Waste production in any industry is inevitable, even in agriculture. Therefore it has never been more important to be mindful of your waste.
Adopting practices to minimize the footprint that your business is responsible for is the way to go, to start it is important to follow the rule of three R’s, namely Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
The reduction of waste is the most important (see the above diagram), as mentioned before, the production of waste is inevitable, but we can limit to the best of our ability the extent of waste production (prevention is better than disposal). The reuse of orchard or vineyard trimmings, for example, mulching will not only reduce the amount of waste and possible production of greenhouse gases but also be seen as good practice as mulching contributes to the advancement of soil health and water holding capacity. The last of the three R’s is recycling which is an effective way of managing different waste streams and is also seen as a good practice. After the process of the three R’s was followed the remainder of the waste (known as general waste) should be sent to a landfill (municipal or private) (SIZA Code requirement 3.4: b, g & h – please see details at the end).
When disposing of waste in a private landfill be assured to meet the duty of care requirements.
Duty of care principles:
- Site should be situated outside a watercourse.
- Site should be adequately fenced, locked, and marked with relevant signs.
- Site should not overlie an area with shallow or emergent water tables.
- Waste should not cause any nuisance conditions.
- Site should be located in a previously disturbed area, not in natural vegetation.
SIZA Code requirement 3.4: The management of materials and wastes is monitored and in line with reduce, reuse, and recycle best practices.
- There is document or visual evidence of recycling in place (e.g., bins for collection of paper/carton, plastic, glass, metal, oil, fruit waste). Where applicable, organic waste is composted and processed for further use.
- As part of the waste management plan, targets are set, and measures are implemented to minimise waste production and increase reuse and recycling.
- There is evidence of a reuse and recycling system in place that is annually reviewed and improved upon.