The length of time waste takes within a landfill site to biodegrade depends on the type of waste, the moisture content within the landfill and other variables. Organic material generally biodegrades more quickly than inorganic compounds, but it is not uncommon to dig up disposed newspapers from 30 years ago and still find them intact and readable! Disposable nappies for example take more than 500 years to biodegrade. The end product of biodegradation is leachate and landfill gasses.
The City has three operational sites, namely Coastal Park, Bellville South and Vissershok South, with life spans varying from 5 to 13 years. Another three, Swartklip, Brackenfell and Faure, have been filled and closed. In anticipation of the closure of more landfills, the City has planned a large regional landfill and has assessed two areas as possible sites.
Builders' rubble and green waste are removed from the mainstream prior to landfilling and again processed further through outsourced contractors. The City outsources waste recovery at the materials recovery facility at Athlone Transfer Station for the manual removal of paper, plastic, glass, metal, etc.
Click here to view disposal guidelines for the general public.