South Africa: Waste Not, Want Not - Western Cape to Ban Organic Waste From Landfills, Starting With 50 Percent Reduction in 2022

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Starting next year, the Western Cape Organics Landfill Ban will come into effect, requiring a 50% reduction in the roughly three million tonnes of annual organic waste dumped in the province's landfills.

Every year, roughly three million tonnes of organic waste are produced annually in the Western Cape. This inevitably ends up in the increasingly full landfills across the province. This waste then lies, compressed under the weight of yet more waste, slowly decomposing and producing methane - a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Organic waste also creates leachate, a pollutant that can run off into local water sources at landfills if not managed properly. The waste includes crop waste, food production waste, and retail, hospitality and wholesale wastes. In the main, anything that is naturally biodegradable is considered organic waste.

According to GreenCape's 2016 Market Intelligence Report, out of the 7.7 million tonnes of waste produced annually in the Western Cape, 2.9 million tonnes are organic waste.

Enter the Western Cape government and its bold plan to eliminate organic waste from the province's landfills by 2027. Starting with a 50% reduction next year, the plan was adopted partly in response to the ever-decreasing availability of...

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