The objects of the National Environmental Management Waste Act 59 of 2008:
To protect health, well-being and the environment by providing reasonable measures for minimizing the consumption of natural resources
Avoiding and minimizing the generation of waste
Reducing, re-using, recycling and recovering waste
Treating and safely disposing of waste as a last resort
Preventing pollution and ecological degradation
Securing ecological sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social development
Promoting and ensuring the effective delivery of waste services
Remediating land where contamination presents, or may present a significant risk of harm to health or the environment
Achieving integrated waste management reporting and planning
To ensure that people are aware of the impact of waste on their health, well-being and the environment
Generally, to effect section 24 of the Constitution in order to secure an environment that is not harmful to health and well-being.
The National Waste Information Regulation 2012 in Gazette No. 35583 became effective on 1 January 2013.
The new act states that all companies must apply to the Department of Environmental Affairs to be registered on the South African Waste Information System. (SAWIS) A registered person will be required to report waste management information to the SAWIS on a quarterly basis, and must keep record of all waste management information submitted to the SAWIS or the Department for a period of at least 5 years. The waste management information must include, amongst others, information on the category and source of the waste as well as the quantities of the waste in tonnes. All information submitted to SAWIS will, when necessary be subjected to verification.