Department of Environmental Affairs
National waste information regulations have been published in the Government Gazette for implementation on 1 January 2013, allowing the provinces time in which to align their information systems accordingly.
Made under National Environmental Management, Waste Act 59 of 2008, they can be found in notice 625 of Government Gazette 35583 dated 13 August 2012.
According to a media statement published on the department’s website, section 60(1) of the act requires the minister to establish a national waste information system for recording, collecting, managing and analysing data and information on waste management.
SAWIS was therefore developed to support the reporting framework for waste generators and the recyclers, exporters and disposers of waste.
One of the main challenges to fully implementing SAWIS has been the absence of waste information regulations to ensure compliance with the requirements of the act.
With this in mind, draft regulations were published in July 2010 for public comment and have since been revised to address issues raised in the submissions received.
The regulations will apply to persons engaged in:
• the recovery and recycling of waste;
• waste treatment;
• waste disposal;
• generating hazardous waste; and
• exporting hazardous waste.
Anyone conducting any of these activities “in a province that has an established waste information system and collects the minimum information required by these regulations” must submit the relevant information to that system.
Further, from 1 January 2013 anyone engaged in these activities will be required to apply to the department for registration on the SAWIS.
According to the media statement, in terms of the regulations each registered person must:
• report waste management information to the SAWIS on a quarterly basis;
• keep a record of all the waste management information submitted to the SAWIS or the department for a period of at least 5 years; and
• include in all waste management information submitted to the SAWIS the category and source of the waste as well as its quantity in tonnes.
The regulations include penalties for non-compliance.