In accordance with the National Environmental Management Act, 1998, South Africa’s legislation has a number of guiding principles that give instruction into the management of waste and producer responsibility. These work to ensure that best practice is followed, correctly disposing of and managing waste, and that all entities in the value chain adhere to the same set of norms and standards.
Several sets of government legislation set out these guiding principles.
The National Environmental Management Act, 1998 introduced a number of directives into the South African environmental legislation, including the life-cycle approach to waste management, producer responsibility, the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle.
It also places a duty of care on any person who may cause significant pollution or degradation to the environment, requiring them to institute measures to prevent pollution from occurring, or to minimise and rectify the pollution or degradation where it cannot reasonably be avoided.
The National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008, meanwhile, introduced norms and standards that form the foundation of the regulatory system.
This includes the national norms and standards for regulating the management of waste by all spheres of government; the licensing and control of waste management activities; a national waste information system; and guidelines for compliance and enforcement.
In terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 a list of waste management activities that have, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the environment has been identified. These listed waste management activities may not be performed unless the specified requirements have been met.
These requirements are detailed in further legislation, such as the National Norms and Standards for the Storage of Waste, 2013 and the National Norms and Standards for the sorting, shredding, grinding, crushing, screening or baling of general waste, 2017. The National Norms and Standards for the Storage of Waste provides a uniform national approach relating to the management of waste storage facilities and ensures best practice in the management of waste storage facilities. It also provides minimum standards for the design and operation of waste storage facilities.
The National Norms and Standards for the sorting, shredding, grinding, crushing, screening or baling of general waste provides a uniform national requirement that relates to the management of waste facilities.
The activities that Mpact Recycling sites perform are listed activities, therefore all sites are registered and comply with the terms of these Norms and Standards. To ensure compliance the sites are subject to bi-annual internal audits and biennial external audits.
Further accreditation and legislation is applied at Mpact Recycling sites where necessary, according to the site and the activities they conduct. This can include ISO accreditation; and compliance with other legislation such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act, National Road Traffic Act and local municipal by-laws.
Compliance to all of this legislation ensures that Mpact Waste Management conveys legitimacy and reiterates its position as an industry leader. As a division of the Mpact Group, we form an integral part of a closed-loop system that ensures we lead the circular economy.
Customers can therefore be assured that their waste is handled ethically, compliantly and sustainably.