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Rubbish and recycling: A study on the pre-conditions for a sustainable waste management in rural South Africa
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Environmental Sciences.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

South Africa’s new Constitution was developed after the first democratic election in 1994. It is well composed and shows a great willpower to build the country on equality, freedom and democracy, and it also protects the rights of future generations. Despite a Constitution that promotes sustainable development and several laws that protect the environment, activities that are detrimental to nature go on. One of South Africa’s largest environmental problems is waste, in the forms of illegal dumping and poorly managed landfill sites.

The aim of the thesis is to explore the pre-conditions for waste management practices in Cradock, a rural town within the Inxuba Yethemba Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province. The study is conducted through a qualitative minor field study in Cradock during six weeks. First the legislative framework was explored in order to see what the Municipality has to live up to, and then two interviews were performed: one with the Municipality’s Community Services Manager and one with the employees at the Municipality’s recycling project Ikamvalethu. This gave an understanding on the waste management in practice and the main obstacles and possibilities considered.

Cradock’s landfill site is not designed to prevent environmental damage but is still in use even though it is not legally permitted to be utilized. The Municipality has got refuse removal for households once a week, something that has been shown to be too seldom. People cannot wait for the Municipality’s lorry to come and instead they dump the rubbish illegally in e.g. the streets or in open areas. In order to decrease the amount of waste that goes to the landfill and in an attempt to create work opportunities in the community, the Municipality has started the Ikamvalethu Recycling Project which is explored in the thesis.

The theoretical link used in the thesis consists of Stern’s (2000) four types of causal variables influencing individual’s environmentally significant behavior. These variables are applied in order to discuss and explain the barriers and facilitators the community faces regarding waste. The most central obstacle is the lack of financial resources in the local government. The national and provincial governments must pay attention to and raise the issue of waste and support the local governments in order to improve its waste management. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 47 p.
Keyword [en]
Waste Management, Recycling, Rural South Africa, Cradock, Lingelihle
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-8441Local ID: MIV C-7OAI: diva2:445265
Subject / course
Environmental Science
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-11-08 Created: 2011-10-03 Last updated: 2011-11-08Bibliographically approved

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