Whether it is the cultural diversity, the beautiful natural landscapes, iconic landmarks or a national recycling rate that is better than Europe’s, South Africa has been selected as the destination for the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Annual Congress and General Assembly in 2024. This event will host waste management experts, decision makers and visitors from around the globe to share ideas, knowledge, research and new technologies for a more sustainable future.
The winning bid to host the ISWA Congress was submitted by 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 the IWMSA. “Organising this event will provide our local entrepreneurs, small businesses and suppliers access to the global market,” continues Jewaskiewitz.
An event of this scale will go a long way in supporting 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 25 billion Rand (EUR 1.4 billion). 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.
South Africa’s waste management sector is very advanced, even compared to many first world countries. A perfect example would be our recycling sector, with a 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, adding to the portfolio of international conferences that Cape Town has successfully hosted in the past. 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.
For more information about ISWA and the upcoming World Congress, visit www.iswa.org.