We Are Finding Innovative Ways to Manage Waste 

The challenge many South African companies are facing is finding innovative ways to deal with their waste. South Africa’s over-burdened landfills have become a problem.

Ramping up environmentally friendly ways to deal with waste – such as recycling, is key. With landfills filling up rapidly, we need to do something! 90% of South Africa’s waste ends in landfills.

South African generates more than 108 million tons of waste every year!

  1. How Many Landfill Sites Are There in South Africa? 

There are 8,761 landfill sites in South Africa with regulations that follow global waste disposal standards. The aim of these sites is to minimise the environmental impact of waste disposal. It is also about creating a cleaner world for future generations.

  • Health and safety of all South Africans is factored into the creation of landfills.
  • The idea behind landfill sites is to contain waste efficiently.
  • AfriForum audited 135 landfills in South Africa. Only 24 of those landfill sites adhered to compliance standards.
  1. How Much Waste Does South Africa Recycle? 

The need for reducing the volumes of waste going to landfill is clear. We need more aggressive measures for recycling.

  • The SA Department of Environmental, Forestry, and Fisheries (DEFF) has confirmed that South Africans only recycle 10% of all waste.
  • The remaining 98 million tonnes find its way to landfill sites in South Africa.
  • These statistics are based on annual figures.
  1. What is the Life Expectancy of Landfill Sites in South Africa? 

  • Landfill sites have a lifespan of up to 15 years.
  • More waste now than ever before is finding its way to landfills.
  • The key reason for this is that South Africans show a reluctance to recycle.
  • The need for incinerating existing waste on existing landfills could pose an immediate threat to the environment.
  • More sustainable solutions are necessary.
  • Land acquisition for new sites is increasing.

Building new landfill sites is challenging. The recent riots and looting in July 2021 have put more pressure on the landfill sites in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng. This results from the unprecedented amount of waste generated from the unrest.

Remade Recycling has one solution that can make a big difference: onsite waste management. Waste material will not enter the waste stream when sorted onsite.

  1. How Has Lockdown Affected Waste Management in SA? 

Over the past two years, more people have started working from home. Restrictions have hampered movement and minimised contact with others. Remote working has had an unintentional negative impact on waste management efforts in the country.

Consumers, even before COVID, have not been mindful of effective waste management systems. The amount of waste we produce and waste ending up going to our landfills has increased with lockdown.

  1. What Other Trends Are Emerging Because of COVID-19? 

  • The move towards businesses, households, and schools reducing waste generation is trending.
  • The Circular Economy is gaining popularity amongst businesses and consumers.
  • There was an increase in the consumption of fast food since COVID-19. It has been one of the biggest contributors to an increase of waste in the country.
  • Another was the use of disposable PPE.
  1. What Happens if Non-Compliance to Waste Management Regimes Occurs? 

Waste management compliance is closely monitored. Business operations that do not adhere to waste disposable regulations could face hefty fines. It is important that all companies implement sustainable waste management systems, not only to avoid fines, but to contribute towards a greener future for our world.

  1. How Has COVID-19 Affected the Livelihoods of Waste Pickers in South Africa? 

  • South Africa has an estimated 60,000 waste pickers. These informal collectors play a massive role in managing waste in South Africa, according to the UN Industrial Development Organisation.
  • The outbreak of COVID-19 affected the livelihood of waste pickers because of strict lockdown regulations and they were deemed non-essential services.
  • Many low-income households choose collecting of recyclables as a quick way to earn a living.
  • The number of waste collectors has risen in tandem with unemployment.
  1. What Roles Are Companies Playing in Effective Waste Management? 

Companies need to create an environment for effective waste management. Facilities management companies are putting these in place.

Companies are fostering long-term waste management initiatives and programmes. Facilities management companies are developing and implementing separation at source programmes. Separation of waste at the source can result in zero waste to landfill.

Discover Remade Recycling Onsite Waste Management Solutions to Revolutionise Your Recycling.


Our dedicated team of professional staff members is tackling the waste crisis head-on. We will conduct a comprehensive and free on-site audit. Our waste collection services are targeting waste prevention one business at a time.

We tailor our programmes to suit the needs of each business and base our programmes on sustainability and ethics. Let us transform your recyclables into valuable resources.