National Assembly passes waste bill

2014-02-27 22:47
(Dan Calderwood, News24)

(Dan Calderwood, News24)

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Cape Town - MPs on Thursday approved the national environmental management: waste amendment bill.

Among its aims is reforming the laws regulating waste management in an effort to reduce the rapidly growing tonnages that end up in landfills each year.

Opening debate on the measure in the National Assembly, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said adoption of a "reduce, re-use, recycle and recover" strategy could help unlock a waste sector worth "a potential R50bn".

Environmental affairs portfolio committee chair Johnny de Lange told the House that of the 108 million tons of waste generated in South Africa each year, about 97 million tons, or 90%, found its way into landfills.

In this regard, the country "does not compare favourably" with other industrialised countries, which sent only five percent of their waste to landfills and recovered and recycled the rest, he said.

Local experts have long warned about contamination and health risks from the poisonous chemicals that leach out of landfills and contaminate soil and groundwater. Among other things, the bill seeks to establish a Waste Management Agency.

It will now be sent to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

Read more on:    cape town  |  environment

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