Composting is a form of treatment for solid organic waste, making it possible for microorganisms to break down organic material. Composting speeds up the natural decay process until the waste can be safely handled, stored and used in the environment. By regularly watering and turning compost, it can completely decompose in merely two to three weeks. Without this treatment, organic waste can take months to decompose.
Ministry announces draft composting laws
The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries published the Draft National Norms and Standards for Organic Waste Composting in early September 2019. These draft laws fall under the National Environmental Management Act: Waste Act, 2008 (NEMA) and National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS), and are open to public comment.
An objective of the norms and standards will be that a waste management license under NEMA will no longer be required for organic waste composting. To ensure that best practice is always followed, the norms and standards will seek to provide a national uniform approach, which relates to the controlling of the composting of organic waste at any facility that falls within the threshold.
Norms and standards apply only to compostable organic waste
The norms and standards will only apply to compostable organic waste as well as organic composting facilities with the capacity to process in excess of 10 tonnes daily. Transitional arrangements are applicable. Members of the public are invited to submit comments on the Draft National Norms and Standards for Organic Waste Composting by 4 November 2019.
Thereafter, the draft laws will be taken further where Parliament will eventually sign-off or scrap the proposals. Composting organic waste remains one of the best ways to extract further benefit from biodegradable waste, rather than letting it rot in a landfill.
Averda is a leading waste management provider with over 50 years of experience across three continents. Through growth, transformation and engagement, we strive to find new ways of managing waste while protecting the community and environment.
By pairing international expertise with local insights, we have secured our position as one of South Africa’s most respected providers of waste management and industrial cleaning services. We also operate in the recycling, pipe inspection, CCTV, infrastructure inspection, hydro-demolition, high-pressure water jetting and catalyst handling industries.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the best tips on recycling and the latest industry news. See our Instagram and YouTube channels for more insights into environmental affairs and our work with local communities.