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CSIR Articles : One step closer to separating waste at source

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One step closer to separating waste at source


One step closer to separating waste at source

Municipalities across South Africa are considering implementing separation of recyclable waste at source. A number of municipalities across South Africa used the first version of a CSIR-developed support tool to assess and compare the costs and benefits of different options for collecting source-separated recyclables, based on each municipality's unique context.

Separation at source refers to the segregation of solid waste at the location where it is generated, such as a household or business.  

A second iteration of the tool that will focus on socio-economic and environmental impacts, thereby delivering more holistic results that empower municipalities in implementing waste separation at source, has been developed.

This second iteration of the model provides for the consideration of the impacts on employment and livelihoods, landfill airspace savings and increased lifespan, amongst others. These impacts are monetised to accommodate them within the economic cost-benefit framework of the model. Thus, municipalities are able to assess the trade-offs between financial, socio-economic and environmental impacts easily, using a common metric. This empowers municipalities to make more informed decisions in identifying the most appropriate option for implementing separation at source.

Preliminary results suggest that the case for separation at source improves significantly when socio-economic and environmental impacts are considered.

One step closer to separating waste at source


Source: CSIR