South Africa has been selected to host the 2024 International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Annual Congress and General Assembly. The event will host waste management experts, decision makers and visitors from around the world to share ideas, knowledge, research and new technologies for a more sustainable future.
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The winning bid to host the ISWA Congress was submitted by the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA).
“Our country’s waste economy has grown in leaps and bounds over recent years, and we are eager to bring our ideas to the world stage,” says Brendon Jewaskiewitz, president of IWMSA. “Organising this event will provide our local entrepreneurs, small businesses and suppliers access to the global market,” continues Jewaskiewitz.
The event will support Southern Africa’s developing and emerging economies by looking at resource efficiency and economic opportunities with different waste streams. The waste industry in South Africa is estimated to be worth R25bn (€1.4bn). Research indicates that more economic opportunities will arise and as improved technology is adopted and more materials are recycled, this amount is expected to rise even more.
Advanced waste management sector
Even compared to many first world countries, South Africa’s waste management sector is very advanced. For example, its recycling sector showed near 7% growth from 2018 to 2019. South Africa has a 46% recycling rate for all plastics, well surpassing Europe’s 31%. As opposed to Europe, South Africa has a large informal sector, with up to 90,000 waste reclaimers collecting recyclable materials around the country’s large cities. The private sector, along with many producers and product manufacturers, have collaborated to support waste reclaimers, especially during Covid-19.
The ISWA World Congress 2024 will be hosted in Cape Town. Included in the event programme will be a variety of speakers, waste technology demonstrations and technical tours at some of South Africa’s largest and most advanced waste management facilities.