oa Interim : Interdisciplinary Journal - Landfills or dump sites? Status of landfill sites in the Free State Province, South Africa

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1684-498X



Increased waste generation and poor waste disposal strategies are a global problem. In South Africa most provinces, and the larger municipalities and metros, seems to have the waste disposal and the landfills reasonably organized. This cannot be said of the landfills in the Free State Province, which could only be called dump sites. In the Free State Province a high unemployment level exists and a lack of finances is experienced by many members of the communities, especially in rural areas. Poverty levels is shown in a study by Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA SA), where it was recorded that 1.8 million (68%) of the people in the Free State Province are living in poverty and living on less than R15 per day. Data on the state of the landfill, types of waste generated which have potential to be recycled, were recorded to assess if recycling could be increased to relieve the economic burden of the poor communities. Attention was paid to the following aspects: assessing the current status of each landfill and identifying the types of waste generated in the area which ended up at the landfills. The extent of recycling and the waste handling and disposal of the waste were recorded. Non-compliance with the prescribed legislative guidelines were noted and aspects such as the state of the landfills, proper enclosure, burning of waste, recycling and products being recycled were identified and recorded. The waste disposal practices at most landfills were poor and very limited recycling was taking place. None of the landfills in the province complied with the minimum requirements for landfilling. Recommendations to improve waste disposal and identification of products with recycling potential were made. Alternative waste strategies which could be economically beneficial for the communities were recommended.

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