Reducing your waste tariffs by forming a waste management club

With ambitious organic waste diversion goals, the City of Cape Town has implemented various regulatory strategies to encourage businesses and residents to minimise and divert more waste. One of these strategies is Waste Minimisation Clubs (WMC). This is a collective of people within a residential or business cluster that take ownership of the area’s waste minimisation and diversion initiatives. BiobiN South Africa looks at how composting units are a key component to make a WMC viable.

“With the Western Cape Government aiming for a complete organic waste landfill ban by 2027, it is crucial to account for your organic waste stream,” says Brian Küsel, director of BiobiN South Africa. “Establishing a centralised system that allows you to separate the waste at source is essential. Separation at source allows you to keep your recycling clean and organic waste contained.”

Heading closer to the imminent 2027 organic waste landfill ban, the cost of sending organic waste to landfill is likely to increase significantly. The availability of remaining airspace in landfill sites across South Africa is also diminishing. With this, residential and commercial waste tariffs will increase. According to Western Cape waste regulations, a WMC with all the waste minimisation and diversion components can apply for a reduced tariff for general waste that cannot be recycled or composted. For this to happen, the WCM will need to have a waste management plan (WMP) that demonstrates how different waste streams will be separated, recycled and ultimately diverted from landfill.

“While implemented clearly labelled solid waste recycling bins may be the more simple component to a centralised waste management facility, your organic waste streams needs to be contained and processed efficiently so that there is no contamination to the surrounding environment,” says Küsel. “Enclosed composting units with advanced filtration system to control odours are the most feasible solution to deal with organic waste volumes. We have worked with both commercial and residential clusters to incorporate composting units into a centralised waste management facility.”

To form a WMC eligible for a reduced waste tariff, a facility will need to form a waste committee, with committee leaders that meet regularly to review the site waste management situation. The committee will also need to draft a WMP that needs to be submitted to the director of waste management of the City of Cape Town. The WMP must also assess the amount of waste that can be diverted by separating recyclables and organic waste. The WMC must provide documented evidence of the waste reduction initiatives, including evidence of third-party contracts with recycling or composting companies.

“Our composting units will help a waste management club comply with the regulations from the Western Cape Government. In addition, our units record the amount of processed organic waste, which will give a facility a good understanding of their waste minimisation efforts. This is needed to apply for a reduced waste tariff,” shares Küsel. “Along with a reduced tariff, a facility can use the compost on-site to close the loop on their organic waste stream completely.”

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