Key Facts

  • Johannesburg is the capital of the South African province of Gauteng. It is twinned under the EWIT project with the city of Florence in Italy.

  • Johannesburg hosted a workshop in July 2015 as part of the EWIT project specifically addressing E-waste management in the City.

  • Johannesburg itself has a population of over 4 million inhabitants. Pikitup, a partner of the EWIT project, is the official integrated waste management service provider to the city.

The City of Johannesburg is the 27th largest city economy in the world and the commercial center of South Africa and Africa.  Municipal waste collection services are provided by Pikitup and around 95% of Johannesburg have weekly refuse removal. Johannesburg disposes of about 1.6m tonnes of waste per annum.

In terms of waste management infrastructure Johannesburg has:

  • 11 x Waste Management Depot Areas
  • 4 operational landfills with an average landfill airspace of 9 years,
  • 42 garden sites / drop-off areas
  • 5 buy-back centres (City-owned)
  • there are also around 30 private sector buy-back centres

It is known that the bulk of the E-waste generated in South Africa is held in storage by government, business and households. The reasons for storage of E-waste include difficulties in writing off assets from asset registers, fears related to data security in big corporate entities and the belief that obsolete technology has some residual value.

It is estimated that approximately 45% of electronic and electrical equipment stock in the Gauteng province is owned by government, while business organisations and households own 30% and 25% respectively. Approximately 13.8 tonnes of E-waste has been generated and collected for further processing and treatment from households in the City of Johannesburg during 2014.

The following data regarding E-waste management were identified as part of the EWIT project.  The data are derived from a range of sources.  Due to the difficulty in obtaining quantified data, much of the tonnage data are based on imprecise estimates.

To compare the data for different cities against each other you can use the ‘compare’ function on the main Cities page.

Country South Africa
City Johannesburg (South Africa)
Current Population of the city 4,400,000
In which year was the population data collected? 2011
Quantity of municipal solid waste generated annually? (t/yr) 1,200,000
Quantity of E-Waste generated from households annually? (t/yr) 13,801
Quantity of E-Waste collected from households annually? (t/yr) 13,801
Year of the above data 2014
Collection Stations 42
Active landfills 4
Active Dumps 0
Closed landfills and closed dumps 2
Dismantling Facilities 1
Repair & Refurbish Facilities 0
Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) 1
Other facilities
Does the national government have an agency mandated to enforce solid waste including E-Waste laws and regulations? The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) & Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (DCGTA), through municipalities, are mandated to develop, implement and enforce solid waste management laws & regulations in the country
Does the city have a department dedicated to solid waste including E-Waste management? Pikitup ( is a wholly owned municipal entity that is responsible for the collection, treatment and disposal of solid waste (including e-waste) in the City of Johannesburg
Does the city have a unit enforcing solid waste including E-Waste issues in the city? The Environment & Infrastructure Service Delivery Dept (EISD) of City of Johannesburg develops solid waste strategies & municipal by-laws & regulations that are then implemented by Pikitup & by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) respectively
Does the city have its own solid waste management including E-Waste rules? Municipal by-laws
List of international partners and NGOs currently working with the city and briefly describe each project nil
Is there a national law governing solid waste including E-Waste management in the country? National Environment Management (NEM), Waste Act of 2008, Municipal Systems Act (MSA) of 2000, Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) of 2003, National Health Act, 2000 (Act 63 of 1977)
Who is mandated to collect, transfer and dispose of E-Waste Pikitup, waste management companies
Does the city have solid waste including E-Waste management rules and regulations? Yes
Does the city have a solid waste including E-Waste master plan? Waste Minimisation Strategy 2014
Provide a list of channels through which the city communicates with its residents on solid waste management issues (eg. website, newsletter, radio, social media, etc …). Also indicate how often each channel is used Website, pamphlets, radio, newpapers, social meadia, public meetings, door to door
What are the key messages or information provided to the public ? (eg. education on littering, source separation or waste reduction etc.) No illegal dumping of waste, reduce & recycle waste, separation waste at source, do not litter
Provide a list of channels through which the city collects feedback from it residents on issues related to solid waste services. (eg. Annual surveys, dedicated telephone line, Mobile phone Applications, social media, etc …) Surveys, social media
Provide a summary of key solid waste information made periodically available to the public (eg. Annual budget, waste collection coverage rates, recycling rate, etc..) Budgets, annual reports, media releases
Does the city have a contract with one or more private firms for waste management? No
Does the contract cover waste collection? n/a
Does the contract cover waste transport n/a
Does the contract cover waste disposal n/a

The overarching E-waste management goals for  Johannesburg, based on discussions during the Twin City workshop and on the city’s planning documents, are as follows:

  • 1)  Strengthening of the collection systems, transportation, storage and disposal of E-waste.
  • 2)  Increased separation of waste into recyclable and non-recyclables at source.
  • 3)  Increasing household awareness on e-waste consumption, waste minimization, recycling and disposal to encourage behavior change and grow e-waste collection volumes
  • 4)  Development of a better E-waste data management system to understand the origins, pathways, immediate and final sinks of E-waste materials along the value chain.
  • 5)  Upgrade of the security at garden sites to enable secure collection and storage of E-waste materials at these sites.
  • 6)  Development and strengthening of partnerships between the City of Johannesburg, higher learning institutions and neighboring cities to share knowledge on E-waste management and achieve economies of scale.
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