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Waste as resource

Unlocking opportunities for Africa

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Suzan Oelofse, Anton Nahman, Linda Godfrey

01 June 2018


uKESA Librarian

Book chapter

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

South Africa

The global waste sector is undergoing a paradigm shift from “waste” to that of “secondary resource” within the vision of a circular global economy. The circular economy emphasizes keeping resources in use for as long as possible through re-use, recycling and recovery of materials. This chapter focuses on understanding the economic and social opportunities in waste that could potentially be unlocked in Africa, and how these opportunities can be used as lever to overcome the challenges in solid waste management on the continent. It covers (i) economic opportunities in waste as a resource (i.e. the economic value of waste as an input to downstream economic activities); (ii) social opportunities, including social benefits (job creation), poverty alleviation, enterprise development and integration of the informal sector; (iii) regional approaches to secondary resource management; (iv) waste trading; and (v) resource crime. It aims to estimate the intrinsic value of waste as a resource in Africa and the associated economic and social benefits that could potentially be unlocked for Africa through increased waste recovery and recycling. It also touches on Africa’s role within the global waste management system.


Website References

Built environment

Human settlements

Solid waste

Solid waste management

South Africa




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