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Rock Street, San Francisco Recycling Collection Facilities
Recycling activities begin with material recovery (picking and extraction) and collection after materials are discarded. Without this process, recycling is not feasible. How and where recyclables material can be collected vary from community to community. It can be collected from facilities at residences, schools, businesses etc. through:
i) Curbside collection facilities requiring homeowners to separate recyclables from their garbage, which is the most common method. Residents set recyclables, sometimes sorted by type, on their curbs to be picked up by municipal or commercial haulers. Clean recyclables may need to be placed in special containers, while the gar-bage goes in standard containers. Both are placed at the curb for collection. Efficient and effective recycling is achieved where secondary raw materials are separated from wastes by the generator. Therefore design and implementation of source separation must be sensitive to local cultural and socio-economic circumstances.
ii) Drop-off centers are one of the simplest forms of col¬lecting recyclable materials where people drop off their used glass, metal, plastic, and paper at designated sites. These centers are usually found in easily accessible location near a high-traffic area such as the entrances to supermarkets and parking lots. These centers are often sponsored by community organiza¬tions.
iii) Buy back centers purchase met¬als, glass, plastic, newsprint, and sometimes batteries and other materials (Rahman, 2009). At these centres, recycled-content manufacturers buy their products back from consumers and reuse or remold the used products into new products.
iv) Deposit and refund centers require con¬sumers to pay a deposit on a purchased product in a container (e.g. bottle). The deposit can be redeemed when the con¬sumer brings the container back to the business or company for reuse or recycling. Material Recovery Facilities
Materials collected for recycling are usually sent to a materials recovery facilities (MRF). This is a specialized plant or building that receives, separates, and prepares recyclable materials for marketing to end users (Hickman, 2009). There are two types of MRF systems. A “clean” MRF is a facility that accepts source separated recyclable materials. A “dirty” MRF receives a mixture of waste material that requires labor intense sorting activities to separate recyclables from the mixed waste. The main function of the MRF is to maximize the quantity of recyclables processed while producing materials that can be transported at low cost to generate the highest possible revenues in the market.
This is one of the main processes of value addition of the waste recovered. The greater in the level of sorting, the greater is the value of the material produced. For instance, if plastic is grouped into one category, its value is lower than when it is further separated into sub-categories of hard and soft, then HDPE, PET, and LDPE. Sorting is done according to color, size, shape and potential use or re-use of the materials so as to meet the end-user requirements.
Volume Accumulation
Less volume per unit weight adds value i.e. higher prices per-unit volume. If industrial stock-feeds are massive in volume, it follows that less storage space is required. Also, the greater the quantity, the better bargaining power the trader has, for example small quantities have high transactions costs, such as checking quality, arranging transport and paying the seller hence reducing the profit margin. Processing facilities
Processing includes washing, change in shape by cutting, granulating, compacting and baling. This processing of recyclable materials happens in a variety of ways depending on what is being recycled and what the recycled material becomes. For example, plastic bottles are cleaned, sorted according to type (numbers 1-7), and shredded. The shredded plastic is heated to a specific temperature hot enough that the plastic can be formed into small pellets. Manufacturing and selling facilities
Manufacturing companies purchase the pellets from plastic recyclers to make a myriad of “new” products from carpet and backpacks to decking and playground equipment (Mills, 2012). These processes follow the same procedure as conventional material.

2.2.8 Benefits chains associated value addition processes
The benefits of recycling have been explored and highlighted through many scholarly works. A number of researchers agree that recycling has benefits chains that can be categorized into environmental, social and economic (Chanda, 2014; Abdul-Rahman, 2014; Mosia, 2014; Muzenda, 2013; Harris et al. 2011; Nahman, 2009; with further benefits of new raw materials, uses fewer natural resources, preserves landfills, prevents global warming, reduces water pollution, protects wild life, reduces waste, creation of jobs, requires less energy, creates new demand for recycled products etc. However, recycling has also been criticized and has dis-benefits which will not be discussed in this thesis.
The benefit chains can easily be associated with a cause effect diagram whereby the main benefit is like the problem and factors contributing to the benefit are like causes of a problem. This can be represented diagrammatically like a ‘fish bone’ cause effect diagram as given. This will be used to present analysis results.
2.2.10 Recycling Network Linkages
Industrial linkages have been widely studied in economic geography since the 1960s (Marshall, 1987 as cited in Malmberg, 1996). Linkages in Geography denote interdependence among firms or show the interrelationship among various industrial activities.(Malmberg, 1996)
Industries depend on each other for survival and growth. This interdependence therefore creates some linkages in the network. There are different types of linkages. These include communication linkages, formal linkages, material or work flow linkages, proximity linkages, and cognitive linkages. Networks are multiplex, that is, actors have more than one type of linkages. Companies create, maintain, dissolve, and possibly reconstitute network linkages due to self-interest, dependency and collective interest.
A network consists of a set of actors (nodes) and the relations (ties) between the actors e.g. individuals or groups of companies (Talarowska & Denana,2008; Wasserman &Faust, 1994; Håkansson & Ford, 2002 as cited in Haugnes, 2010). Linkages can either be direct or indirect, strong or weak. Strong linking is defined as when equally involved business actors and consumers perform many complementing and specialized activities. Weak linking, on the other hand, is defined as involving few and general activities, the performance of which is dominated by either the business actors or the consumers (Granovetter, 1973;1982 as cited in Haugnes, 2010) .
Solid waste recycling activities also exhibit some linkages of different types. Chauldry (2003) noted that there are backward, forward and side-ways linkages. Scheinberg (2012) and Zikmund and Stanton (1971) pointed out that recycling is a complex process with linkages that need to be understood if recycling is to be a feasible solution to the trash problem. In Hong Kong, for example, recycling of municipal waste is a network of waste pickers, waste collectors, schools, institutions, recyclers or waste dealers and preprocessors (Recovery and Recycling of Municipal Solid Waste in Hong Kong, 2010).
2.3 Literature Review
Literature review enables a researcher to develop a clear understanding of the research topic through what has been researched on the topic and identify gaps, which the researcher’s own study can fill (Bless ; Higson-Smith, 1995; Hart, 1998; Sarantakos, 1993).
This literature review unfolds major empirical findings of recycling issues in Africa such as players in the industry, motives of recycling, recycling policies and legislation, recycling behavior of urban households and benefits of recycling. Global recycling examples are incorporated where necessary.
Related literature in Namibia was limited, hence the many references to other parts of Africa and the world. This is not surprising as the area of recycling is still emerging in Africa as a whole as it is still grappling with the management of solid waste. Thus referenced research issues unfolded the dimension of waste management and behavioral attitudes on waste recycling. Specific literature on the recycling industry was limited.
2.3.1 Actors and trends in the Industry
Globally, both formal and informal sectors are involved in the industry of recycling (Chandak, 2012; Courtois, 2012; Velis et. al., 2012; Gutberlet, 2010). In developed countries recycling is more organized and private sector is more entrenched in the industry and most activities are carried out formally e.g. registration and record upkeep. It is the opposite in most developing countries where the informal sector plays a more active role. Despite their importance in the industry as well as in solid waste management, it is noted that very few cities in the world have incorporated informal sector recycling activities and only a few policies have been developed to support this approach. This was also the case at some stage in the past, in what are now developed countries (Velis et al., 2012).
Like any other parts of the developing world, recycling in Africa is still low and not well organized (Carbon Africa, 2014; Chukwunonye, 2013; Gutberlet, 2010; Mamphitta, 2009; Liebenberg, 2007; Otieno ; Taiwo, 2007) attributed to a number of factors such as financial constraints, low levels of participation and lack of knowledge. For example in Mozambique, Carbon Africa (2014) estimated that less than 1 % of the solid waste generated was being recycled. Recycling activities are reported to be limited to a small number of local companies and NGO’s mainly involved in recovery and collection activities. In Dar as Salaam a study by Senzige et al., (2012) on solid waste characterization found that 98% of solid waste generated per day was also not recycled. Another study on management of PET plastics waste through recycling in Khartoum by Fadlalla (2010) established that recycling was low as well despite the increasing plastic waste generated in that country. Courtois (2012) claimed that in Africa the full potential of the recycling industry is not yet fully realized and opinioned that private sector can be worthwhile to see more benefits of waste recycling in such developing regions.
Studies have shown that there exists some form of linkage between formal and informal sectors in the recycling industry. Viljoen et al. (2012) identified that buy-back centers (BBCs) act as one of the important link between informal sector and formal sector activity in the industry in South Africa. These create formal jobs and informal income generating opportunities for the poor and unemployable. In South Africa, BBCs are found in most urban centers. By definition, BBCs are depots where waste collectors can sell their recyclable waste. Langenhoven & Dyssel (2007) studied the recycling industry and subsistence waste collectors (informal sector) in Mitchell’s Plain, South Africa and found that there was interdependency between subsistence waste collectors and buy-back centers, a similar trend as that reflected elsewhere in the world. In another study, Viljoen et al., (2012) also highlighted the role of buy back centers in Pretoria and Bloemfontein in South Africa. According to the study, buy-back centers (BBCs) play a crucial role as market centers for the informal sector participants. At these centers, waste pickers sell an assortment of recovered materials like cans, scrap metals, plastic and paper.
Informal Sector
The informal solid waste sector refers to individuals or enterprises who are involved in recycling and waste management activities but are not sponsored, financed, recognized or allowed by the formal solid waste authorities. In addition, the operations of the informal sector maybe in violation of or in competition with formal authorities as noted by Scheinberg (2012).
The informal sector is quite active and dominant in the recycling industry in developing countries and researches done attest to this. Gunsilius et al., (2011) noted this in a study on the economics of the informal sector in solid waste management. The study shows that the informal solid waste management sector is more active and more effective in recovering resources than the formal one in low- and middle-income countries. The role of subsistence waste pickers in the recycling industry in South Africa was investigated by Mamphitta (2011) and Dlamini ; Simatele (2016). Findings revealed that merchants, recyclers, homeowners and producers of recyclable materials alike agreed unanimously that informal waste picker’s play an important role in the South African recycling industry. The study revealed also that 84 percent of recyclable materials recycled are sourced from waste pickers. These findings are further supported by Ezeah et al., (2013) in a paper ‘Emerging trends in informal sector recycling in developing and transition countries’.

Ukoje (2012) and Njoroge et al., (2013) noted that in Zaria (Nigeria) and Nakuru Municipality (Kenya) respectively the waste pickers eke out a living by collecting waste and selling recyclables out of the urban solid wastes. The need to survive drives the majority of the poor to be involved in the industry despite the harsh working conditions (Fahmi & Sutton, 2010; Mamphitta, 2009). In Egypt, Fahmi & Sutton, 2010) found out that the industry was dominated by the informal sector as well who have operated over a decades, however the industry is under threat due to privatization of municipal solid waste management systems. The study recommends that the informal sector be recognized as stakeholders within the municipality in solid waste management as their resource recovery activities are quite significant in reducing waste.
Formal Sector
Despite informal sector dominance in the industry, formal sector participation is slowly making in-rods into the recycling sector in Africa. In Kenya, Rotich et al. (2006) reported the growth of recycling at a formal industrial level as an important source of raw materials while in Cameroon, governmental policies and strategies for environmental protection and promotion of conservation of materials were contributory factors to the growth of formal recycling (Manga et al., 2008) in that country.
The same is also reported in South Africa, where a wide range of organizations are active in the field of recycling with typical examples being Collect-A- Can, the Glass Recycling Company, Mondi Recycling company (paper), Plastics Federation of South Africa, Nampak Recycling, SAPPI, PETCO, Paper Recycling Association of South Africa, e- Waste Association of South Africa, ROSE Foundation (Taderera, 2010). The government identified plastic, glass; steel cans, paper and tires as ‘priority wastes’ that needed to be kept away from landfill sites through reduction, re-use and recycling.
Oelofse & Strydom, (2010) in a paper, ‘The Trigger to recycling in a developing country- in the absence of command – and – control instruments’ noted that waste recycling in South Africa is largely industry driven. The findings suggest that financial incentives are the main drivers for recycling from an industry point of view while environmental awareness supported by convenience are factors influencing post-consumer household recycling behavior.
Muzenda (2013) studying formal industry in the Gauteng province of South Africa revealed that government, industry and household initiatives were promoting recovery activities in that country. Local government recovery initiatives included drop of centers, collection banks and buy-back centers. The initiative by local authorities was attributed to increased costs of land filling as well as unavailability of landfill space in the province. Drop-off centers are well established in Gauteng’s cities and larger towns, where waste is separated into glass, paper/cardboard, cans, scrap metal, plastic, garden, waste, e-waste and other waste types, and delivered in separate forms by members of the public under the initiative of a private company. However, separation of waste at drop-off centers is not effective, thereby hampering cost-effective recycling. In the case of buy-back centers, they are privately operated. Community members take recyclables of economic value such as bottles and trade them for a small profit, an initiative found to be a source entrepreneurial promotion through source separation.
At Industry level, recovery initiatives focus on the recycling of packaging material, plastics, glass, metal, paper, e-waste and waste tires. Plastics South Africa, an umbrella organization for the plastics industry in SA which was founded in 1975 is the major force behind plastic recycling. For example, in 2009-17.80%, 2010-18.40% and 2011-18 .90% of plastic were recycled (Muzenda, 2013).
The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC), formed in July 2006, is South Africa’s official organization for promoting glass recycling (Muzenda, 2013). The company works in partnership with national government, glass manufactures and fillers. The efforts witnessed recycling rates from a mere 18% around 2005/6 to 40% in 2011.
Viljoen et al., (2012) in a study on the role of buy-back centers (BBC) in South Africa, concluded that BBC is an important aspect in the recycling industry. They form an important link with the informal sector. Most of them are privately owned as revealed in the study. To date, buy-back centers are in all major centers of South Africa. At these centers subsistence collectors are mostly paid on an ad hoc basis for delivering certain types and grades of recyclables (City of Cape Town, 2004a).
2.3.2 Motives for Recycling
According to Fall (2015), in a study, Waste and Recycling Programs in Hancock and Houghton, Michigan, individuals participate in voluntary recycling programs mainly out of pride for their communities and out of concern for the environment. Communities are aware of some of the environmental challenges associated with some disposal based systems. For example, modern landfills were found to have the potential to produce negative social and environmental impacts, including the following: i) landfills produce hazardous leachate (liquid formed as waste breaks down and water filters through garbage), ii) despite the well-designed features like landfill liners, groundwater and/or surface water contamination can occur due to landfill liners leakages, iii) landfills release methane gas which contributes to global climate change which accounts for about 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions from humans activities iv) people prefer not to live near a waste disposal site because of the associated odor, noise, reduced property values and neighborhood disturbance.

It can be difficult, especially in many urban areas, to find suitable places to site new landfills or expand existing ones. In a study; ‘Bangkok Recycling Program: An Empirical Study of an Incentive-Based Recycling Program’, Sukholthaman (2012) pointed that municipalities have considered and implemented recycling programs for many reasons. For example, shrinking budget allocations for supporting municipal waste management programs and high recycling goals set by Governments were some of the reasons in favor of full blown commercial recycling. Oelofse &Strydom (2010) reported preliminary results of the research ‘The Trigger to recycling in developing countries in the absence of Command-and-Control’, which showed that in South Africa financial incentives are the main drivers for recycling from an industry point of view while environmental awareness supported by convenience is a factor influencing post-consumer household recycling behavior. However, one of the recommendations was to undertake a more detailed research in order to provide more insight into post-consumer recycling behavior in a developing country such as South Africa.
According to Simelane & Mohee (2012) many African cities recycling efforts are being promoted as one of the strategies to reduce waste. In most cases, these cities are characterized by inefficient collection, management, disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW) a situation attributed partly to budgetary pressures and inadequate resources.
2.3.3 Policies and Legislation
Various initiatives are being implored in different countries to promote solid waste recycling including legislative provision and policy instruments as incentives (Baeyens et al., 2004).
To date, in countries such as USA, Europe and Asia the state of recycling activities have been noticeably transformed following the introduction of policies and legislation promoting the industry. Some of the policy directives include the Extended Producer Responsibility Programmed (EPR), Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, the End of Life Vehicle Directive, the WEEE Directive, subsidies, Pay-As-You-Throw, take-back obligations, deposit refund schemes (Philippsen, 2015; Priestley, 2011). In Europe, all vehicles have to be recycled according to law. For example, the European Community developed Directive 2000/53/EC, known also as the ELV Directive (EC, 2000) which aims to minimizes the environmental impact of ELVs through reuse, recycling, recovery and the EPR principles (Santini, 2012).
In Italy, vehicles produced are supposed to enter into mandatory recycling according to Directive 2000/53/EC, and its National enforcement D.lgs. 209/03. Germany also supports the idea of recycling for resource recovery through the Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act of 1996. The legislation views returning the secondary raw materials contained in waste to recycled of resource as an important element of sustainable resource management (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Germany, 2010). In addition, many countries have introduced landfill tax to divert waste stream toward recycling and incineration. Yang and Innes (2007) reach the same conclusion for common household materials in Taiwan where recycling activities are regulated through the 4-in-1 Recycling Program.
In developing countries a different scenario prevails regarding policing and legislation for recycling. In a study to assess the impact of Extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging waste in South Africa Nahman (2009) pointed out that developing countries have been far slower in implementing EPR policies to promote recycling. A number of factors were found attributing to this. Some of these are lack of funding to finance recycling or even adequate waste management, lack of safe and efficient infrastructure for recycling or appropriate waste management and lack of awareness among consumers and collectors of the environmental and health impacts associated with inappropriate waste handling and disposal, and of the benefits of recycling.
Despite the fact, some countries like South Africa and Botswana have tried it. South Africa introduced these policies back in 2003, where the government was involved together with private companies in steel, glass and plastic business with less positive results produced. Mandatory, government-imposed plastic bag levy was not effective in stimulating recovery in South Africa. As a result, efforts to recycle these materials are still a long way. In Botswana, however, the situation was different as the introduction of plastic levy contributed to a reduction in littering (Bolaane, 2004). However, more still needs to be done, especially in terms of regulation and in promoting household recycling. The public needs to be made aware of the numerous initiatives already being undertaken, for example the e-waste and battery recycling collection points.

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