4.3 Policies and Legislation guiding waste recovery and recycling
This next section establishes policies and legislation guiding waste recovery and recycling in the industry. It presents the interview results as reflected by the participants regarding their general knowledge on policy and legislation governing their activities and information from secondary sources. The views of the respondents varied from one participant to the other.
4.3.1 Policies and guidelines guiding waste recovery and recycling
The existence and awareness amongst companies of policies, procedures and guidelines that regulated their activities were investigated. The researcher asked the question: “Are there any recycling policies that govern your activities and if not what do you do?”
No national policies on recycling was the general answer given. “We have our company policies, procedures and guidelines that we follow”, company N responded.
Although there is no direct stand-alone Nation policy on recycling, there are policy components that are directly and indirectly promoting recycling in Namibia. Authorities in Namibia displayed support for recycling indirectly through four policy instruments.
220.127.116.11 Government Waste Management Policy
The objective of the policy is to “ensure public health and safety, and the conservation of the environment by encouraging proper waste management by all stakeholders in order to reduce risks from transmission of diseases and injuries, reduce environmental pollution, improve astatically the surrounding and derive economic benefits from waste minimization and improved land values.” Directly, the policy objective advocates for waste minimization which can be achieved through waste recycling among other ways.
18.104.22.168 Public Private Partnership (PPP)
“The aim of PPP is to deliver improved services and better value for money primarily through appropriate risk transfer, encouraging innovation, asset utilization and integrated life management under pinned by private financing of infrastructure and government services” according to the Namibia Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy p.3.
Although the policy does not directly talk about recycling, it addresses issues of service provision by government and government entities, hence, the issues of waste management services directly arise and the need to reduce waste and protection of the environment.
22.214.171.124 City of Windhoek Waste Management Policy (WMP)
Any waste related matter in Windhoek is regulated through the City of Windhoek Waste Management Policy of 2009. In order to address the waste management, the City of Windhoek took a proactive approach through the development of a Waste Management Policy. In addressing waste management, the policy promotes the adoption of the principles of Integrated Waste Management Hierarchy namely waste avoidance, reduction, reusing, recycling and disposal. The Policy provides a framework within which waste can be managed effectively to minimize and avoid adverse impacts brought about by unnecessary waste generated and improper waste practices. This policy allows calls for various strategies in order to promote sound environmental waste management practices and has identified waste as a priority area that needs to be managed appropriately.
The objective is “to minimize the impact of waste on the residence and the environment.” In addition, the policy aims “to reduce the amount of disposal waste treated at landfill sites”. Waste prevention measures can only be achieved at the factory level. Thus Namibia being primarily a consumption society, waste can only be minimize at the dump site by promoting and engaging in recycling.
126.96.36.199 Formal –Informal Partnership (Integration Policy).
During discussions with the City of Windhoek it became evident that the City has embarked on a policy that promotes the integration of informal waste pickers. It was observed that, at landfill sites, instead of previous attitude of opposition and indifference as Medina (2012) noted, waste pickers(scavengers) collected discarded recyclables from refuse landfill or dumping sites and sold them to the formal recycling collectors. Some were even contracted to reclaim these recyclables on behalf of the recycling companies. This was also observed in other towns of Swakopmund and Keetmanshoop.
4.3.2 Legislation regulating Recycling
Legislation enabling and governing their operations in recycling was investigated. The researcher found out that there is no legislation directly dealing with recycling operations in Namibia.
188.8.131.52 Regulatory Environment
To solicit information about regulatory environment, the researcher asked the question: “What legislation guides the work that you do?” Responses varied from one participant to the other. Some respondents displayed ignorance of the regulatory environment that they operate under. However, all participants identified Council Regulations to control their operations. This is what they had to say:
1) According to company A officials in Windhoek, ‘Oooh yes the municipality regulates all our activities. Moreover, we also follow labor regulations and safety procedures where applicable. For instance, our workers are supposed to put on protective clothing like boots, overalls and goggles when breaking glass bottles.
2) No one can take me to court because I am not recycling. The law is not there. My vision is to see Namibia turning into a recycling nation. Go to Europe, in Sweden recycling is a must said Company A official in Swakopmund.
3) Company L official, was very detailed in their response to the question. “Yes, these are the regulations that we have to follow; EMA, 2007, Labour Act, Health and Safety, Employment Act, Local Authorities Act, ISO Standards and others”. Both companies K and L highlighted that they follow most of the industrial regulations in the country.
4) Company F official said “There is no one who controls our activities or checks what I do. I just do what I want. The council is not even interested in recycling they just dump” something which the researcher witnessed when a council official came to the landfill and dumped cardboard boxes among recyclables.
5) Company I official who held the position of supervisor, showed ignorance on this matter as she was even hesitant to give a response “I don’t know, but yes the council”
However, some participants highlighted some pieces of legislation which controlled their day to day operations as businesses.
184.108.40.206 Legislation controlling company operation
A summary of legislation cited by respondents are given in the Table 4.11. At the time of study, any company was legally bound to operate within the framework of these pieces of legislation highlighted in the table.
Table 4.11: Legislation guiding by Recycling
EMA 2007 Labor Act Health and Safety Act Affirmative Act,1998 Local Authority Act,1992 ISO Standards Other/
A ? ? ? ?
B ? ? ?
C ? ? ? ? ? ?
D. ? ? ? ?
? ? ?
G. ? ? ? ? ?
K. ? ? ? ? ? ?
L. ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
O. ? ?
Total 6 7 8 4 7 4 8
% 40 46 53 26 46 26 53
Source: Research data
53% of respondents indicated that Health and Safety Act controlled their operations, whilst 26 % were governed by the Affirmative Act.
No specific policy on recycling was the general response except for their own company policies. However, one company held that they had a policy commitment for recycling in order to maximize the diversion of waste materials from disposal sites, and to encourage waste generators and operators to recycle through their Waste Management Plans enacted in 2009. Thus, the general consensus was that there are no direct policies and legislation for recycling in Namibia and there is a need for these instruments to focus on material recovery.
4.4 Emerging Waste recycling trends, Value addition processes and associated benefit chains.
This part presents the interview results to questions responded regarding issues of recycling patterns, value addition and benefit chains in the industry.
4.4.1 Waste recycling trends
The following section presents recycling patterns that were established during the study.
220.127.116.11 Emerging waste recycling trends
The question “Can you please highlight any changes that have taken place since efforts to promote recycling began” was posed so as to establish trends within the industry. The following are established trends and patterns that came out clearly from these discussions;
Table 4.12: Recovery and collection trends in recycling
informal-to-formal sector collection private companies observed to be playing a more active role which was traditionally performed by the informal sector and growth in number of players in the industry on the increase
Mixed-to-source separation and collection a move away from traditional approach to
i) ‘drop-off Centers” at shop and schools
ii) ‘drop-off-points’ in residential areas
iii) ‘buy-back’ centers in small towns
iv) source collection from households (curb-side), commercial businesses, institutions, industries, mines, farms, construction sites, resorts, open spaces observed and waste generators contracts signed with big recycling companies.
Recycling collection programs identified programs were
i) Clear Bag System in Windhoek,
ii) Orange Bin in Swakopmund,
iii) Buy Back Centers,
iv) Catch them young Schools recycling competition
Recovery facilities the new trend being that of establishing
i) Material Recovery Facilities
ii) MRF at the landfill sites as observed in Swakopmund
Formal and informal sector partnerships working together moving from the traditional approach of not paying attention to the sector