Africa Anti-Incineration Series | Resistance in Drakenstein, South Africa

In 2012, the Drakenstein municipality signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Interwaste, a waste management company, to construct a municipal waste incinerator to address the municipalities waste issues.

The resistance to this municipal incinerator involved several key actors, this included the Drakenstein Environmental Watch (DEW), Wellington Association Against the Incinerator (WAAI), groundWork (gW), South African Waste Pickers Association (SAWPA), GAIA, community residents, vulnerable groups that
would have been affected by the project, water experts, engineers and legal clinics were just some of the agents that supported the resistance of the municipal waste incinerator.

As the global plastic pollution crisis continues to grow, so does industry hype around techno-fixes, including waste-to-energy incineration and chemical processing of plastic waste. Such downstream approaches create more problems and distract from the real imperatives, however, by emitting more pollutants and perpetuating overproduction of plastic.

Zero Waste is a move away from this unsustainable linear industrial system into a circular system—a system where unnecessary extraction and consumption is minimized, where waste is reduced, and where products and materials are reused or recycled back into the

In Zero Waste, the resources that we use can be safely and economically recycled, reused, and composted, or turned into biogas anaerobic digestion. Zero Waste also means avoiding the use of disposable products and redesigning products that are toxic-free and built to last. Zero Waste involves:
• Reducing consumption
• Reusing discards
• Product redesign
• Shift to alternative delivery systems
• Comprehensive recycling
• A ban on waste incineration
• Comprehensive composting or biodigestion of organic materials
• Citizen and worker participation
• Policies, regulations, incentives, and financing structures to support these systems