideration and implementation despite some reports that recycling a
material would be more costly than importing it. Careful analysis of such reports shows
that in most DCs, the findings and conclusions are based on questionable assumptions
and on a short-term outlook rather than on a long-term horizon (Smith, 1992).
Materials that typically are recovered from solid waste can be recycled into primary
manufacturing products especially aluminum, steel cans and plastics. Energy can be
recovered from solid wastes by using one of two methods. One is to recover and recycle
materials that can be substituted for those that require a substantial amount of energy to
process and manufacture into consumer products. The second method is to convert the
chemical energy of waste into a usable form e.g., through bio-gasification or thermal
conversion (Smith, 1992).
Implementation of Resource Recovery
Resource recovery from solid waste can be implemented at two levels: 1) manual
recovery (scavenging) by individuals before collection, treatment, or disposal of the solid
waste; and 2) a combination of manual and mechanical processing carried out on a
relatively large scale and according to a governmentally sanctioned plan. The term
“scavenging” usually is applied to the first of the two levels of recovery. The second level
is typically termed, “conventional resource recovery”(Sivaramakrishranan, 1995).
Scavenging is a process that is well established in developing countries. In fact,
scavenging is such a strong part of the waste management system that attempts made to
abolish the practice in some cities in South Africa have been met with strong resistance.
Some scavengers roam the streets looking for items that can be reused, and are known as
“itinerant.” Other scavengers conduct their activities at the disposal sites and limit their
activities to the collection of one or two materials (e.g., paper, metal objects). Generally,
scavengers have an agreement with a “middle-man.” The middle-man is an individual
who has the contacts with the end users of the waste, can process, prepare, and sell the
quantities of materials desired by users; and provides the scavengers with compensation
and, in some cases, a collection vehicle (e.g., a cart or tricycle). In some locations, the
solid waste collection crew conducts its collection activities as well as some scavenging
of materials (Folz, 1991).
Generally, the families and social backgrounds of scavengers are such that scavenging is
the only option available to them to earn a living. The work of a scavenger is difficult and
has little reward and the social status of these people is considered to be low. Scavengers
can work up to 12 hours each day in order to earn money sufficient only to survive and
sometimes they get nothing after long hard work. In addition, scavengers often live at or
in the vicinity of the final disposal site, under unhealthy conditions. The conditions in
such places are a threat to the quality of their own families especially children and
pregnant women. For example in India, most of the families that are stricken by poverty
survive on scavenging and they are just 50 meters from dump sites. Infant mortality rate
is very high in these sites and life expectancy is very low. The cases of ill health are
reported daily with such diseases as lung cancer, respiratory diseases, and tuberculosis
that can result in death if not treated (Arkava,1983).
Another example where the effect of illegal dumping of solid waste has resulted in poor
health is near Hartbeespoort Dam in South Africa. Piles of solid waste sprawl across the
path at the entrance to the compound where workers reside. Unpleasant smell emanating
from blocked toilets intensifies the unhygienic status of the compound. The open pipes
that run chicken waste from the slaughterhouse passes the employee’s rooms down to the
river polluting waster resources. The compound houses about hundred workers; there is
only one shower with no electricity and hot water for workers. It is said that at least one
child per week spends the next eighteen months in hospital after contracting tuberculosis
while living in the compound. Most of workers have developed asthma (Smith, 1992)
2.11 Importance of Open Spaces
Previously decision-makers and communities have undervalued open spaces, this is
because benefits and services that are provided by open spaces were not understood. The
recognition that open spaces provide services such a waste treatment, erosion control,
nutrient cycling and cultural and demand from both urban and rural communities of these
services gives open spaces new economic value. As result decision-makers make more
informed decisions about conservation and management of resources provided by open
spaces. It was also acknowledged that through proper management of open spaces and its
resources such demands can be met.
As part of Local Agenda 21, environmental development of open spaces was also
included. There are several reason why open spaces are important to human development,
both economically and social wellbeing. Due to the importance of open spaces, the
protection plan called D’MOSS was initiated in Durban in 1994. The aim of the
programmme was conserving and preventing degradation of such crucial natural areas.
To achieve the main goal, in 1996 the government structures and councils devise a plan
based on the principles of sustainable development and community participation (Durban
Metropolitan Open Space System (DMOSS) Framework Plan, 1999).
Types of open spaces and their benefits
Natural spaces can be defined according to their different shapes and forms. Due to this
fact they turn to vary with characteristics and qualities. There are mainly two types of
open spaces viz.; urban and natural open spaces (Durban Metropolitan Open Space
System (DMOSS) Framework Plan, 1999).
i.Urban spaces are man-made or designated spaces within any metropolitan area.
Such spaces are developed for community use and they include areas like parks,
agricultural fields, streets and sport-fields.
ii.Natural open spaces are undisturbed natural and undeveloped areas within the city,,
they include core areas like terrestrial, fresh water marine ecosystems estuarine. The
land cover of such areas can also include grasslands, forests, and wetlands.
Both natural and urban spaces link various ecosystems, for example dams that are manmade
can be part of fresh water ecosystem like wetland. Each type of open space has
assets that are very important to human survival and development. Such spaces contain
resources like water, fuel-wood, grass and medicinal plants.
Open spaces serve the follow:
· Wood for fuel and building ;
· Soil for growing food for ever-increasing population;
· Provide space to absorb the impact of floods and treatment of waste;
· Grass for thatch and grazing.
However the importance of open space is not entirely dependent on its ability to supply
different services rather on the demand by communities for the services can supply. Open
spaces that provide resources and enhance development are natural factories that provide
goods and services. Open spaces services have a number of benefits in different sectors of
the community. There are direct benefits, which is the use of resources such as domestic
use of water, wood for fuel and as building material. Indirect benefits are also referred to
as non-consumptive of resources. They provide cost savings to the community, for
example floodplains reduce flood damage and trees keep air clean for all life forms.
Option benefits are when resources are protected for future consumption, for example a
coastline can be used to promote tourism growth in future. Existence benefits can viewed
as existing resources, they may give people a sense of identity and an urge to improve
their overall quality of life (D’MOSS Framework Plan, 1999).
There is a great demand of open spaces, however such demand is determined by the kind
of service that is provided by that particular space, for example when people in an urban
area need water resources, the type of open space that they will need is the catchment
type of open space, since it will provide water resource. The services that are provided by
open spaces vary, depending on the communities that are using such services. They are
also important for the wellbeing of the environment. Figure 2.2 illustrate the ecosystem
services that are provided by open spaces in order to prevent environmental degradation
(D’MOSS Framework Plan, 1999): Currently the plan has been implemented only on the
grass-root level; there is a need for comprehensive implementation.
Figure 2.2: Ecosystem Services provided by open spaces
2.11 Waste Minimization in South Africa
By examining the depth of waste problems in South Africa, Action Plan was needed to
eliminate large amount of solid waste that is problematic in our country. Action Plan is
within the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) (South Africa Year Book,
2001/2002), which has both short and long-term objectives. The Action Plan was
· Waste treatment
Breaking down of
waste and detoxifying
· Nutrient cycling
Nitrogen fixation, nitrogen
recycling through food
chain. Achieved through
symbiotic association with
rhizobia bacteria.
· Erosion control
Prevention of soil loss by
vegetation cover and by
capturing soil in wetlands.
· Cultural
Spectacular views,
environmental education and
sense of place.
developed as a result of logical Framework analysis methodology that analyses the nature
of the problem, reviews stakeholder and identifies the key risks that are critical to
implementation of the Action Plan. It contains a set of initiatives that are essential for the
government to adopt in order to create sufficient motivation and capacity among waste
generators to implement recycling practices. Such initiatives are categorized into three
key outputs:
· The introduction and enforcement of appropriate regulatory instruments with a
priority to eliminate pollution and to promote the adoption of waste minimization
and recycling practices.
· Appropriate economic and financial incentives, this is based on the study done by
the Departments of Finance and Trade and Industry.
· The implementation of programmes for waste minimization and recycling. Such
initiatives will be integrated in a broader Action Plan for Cleaner Production. The
plan is depended on certain factors in order for the project to be successful. In
South Africa waste minimization plan still needs to be implemented.
2.13 Solid Waste Management and World Summit on Sustainable Development
One point that was repeatedly highlighted in the WSSD was that the rapid increase in
solid waste has become a major problem for the municipalities in both developed and
developing countries. The brief example is from Rio de Janeiro where solid waste
generation reached a maximum of 8, 042 tons per day in 1997 compared to previous
figure of 6,200 tons per day in 1994. In Norway solid waste generation increased by three
percent in the 1990’s, in the United State there was a sharp increase of 4.5% in waste
generation. (DSNI,1999).
Unsustainable human settlements, or slums, are mostly informal and unplanned, often in
dangerous locations and generally lacking basic municipal services such as safe drinking
water, sanitation, public transport, schools and clinics. These may be the result of
inadequate urban planning, lack of investment in infrastructure, speculative investment
patterns, and indifference to the needs of the poor. Realization of the Millennium
Declaration target would require action at many levels. Access to improved housing, safe
drinking water; sanitation facilities, health and education are urgent priorities for
improving the lives of slum dwellers. Long-term improvements that would require better
city planning and attention to land right urban infrastructures (UN Report, 2001).
Sustainable development cannot be achieved without addressing the causes of ill health
and its impact on development. Many health problems are exacerbated by air and water
pollution, noise, crowding, inadequate water supplies, poor sanitation, unsafe waste
disposal, chemical contamination, poisoning and physical hazards associated with the
growth of densely populated cities. WHO estimates that poor environmental quality
contributes to 25 per cent of all preventable illnesses in the world today? Air pollution,
both ambient and indoors, including the work environment, continues to be a major
contributor to respiratory and other illnesses, particularly in children (asthma and acute
respiratory infections), women and the elderly (chronic respiratory illness). Some 2.1
million people, of whom 1.8 million live in rural areas of developing countries, die
annually from indoor air pollution from traditional biomass fuels, with 80 per cent of
those deaths among women and children. Due to the fact that there are no proper services
that are present there are numerous diseases such as TB and Cholera that are associated
with improper disposal of waste. Recent years have also seen a growing concern over the
disposal of hazardous wastes, which are often dumped together with other wastes. This
has posed severe health hazards for poor people who survive by scavenging wastes. Some
vector-borne diseases, such as Dengue fever, are linked to poor solid waste disposal.
Some cities have experienced epidemics due to poor waste management, resulting in
significant human and economic losses (Keep America Beutiful, 1996).
2.14 Conclusion
Although policies in some countries are promoting waste reduction, recycling and safe
disposal, most developing countries are lagging behind in terms of implementation of
such policies. There is a great potential for labour-intensive waste collection with
resource recovery and recycling. Some progress has been made in recognizing the
contributions and potential of citizens’ groups, grass roots organizations and civic leaders.
Some community initiatives have created opportunities for low-income families to
participate in community improvements, budget setting, citywide planning, disaster
preparedness and other sustainable urban development activities. There is one initiative
that comes from the youth of the countries of the world, they call themselves
“Espineers”, the youth all over the world volunteered to clean tons of solid waste that
was illegally dumped in open spaces. They manage to collect tons of solid waste in South
Africa clearing up most of illegal dumping sites.
Waste minimization is the major term in the preparation of WSSD; people are urged not
to pollute their surrounding by recycling the solid waste that will be produced during the
summit on sustainable development. This sends a clear message to the entire community
of South Africa that solid waste can be minimized through recycling programme
regardless of the area and the situation that one is in. furthermore it has created hope that
there is a room for improvement and that we can still pick up the pieces of our broken
planet and mend it while we still can, as the SWWD is about saving the planet and life on
it. During the summit people from around the world have shown how they reduce waste
by recycling and making other useful product.
Chapter three
Study Area and Methodology
3.1 Introduction
The focus in this section will be the description of the study area and the methodological
approach that was adopted by the researcher to collect data.
The description of the study area complimented by a map will enable the reader as well
as other interested parties to identify the area with ease. Research to some individuals in
the community is useless and a waste of time. The researcher however can convince such
individuals of the relevance of the exercise. It is of vital importance to explain to the
respondent the purpose of the study, so that they understand why they are engaged in the
process of collecting data and the impact that research can have on their lifestyles. There
are several methods that can be utilized to collect data. It is imperative for the researcher
to implement the method most suitable for the particular investigation (Bailey, 1994).
Details of the various methods and techniques will also assist future students, academic,
researchers and authorities who will not need to explore for methods conducive for this
type of investigation in this particular area.
For the purposes of collecting data for this investigation, the researcher used the
following methodologies:
· Sampling method ;
· Observation method,
· Participatory method
· Photographic data was collected as evidence to support the presence of the
The researcher conducted interviews with members of the household residing in
Clermont. The interviews were conducted to understand how they view the problem of
illegal dumping and establish how they rate environmental problems in relation to other
social problems in the community.
3.2 Study Area
Figure 3.2.1: Locality Map
N 0 18, 332 Meters
N 0 18,332 Meters
Figure 3.2.2: Map showing different wards of Clermont the black dots shows informal
N 0 757 Meters
The African township called Clermont which is characterized by formal and informal
dwellings is situated 20 kilometers west of Durban centre and 5 kilometers north east of
Pinetown. Clermont township is located in the inner west region of the e -Thekwini
municipality area, and 2-3 kilometers from New Germany. The township is situated at
30.9 longitude; latitude – 29. 78.333. This area founded in 1931, and encompasses 1600
acres of land. Kwa-Dabeka, a component of the study area was subjected to land invasion
in the early 1990’s. Initially a thousand people invaded and settled in the area due to it
being in close proximity to the employment opportunities. The population was estimated
to be in excess of ten thousand. Currently the population is in excess of fifty thousand.
Prior to the invasion of the area there were plans of building major tarred free way road
across this area. Due to this reason people were told not to interfere with proposed
development. People residing in this affected area did not have their shacks upgraded due
to the proposed road development.
Since the upgrading process more people moved to the area with the two manufacturing
industrial areas viz, Pinetown and New Germany being the pull factors. Some families,
however, arrived here because of the violence in their areas. Such politically unstable
areas include Richmond and Hammars dale.
The majority of the population in Clermont work in New Germany and in Pinetown. In
New Germany there is well-established cotton industry that is able to accommodate most
of the workforce. This company has well developed branches that can serve as source of
employment in the future for the skilled population of Clermont. The subdivisions of
cotton industry are Frametax and Pinetax. There are, however many unskilled and
unemployed people. Unemployed residents are unable to afford basic services that
include water, electricity, sanitation and solid waste removal. Most of the formal houses
that are built, end up not being occupied by the residents due to high levels of
The inability of residents to pay for basic services has a negative impact on the natural
environment as well as on the health of the community. Communities resort to building
of shallow pit latrines and disposal of solid waste illegally. Heaps of garbage is very often
seen on pavements, grass verges and sometimes in streams. Raw sewage from overloaded
latrines can also be seen following down the roads the latter is a common phenomenon
after rainfall events.
Plate 3.1 Illegal dumps in Clermont Township
Plate 3.2 Rich bio-diversity of Clermont threatened by the illegal solid waste disposal
3.3 Methodology
3.3.1 Survey method
Survey is a widely used data gathering technique. Surveys, based on professional social
research like other scientific tools can be used appropriately (Strydom, 1998). Surveys
usually produce information that is statistical in nature. It is regarded as the stem of
quantitative research. Researchers usually ask numerous questions concerning people’s
believes, characters, past, present and future behaviour.
One of the methods that chosen for this study is observation. Observation is defined as a
“purposeful systematic and selective way of watching and listening to an interaction or
phenomenon as it take place”(Bailey, 1994). It is a method that is ideal for situations
where accurate information cannot be elicited by questioning, due to unwillingness of the
respondent to co-operate and when the researcher is interested on the behavior rather than
the perception of the respondent. This method will be ideal in this particular research due
to the fact that the residents or industries may not admit their illegal dumping of solid
waste in open space. Observation can overcome this problem.
Observation method does however have some constraints. When individuals are aware
that they are observed, they may change their behavior compared to what would be a
normal situation. There is always the possibility of observer bias and therefore it is not
easy to verify the inferences drawn from them. In most cases the interpretation that is
drawn from observation differs from observer to observer. In the process the information
becomes unreliable. When a researcher engages in observation there is a possibility of
incomplete observation. For example when the observer is taking some notes, she/he may
miss an interaction. Recordings of conversation can compliment the observation method
Bailey, 1994).
The other method that will be used to conduct this study is the survey method. The survey
method is the scientific way of collecting the data from the targeted population. The
survey method is aimed at efficiency, precision and logic. The survey method comprise
of questionnaires and interviews. In this study both interviews and questionnaires were
administered to the sample of 100 households. Questionnaires are defined as instruments
that contain both close and open questions to which a respondent must react. According
to Bailey, 1994 questionnaires are a set of questions on the form of which is completed
by the respondent in respect of a research project. Questionnaires can be categorized as,
mailed questionnaires, telephonic questionnaires, and quantitative data collection
questionnaire (De Vos ; Fouche’, 1998). It is vital for the research to use the ideal type
to undertake a particular research. Questionnaire is a written list of questions where the
researcher records the answers from the respondents. In a questionnaire the researcher
reads the question, interprets what is expected and then records the responses.
The researcher will be able to select the right type of questionnaire type by reviewing the
advantages and disadvantages. Mailed questionnaire is defined as a questionnaire that is
sent off by mail in the hope that the respondent will complete and return it (Grinnell &
William (1990). However this method does not always work at its best. Statistics indicate
that a 50% response rate is considered adequate, 60% as good and 70% as excellent.. The
major disadvantage of the mailed questionnaire is that the researcher is totally separated
from the respondent; the questionnaire is the only communication medium between the
researcher and the respondent. However the most prominent advantage is that the costs
are considerably low and a larger geographical area is covered by the researcher. The
possible influence from the fieldworker is eliminated. Although there are advantages the
non-response data might be significantly high.
The self administered questionnaire is where the respondents have to complete the
questionnaires themselves. The researcher has to explain the whole questionnaire to the
respondents. Group administered questionnaires require the respondents to assemble
together to answer questions. If the literacy level of the group is low assistance from the
researcher is required. In this study the questionnaires had to be administered to the
people by the researcher since a certain percentage of the population don’t understand
English. The researcher had to interpret the questionnaire in their home language so that
respondents can understand what is required.
Interviews will be conducted in the quest of collecting enough information. In many
walks of life we collect information through different forms of interaction with others.
Any person-to-person interaction between two or more individuals with a specific
purpose in mind is called an interview. Interviewing can be very flexible, this means that
an interviewer has the freedom to formulate questions as they come to mind around the
issue being investigated. Interviews are classified according to the degree of flexibility as
unstructured (formulation of questions during an interview) and structured (predetermined
set of questions, using the same wording and order of the questions as
specified in an interview schedules) interviews. An interview schedule is research tool
where as interviewing is a method of data collection. Structured interviews provides
uniform information that assures the comparability of data (Ranjit, 1999)
3.4 Sampling
Sampling is a process of selecting a few from a bigger group to become a basis for
estimating or predicting a fact regarding the bigger group. Arkava and Lane (1983)
define a sample as the element of the population considered for the actual inclusion in
the study. In other words a sample can be viewed as a subset of measurements drawn
from the population in question (Strydom and Vos, 1998). The main purpose of
studying a sample rather than the entire population is to gain an in-depth understanding
of some facets of the population. The advantage of the sample is that, it saves time,
finance and human resources. The disadvantage lies when the researcher does not find
out the facts about the population character. Lane and Arkava (1985) agree that if one
can study the entire population, the procedure will be tedious and time consuming.
Sample size from the population
There are general rules for the sample number that can be drawn from the entire
population. The rule of thumb that is normally stated in the literature is that the larger the
population, the smaller the percentage of that population sample needs to be. On the other
hand the smaller the population is the sample size should comprise a larger percentage of
the population. However larger sample enables the researchers to draw more accurate
conclusions and possible predictions (Arkava, 1985).
Random sampling
The sampling method that will be employed in the research is random sampling that is
categorized under “Mixed sampling Design”. Kerlinger (1986) defines random sampling
as the method of drawing a portion from the population so that each member of the
population in question has equal chance of being selected. Random sampling can also be
defined as a method of drawing a sample from the population so that all possible sample
of n has same probability of being selected for the study (Strydom and Vos, 1998). For
this particular research the random sampling was used to select desired sample, hundred
households from a population of 49 580 households. A comprehensive map of Clermont
indicating households enables the researcher to choose the sample. A table of random
numbers was employed to determine the households to be part of the sample.
Participatory Method
The community members and researchers, very often, perceive participation differently.
In spite of differences there are however, common aspects that can be recognized viz;
sharing of knowledge and skills between the researcher and community members,
(Indigenous knowledge and skills) and the distribution of power in that the respondents
have a say on the solutions of the problems at hand. Pretty (1995) and Mayoux (1995)
cited in Strydom ; Vos, 1998 agree that the definition and aims of participation are
entirely different across different individuals and that the term has become a stylish word
with numerous interpretations, others impedes sustainability and empowerment aspects.
According to Strydom (1998) participation is viewed as a means to efficiency. Whereby
people are involved in a problem-solving task in which they are more likely to agree with
and give support to the chosen development. The second view is mainly based on
participation as a fundamental right to initiate mobilization for collective action to
facilitate community capacity building and enhance local empowerment.
According to Strydom (1998) participation in the context of this investigation involves a
group of people from the community working together with the researcher in identifying
a problem. The community will collectively seek solutions to their problems with the
assurance of the leaders. This however was only possible after the researcher gained the
trust and confidence of the communities.
In traditional research, the conservative models of attitudes, beliefs, values and
indigenous knowledge of township people remain undervalued and simplified by so
called “experts”. The commonality in those top-down approaches is that they homogenize
the population; consequently there is a failure to recognize the differences that exist
through gender, time, geographical space, age and ethnic groups (Bailey, 1994).
According to Bailey (1994) participation is a cross-disciplinary and cross- sectoral
approach that is able to connect communities in the development process through
interaction and participatory process. It is a method when experts are able to understand
and learn from the community’s experiences. The process of sharing knowledge comes in
three forms viz:
· The local people share knowledge among themselves through analysis in groups
and visual representation;
· Local people share knowledge with outsiders (expects);and
· The outsiders share knowledge with community and among themselves of what
they have learned when interacting with local people.
Participatory method ropes the new emerging paradigm of development hence NEPAD
(New Partnership African Development) where all South African are expected to
participate in the development of Africa. In this respect there is a visible recognition of
significance of context and multiple realities. It is important to note that learning takes
place through sharing and there is no such thing as “expert” knowledge (Strydom, 1998).
There are numerous advantages of using participatory method to gather information. The
approach is flexible and innovative with a more semi-structured manner. It also put
emphasis on understanding processes through involving people, gathering insights and
their suggested solutions rather than providing final answers to the observed problems
without consulting the people who are experiencing such problems. The major shift from
traditional teaching and learning styles to development and research is the major
component of participatory method. Participatory method helps to use research to acquire
a greater understanding of realities and needs of communities.
The researcher in the field becomes an activist that is able to create a research
environment in which participants are able to take over the process of investigation and
aid their use of innovation of research techniques. The same techniques allow them to
identify their own problems and solutions to their physical existence (Grinnell, 1990).
Although many authors praise participatory method there are some concerns that are put
forth by few writers. By looking at the above-mentioned methodology it is a promising
alternative to the traditional way of conducting research. It is imperative for the research
to be aware of such limitations when using this method. Participatory research is often
considered to be the subject to copious inherent tensions. Mostly participatory research is
based on focus groups and is therefore premised on the possibility of consensus. It is also
based on the assumption that the benefits of the research are self evident if the role of the
outsider is to implement the will of the people “the nation has spoken and it must not be
disputed” (Ranjit,1999). There are many aspects that influence participation for an
example gender, kingship and ethnicity. There are also several reasons that can influence
people not to participate in a particular study; these can include political alliances, social
factors, time and geographical distance as well as the social status.
Other limitations that are presented by the participatory method is that some communities
are not familiar with the visual representations. Consequently this can create further
problems with regards to interpretation and representation. In most cases it is not easy to
conduct activities that are associated with participatory method (Ranjit, 1999). The tools
that are utilized by the participatory method can create a sense of puzzlement than
traditional research methods. Another obstacle can be that, the methods can fall short to
give best results where members are not sufficiently trained. According to Strydom
(1998) participatory method had failed to incorporate gender dynamics in relation to the
development of its techniques
Collection of Primary data
In this particular study, the researcher with the assistance of trained field workers did
data collection. Both qualitative and quantitative methods had been utilized to collect
primary data for the proposed study. In the case of qualitative method semi-structured
interviews were conducted with different stakeholders and relevant authorities.
Contemporary, the socio-economic questionnaire (survey) was used, to gather data that
can be quantified. The main purpose of the questionnaire was to collect primary data
from the hundred households that were selected to participate in the study. In some
instances where the researcher saw the need, semi structured interviews were conducted
in some households in order to determine day-to-day problems concerning solid waste
management. Strydom (1998) state that to create a less hierarchical relationship between
the members of the community and the researching team, it is necessary to conduct such
Prior to the initiation of the study, the researcher saw the necessity of meeting with
different stakeholders that included Councilors of the township and sub-committees of
Women’s Organization of Clermont. Meetings were also held with the company
contracted to collect and transport waste, the Durban Metro Solid Waste Department and
the Department of Environment and Tourism. The purpose of the meeting was to
introduce the research, the aims, and objectives of the study and arrange interviews with
different stakeholders.
During the fieldwork most of the respondents did not understand the purpose of the study
and they were reluctant to participate. They feared that they would be identified as being
responsible for illegal disposal of solid waste. The researcher had to explain the
intentions of conducting the study and that they will remain unanimous.
3.5 Conclusion
It is imperative that the results of the research are reliable, valid and effective. The
researcher had to implement different methods for this particular study. The information
given by the respondents was treated with great confidentiality. The willing participants
had the opportunity to understand the importance of the study and how it affects their
daily lives. The process of collecting data is about sharing knowledge rather than
imposing of ideas on the community.
As a researcher the aim is not to undermine, but to add to the existing knowledge. During
the fieldwork, the researcher was aware of the limitation and biases that may arise due to
resource limitation. The researcher will respect and recognize cultural issues of the
community of Clermont.
In the field the researcher maintained flexibility with the participants. The researcher was
aware of the fact that no research can be neutral or value free. Although the researcher
was more interested on the scientific part of the study, political and gender issues were
also focused upon. It was important for the researcher to have lived with the community
for the several weeks. This enabled her to earn their trust and confidence. The researcher
was also able to observe their lifestyle during this time.
The researcher used the participatory methodology to collect data. Using the councilor
the researcher called community members to participate on this investigation, during the
community meetings residents were asked to rank the problems using their understanding
of environmental status quo. A sample of 100 households was randomly selected to
collect data. Interviews were held with each members of the household. Interviews with
the local councilors were held to understand how they would to solve environmental
problems in the township of Clermont.
Chapter Four
Results and Data Analysis
4.1. Introduction
This section of the study will concentrate on a presentation of the results of the
investigation. These results, obtained from the implementation of the methods described
in the previous chapter, will be depicted graphically and in tabulation form. Both tables
and graphs will be followed by an analysis of the results.
4.2 Results and analysis
The graphs, tables and subsequent analysis of the results will inter-alia, include such
issues as nature of the problem of solid waste, types of solid waste, cost of facilities to
dispose solid waste and impacts of illegal dumping on the total environment.
4.2.1 Nature of the solid waste problem
The nature of the problem refers to the level at which the community perceives solid
waste management in their area. The levels refer from the problem being now exist into
There was a clear difference in gender participation in the community meetings.
According to female respondents women are not given opportunity to make major
decisions that will affect the entire community,” they are expected to take care of the
families”. It was also revealed that women could play a major role in eliminating illegal
solid waste disposal. This is because they are the ones that are mostly affected by the
problem and also contribute to the problem at the same time. However when any disease
even waste related illness affects a member of the family, it is a responsibility of women
to take care of the family and make sure that they receive medical attention. One can
understand why women are very passionate about eliminating solid waste problem.
It was also highlighted that if women were given a chance to voice their needs the
problems that are now faced by the community should have been avoided by taking
precautionary majors.
Fig. 4.1 Illegal dumping being a problem.
No Little Some Strong Critical
Thirty-three of the respondents regard solid waste as a critical problem in Clermont and it
needs urgent attention of the authorities. Respondents, in general indicated that among
the community members there is a “culture of littering” that needs to be eradicated.27%
of the respondents indicated that impact of solid waste was strong, these who showed
strong concern about the problem are those people allocated 100 meters away from
dumping site and they pass through them when ever they are going to town or to work.
They also complain about odours when passing such areas. However 24% showed some
concern and 8% little concern, the respondents did not see solid waste as a critical
problem. Although there are dumping sites around them they are not exposed to them like
the other respondents.
Table 4.1 Types of solid waste disposed
Garden waste 35%
Domestic waste 63%
Building material 2%
One of the objectives was to determine types of waste disposed by the community of
Clermont. The wastes disposed in the Township Clermont are mainly domestic (63 %)
and garden waste (35%). Through observation it was noted that most of the domestic
waste disposed are papers, tins, and bottles. All such waste can be recycled and could
generate income since there is high unemployment in Clermont. The most problematic
waste to dispose is garden waste due to the following factors:
It is very expensive to dispose garden waste, as residents are required to buy separate
plastic bags in order to dispose garden waste. If residents use the same black refuse bag to
store garden waste, the waste collectors will not collect it and it will be left on road
verges or on any open space. Although garden waste is broken down the refuse bags took
a long period of time to be biodegradable.
If a resident decide to cut down some trees or shrubs in his/her yard, one has to hire a
garden waste skip from the waste collecting company. Cost of such facilities is very high,
considering the fact that most of the residents are unemployed or underemployed. The
cost of eight cubic meters waste skip to collect waste is two hundred and fifty one rand
(R251) and eighteen cubic meters cost three hundred and eighty nine rand (R389). This
proves that root cause of illegal dumping of garden waste is the fact that the community
members can not afford the hiring of waste skips. When community members try to
dispose garden waste using normal black refuse bags, waste collecting companies do not
collect the waste. Level of income therefore has major bearing sound waste management
practices in Clermont.
Plate 4.1 facilities used to collect garden waste in Claremont.
The vehicle shown in the above plate is utilised to carry skips that collect garden waste
such as big trees and shrubs.
For people of Clermont to spend such amount of money to dispose garden waste is a
luxury, they are only concerned about their livelihood and how can they put bread and
butter on the table. With unemployment taking its toll in the area, environmental concerns
enjoy a low priority.
Table 4.2 Methods of garden waste disposal
Not Applicable 3%
Dump it on open space 22%
Burn 48%
Bury in the trench 23%
Refuse Bag 2%
Contractor removal 2%
The above table illustrates alternative methods used by the residents of Clermont to
dispose their garden waste. 3% indicated that they do not dispose garden waste there fore
this is not applicable to them and 22% of the respondents admitted to contribute to illegal
dumping by disposing garden waste such as trees and grass. A large percentage (48%) of
respondents proudly reported that they do not dispose garden waste at any open space
they resort to burning. They were not aware that they are also contributing to air pollution
that can pose danger to human health. The 23% said they bury garden waste in a trench,
only 5% said that they utilise garden waste as an organic fertiliser in their small gardens.
Only 2% of the respondents indicated that they put their garden waste in the refuse bag,
which however waste collector never takes it because they use wrong bags (Black refuse
bags). The last 2% revealed that they get contractor to remove their garden waste,
Plate 4.2 the use of black refuse bags to store garden waste.
Residences utilise incorrect refuse bag to store garden waste, the result of such actions
are illustrated in the above plate (4.2). Waste collectors always leave behind all the
garden waste that is stored in such a manner. This course problem in that when there
is rain waste block drainage pipes and course flooding during rainy season.
Table 4.3 The number of persons in a household and refuse generated
Number of refuse bags Percentage Members Percentage
One Bag 33% 5-10 49%
Two bags 47% 11+ 5%
Three bags + 20% 1-4 46%
The majority of respondents indicated that they generate two bags of waste per week. The
household had members ranging from five to ten members; most of the households that
fall from this category are breadwinners who are pensioners or underemployed labourers.
It was mentioned that during holidays the amount of waste generated per week per
household increases from two to five or seven bags per household. The theory “bigger the
family more waste is generated” did not apply in Clermont. The theory is proven wrong
by the theory of consumerism where by people are required to have capital in order to
acquire products. In various families that, there was a pattern that was large families did
not have breadwinners that earned more than a thousand rand. Such families only buy
goods that will help them to survive only basic needs; there is little no money that is left
to by other products that can increase their levels of waste generation.
Other families regardless of the size (33%) reported to generate one bag of waste per
week and 20% said they produce at least three refuse bags per week. Income of money
earned determines the amount of waste that can be generated by household. Size of the
family rarely plays a role in this regard. However when a family is big and there is
enough income for goods then we will find more waste being generation. Respondents
who earned more than thousand rand generated more waste than those who earned less
than or who are unemployed.
Table 4.4 Occurrence of illegal dumping in the area
Yes there is illegal dumping 55%
No there is no illegal dumping 45%
Fifty-five percent (55%) of the respondents reported that illegal dumping occurs in their
area. However most of the respondents interviewed denied that they contributed to this
problem. The blame was shifted to the neighbours and people who are passing by. Others
admitted that they were contributing to the problem of illegal dumping of waste and one
of the reasons for illegal dumping was that the frequency at which the waste is collected
is not adequate. Since the waste is collected once a week in Clermont and if they miss the
collection date they have nowhere to put their waste but to dispose it in any open space
available. Ownership was brought into play; residents residing near dumping sites
reported that their neighbours do not have the sense of pride with their surroundings due
to the fact that they are renting the houses. According to the people rented households
that were visited during the investigation, it is responsibility of the landlord or landlady to
keep their surroundings clean.
Table 4.5 the impacts of illegal dumping
Environ. Impact Percentage Health Impact Percentage
Not applicable 46% Not applicable 45%
Unclean 18% Cholera 52%
Unattractive 21% Not sure 3%
Environ. Degrading 15%
The researcher was able to explore whether illegal disposal of solid waste in the area has
negative impact on public health, the above table indicate results that were found. 55%
residents that are living in close proximity to the dumping sites reported that they are
suffering from Cholera, respiratory problems and common cold. During the interviews
45% reported no health impacts that were associated with solid waste mismanagement in
their area. The group of respondent that reported no health impacts lived far from illegal
dumping sites. Three percent of respondents are not sure about those effects, but some of
them had skin rashes that they were not sure how to name.
The study conducted reveals that most of the respondents (46%) consider illegal dumping
to have no environmental impacts. These respondents live some distance away from
dumping sites. Consequently they get minimum effects of the problem. Eighteen and
twenty –one percent reported that the area looks unclean and unattractive respectively.
Fifteen percent (15%) of respondents reported that illegal disposal of solid waste is
causing environmental degradation. The main reasons attributed for illegal dumping of
solid waste were, viz:
· The refuse plastic bags are not enough furthermore it was indicated that refuse
bags were of poor quality.
· No other place to dispose solid waste if one misses the day of collection.
· Most of the people were not concern about the importance of living in
aesthetically clean environment.
The researcher also observed that in other households they did not have bins to store
their waste; as a result they only used refuse plastic bags. The use of plastic bags only
has its problems in that the domestic animals like chicken and dog easily scatter waste
around and no one takes the responsibility of picking the waste and put it into relevant
plastics again. It is therefore important for household to have refuse bin, because such
incidents exacerbate the problem of illegal dumping.
Plate 4.3: illegal dump. This plate shows ash and biological waste that is illegally
disposed by the local butchery store in Clermont. The main reason for this act is to avoid
costs associated with the removal of such waste.
4.3 Collection frequency and subsequent problems
The Company responsible for waste collection in Clermont Township is called
eThembeni community service Solid Waste Management. Waste is collected using trucks
that are suitable for collecting waste. Waste is collected once a week in each and every
section of Clermont. The same company also provides street cleaning services. Seventyfive
(75%) of the respondents indicated that they do have street cleaning but it is not
adequate. Twenty-five percent (25%) do no receive this service because there is no
proper road infrastructure.
Waste collectors’ work five times a week in order to cover all the sections of the area.
Clermont is the “Nation of Shop keepers” where even households are running tuck shops
in order to earn a living. According to the waste collecting company the shopkeeper has
to hire trolley bins to store waste that was generated. The majority of shopkeepers are
unable to pay for trolley bins; wait for the collection day for their waste to be collected.
Problems that are encountered by waste collectors can, at times, be unbearable (Senzo
Mkhize, May 02, 2002 waste collector). Some members of the community take out waste
before or after the agreed time and date. In most cases after all the waste has been sorted
the animals (birds, chickens and dogs) disperse it and it is very difficult for waste
collectors to return to clean up the mess. As a result it seems as if the waste collectors are
not efficient in what they are employed to do, because the area looks unclean and
unattractive. According to Senzo Mkhize who is a waste collector in Clermont township,
there was an agreement between the community and waste collecting company that the
waste will taken outside at six am (06H: 00) in order for collectors to sort out the waste
in an appropriate manner. When the day of collection has passed, the waste is illegally
disposed to any open space. Residents also dispose whole and broken bottles with other
types of waste dispite them being advised to separate bottles from other waste.
To eliminate the problem of bottles the waste collector recommended that recycling
should be introduced in the area, because he believed that it would reduce waste such as
bottles, papers and cans. However people will only recycle when they know that they will
generate some form of remuneration for their effort. Waste collectors very often are
subjected to verbal abuses from the community. The community is convinced that they
are paying rates and that they have a right to do as they please. According to the
councillor majority of the residents do not pay rates due to little or no income. There is a
deep concern, in that people in general don’t want to pay rates as required. However there
are people who like to pay rates but they are unemployed and they are without income.
The researcher was told that there is a payment plan for those who cannot afford the
required amount. Those who has houses with a property market value of R0, 00-30 000
do not pay rates and those with house with property market value of R30, 000-60 000
only pay R20, 00 per month. There are different systems that the residents can use to pay
for the rates, one can pay on monthly bases or on an annual basis.
Most of the respondents (87%) indicated that they want recycling projects to be expanded
in the area. Recycling projects can help reduce the amount of waste being disposed. The
researcher noted that most of the waste disposed on open spaces included cans, paper and
bottles, which are recyclable. Garden waste can be recycled, by turning it into compost.
Table 4.6 Preferred type of recycling program
A drop off to recycling station program 22%
A door to door collection 78%
Two types of recycling programmes were proposed to the community. These were the
dropping off of material at the recycling stations and the door-to-door collection of
recyclable material. Seventy eight percent (78%) of the respondents preferred the doorto-
door collection of the recyclable material. These people indicated that they did not
have time to walk to the station where material can be disposed. The balance of the
respondents (22%) was happy to walk the short distance to hand in their recyclable
Table 4.7 Reasons for introducing recycling Projects in the area
Reasons for
recycling project
Percentage No recycling
project –reasons
Not Applicable 14% Not Applicable 86%
Reduce waste 34% Few will benefit 5%
To gain income 44% Money not enough 9%
Create employment 8%
There are numerous reasons why people need to have recycling program expanded in
their area. From the above table 44% wanted recycling projects because of income gain,
and 8% thought that the projects would create employment in the area. In these areas
environmental issues enjoys a low priority compared to unemployment problems. The
respondents even mentioned that before they can take full responsibility, they need
employment first and one cannot expect them to take care of the environment on hungry
stomach. Thirty four percent (34%) of residents showed concern about the environment,
stating that recycling projects will help reduce waste being illegally disposed and the
waste that is disposed on the landfills sites considering the fact that it is very expensive
to construct landfill sites. It is therefore important to limit the amount of waste that is
taken to our tip sites. Fourteen percent of the (14%) of people did not know what were
the benefits of expanding recycling projects in the area.
According to the councillor there are Environmental committees that deal with Solid
Waste Management issues. Due to the visible problems posed by solid waste in the
community there was a need for initiative to curb the problem; consequently Green Clean
Health Committee was formed with the main objective being to keep the environment
clean. The committee did the following in order to achieve the main objectives
· Identified the illegal dumping spots in the area;
· Determine the reasons for people to dump wastes in these open spaces; and
· Find funding for the cleaning up projects.
Table 4.8 The perception of Solid Waste Management in Clermont
Poor 9%
Adequate but poorly managed 32%
Good 51%
Very good 1%
Fifty one percent (51%) noted that the services were good in the area and thirty two
percent (32%) indicated that the services were adequate, but poorly managed. Nine
percent (9%) of the respondents indicated that solid waste management services in the
township were poor. The researcher noted that the majority of such respondents reside in
areas where there is no proper road infrastructure. Only one percent (1%) stated that
services were very good and the remaining seven percent (7%) was sure about the status
of the waste management in the township. However most of the respondents indicate that
the frequency of the services should be increased.
Table 4.9 Suggestions from the community about waste management related problems
Collect twice a week 53%
More attention during holidays 7%
Strong plastic bags ; more plastic bags 18%
More attention on street cleaning 9%
Environmental Education 9%
Not sure 4%
The main finding of this investigation was that fifty three percent (53%) indicated that
when waste is collected twice a week there will be a decrease in illegal dumping in the
area. Seven percent (7%) of respondents pointed out that illegal dumping occur at a high
rate during the holidays because more waste is generated during holiday period. More
attention must therefore be given to holidays on basis of frequency. Eighteen percent
(18%) wanted more refuse plastic bags that should be more durable. Nine percent (9%)
were adamant that environmental education programmes be introduced in Clermont.
In order to ensure that the results that are obtained from this particular project are
accurate and reliable the research used a more qualitative way of collecting data. This
was done by randomly selecting respondents from the original sample to participate on
participatory method whereby respondents were required to rank the problems in their
community according to their level of being problematic. The method is explained in
detain in the previous chapter. The following table will illustrate the results of the
participatory method. In this manner members of the community were given a chance to
make a difference in their lives and make decisions that were going to affect them and
their families in the near future. It was satisfying for the researcher to acknowledge that
people are making decisions that they can live with them, unlike in a traditional manner
whereby an outsider is able make decisions for the community.
Table 4.12 The table below indicates the level of income per month of the residents of
Clermont Township
Income/month Percentage
300-499 5%
500-699 22%
700-899 11%
900-1099 21%
1100-1299 13%
1300-1499 5%
1500-1699 5%
1700-1899 1%
Other 8%
Not Applicable 9%
From the obtained data it is clear that the residents fall under low-income group.
Majority of the residents earn between, 300-899 per month, this figure is generally
considered as low income. Most of the households visited by the researcher depend
solely on social grants for their livelihood. Those who are underemployed (22%)
manage to get a salary between 500-699, from casual employments. According to
literature areas like Clermont will not accumulate much waste due to the fact that
unemployment is rife and people don’t have much to spend on goods that will generate
more solid waste. Forty seven percent (47%) of the households generate two bags of
waste per week, the rate depends on the activities they are engaged in. in some
instances the households can generate more than five or six bags of solid waste. Nine
percent (9%) of the respondents were unemployed with most of then selling fruits and
vegetables on the central market of Clermont. Consequently there is more waste
created by informal trading that sometimes takes place in the homes of the
respondents. In most cases informal traders have to buy extra refuse bags in order to
accommodate the solid waste they accumulate. The majority of the residents
confirmed that they were not willing to stay with this waste till the next collection day;
therefore they have to dispose off it somewhere.
Table 4.10 The below table indicates the comparing of problematic waste in Clermont
Legend D.wast Electr. Scr.met Gar.wst SS/wst Ind.wst
Street cleaning Domestic
.waste /Street
Str.eet cleaning Str.eet cleaning Str.eet cleaning Garden .waste Sewage
Sanitary waste .
Street .cleaning
Domesticwaste Domestic
trading .waste
Garden .waste Domestic
g waste
Electr.icity Garden.
y /waste
trading .waste
Gar.den waste Informal.tradin
.trading .waste
Scrap.metal Garden waste Sewage
Garden.waste Garden waste Garden. waste
Table 4.10.1 Ranking of waste problems
Problem Scoring Ranking
Street cleaning 5 2
Domestic waste 5 2
Electricity 2 4
Informal trading waste 4 3
Scrap metal waste 0 6
Garden waste 7 1
Sewage Sanitary waste 4 3
Industrial waste 1 5
Note: Ranking of the above table is as follows, 1-3= Less problematic, 4-5=problematic,
6-10= most problematic
The above tables have illustrated that the most problematic waste is garden waste, which
ranked seven points on the ranking table. Since municipal waste collectors do not take
garden waste due to the fact that those residents use the wrong plastic bags to store
garden waste, such waste ends up in open spaces. The initiation of vegetable gardens
where garden waste can be used as organic manure was also a suggested means of
solving the garden waste problem. The shortage of land exacerbated by the high cost of
land discourages people from initiating garden projects. Vegetable garden projects can
alleviate poverty and hunger. People can plant and be able to feed their families and sell
the surplus.
Street cleaning service and domestic waste rank second on the ranking scale. The
problems that are encountered in the street-cleaning category have been associated with
the garden waste problems. There was an agreement between residents and councillors
that at least the street cleaning should be carried out four times a month. The reason why
they mention domestic waste as a problem is because residents are not satisfies with the
frequency at which the domestic waste is collected. Community suggested that an
increase in waste collection frequency could reduce illegal disposal of waste.
In the case of sanitary waste there are major improvements that need to be made. The
groups of respondents indicated that sewage waste is the problem in some parts of
Clermont especially those parts that are still using bucket system. In such area there are
many diseases because sewage waste is not taken for disposal anymore. Although the
issue of sewage waste is alarming some efforts however are being made by the
councillors to alleviate the problem. The researcher observed that in some parts of
Clermont water borne toilets are being built for the residents. However respondents said
that the process of building water borne toilet is very slow and caters for households with
income. In the case where residents are building their own pit latrine, they are always
shallow and filled rapidly. The toilets are usually unhygienic and cause spillage during
rainy seasons.
Table 4.13 The table indicate levels of education and age groups in Clermont
Age group Percentage Education level Percentage
15-24 7% Primary 20%
25-34 20% Secondary 48%
35-44 26% Tertiary 25%
45-54 16% Nursery school 2%
55-75 31% No formal educ. 5%
Forty-eight percent (48%) of the respondents have secondary education. The
researcher also found that although these people can read and write, they can not
understand English. Therefore it is important that all the material that is written on
solid waste and general environmental awareness be interpreted in a language that
people can understand. Twenty-five (25%) of the respondents received tertiary
education and they can read and write both languages, however this is a minority
group. Twenty percent (20%) of the residents had received primary education and 2%
only received pre-school education.
Most of the pensioners (55-75 age group) have little or no education, it is therefore
necessary for the environmental educators to use visuals like pictures to help them
understand impacts of illegal waste disposal. Five percent (5%) of those interviewed
did not receive formal education. A similar number of respondents did not go to
nursery school because in that period there were no nursery schools in Clermont.
4.4 Conclusion
During the investigation we have revealed many underlying facts that have largely
contributed to the improper management of solid waste in Clermont. Although in
Clermont there is a low-income group, people are passionate about taking care of their
surrounding environment. They have indicated that they are caught in the cycle of
poverty and it is impossible for them to take care of the environment. They suggested that
opportunities need to be created, that can help them to eradicate poverty at the same time
bring in a positive change in the environment. Levels of education if enhanced can make
a difference in terms of how people perceive the environment. Results indicate that the
respondents that received formal education are aware of environmental problems.
This study was able to confirm the types of waste streams that are generated in Clermont
Township. The researcher was able to prove that frequency of waste collection in
Clermont was inadequate. Investigation was able to understand waste mechanism that
were used in Clermont and identify where the residents are facing a problems and what
was the root cause of poor waste management in Clermont township.
Chapter Five
Discussion, recommendations and conclusion
5.1 Introduction
The final chapter of the report will focus on discussion of the results presented in the
previous chapter. This will be followed by recommendations on how to eliminate illegal
dumping in Clermont. The recommendations will, to a large extent, be those put forward
by the community as well as from the viewpoint of the researcher. An overall conclusion
will be presented at the end of the study
5.2 General Discussion
In general the research has shown that, if the waste can be collected twice a week and
residents be provided with proper waste bags for relevant waste streams the problem of
illegal dumping in Clermont could be minimized. Effective communication between
solid wastes collecting companies and the community members is important. For an
example residents were not informed about the main working principles of the solid
waste collecting, like what time are they required to take the bin outside their houses.
As a result, people end up disposing waste in open spaces. Although there was an
alarming indication that recycling project is needed in the township there were no
indications that the project can start soon. The main obstacle is the lack of capacity in
that there are no environmental personnel that are available in Clermont.
There is a need for the authorities to promote township tourism, since it will encourage
cleanliness in the area. It is natural for human beings to tidy up their space when they are
aware that they are going to have a visitor.
Initially in this research it was noted that theory proves that the “higher the income, there
will be an increase in waste generation”. However in Clermont the results of the research
have clearly shown that there is a contradiction with this theory. Although the area is a
low-income group, waste generation is high. The contraction can be attributed to the fact
that the majority of residents in Clermont Township practice informal trading in their
homes. All the products that are purchased for “sipaza” shops informal trading comes
with packages that need to be disposed after the products are consumed.
In Clermont residents can burn any kind of waste, with no restrictions. However this
contributes to health related problems. To avoid the occurrence of such problems it is
important for councillors or local authorities to create restrictions or regulations in terms
of burning of waste, especially garden waste in the townships or any other public space.
Figure 5.1 Rating of needs in Clermont
Environmental Education
Solid waste Problems
Proper Sanitation
Road Infrastructure
One can deduce from this pyramid that the most pressing issue is unemployment in the
township of Clermont. As a result environmental problems like solid waste management
enjoy low priority in the community. Although observations have shown that there is
illegal dumping in Clermont, people are more concerned about meeting their daily basic
needs rather than worrying about the surrounding environment and its immediate
problems. As one of the residents has pointed out that it is impossible to worry about the
surrounding environment on an empty stomach, as the say says a hungry human being is
always angry and acts like a hungry lion. Consequently there is lot of crime that is
coursing major problems on top of the existing problem of solid waste management in the
area. Housing problem and improper road infrastructure in other areas of Clermont results
in very little hope for solid waste management to be considered as a pressing issue.
5.3 Recommendations
The company or industry must seek strategies to overcome waste management problems.
In most instances many companies perceive themselves as financially incapable to
implement solid waste minimization programmes. The industry must not give up in
search for the low capital investment plan programmes. It is also recommended that the
industry must review its customer’s needs and carry out pilot testing of new processes
and product. The company must aim at increased quality controlling manufacturer and
opinions of the workers are very important in the future implementation of solid waste
minimizations plan. Workers must point out what they think will be obstacles in the
implementation of programmes. It is essential that the industry employ professional
people who will handle waste minimization programmes, this is because these people
must be able to compile reports that will state clearly all tangible and intangible benefits
of the project to be undertaken. Also the team must be able to provide alternatives such as
cleaner technology.
5.3.1 Solid Waste services in developing countries
The provision of services in small rural areas is a serious problem in South Africa and
neighbouring countries like Namibia. Contributing to this problem is long distances that
are between the towns and rural areas. A recent research that was conducted by South
African consultant produced the two purposes Refutip Tractor- Trailer system as part of
implementation of integrated waste management strategies for the Northern Namibian
towns. According to Wastecon (August, 2000) the lack of waste awareness together with
invisible priority given to waste management as a municipality service was a core
problem. Thus it is important to identify all potential problems in all government
departments. The low priority given to waste management in the past has resulted in the
lack of proper financing. The lack of capital creates a backlog in the infrastructure
development. Consequently the capability to prosecute waste culprits is compromised.
There are a number of issues that should be addressed to appropriately deal with solid
waste generated in developing countries. Isolated investments in equipment and
technology do not address the key issues, and generally the investment is wasted. For
investment in equipment and technology to be successful and suitable, they must be
preceded by investment in the following areas: development of sound, reliable and
achievable national policy preparation and implementation of policy.
Improvements in the provision of solid waste management services depend upon the
existing systems of administration and urban planning. Generally, it is necessary to
prepare a realistic comprehensive plan. The plan can have several names: master plan,
action plan, strategic plan, and others. Regardless of the name given to the plan, it should
include accurate information on the type, quantity, and quality of the waste. In addition,
the plan should set goals in terms of collection coverage, degree of reduction, levels of
recycling, etc. The plan can be implemented only within certain legal and regulatory
framework. This framework should be comprised of the set of ordinances, laws and
regulations concerning the management of solid wastes. The laws should include
appropriate responsibilities for enforcement and inspection.
One of the most important steps towards improvement of solid waste management
systems in several developing countries deals with major modifications to organizational
structures and improvement in human resources of local governments. Typically, the
organization associated with solid waste management is poorly organized and lack
hierarchy and importance that other public services (such as water supply and public
services) are given. Generally, local governments are accustomed to receiving assistance
from the central govern ment and do not make any efforts to improve their MSW
management capacity. As a results local government becomes dependence on the central
government including decision making. Consequently local government may require
assistance in the establishment of a specific department or authority to deal with solid
waste management issues. The degree of autonomy between local government and
central government may depend upon the size and degree of development of the
particular city. Neighbouring small municipalities may decide to jointly establish a
regional organization in order to deal with their solid waste management tasks.
5.3.2 Development of the National Waste Management Policy
The local government units in the developing countries cannot develop and implement
reliable, efficient, and cost effective solid waste management programmes without clear
national goal and priorities. However South Africa has tried to put in place an
environmental policy, although it is fragmented in nature with little or no
implementation. In the Bill of Rights government states that everyone has a right to a
healthy environment, but there are no visible strategies in place that will help achieve this
goal. In the development of goals and priorities, considerations should be given to some
of the usual basic requirements of solid waste management, such as the provision of
waste collection services to the entire population (including the urban poor) , the
application of the waste reduction and minimization measures, the implementation of
recycling programmes, and the improvement of final disposal procedures.
The national policy should be developed through the establishment of the national
committees, composed of representatives from both the public and private sectors in the
close consultation with the public. It has been demonstrated that there is no government
policy or strategy will be successful without full acceptance and co operation of the
public (the end users of solid waste management system). In order to be politically
sustainable, the development of the national policy should be based on realistic goals,
taking into consideration the social, political, cultural, and economic conditions and
limitations of the country. Furthermore, the national policy should clearly define the roles
and responsibilities of the various government entities and other pertinent organizations
in order to avoid overlap, inefficiency, and controversy. A clear message should be
included on the roles, responsibilities, and rights of the users of the system.
The national policy should be instructing the responsible entities to elaborate and enforce
an appropriate regulatory and legal framework, which would allow those involve in the
implementation of the policy to achieve and maintain the goals. Sanctions such as
seizures and forfeiture were meant to be implemented, but there are no success stories
that are associated with this law. The only way to minimize such damaging actions to the
environment is to put in place heavy penalties for violation of these policies. The
legislation should be able to draw differences in different types of land pollution. In this
manner types of waste will have different penalties on different levels. The impact of
irreversible situations has to be considered when proposing penalties. In the areas where
the environment is damage in such a way that they can not be reversible, the penalties
must be very high opposed to the normal ones. In Clermont there must be penalties that
are imposed to members of community and outsiders. The penalties must allow that
individuals or companies that are suspected of illegal dumping will be prosecuted. Illegal
dumping must be a criminal offence.
5.3.3 Resource recovery and recycling
Recycling refers to the concept of a material loop: the production of material, use of
material, return of material to producer, and the recovery and re-production of material
from itself. The most common materials are paper, aluminum, steel, glass and plastic.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (1996), Americans recycled or
composted 24 percent of MSW in 1994, with composting accounting for 3 percent of that
total. Commonly recycled MSW is paper and paperboard, glass, metals, plastics, rubber
and leather, textiles, wood and yard wastes.
Crucial to recycling is the marketability of recycled material for businesses that will
recover the recycled material and the marketability of affordable recycled products to
customers willing to purchase the recycled material. MSW must be first produced with
material that can be recycled. For example, there are different kinds of plastics used in
MSW and each is subjected to a different recovery process. Plastics must be separated
according to types; or else the recovery process may become contaminated with the
wrong kind of plastic, rendering the recycled product unusable. The Society of the
Plastics Industry has developed a uniform code that manufacturers stamp on each product
to assist in the sorting of different plastics for recycling. Glass also comes in different
types, each having to be sorted and recovered separately (Folz, 1996).
Folz (1991) conducted a national survey of 264 community-recycling coordinators
published in 1991. Based on survey responses from communities, he was able to draw
conclusions on about what factors contributed most for successful implementation and
management of recycling programmes. The ranking of problems involved in municipal
recycling, starting with the most important problem, included: finding markets for
recyclables; getting residents to participate in the program; lacking sufficient state
grants or other financial assistance; securing adequate local government financial
support; obtaining information/technical assistance for recycling; and, preventing theft
of recyclables. Respondents reported a wide range of materials included in municipal
recycling programs, everything from newspaper, glass and aluminum to scrap metals,
waste oil, batteries and chipboard. They also reported that the most useful public
information and education strategies were pamphlets-brochures-bumper stickers,
speeches by officials to schools or local groups, and special programs in schools.
Citizen participation had a significant effect upon the type of programme, decisions
about curbside pickup, whether a private contractor picks up recyclable materials,
whether composting is used for yard waste, the provision of bins or containers, same
day pickup, and separation policy.
The recycling of paper and cardboard can also generate income that can help people to
break the cycle of poverty. There are numerous benefits that can be achieved in recycling
paper that in return protect natural resources, for example by recycling papers we are
conserving our trees and in turn we have more oxygen which improves the quality of life.
These percent increases dramatically in shops and offices and, in household most of
papers are from packaging material.
If the residents in Clermont want to recycle paper material, they need to make private
arrangements. There is no public facility that is dedicated to recycling of all waste
streams. The process is privatized; as a result the majority of resident are not aware of
such facilities. During the investigation the majority of the respondents indicated that
papers are not recycled. The only option available for them is to dispose papers with the
domestic waste.
Resource recovery provides income for a number of people in a lower economic sector,
those who are underemployed and unemployed or pensioners. Material such as metals,
bottles and papers are discarded as waste can be sold for recycling. Few residents
however have access to these facilities where they are able to sell metal other materials,
since most of them are not aware of the value of the material and furthermore the lack
knowledge as to recycling benefits. There is also a problem of distribution of information
within the township. There is also an element of selfishness whereby a select few have
the information and are not willing to share it with the rest of the community. It is
recommended that local authorities need to supervise process, so to ensure that everyone
has access to such facilities. During research it was clear that most of the people give
away their material to those who have access to the buyer.
However if bottle and metal wastes are not the only wastes that can be recycled in the
recycling of paper and cardboard can generate income that can help people to break the
cycle of poverty. There are numerous benefits that can be achieved in recycling paper that
in return protect natural resources, for example by recycling papers we are conserving our
trees and in return we have more oxygen which improves the quality of life. The research
has proven that papers makes up one-third of waste disposed off in bins. These percent
increases dramatically in shops and offices and, in household most of the papers are from
packaging material. Although there are positives in recycling of papers there are
weakness that needs new improvement in terms of technology advancement. It is known
that paper gets its strength from the wood fibers, however as the paper gets recycled the
fibers get shorter and weaker. Consequently the paper can be recycled four to five times
and another virgin pulp from trees is needed to maintain the quality.
The streets of Clermont are lined with plastic material that makes the area look untidy.
However most of these plastics litter the area are not recyclable due to the fact that they
are less than eighty microns. The only solution to such a problem is to reuse the plastics
by making craft work out of the plastics and reusing them to carrying of things rather
than disposing them in open spaces.
It is important to recognize that recycling alone cannot solve the problem of waste being
illegally disposed in open spaces and managing our waste properly. However it is one of
the options in integrated waste management that can help us to curb the problem. One of
the disadvantages in recycling is that in some cases the energy use turns to be greater than
using prime materials at the same time by using prime materials. The use of prime
materials, however impacts on resources, therefore it is wise to make a choice that will
benefit the environment as a whole.
5.3.4 Source Reduction
Source reduction is defined as the elimination of waste by not generating the waste. The
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines source reduction as reducing the
quantity of material that must be discarded, minimising toxic substances in products and
manufacturing products with longer life expectancies. Consumers can reduce waste by
avoiding the purchase of highly packaged materials such as microwave foods, using both
sides of paper, purchasing bulk foods and storing it in reusable containers or by reusing
foil and plastic or paper bags (Environmental Protection Agency, 1996). This can be
implemented in Clermont.
5.3.5 Composting
Composting is the breaking down of organic materials such as grass, leaves and brush
into soil-like sediment that can be used to support the growth of additional grasses, trees
and bushes. Composting is aided by the mixing of food scraps and allows for the
recycling of leftovers or spoiled food supplies. “Backyard composting” is ways that
residential homeowners recycle their own grass, leaves and brush. Because most
municipal landfills no longer accept yard wastes, there are an estimated 2,000-2,300
municipal yard waste composting sites that collect grass, leaves, and other brush along
with restaurant food wastes. This compost can be in turn sold to golf courses, horticulture
businesses, or used in municipal parks or as cover for municipal landfills (Darmstadter,
The use of compost as a soil amendment, fertiliser is crucial in many countries. This
technique of recycling solid waste has been successful in Asian countries because it was
their old tradition to make and use compost. On the other hand, Western Europe utilises a
range of technologies to manufacture compost. In these countries producing compost is
used as the solid waste management system. Over the past there are wide failures that
have been witnessed in other countries, despite huge successes in India and China
(Nozick, 1992). Compost systems have failed because of economic and technical
reasons. What these failures have in common is failure to understand the role of
composting as part of an overall waste management system. Many compost plants have
failed because of the inability to secure waste or to the need to market the compost that
In much of Latin America and Africa, however, efforts to organise composting have
failed to secure enough waste. When dumping or land filling is inexpensive and not
subject to effective environmental controls, composting is relatively expensive. In
Europe, where land filling is subject to controls and fees and land is very limited,
composting is much more attractive. Furthermore, European political culture gives
government a monopoly over the waste stream, so a policy decision to give composting a
priority over land filling can force waste to a composting facility even when it is not costcompetitive.
The second economic failure is on the marketing of the finish product. The cost of
compost depends on external demand for soil enhancers, on perceptions of its value, on
its quality, and on its accessibility to potential users in the immediate vicinity. It also
depends if other alternatives are available to farmers and cultivators in the region, and on
the cost of those alternatives from chemical fertiliser to wastewater sludge relative to the
cost of the compost.
· Compost marketing works when:
· The farmers or gardeners are located close to the source of the compost;
· The entity producing the compost is willing to transport it to the users; and
· The compost is priced below the price of commercial fertilizers, or is
given away.
Composting has experienced two kinds of technical failures: first, a failure of the
mechanical systems that manipulate waste streams before composting itself begins, and
secondly, a failure of the decomposition process itself, largely attributable to failure to
create the environment for the biological process to thrive. On another level, the failure
of composting technology is a failure of the waste management sector to understand
the nature of the waste stream or the biological composting processes, and to attempt to
solve problems with over-designed machines. Since it has been indicated in chapter
four, illegally dumping of both domestic and garden waste material on open spaces.
The community of Clermont can use such waste to create compost. The members of
the community can start community vegetable gardens using the compost to fertilize
Failure of mechanical pre-processing: The technological failure of composting is
primarily a failure of the mechanical pre-processing systems, and not of the biological
composting process itself. Bio waste composting facilities have generally relied on
complex mechanical pre-processing to remove non-compostables. These systems have by
and large failed at their tasks. It is an open question as to whether there is any mechanical
system, which could ever adequately identify and separate all of the materials that occur
in mixed waste, but no existing systems do this sufficiently to ensure good compost
Pre-processing techniques based on manual separation aided by human eyes and hands
have consistently produced the best compost in developing countries, and often in
industrialised ones as well. There are small-scale bio waste composting facilities in both
industrialised and developing countries that are successful because of the high degree of
manual pre-processing. The larger facilities dependent on mechanical separation cannot
accommodate the diversity of the waste stream.
The demand of high organic content is essential: While many bio- waste composting
facilities are failures, the great predominance of source-separated composting systems is
successes. Yard, garden, restaurant, and market waste composting projects quietly thrive
in every corner of the globe. The biological composting process is so basic that it is very
likely to succeed if there is an appropriate input stream and proper handling.
In developing countries, the high animal and vegetable waste content of the waste stream,
combined with existing materials recovery systems, means that the mixed waste stream is
sufficiently compostable to produce good compost at a small or medium scale. Support
and enhancement of existing materials recovery activities and (where otherwise
reasonable) limitation of new types of packaging can maintain the compostability of the
waste stream and result in the production of good quality compost (
Failure of biological processes: Where there is a failure in the composting process itself,
this relates to the failure to understand the nature of biological processes. Compost
bacteria, insects, and micro-organisms require certain environmental conditions to thrive.
If these are absent or interrupted, they must be corrected (Nozick, 1992; KAB, 1996).
In order to build composting plants in Clermont Township, it is essential to conduct
necessary research. High cost of the process must be considered because the community
of Clermont does not have financial resources and necessary technology and aspect to
implement this project. Although waste supply might be huge, most of the solid waste
generated in Clermont is papers and bottles, domestic waste (Biological waste) only
contribute five percent. Clermont can only capitalize on garden waste (60%) that seems
to pose a major problem on disposal. The fact that there are no farmers around the
township can course a lack of demand. In that the will be no one to utilize the finish
product (compost). Formulation of guiding principles for privatization of solid waste collection
Although collection of waste in Clermont is privatized, there is a need for policy
formulation and development of appropriate legislation and guidelines at the national
level on privatization including the redefinition of the role of Local governments.
There is also need to carry out privatization potential studies to identify and priorities
specific municipal services that are appropriate for privatization in each city. It is
advisable to undertake a thorough assessment of the likely impacts of privatization
before embarking on it. The potential research areas for privatization include the
following municipal services: – transport; bus parks; public toilets; street cleaning; road
maintenance; schools and health centers; and sanitation.
Mechanisms and guidelines should be developed and put in place to ensure that
privatization does not exclude or impose burden on the poor. These may include some
safety nets and cross-subsidization on poor people, the case in point is Clermont. In
addition, municipalities may find it necessary to provide some basic services in lowincome
areas, especially health-care, education and collection of garbage. Crosssubsidizing
such service provision to the poor neighborhoods would be seen to be more
feasible through the “contracting” mode of privatization but not through pure
There is need for greater public education on privatization. The general public as well as
stakeholders, including municipal councilors and officers, and urban communities need to
be sensitized and informed on the rationale and benefits of privatization, as a system of
providing municipal services. Where privatization results in retrenchment of employees
in Clermont, innovative approaches such as retraining programme should be put in place.
Initiatives by informal sector entrepreneurs should be encouraged and supported by local
authorities through enabling byelaws and other administrative incentives. The latter
should take advantage of the former in order to increase access to basic services. This
could start by recognition of the many current private operators in waste collection and
disposal, for example. There should also be due recognition and encouragement of other
self-help initiatives, partnerships, community based organizations and other associations,
which have proved capable of providing services to themselves e.g. in the area of water
supply, garbage collection and transport services.
Capacity building and training for local government official is an essential part of the
privatization process. Collaboration with training institutions for collaborative training
needs assessment; development and execution of training would greatly enhance the
privatization process. The establishment of data banks and management information
systems in local municipalities is essential. This will facilitate effective monitoring and
management of service delivery by all actors involved in the process and thereby ensures
sustainability in service provision.
Decentralization is a necessary framework for privatization. It entails giving decisionmaking
power with corresponding financial resources to the local level. Greater
decentralization should be encouraged and implemented in practice as a way of dealing
with the expansion of municipal service development and provision. Greater devolution
of decision-making authority, responsibilities and commensurate resources should be
given to local authorities in the true essence of “subsidiary” principles
One can safely say that there is no healthy relation between stakeholders of solid waste
collection, due to poor communication between the waste collecting company, the
community and authorities. It is necessary for the solid waste collecting company to be
represented during community meetings where all issues or problems that are plaguing
the community are voiced out. The company needs to create a dialogue with the
residents. This can be done through the voice of councilors or local authorities. Solid
waste companies needs to listen to all concerns of the residents and be able to explain to
the whole society how much they need to invest in order to maintain high standards of
cleanliness in their area.
5.3.7 Environmental Education and dissemination of knowledge about Solid Waste
Management Policy (SWMP)
The introduction of environmental education programme in the township of Clermont is
essential. Residents of Clermont are not informed about environmental issues. The
councilors are aware of general environmental issues, but are not concerned about Solid
Waste Management Policy (SWMP). There is a general assumption that SWMP does not
affect ones daily life. As a result, some of the respondents do not see the need to know
and internalize the policy. During the interview with the councilors the problem of rate
payment made headlines, it was recognized that people don’t want to invest on services,
but they want services to be excellent.
Ignorance about SWMP exists in all respondents that were participating during the study.
Such ignorance match perfectly with the fact that the local authorities are not informed
about the SWMP, consequently the residents follow the same pattern. It is vital that the
leaders become aware of the environmental policy as a whole. In this way they will be
able to transfer such knowledge to the community. It is also important for them to adopt a
holistic approach when thinking about development in their areas; this will incorporate
environmental issues and service delivery. The high schools that were visited by the
researcher showed the same pattern of ignorance. The learners and the educators were not
informed about the SWMP. Although the school was involved in environmental issues
like cleaning campaigns, they indicated that they do not know what Solid Waste
Management Policy is all about. The project that involved the local schools was called
Keep Clermont Clean Campaign. Educators are aware of penalties and policies because
of the media exposure. This is especially so when individuals or the community is suing
certain company for polluting their environment or putting their lives at risks. It is
important for the high school youth to be educated about their surrounding environment
and the policies that protect the environment.
The level of education indicated how people respond to the environmental related issues.
For example residents who did have any formal education and no skills did not care about
the environment. Such individuals were concerned about their situation of being
unemployed and how can they survive the jaws of poverty. However the group that has
skills and means of income and formal education were concerned about the cleanliness of
the environment. There is a major gap between the groups such that there is class division
that exists within the community. As a result there is no unity in the community, with
respect to caring for the environment. The members of Clermont Township need to stand
together and try to come up with constructive solutions to solid waste management
Educators also recognize that Clermont has a serious problem when it comes to solid
waste management. The solution to most of the environmental problems in Clermont can
be eliminated if teachers can be trained to educate children about their surrounding
environment and how to keep it clean. In this way young people will be able to pass the
knowledge to elders. Consequently it will be easy to implement it when the entire
community is involved.
Adult literacy problems with skills development are currently in progress in Clermont.
There is no reasoning why environmental programmes can not be incorporated into the
adult literacy programme.
The tenants that have mushroomed in the township exacerbate the problem of solid
waste. As a result the lack of ownership results in negligence. One case that was
highlighted by the councilor during the interview was the case of a young woman who
was renting the home in Clermont during the cleaning campaign. What was noticeable
was that solid littered everywhere. The respondents pointed out that it was not her place
to clean the yard, but it was the landlord’s responsibility to clean the litter.
Furthermore she pointed out that the interior of her house was very clean, “it was very
clean indeed”. In general the tenants were far removed from those owning the dwellings.
People who are renting the houses in Clermont don’t see the reason why they must clean
their surroundings, however they are the one’s affected most by illegal dumping.
Ironically it is their waste that is expected to be cleaned by the landlord –there is a shift of
responsibility. This indicates that if someone does not own the land or yard it is easy to
pollute and degrade the environment without any concern. The implications of such dirty
environment are serious health problem and degradation of the environment. Stereotype
and attitude developed by tenants needs to be changed through environmental education.
The world will be better place to live in if we start taking individual environmental
responsibilities for our surroundings. It is amazing to note that the tenants have been
living in Clermont far as long as ten years residing in the area and despite this fact they
are still not concerned about their surrounding environment.
Clermont Township is situated near an industrialized area called New German where the
majority of them are employed. In this area there is cluster of industries that produces
waste material, as it is known that whenever a product is manufactured there will a
generation of waste. The waste can be in a liquid or solid form depending on the product
that is being produced. In the case of Clermont the study reveled that previously there
was a problem of solid waste being illegally disposed along the Palmiet River that runs
through Clermont and. However the dumping site was later converted into a playground
for young people. The biggest question is that what kind of material that was disposed in
this site? Were there any researches that were done before converting the area into a
recreational zone? There is a possibility that the waste that is buried under that ground
maybe a time bomb waiting to explode and it might happen that it also contaminated
underground water. River disposal was stopped by local councilors. Disciplinary actions
were taken against companies disposing off waste in rivers. Companies responded by
stating that they hired a contractor to take the waste and they had no direct involvement
in the disposal. However at the end the councilors managed to win the fight to protect the
well being of the environment.
5.4 Gender Issues
Garden waste could have been used for vegetable gardens. These gardens will use garden
waste as fertilizers. Although it is stipulated that people in Clermont do not have land to
practice agriculture, but people were willing to sacrifice part of their yard to start small
vegetable gardens. Surplus garden waste can be given to outsiders who need it. People
practice subsistence farming and they normally prefer organic fertilizers rather than
chemical ones. For this to work there must be co-coordinated structure in place. The
function of the structure will be to find out where is the waste needed, and negotiate deals
with farmers or individuals on behalf of the community. Another important function for
the structure is to arrange proper transportation that will move waste where it is needed
the most, and to avoid dumping.
Another recommendation was that, it was essential for the authorities, together with
members of the community to place guiding principles that will determine the general
disposal and handling of waste within the township. This will be like a code of conduct
that is put forth by the residents of Clermont Township. For example by prohibiting
certain activities that can cause danger in the members of the community, like preventing
people from burning garden waste or any kind of waste within the township. Burning
waste eliminates one problem, but at the same time creates another problem of air
pollution. To put it in simpler manner township residents must be able to lay down
ground rules or house keeping principles where all residents are going to abide. In order
to achieve such goals there is a need for all stakeholders to have access to relevant
information and be able to communicate with surrounding areas for co-ordination and
recycling programmes. Women of Clermont can play major role in the implementation of
community gardens.
5.5 Introducing waste collection facilities and decentralization of services
Skips can be strategically placed around the township. When solid waste is not collected,
it can be stored until the next collection day. This can be a huge achievement for the
people in that there will space where solid waste can store. In this way illegal dumping
will reduced dramatically.
It will be better if communities are consulted in awarding of contracts. Local residents
have a better understanding of their area. Investigation reveals that in general local people
have positive environmental prospects and are passionate about improving their
surrounding environment and making it a better place. The research has shown that
residents of Clermont have no direct communication with the solid waste company and
this has lead to numerous problems of disagreements. It will take a long time for such
problems to be addressed.
5.6 Conclusion
Although there is hope for a positive change in Clermont, it will not happen over night.
The councilors of the area have to initiate capacity building in the area by starting
environmental clubs that will look at environmental issues including solid waste
management, which is a pressing issue that is causing major environmental
degradation and sabotage possible prospects of township tourism in the area. Solid
waste associated diseases also negatively affect the health of people who reside in
Clermont. The community at large needs to take a stand about their surrounding
environment because they have a right to stay in a clean and healthy environment.
Authorities or councilors need to assimilate important knowledge from the central
government of how to go about in solving such environmental problems. Proactive
planning is essential and this is possible by implementing principles that will better the
situation. Currently in South Africa we have the best environmental policy in place but
we need the capacity and strategies to implement it. Environmental education on the
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