The Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa’s (REDISA) Waste Tyre Management Plan has recently been approved by the government in South Africa to address environmental, social and economic impacts of scrap tyres. Through a waste tyre management fee on being charged on manufacturers and importers of tyres of R2.30 + VAT per kilogramme of tyre, the plan aims to subsidise and incentivize the collection and recycling of tyres by attaching a value to their collection that is higher than their current scrap metal value.
The REDISA Waste Tyre Management Plan will establish a network of transporters to collect scrap tyres from the entire country, supply them to recyclers, and provide support and help to develop secondary markets for the recycler’s output products. In doing so, the plan is designed to create jobs, particularly in the informal sector, and create majority black-owned small and micro businesses.
According to REDISA’s website, South Africa produces around 11 million scrap tyres every year which typically end up in landfills, dumped in the veld, or illegally burned for their scrap steel content. Furthermore, REDISA states that an estimated 60 million legacy tyres are lying in stockpiles or scattered across the country in residential, industrial and rural areas.
Hermann Erdmann, REDISA’s CEO, says “What distinguishes the REDISA plan is the golden thread running through it of supporting and growing the informal sector involvement. Waste is the raw material of the future. Waste tyre disposal has traditionally been in Black hands, and now that it is being turned into a more formal industry it must remain so.”
The REDISA model may serve as the basis for other waste streams in South Africa, as a mechanism to attach value to waste so that it reused and recycled where possible – and to strategically plan for waste minimization.