Botswana has a policy commitment to recycling and valorisation of waste, and is seeking to maximise the diversion of materials from disposal and to optimise and improve recovery by valorising more materials.
Only a small fraction of recyclable materials is being collected from the Botswana landfill sites by registered waste pickers, hired by small junk shops. Most of these materials are sent abroad, to be used in the recycling industry. WASTE was asked to assess the current situation of solid waste management, including the market for recyclables and to facilitate the process of developing recycling guidelines for Botswana municipalities.
What we did
The Botswana policy commitment can only be achieved once Botswana chooses to put in place a framework for recycling. This means that a decision had to be taken about how to organise the relationships between households, municipal councils, and value chain businesses.
In stakeholder meetings in Botswana there was a clear preference for municipal recycling with the centre of gravity in the Councils. The Botswana Municipal Recycling Guidelines were to be built around this decision, articulated by stakeholders, and interpreted by the consultants and the Department of Waste Management and Pollution Control (DWMPC).
This meant that after this assessment, Botswana entered into a transition period in solid waste management, that would gradually bring recycling and valorisation under the hegemony of the Councils.
The speed with which each Council took on the goals and responsibilities for policies and practices varied however. Also, the willingness to price and pay for disposal of waste determined the speed of the transition.