188.8.131.52 Public Private Partnership policy
The policy of Public Private Partnership (PPP) was being promoted considering the benefits that come with it as revealed in literature. The aim of PPP is to deliver improved services and better value for money primarily through appropriate risk transfer, encouraging innovation, asset utilization and integrated life management under pinned by private financing of infrastructure and government services (Namibia Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy p.3).
There was realization that government could not do it alone. Local authorities were working in partnership with private companies in their efforts to promote and implement recycling and waste management. In Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Swakpomund, efforts to promote recycling were being spearheaded with local authorities working in partnership with company A. The same was happening in Keetmanshoop where by company N was a working together with the local authority in waste management and recycling matters. Awareness campaigns were also considered as joint ventures of the companies with other interested stakeholders.
184.108.40.206 Integration Policy
Integration Policy was also being promoted through formal partnership. During discussions, the study established that in major urban centers, integration between formal and informal waste pickers was ongoing. At landfill sites, instead of previous attitude of opposition and indifference as Medina (2010) found, the informal sector collect discarded recyclable from refuse landfill or dumping sites and sold them to the formal recycling collectors. Some were even contracted to pick these recyclable raw material on behalf of companies A, F and N. This was observed in Windhoek, Swakopmund and Keetmanshoop.
According to literature, Informal–formal partnership in material recovery and solid waste management in general vary among countries. A study by Mamphita (2009) on the role of informal waste pickers in South Africa observed waste pickers play an important role in the recycling industry. The study highlighted that waste pickers supplied a minimum of 80 percent of all waste received by merchants and recyclers in Johannesburg. Muzenda (2013) established that waste pickers play an important role in recycling in the Gauteng province of SA. Even studies done in Namibia supported Mamphita’s finding. Croset, 2014; Jacobsen,2014; Magen,2010; Murghal, 2012) concluded waste pickers at dumpsites were recovering reasonable amounts of recyclable raw material as well as contributing to reducing litter from the environment by some of their pickings.
220.127.116.11 Industrialization Policy
The study established that Government was promoting industrialization. Industrial development was seen as a shared responsibility between the private sector and the Government. Through the Policy, the Government was advocating for partnerships in Namibia’s quest for industrialization through promotion of public–private partnerships (PPPs).Taking heed of the policy, company E was working assisting interested persons mainly its former workers to start businesses in scrap recycling. Three small scrap recycling companies which grew out of company E’s initiative were identified by the researcher. For their operations, the companies relied on company E for technical assistance as established.
The situation in Namibia regarding policy directives on recycling resembled that of most African countries. Extended Producer Responsibility Policies which guide recycling in developed countries are still lagging behind as observed by Osibanjo, (2008) cited in (Nahman, 2009). If Namibia is to seriously promote these policy directives of EPR such as Pay as you throw and Refund Deposit Schemes, maybe the full potential of the industry may be realized.
5.3.2 Legislation governing recycling Industry in Namibia
The research question was: “Are there any recycling law that govern company business and what they do? The study established that Namibia did not have an overall waste recycling act or national regulations to provide a framework for solid waste recycling. Neither did it have an overall waste management act to provide a framework for solid waste management. Instead, individual local authorities controlled waste management through creation of their own by–laws approved by the Ministry of Local Government. The lack of national waste regulations made it difficult for the Local Authorities s at all levels to manage waste effectively with the exception of a few (Republic of Namibia. (2014).The Solid Waste Management Performance Audit Report). Windhoek municipality was one of them.Companies agreed was that the country could perform better if there was a legislation to provide rules on how the industry should operate ‘No recycling law, so no one can take me to court for not recycling’ was a clear indication that companies, households and individuals were not obliged to participate in recycling. Despite the fact, the industry was regulated just like any other business operating in the country. Any business in Namibia is compelled to comply with any applicable occupational health and safety law, environmental law, health law, labour law, tax laws and any other relevant law or directives or orders issued by the government. In line with this, the industry was controlled by a number of pieces of legislation which included Environmental Management Act 2007, Labor Act, Affirmative Action Act, Health Act, Financial Acts, Water Management Act and municipal by-laws which fell under different government ministries as shown in Table 4.11, in Chapter 4. Companies B and C highlighted that they followed most of the industrial regulations in the country. In Windhoek, all companies operating were regulated mainly by council regulations and by laws as set out in the Local Council Act of 1992 and Waste Management Regulations No.16 of 2011. The discussion which follows outlines legislation that is directly or indirectly affecting recycling in Namibia.
18.104.22.168 Public and Environmental Health Act No.1, 2015
The main objective of the Act is to promote public health, prevent injuries and disability; and to encourage community participation in order to create a healthy environment among other objectives. In terms of Section 3, it is the duty of every local authority to take all necessary and reasonably practicable measures for maintaining its local authority area in a clean and sanitary condition for prevention of health nuisance, unhygienic conditions and other harmful occurrence or for remedying conditions liable to endanger public health. Section 51 stipulates that all waste generated must be collected, disposed of and recycled in accordance with the management of the waste stream. It also provides for efficiency, affordability and sustainable access to collection, disposal and recycling of waste to the community. None of the recycling companies were aware of this new act but the old Public Health Act of 1919. This is the only piece of legislation which directly addresses recycling but only in general terms but it places the responsibility of recycling on the local authorities in line with the Agenda 21 which promoted the implementation at local level.
22.214.171.124 Environmental Management Protection Act, 7 of 2007:
The Earth Summit of 1992 brought the issues of sustainability for the benefit of present and future generations on the forefront of development activities and solid waste management. Sustainable use of resources and protection of the environment were promoted by the Namibian government through the Environmental Management Act of 2007. Namibia’s economy depends largely on the wealth and exploitation of natural resources. Thus it is considered important to promote sound environmental management, which is essential for the protection of resources. In line with this, any business operating in the country is obliged to ensure its activities do not cause health and environmental hazards. The Environmental Management Act No. 7 of 2007 – states that sustainable development must be promoted in all aspects relating to the environment; and that damage to the environment must be prevented and activities which cause such damage must be reduced, limited or controlled.
The Act also promotes the Integrated Waste Management Hierarchy that focuses on waste prevention and minimization ahead of waste disposal. According to the law, any activities carried out need to pause minimal damage to the environment. Companies were quite aware of this and thus reported that their activities were done in line with this statute. In order to reduce the effects of waste generated during the manufacturing process, company B reused and recycled its waste component according to the guiding principles of the EMA. Moreover, they were taking their campaign even to the consumers to avoid indiscriminate dumping of package materials through reuse or proper disposal as they were fully aware of the environmental hazard of plastic waste which takes a long period of time to decay due to its polymer elements. Company O as a regulatory body ensured proper waste management by any waste generator and operators within its area of jurisdiction, Windhoek City according to the Waste Management Regulations NO.16 of 2011.
126.96.36.199 The Local Authority Act, 23 of 1992
Section 30 (1) sets out the powers, duties and functions of local authority councils with the approval of the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development (MRLGHRD). Under this Act, local Authorities were required to administer, control and manage local areas of their jurisdiction. Among the many responsibilities, they were to manage any solid waste related activities such as generation, transportation, treatment and disposal.
In order to meet these requirements, Local Authorities made some by-laws under the Act, such as waste management regulations. At the time of study, not all Local Authorities had these by laws as revealed by the Auditor general Report of 2012/2013. However, the City of Windhoek was one of few Municipalities which had some regulations in place. Chapter 2 Section 2(1) (C) of the Schedule sets out the powers and responsibilities of the Council in ensuring that all waste related activities were managed in a manner not posing a threat to human health or the environment. In addition, it was the duty of the council to register all business activities related to recycling as stipulated in Part 4, Section 27, 28, 29). Companies reported they were complying with the set rules and regulations although monitoring was done once in a while.
188.8.131.52 Solid Waste Management Regulations No. 16 of 2011
The City of Windhoek, being a regulator at local level by virtue of section 94 (1) of the Local Authorities Act, Act 23 of 1992, developed Solid Waste Management Regulations in-line with Chapter 2 Section 2(1) (C) the Local Authority Act, which empower the City Council to regulate waste management activities within its area of jurisdiction. Among other goals, the Solid Waste Management Regulations support the implementation of the waste management hierarchy and waste management plans.
The Regulations also allow various strategies to be developed in order to promote sound environmental waste management practices. All waste related activities are controlled by these by-laws within the City hence all activities had to be registered with the City Council and operations monitored through heath Inspectors. Noncompliance was accompanied by some penalties as provided for by the by-laws. It was a requirement by council regulations in Windhoek, that all operating businesses furnish the Department of Waste Management with their waste management plans. According to the Regulations, the Council may identify and require a waste generator to submit a Waste Management Plan according to which their waste will be managed to ensure human safety and protection of the environment against waste hazard.
184.108.40.206 Labor Act. Number 11, 2007
It was an obligation by companies to adhere to the conditions as set out in the labor statutes. The Labor Act regulated health and safety issues of employees at work which employers were expected to adhere. It protected employees from unfair labor practices and regulated basic terms and conditions of employment.There was full awareness about this requirement of the law among companies. Workers were provided with protective wear such as boots, goggles and overalls although it was reported that some worked do not always use them.
220.127.116.11 Water Resources Management Act, No. 11, 2013.
Prevention of water pollution, and the polluter’s duty of care and liability to make good is to be up-held according to the Water Resources Management Act, 2004 No. 24, amended in 2013. The aim of the law is to provide for the management, protection, development, use and conservation of water resources and to provide for the regulation and monitoring of water services. Precautionary measures need to be taken by any person or business responsible for carrying out any activity involving the production, conveyance, storage, or deposit of waste which results in water pollution. Even though participants did not mention this piece of legislation, they were legally bound by it through the Municipal by-laws and regulations just like any other person in the country “A local authority or any other authority or person that has authority over any area in which any domestic or industrial activity, that may cause pollution, takes place, is ultimately responsible for the prevention of any pollution in that area.”
In relation to this, recycling companies were to take the necessary precautions to ensure that no activity or situation resulted in water resources pollution. In line with this, Local authorities were bound to monitor any water polluting activities in areas of their jurisdiction. For example, CoW through its SWMP ensured that waste generators or industries had the necessary measures in place for proper waste monitoring. They also monitor activities of waste disposal so as to ensure environmental protection.
18.104.22.168 Standard Act. No. 18, 2005
Quality standards in Namibia are regulated by the Standards Act of 2005(Act No. 18 of 2005). The Act provides for the promotion, regulation and maintenance of standardization relating to the quality of commodities for use by consumers. Namibian Standards Institution is entrusted with the authority and responsibility to monitor quality of manufactured products.
Companies B and C which were into production of plastic goods pointed out that their products adhered to required standards both nationally and internationally for trading purposes. Company C complied with ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 at the same time.
22.214.171.124 Affirmative Action (employment) Act no. 29, 1998
Article 10 and Article 23 of the Namibian Constitution provides for the establishment of the Employment Equity Commission; to redress discrimination in employment. In line with this, the Affirmative Action (Employment) Act, 1998, was introduced to achieve equal opportunity in employment and to eliminate discrimination in employment among certain groups e.g. disability, women and race which was linked to discriminatory laws and practices of colonial governments. This Act was another legal control measure that specifically applied to industry in Namibia and the recycling sector was not an exception. Four companies were aware of this law and its principles. In line with this Act, companies were taking the initiative to promote balanced employment of all genders as women in the past were discriminated upon on employment matters. The majority of workers at company A was women at all the three stations in Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. At Company E, women were employed in positions traditionally reserved for males with targets already surpassed. “Yes, we are now also employing women, but this industry is not for them. The work is strenuous and dirty.” The researcher observed one lady at company E, who was struggling to shred an iron block.
Recycling of solid waste is not provided for in any act of parliament or a regulation at national level. The legislation available is fragmented and only highlights principles but does not touch on the core issues i.e. no one can be sued for not participating in recycling and no one is compelled to recycle. The researcher came across two pieces of legislation that could be useful in future as recycling unfolds: the Solid Waste and Recycling Act of Australia and the Recycling Regulations in Taiwan which are centered on an “extended producer responsibility” (EPR) concept that requires manufacturers and importers of new products to fund recycling through a recycling fund. However, it should be noted that the company O has made considerable strides in recycling and many local Authorities are following suit. On the other hand, the Public and Environmental health Act has already laid a foundation by clearly stating the agent responsible for recycling. However, the funding and the responsibility of the producers of waste and manufactures or importers of the product are not yet clear.
Again, Namibia was found sailing in the same boat with other African countries where no clear law regarding recycling exists. Not only in Africa, a study ‘Bangkok Recycling Program: An Empirical Study of an Incentive-Based Recycling Program’ by Sukholthaman (2012) found out that there were no laws or regulations that directly mandate recycling of waste and even specifically regulate the social and health impacts caused by Municipal Solid. In contrast, in Europe and other Asian countries, these laws are quite clear and enforced. Taiwan recycling regulations and the Australia Waste Management and Recycling Act spell out clearly what every waste generator should do as regards recycling. Japan also passed the ‘Law for the Recycling of ELV in 2005 (Yu, Omuru & Yoshimura, 2008). As a result of such laws, in Japan only 5% of waste goes to landfills. As of 2010, recycling rate (ELV) in Japan was pegged at 95%. In Sweden, recycling industry is well advanced (Becker, 2014), resulting from a well-established recycling system comprising of well-functioning components e.g. infrastructure and policies (EPR).
The protection of the environment is not only a concern, but a constitutional issue in Namibia as stipulated in Article 95(l). Namibians are obliged to protect the environment and to promote a sustainable use of natural resources. All these laws are in-line with the environment with very little reference to the recovery of raw material. No wonder why 100% of companies interviewed highlighted that they were recycling for environmental reason. Moving forward, economics reasoning and recovery of raw materials need to be inculcated in the laws and policies.
In Namibia, environmental protection is one of the priority areas of the Government in order to promote sustainable development (Ruppel, 2013). To ensure this, some regulatory frameworks are in place e.g. Environmental Assessment Policy and the Environmental Management Act of 2007. According to the Environmental Assessment Policy the principle of achieving and maintaining sustainable development must underpin all policies, programs and projects undertaken within Namibia. In addition wise utilization of the country’s natural re- sources, together with the responsible management of the biophysical environment has to be practized for the benefit of both present and future generations (MIT, 1994, Environmental Assessement Policy). The government therefore calls for strategies to promote this. Recycling is considered as one option for sustainable solid waste management in this regard as highlighted in the EMA of 2007(EMA, 2007).