Frequently Asked Questions

Legislation regarding Food Waste

The Government Bill gazette number 29487 of January 2007 clearly stipulates that the separation of refuse/waste is mandatory in both the Commercial and Domestic sectors to facilitate Waste Minimastion and Recycling.

This was stated with the Polokwane Declaration of September 2001 wherein targets / time frame was agreed upon to achieve the above, the proposed targets being:

  • 20% by 2010
  • 50% by 2015
  • 75% by 2020

… and to not stop there, but to attempt 100% by 2022.


Subsequent to this three Provinces’ Department of Environmental Affairs have taken great strides in implimeting their own Legislation, being Guateng, KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape. In it, emphasis is placed upon the fact that the responsibility lies with the Polluter who in turn is accountable for the correct disposal of waste generated including any costs or penalties that may be imposed and furthermore they cannot abdicate that responsilbility.


Gauteng Provincial Integrated
Waste Management Policy
KwaZulu-Natal Policy
on Waste Management

Every effort is being made to achieve the 2010 goal. To that end, it is expected that Parliament will pass the Bill as an act by the middle of 2008.


Basically this Legislation enforces the separation of Refuse in both the Commercial and Domestic areas at the source. The reason for this Act is that our current system has been polluting our underground Water resources and to avoid this in the future our refuse has to be put into a ‘Geotechnically built Landfill site’, which will cost approx. 5 times more than we currently pay for refuse removal.

Therefore the public can help themselves to reduce the increase in charges by reducing the amount being sent to Landfill by Re-cycling their Paper & Board, Glass, Cans and Plastics, all of which are needed. It was reported in 2008 that there was a shortfall of 2,4 million Ton of Waste Paper in S.A.

How does this legislation affect me?

As soon as the law comes into force (1st July 2009 for most of South Africa), you are going to need to seperate your Wet Waste from your Dry Waste. This means having seperate bins for the two waste types.

Dry Waste is defined as being:

  • Paper, cardboard, boards, etc.
  • Glass (plate and container)
  • Plastic, including polystyrene etc.
  • Tins, etc.

Wet Waste is basically defined as being:

  • Food waste

A third waste type, Organic Waste (garden refuse) is already required by law to be seperated from other waste and disposed of at specific dump sites.

The purpose for the seperation of waste is primarily to aid the process of recycling Dry Waste. This will have a dual benefit of creating jobs via the proposed Material Recycling Facilities (MRF) and also aliviating the pressure on natural resources.