Introduction  | Activities  |  Legislation  | Licensing  | Plans & Types of Waste  | General  | Hazardous Waste & PLASTICS incl Roadmap to 2025  | Recycling  |                                                 Food Waste & Composting | Training & Carbon footprint  | Research & Statistics

Training, SMME Support and Job Creation

Informal Sector

Refer to Waste Pickers section

SMME Support and Job Creation


Refer to:

  • Department of Environmental Affairs Working for Waste programme
  • USE-IT is a Durban based section 21 company that aims to identify waste beneficiation opportunities in the eThekwini Municipal Area that will help to divert waste from landfill and create employment in the green economy.
  • Tedcor trains and develops entrepreneurs from historically disadvantaged backgrounds to provide cost effective, sustainable waste management services in South Africa's disadvantaged and under-serviced areas.


Click on Training for a list of training offered by IWMSA and its branches

Two new postgraduate degrees in waste management are on offer:

  • North West University - BSc Honours Environmental Sciences with specialisation in Waste Management (2015)
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal - MSc Eng Waste Management (2016)

The Waste Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap report on Current waste HCD initiatives in South Africa (Appendix 2) provides a list of tertiary institutions offering waste-related courses

Waste Pickers

Waste pickers or reclaimers have been defined as people who “collect, sort and sell reusable and recyclable materials”. They operate either from landfill sites or as trolley pushers who collect recyclable waste from bins put out for collection or from litter on streets and open spaces. The findings of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) study on The determination of the extent and role of waste picking in South Africa identified the following:

  • There are approximately 62147 waste pickers in the country (36680 operating from landfills and 25467 operating as trolley pushers);

  • The gender split of the pickers is 50:50;

  • Waste picking primarily takes place in urban areas;

  • Majority of waste picking is in land fill sites;

  • Waste pickers are unorganised and informal;

  • Waste pickers face health and safety challenges

  • Waste pickers wish to be formalised and integrated into the waste economy.

The study recommended that DEA develop national guidelines, norms and standards to be used by municipalities for the inclusion of waste pickers in the formal waste management system.

Refer to the CSIR report on Integrating the Informal sector into the South African Waste and Recycling Economy in the Context of Extended Producer Responsibility

The Minister of Environmental Affairs has announced plans to incorporate South Africa’s estimated 62 147 registered waste pickers into the formal waste economy  to ensure their safety and protection. Refer to the IWMSA response to the government’s intention to formalise waste pickers’ role in the waste economy.

Carbon Footprint

Download the Nedbank Carbon Footprinting Guide. The main aim of this guide then is to demystify carbon footprint approaches, describe the main concepts, provide a means to do the actual calculations. Throughout the guide the theory is constantly explained by application to a number of real-world cases. (high difficulty level)

Click on the carbon calculator to measure your household’s carbon footprint.

Click here for things you personally can do to reduce your Carbon Footprint. (low difficulty level)

Contact us

Sanki Tshabangu:
Nicolle de Bruyn:
Ann Oosthuizen:

Tel: 011 675 3462

Postal Address: PO Box 31061 |Totiusdal | 0134