Bredasdorp: An Exciting Journey to Zero Waste

The Cape Agulhas Municipality and the Zero Waste Association of South Africa (ZWASA) have embarked on an innovative Zero Organic Waste to Landfill Pilot Project in Bredasdorp, a small town located in the Western Cape of South Africa, with the ambitious goal to divert 100% of organic waste from the landfill by the year 2027.

The group is working towards becoming the first zero waste town in the country by implementing several key strategies. Firstly, the separation of organic waste at source, to prevent the cross-contamination of materials and increase the number of recycled products.

Keith Roman, director of ZWASA and project manager notes: “The landfill crisis in South Africa is mainly due to the fact that municipalities are failing to implement the most favoured option, in terms of South Africa’s Waste Act and Waste Hierarchy, which is prevention. Secondly, municipalities are not separating waste, especially food waste, at the source.”

Households in the pilot area are provided with compostable bags, to separate organic waste; green bags, to separate garden waste; recycled clear bags for recyclable materials; and a wheelie bin for residual waste. This system is complemented with a separate collection and transportation system to avoid cross-contamination of recyclables and organic waste. Furthermore, households are provided with a manual on how to separate their waste materials at home.

Additionally,the municipality is in the process of constructing a Material Recovery Park (MRP), which will be an integral part of this project, to maximize the waste diversion potential of the municipal district and extend the available lifespan of the current landfill site. The MRP will be equipped with a material recovery facility to recover materials; community drop off points, composting and vermicomposting points; as well as a resource and education centre. The park also aims to provide employment opportunities in the operation and management of the MRF, organic waste diversion facilities, material transfer station and the transportation of containers to the regional landfill facility in order to sustain economic growth in the region.

“There are approximately 20 waste pickers working on the Bredasdorp landfill site, the municipality and ZWASA plan to integrate the waste pickers into this system. As well as provide them with the appropriate organisational capacity building, training and mentorship as part of the integration process,” said Keith.

The group is expecting to achieve 50% of waste diverted from the landfill by 2022.


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