A study of waste management policy implications for landfill waste salvagers in the Western Cape

 

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Smit, Andre de V en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Chvatal, Jessica en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-08T04:49:27Z
dc.date.available 2015-11-08T04:49:27Z
dc.date.issued 2010 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Chvatal, J. 2010. A study of waste management policy implications for landfill waste salvagers in the Western Cape. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/14711
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 97-104). en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The aim of this innovative, qualitative research was to explore the factors that led to the Solid Waste Management Department's resolution to prohibit landfill salvaging in the Cape Metropolitan Municipality and the intended and unintended consequences such a decision subsequently had for the landfill waste salvagers. Large numbers of poor, unemployed and illiterate people reside in the Western Cape. The chronic and devastating nature of poverty is forcing thousands of vulnerable people into subsistence waste picking. These people dig through ingrained dirt and filth-ridden mud to extract items that they can use to construct and furnish their homes, to sustain themselves and their dependents, and more importantly, to sell to intermediaries for an income. Although a poorly paid, insecure and unsanitary form of employment, waste salvaging still puts food on the table at the end of the day when all else fails. This novel social development exercise studied what implications the prohibition on landfill salvaging in the Cape Metro has had for an exceedingly marginalized sector of society. This qualitative study mapped out the territory of integrated waste management and the various role players involved. The report explores the drivers for and barriers against landfill salvaging from three different perspectives: policy and planning, management and operations and informal sector waste salvagers. Government policies can sometimes prove to be less than effective in changing the disadvantaged circumstances of vulnerable communities. This research has demonstrated how the Department's decision to ban landfill salvaging has caused an even greater decline in the well-being of a section of the population that is already at risk. The researcher used observation, semi-structured one-on-one interviewing, focus group interviewing and questionnaires as well as conducted a thorough review of waste management policy-related documents and secondary data analysis in this qualitative endeavour. The triangulation of data collection methods helped the researcher interpret how the Department's decision has adversely impacted on the informal sector landfill salvagers and to what extent and helped indicate a possible way out of the subsequent precarious development. The waste salvagers of the Cape Metro are unemployed, experiencing a poorer quality of life and feeling even more socially and economically excluded from the rest of society because of the ban on landfill salvaging. Moreover, they have developed feelings of resentment and anger that have resulted in defiant acts of trespassing and theft. This research has shown that repressive and neglectful policies on landfill salvaging will only be met with significant opposition from the salvagers. Furthermore, given the socio-economic backlog and anticipated population growth in the Province, landfill salvaging will continue to be an important source of revenue for the poor and homeless. It is therefore the researcher's recommendation that landfill salvaging be legitimised and that landfill salvagers be recognized and organized into cooperatives that can provide them with the necessary resources to lobby for better working conditions at the top. Landfill salvaging will persist as long as chronic poverty endures. For this reason, consideration should rather be given as to how to go about formalising and controlling waste recovery at landfill sites to cater for the immediate and most basic needs of the poor. The recommendations brought forth will hopefully influence thinking about waste management policy planning and implementation in general, and be of service to furthering the country's achievement goals of sustainable employment creation and poverty alleviation. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Social Policy and Management en_ZA
dc.title A study of waste management policy implications for landfill waste salvagers in the Western Cape en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Social Development en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MSocSc en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record