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CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND LITERATURE REVIEW
2 .1 Introduction
This chapter gives a review of concepts used in the study and reviews various studies concerning solid waste recycling practices around the world. Conceptual framework and literature reviewed were derived from journal articles, workshops/conferences/seminars reports, empirical studies reports and online resources. Most of these sources were accessed through the Internet.
2.2 Conceptual Framework
Conceptual framework is an analytical framework which offers a logical structure of connected concepts that assists in proving a mental picture of how ideas relate to each other in a research and in the real world. It also gives an opportunity to specify and define concepts related to the problem (Luse et al., 2012).
2.2.1 Recycling Industry: An Overview:
Solid waste recycling industry has been in existence for a very long time worldwide. According to Binda, (2014) the industry is as old as the history of mankind with evidence of recycling dating back to 400 BC. Choi (2012), states that the industry has traditionally been recognized as a local service and fringe industry. Little attention was paid to its existence as it was simply associated with marginalized poor members of society. Choi (2012) and BIR (2009) pointed out that the industry is becoming part of societies for two reasons namely as a source of raw materials and as a solid waste management a strategy.
From a historical perspective, development of the recycling economy was strongly encouraged following the World Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, known as the Rio Summit, taking heed of the 1960-1970s environmental movements’ criticism of the practice of disposal-based waste management. Waste produced was either thrown away, burnt or buried as it was regarded useless mass of material. Environmentalists movements were of the opinion that waste was made up of different materials that should be treated differently i.e., reused, recycled, composted than to be discarded (Schall,1992 as cited in Gertsakis ; Lewis, 2003). The Rio Earth Summit of 1992 advocated for sustainability in solid waste management as well as resource efficient; 21st Green Economy in order to protect the environment.
2.2.2 Recycling and Sustainability
The need to avoid unsustainable activities, has become a leading theme worldwide according Phillips ; Pittman (2009) prompted by concerns such as climate change, resource depletion, pollution, loss of species and ecosystems and poverty among others. The term ‘sustainable development’ entered the public debate after the World Commission on Environment and Development published their landmark report ‘Our Common Future’ in 1987(Gertsakis ;Lewis, 2003). Despite the extraordinary influence of the sustainable development concept, Phillips ; Pittman (2009) claimed that no perfect definition of the term has emerged. However, the most widely used formulation is the one published in the report ‘Our Common Future’ which defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”(World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), 1987 p.43 as cited in (Gertsakis ;Lewis, 2003). The Rio Summit of 1992 and Agenda 21 emphasized the importance of sustainability in economic development as well as waste management. For example, more efficient industrial operations as well as holistic waste management practices.

The argument put forward was that the increase of waste generation and its management should be given priority while economic development continues. This advocation followed the realization that poor solid waste management can create negative environmental and health impacts(Hoornweg; Bhada-Tata, 2015; Nathanson, 2015).
2.2.3 Recycling and Waste Management
While recycling is considered a source of raw materials after processing, it is also seen as a waste management strategy. There are a number of relevant waste management principles that contribute to reduced waste volumes. Recycling is one among others such as waste avoidance, reduction and reusing as depicted.
Source; Nagabooshnam, 2011
Figure 2.1: Waste Management Hierarchy
According to the waste management hierarchy, figure 2.1, the most preferred options for solid waste minimization are source reduction followed by re-use of products, recycling of materials, resource recovery in the form of material and energy, incineration and finally least preference for land filling. The waste hierarchy is a concept that promotes waste avoidance ahead of recycling and disposal. Its origins can be traced back to the 1970s, when the environmental movement started criticizing the practice of disposal-based waste management(Gertsakis ;Lewis, 2003).The waste management hierarchy concept is now extensively used in many countries as a guiding principle for waste policy and programmes as noted by (Gertsakis ; Lewis, 2003).
2.2.4 Motives for Recycling
Drivers for recycling have been identified as environmental, economic, legal and social. Sukholthaman (2012) observed that recycling occurs for three basic reasons: altruistic reasons, economic imperatives and legal considerations. In both developed and developing countries, recycling is being promoted for economic and environmental reasons (Binda, 2014).
2.2.4.1 Economic imperatives
Economically, one of the major driving forces for solid waste recycling is that it is a cost cutting measure. In both developed and developing countries, waste management has been observed to chew a lot of money from local authorities. For example, in developing countries, waste collection and treatment affect highly the economy of local authorities. Waste management is predicted to consume about 30 % of the local authorities’ budgets in developing countries. (Henry, et al., 2006 as cited in Lindell, 2012). Waste collection is the most costly activity of waste management, predicted to stand for 60-75 % of the total waste management costs (Nemerow, et al., 2009 as cited in Lindell 2012).
On the other hand, growing demand for raw materials has also influenced the drive towards more recycling discarded products. According to Hilpert & Mildner (2013) emerging economies such as Brazil, China, and India have joined the major industrial nations of North America, Europe, and Japan as the principal consumers of natural raw materials due to high demand of produced commodities. In order to meet the deficit, industrial strategies to escape this position include turning to importation of raw materials, stockpiling reserves, technological innovation, as well as recycling of end-of-life products such as cars to get much needed raw materials like steel. Koehn (2011) also highlighted that recycling was becoming one of the solutions to getting secondary raw materials. For example, he reported that around 34% of all global steel production is recycled material with Germany already producing 47% of it. Urban mining which involves the recovery of secondary raw materials from municipal waste is increasingly becoming an important concept in securing sustainable raw materials supply from domestic sources. In addition, recycled materials are considered cheaper than virgin raw materials UNEP (2013).
2.2.4.2 Altruistic reasons
Altruistic reasons include protecting the environment and conserving resources. In addition to the growing scarcity of natural virgin raw materials, increasing volumes of solid waste generation is one of the contributory factors for recycling worldwide, according to Smith (2012). Although, the quantity of solid waste is increasing, the composition is also becoming more and more diversified with serious implications particularly in developing countries where disposal of solid waste is poor and not managed well (UNEP, 2015;UN-Habitat, 2010). Environmental pollution can occur through leaching of dumping sites and landfills, or by air pollution through burning waste. It is also a health hazard to the public and more so for workers and animals that get in direct contact with the waste (The World Bank, 2012). The need for environmental protection and resource conservation is being promoted at international level in order to ensure the respect for environmental values for the benefit of humanity now and in the future.

All these highlighted issues point that sustainability in waste management is a necessity than an option in dealing with waste (Chukwunonye & Clive, 2012; Modak, 2011; Williams, 2009). Chukwunonye & Clive, (2012) emphasized that recycling will not only benefit the present but the future generations as well.
2.2.4.3 Legal considerations

If government requires recycling to be provided for, it imposes a wide variety of economic and civil penalties as incentives to encourage the practice. During the last decades, environmental concerns have been high on the legal agenda according to Ruppel (2013) due to growing pressure on the environment on which life depends on and fears that if this is left unchecked, it can result in more challenges for the future. In most cases, legal considerations have been a response to growing public demand to support the recycling initiative. Developed countries have established legal frameworks for their recycling industries. For example, Extended Producer Responsibility principle is mandatory. The concept of extended producer responsibility originated in Europe and applied to the management of packaging waste in countries such as Sweden, Taiwan and Germany in the late 1980s and early 1990s respectively. EPR is an approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of the product’s lifecycle, including its final disposal. There is a shift in attention from waste to product as Rodic (2015) states. The policy today also applies to the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in the EU through the 2002 EU WEEE directive).
In line with the polluter pays principle (PPP), EPR shifts the physical and financial responsibility for the environmental impacts (waste) associated with products throughout their lifecycle from society as a whole (and municipalities in particular) toward the generators of waste e.g. manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers and consumers. EPR aims to ensure that the external costs associated with products throughout their lifecycle (including final disposal) are internalized in the costs faced by waste generators and therefore to provide incentives to both producers and consumers to change their behavior in ways that shift waste management up the waste hierarchy. Table 2.1 highlights some of the instruments used to implement the EPR principle.
Table 2.1: Policy instruments under the EPR umbrella

Category Examples
Regulatory instruments • Take–back programs (mandatory or voluntary), including the provision of infrastructure;
• reuse and recycling targets;
• minimum product standards;
• prohibitions of certain hazardous materials;
• disposal bans;
• mandated recovery/recycling obligations
Economic instruments • Product taxes,
• input/material levies,
• Virgin material taxes,
• collection and disposal fees,
• deposit-refund schemes,
• subsidies and tax/subsidy combinations
Information instruments; • Environmental reporting;
• Environmental labeling;
• Provision of information to consumers, collectors, recyclers, etc.
Source: Nahman, 2009

2.2.4.4 Social imperatives
Communities are known to appreciate waste disposal methods such as land-filling, incineration and composting. However, they were found to be aware of some of the environmental challenges they are associated with. For example, modern landfills were found to have the potential to produce negative social impacts. Thus, at the municipal level, recycling and waste reduction programs are generally influenced by community participation and health-related reasoning. According to research, recycling efforts are still low in developing countries due to low public participation. Possible explanations for this are that people do not separate wastes, infrastructure for waste separation is not in place, the waste collection system does not corresponded to recycling practices, and there are limited recycling technologies (Sukholthaman, 2012).
According to Ezeah et al., (2013) recycling provides employment and a livelihood for impoverished, marginalized and vulnerable social groups that survive in a very hostile social and physical environment. The same idea is supported also by Manhart (2011) studying informal e-waste management in Lagos, Nigeria, that recycling does not require specific skills and is open to poor migrants from rural areas.
2.2.5 Product Life cycle models (cradle-grave)
Recycling comes at the end of the useful life of a product. It can take different approaches or models, namely: Avoided Burden Model involving repair and reuse; Avoided Burden End of Life Recycling Model which includes selling or throwing away; Cut-off Model consisting of recovering material for recycling; and Economic Allocation Model which market driven as explained below (Olivetti et al. (2009).

2.2.5.1 Avoided Burden Method of Recycling
Worn out materials are not usually thrown but ways of prolonging the lifespan of the item are considered. This involves activities like upholstering or refurbishment of items like sofas in order to avoid the burden if the product is no longer useful. According to the waste management hierarchy this form of recycling is termed re-use.
2.2.5.2 Avoided Burden End of Life Recycling Model (EOL)
Products which have reached end of useful life are usually discarded by the initial owner. The initial owner disposes the products because he/she no longer sees value in it. Such products usually end up being sold or recovered by waste pickers either at curb side or at dump-sites and re-modeled into new products for further use.
2.2.5.3 The Cut-off Method
Waste recyclers are usually involved. They sort recyclable waste from the general waste before throwing away what is deemed as useless. The recyclable waste goes through reprocessing procedures before producing new products.
2.2.5.4 Economic Allocation Model
If the market is unsaturated, any materials can be destined for the market. However, when the market is saturated or fully developed (Olivetti et al., 2009), the marketers seek for unique recyclable materials with more value in order to enhance profitability due to increased competition. Such material as scrap metal and e-waste recycling give a competitive edge for the recyclers.
2.2.6. Nature of Solid Waste Recycling
Waste can be any unwanted material that is due for discarding. Technically, waste is considered as a resource in the wrong place according to (Abdullah, 2011 as cited in Muhammad & Manu, 2013). As earlier on mentioned, recycling is a process that involves processing waste into other useful material. In this study, the working definition of recycling is that it is a chain process of collecting and processing of used materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new raw materials and products according to (Schultz et al., 1995as cited in Ali , 2008). Recycling involves reuse as well as recovery. Reuse involves the process of recovering waste materials intended for the same or different purpose. On the other hand ,recovery means the process or act of reclaiming or diverting waste materials for purposes of being reused or recycled but excludes the use for energy generation (City of Windhoek Solid Waste Management Policy, 2009).
Handling of recyclable waste is associated with both formal and informal sectors in the industry throughout the world, as illustrated in Figure 2.2.
2.2.7 Recycling Chain process
Recycling is represented in three steps depicted by three chasing arrows as shown in figure 2.3 called the universal recycling symbol. This was introduced by Anderson in 1970 as a way of raising awareness of environmental issues. Hickman (2009) defined recycling as process involving three major steps: Step1: collection and processing, Step 2: manufacturing and Step 3: purchasing of recycled products.

Figure 2:2 Recycling Network Players
Source: Viljoen, Schenck & Blaauw; 2012

Source: Hickman (2009)
Figure 2:3 Recycling loop

Boguski et al., (1994) identified two main types of recycling processes closed-loop and open-loop. Closed-loop recycling is a process in which the material of a physical product is recycled into the same product, a process that may-in theory-be repeated endlessly. On the other hand, open-loop recycling involves the conversion of material from one or more products into new products involving a change in the inherent properties of the material itself.
Figure 2.4 shows a more detailed diagram of the recycling process derived from the recycling loop. Whichever, process used close or open recycling loop is represented in the same manner.

Source: WBCSD (2011)
Figure 2.4: A standardized model for the sustainable value chain.

Like any other industry, these processes involve value addition chains carried out within the steps highlighted earlier and associated benefit chains.
2.2.7.1 Solid waste recycling value addition Chain
Value chain concept was introduced by management expert Michael Porter in 1985. The value chain process describes the full range of activities which are required to bring a product or service from conception, through the different phases of extraction, collection, processing, production, delivery to final consumers (ADB, 2014) but excludes use by consumer and eventual discard is depicted in recycling value addition chain. The idea is getting the product closer to the consumer (Bohr, 2007) by improving its presentation, transportation, storage, packaging, labeling, processing as well as marketing
A variety of materials e.g. plastics, paper, bottles and textiles can be discarded by individuals or entities because they are no longer desired. Solid waste recycling as a value addition chain begins with materials collection and ends with usage of recycled product according to Hickman (2009). Following material discard, comes material collection and storage which can either be through public or private collectors; processing which involves sorting, cleaning, shredding, crushing, compacting or baling or similar operations to increase the bulk density of secondary materials in order to reduce transport costs in a way that is acceptable to the end user and finally production of raw material; manufacturing which involves production of new products, depends on material type e.g. recycled cardboard and newspaper are used to make new boxes, papers, and other prod¬ucts such as tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, diapers, egg cartons and recycled plastics used for soft drinks, juices, and peanut butter containers etc. After manufacturing, products are distributed to different customers for selling. The recycled raw materials and products are bought and sold just like any other commodity, and their prices change with the market fluctuations.
The following highlights these processes within the facilities generally provided in the recycling process.
2.2.7.2 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.

2.2.7.3 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.
Sorting
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.
2.2.7.4 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.
2.2.7.5 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.
2.3.4 Benefits of Recycling
Benefits of recycling have been explored and highlighted through many scholarly works. A number of researches agree that recycling has some benefits, environmental, social and economic (Chanda, 2014; Abdul-Rahman, 2014; Mosia, 2014; Muzenda, 2013; Nahman, 2009; Harris et al. 2009). However, recycling has also been criticized for having disadvantages as well.
Economic Benefits
In both developed and developing countries, recycling is a means of job creation according to Sakala & Moyo, 2017; Scriba, 2015; Mosia, 2014; Muzenda, 2013; Botes, 2012; Ezeah et al., 2013; Fakir, 2009). In South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia and Mozambique recycling industry employs a numbers of people. Scriba (2015), studying the Recycling industry in Europe, reported that the industry employs about 30 000 people while Botes, (2012) stated that the industry in South Africa employs around 15 000 people in the formal sector. According to Muzenda (2013) studying the recycling situation in South Africa, processing of recyclables is a labor intensive exercise that creates more jobs requiring various skills and education background than waste collection and disposal. As a result of this, recycling jobs are fast growing as waste will continuously be generated and also increase in population growth. Sakala & Moyo (2017) also reported the same on a research to determine the contribution of solid waste recycling companies to the job market in Zambia.
In a Paper on “Waste Recycling in Developing Countries in Africa: Barriers To Improving Reclamation”, Liebenberg (2011) revealed that, in the developing world reclamation of recyclable waste products from the municipal waste stream has become an important source of income for many people who cannot find formal employment and it is their only source of income.
Besides employment creation, recycling is a source of raw materials for manufacturing industries such as automobile, electronic and steel. Through recycling, rare and expensive materials can be recovered (Muzenda, 2013). For example, a variety of rare earth metals such as platinum, gold and copper are recovered despite the presence of some hazardous metals such as mercury and lead (Abdelshafie, 2014 ; Yamoah, 2014). Mosia, 2014 noted that recycling is good for the South African economy as it decreases the necessity to import raw materials.
Environmental benefits
Besides, economic benefits, recycling makes environmental sense. Fall (2015) highlighted recycling and waste management as major contributors to environmental benefits. Some of the benefits cited include reducing the amount of energy required to extract and process raw materials hence reducing pollution associated with landfill and carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change and encouraging the development of systems and technology for using resources efficiently. According to Mosia (2014) less energy is used when recycled materials are included in the manufacturing process. This is also supported by International Aluminum Institute; European Aluminum Association (2009), the energy needed to melt aluminum scrap is only a fraction of that required for primary aluminum production. On the other hand, recycling waste is known to save three times more as much energy as what is produced by burning it and to generate new energy with plastic recycling saves five times as much.
Recycling also saves valuable landfill space, land that must be set aside for dumping trash, construction debris, and yard waste untreated garbage of the kind discarded by homes and small businesses. The land space savings at the landfills enables an extension of the life span of the landfills, as well as an obvious saving in operational costs (Liebenberg, 2011). Japan’s drive to promote recycling is partly due to land scarcity, for instance for waste disposal.
A study on e-waste issues in Ghana carried by Yamoah (2014) found that the activities of the industry were impacting negatively on the environment, a situation demanding urgent attention. For example, hazardous chemicals like copper, lead, tin, antimony, cadmium, etc that are released in the course of open burning of WEEE have already been found in toxic quantities beyond the background levels in soils at e-waste recycling yards claimed Yamoah (2014). As highlighted at the beginning of this section, this is one of many examples of why recycling has been criticized as a disadvantages.

Social Benefits
According to Guamba ; Tembe (2016) the industry has some social benefits as well since waste picking work provides opportunities for social integration of people who have always been marginalized. Global recovery of recyclables has been observed to be a source of livelihood for thousands of people particularly in developing countries. Botes, (2012) pointed out that the recycling industry in SA as a whole, employs approximately 440 000 people in the informal sector. At the same time Ezeah et al., (2013) suggested that recycling provides employment and a livelihood for impoverished, marginalized and vulnerable social groups that survive in a very hostile social and physical environment. The same idea is supported also by Manhart (2011) studying informal e-waste management in Lagos, Nigeria that the 1s stage of recycling does not require specific skills, hence it is open to poor migrants from rural areas.
E-waste recycling is emerging as a lucrative business in Africa (Oteng-Ababio, 2012; Benedicta, 2012). In a study on e-waste recycling in Ghana, it was found that the industry was mainly done by the informal sector but there are no specific laws for e-waste recycling in Ghana. Activities of the formal sector are still limited due to lack of safe e-waste recycling infrastructure and regulations. Thus the informal sector dominates the industry. The collectors are mostly youthful employing rudimentary tools in the dismantling processes despite the hazards nature of e-waste. A similar situation was observed by Hecker (2012) who noted that India’s e-waste recycling industry was dominated by the informal sector as well, where tens of thousands of people are estimated to make their living from its recovery. Thus, the practice of collection and separation of recyclables is prevalent as a survival strategy for the unemployed, the marginalized and homeless members of society.
2.3.5 Recycling value addition processes
The subject of value addition has been a field which has attracted research from academics for some time in Africa.
According to Ochieng (2010)’s study ‘Effect of value addition on price: a hedonic analysis of peanut in retail supermarkets in Nairobi, Kenya value addition was found to have effects on the final price of goods. The study established eight different levels of value addition for peanuts, and prices differed significantly across the various levels of value addition as shown on retail outlets in Nairobi Kenya. Venkatesh (2010) also noted the same in a study on coffee value addition process, with the aim of developing small coffee producers in Karnataka, that coffee beans go through different processes before it reaches the hands of a consumer. In another study on economic value chain analysis study of Namibian diamonds was carried by Palander, (2015). The study found out that the Namibian diamond value chain is divided into four stages of processing: (1) rough diamond mining, (2) sorting, valuating and trading of rough diamonds, (3) cutting and polishing of rough diamonds, and (4) jewellery manufacturing and retail.
In a report on global value chains and Africa’s industrialization, African Development Bank (2014), findings revealed that little value addition was carried is out in Namibia with regards to agriculture products despite the favorable environment e.g. reliable infrastructure, modern transport and communication infrastructure, easy access to a range of South Africa’s expertise, research and development, advanced technology, and its strategic geographical location connecting it with southern African countries, Europe and the Americas through the Walvis Bay Corridors. However, some problems were identified that need to be addressed in order to enhance Namibia’s competitive advantage: 1). the country is facing skills shortages across all sectors of the economy, especially middle-level skills, 2) the business environment in Namibia is also relatively less attractive than that of neighbouring countries e.g. a wide range of policy, legal, regulatory and institutional weaknesses places the country at a competitive disadvantage compared to South Africa and Botswana, for example key weakness areas include excessive bureaucracy, regulatory bottlenecks and a weak PPP framework as revealed by the report.
Most researchers agree that most of Africa’s recyclable material is mainly prepared for export markets. Value addition processes were observed to be limited mainly to collection. For example, Carbon Africa Limited (2014) found out that in Mozambique, most of the material products end up in SA and Asia. In addition, the added value of the activity is weak in that there is little local processing of recyclable materials into finished products. In another study focusing on, waste collection by waste pickers in Maputo municipality, Mozambique: Ribeiro (2015) noted that waste collection was hampered by lack of local industries that transformed recyclable materials into recycled products. The same findings are revealed in a study on management of PET plastic waste through recycling in Khartoum Sudan done earlier by Fadlalla (2010). Plastics processing simply involved grinding, cleaning and baling before export despite the fact that the collected plastics can be processed into raw materials. In another study, focusing on scrap metal recycling, Saremo (2015) found out that little recycling of scrap metal was taking place in Bulawayo Zimbabwe due to limited technical capacity resulting in simply dumping of most of the material posing a threat to the environment and humans.
In order to tackle some of the country’s developmental challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty, Mugano, (2016)’s study “The New Growth Path” concluded that one way out of poverty rests on the idea of value addition, a concept still limited in most African countries. No studies on value addition in the recycling industry in Namibia, have so far been done, and thus an area for study.
2.3.6 Challenges of Recycling
Participation in recycling has been studied in different parts of the world and a number of factors were found to be affecting recycling activities by different stakeholders among them are behavior, attitudes, perceptions and awareness. According to Stern (2000) recycling behavior is a function of internal and external factors which include education levels, gender, infrastructure availability etc. To support this, Siddique et al., (2010), suggested public education and information campaigns as effective approaches to change behavior, attitudes, perceptions and increase awareness, hence promoting recycling.
Ali 2008; Riedik, 2009 & Anderson et al., 2013 revealed that although governments promoted recycling programs through various campaigns, little was achieved due to the lack of participation and lukewarm attitudes of households. In Botswana, a study conducted by Bolaane (2004), revealed that the major constraints to organized recycling were low public awareness about recycling initiatives and lack of support from governing authorities despite the potential value of waste. There remain barriers to consumers’ commitment to fully support action required for recycling in the absence of appropriate incentives and structures to deal with people’s apathy and ignorance. Kotze (2015) studying perceptions and attitudes of women towards recycling in South Africa found that women were ignorant and lacked knowledge to implement effective recycling practices.
In Kampala, Uganda, Banga (2011) investigated households ‘knowledge, attitudes and practices on the separation and recycling of solid waste. Findings revealed that, although the public is aware of solid waste separation and recycling practices it has not participated in such initiatives due to low level of awareness of recycling activities in the area. Increasing accessibility to recycling facilities and an introduction of incentives were cited as motivating factor for promoting more recycling in Uganda, according to survey results, a situation not different from other studies done elsewhere.
Anderson et al., (2013) examining the effect of race, socio-economic status and demographic factors on recycling by urban South African households and found out that socio-economic status: household income, educational level and gender; and contextual factors do influence perceptions and attitudes on recycling and littering as a problem. For example, it was found that the respondents with higher level of education recycled more than the less educated.
2.4 Review of Studies in Namibia
Researches related to this study have been conducted earlier on by Hasheela, (2009); Magen, (2010); Lindell, (2012); Westphal ; Pfeffer, (2013); Croset, (2014); Jacobsen et al., (2014); Mughal (2014) focusing on solid waste management. The studies found out that solid waste management was a challenge in Namibia especially in most urban areas just like reported in other parts of the world. Thus the status of waste management in some small urban centers in the country needed improvement as confirmed by the Audit Report of the Auditor-General of 2013. Improper waste collection, removal and maintenance of dumpsites were found to be problematic partly due to lack of sufficient and appropriate waste collection equipment and vehicles, lack of cooperation between the relevant stakeholders among other issues.
In Tsumeb town, some 500km north of Windhoek , Croset (2014)’s study revealed that some recycling was already happening with formal and informal sectors participating and an informal network existed among the players. The main players involved were waste pickers (at the bottom of the hierarchy), scrap yard dealers, intermediate buyers and other buyers outside the town. A small informal community was observed to be making a living by recycling a few materials such as glass, bottles, card boxes and cans that were recovered from the dumpsites and some picked from bins. The development of recycling in Tsumeb was found facing some challenges of long distance to recycling depots in Windhoek and financial constraints despite its potential. The study concluded that more awareness and education about the benefits of recycling and importance of efficient waste management in general was needed. The same conclusion was reached by Magen (2010) in a study on waste management and recycling in Keetmanshoop and Ondangwa.
A study by Mughal (2014) carried out to establish status of waste management in the three northern towns of Ondangwa, Oshakati and Ongwediva found out that there was a need to improve the existing status quo regarding waste management. Improvements in regulatory frameworks, financial support, public education and awareness among others, were cited as the challenges that Ondangwa, Oshakati and Ongwediva towns were facing in management solid waste. The culture of reuse was found absent among most of the people as most recyclables like bottles and plastic carrier bags were simply thrown away causing a lot of litter all over ending up posing danger to both human and animals. The study recommended the need for more education and awareness about the benefits of recycling as well as putting in place of effective by-laws.
In Namibia, in general unemployment and inefficient recycling practices are significant problems according to Jacobsen et al., (2014) & Kaapanda (2007). In a study to model the integration of informal waste collectors into the formal collection system, Jacobsen et al., (2014) found out that there was a possibility of improving people’s livelihoods through promoting recycling. However, inefficient collection of recyclables was partly found to be a result of transport problems in some areas particularly those in low income areas where inaccessibility is hampered by improper road networks. In the same study, Jocobsen (2014) pointed out that the feasibility of using bicycles driven carts to collect and transport recyclables could be a way to generate employment in Windhoek since unemployment and inefficient recycling practices were a significant problems in Namibia. If successful the bicycle model could be expanded to other towns as well.
Westphal ; Pfeffer (2013) analyzing the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contracted for the provision of cleaning and waste collection services for the City of Windhoek, found out that the sector provides low entry level jobs for men, women and young people who would otherwise have a difficult time entering the labor market as well as assisting the local authorities in waste management.
Lindell (2013) focusing on identifying different concepts for improving waste management in developing countries with particular reference to the Kavango region of Namibia, found out that four different concepts namely Integrated Solid Waste Management, Integration of the informal sector, Private Public Partnerships and Decentralization could be implemented for improving the waste management in the region.
Magen (2010) conducted a study to get more understanding about the different waste management and recycling practices and the social aspects that contribute and affect them in the municipalities of Windhoek, Keetmanshoop and Ondangwa. The study established that there was no national waste management policy, thus each local municipality had its own laws and regulations, a system which was found to compromise waste management operations such as enforcement of practices like recycling. On the other hand, recycling had not received enough attention from all stakeholders, a situation which compromised its success. For example, poor public participation from the general public was one of the constraints to successful recycling despite some efforts that were being made by the business communities and recyclers in promoting recycling.
Hasheela (2009) investigated waste management practices at municipal level in Namibia with particular reference to Windhoek. The study found out that waste management practices in the City were running well compared to other centers, thus this made it the cleanest City in Africa. However, the recommendation was that the system of waste management in use could be used as a model for the entire Namibia and recycling to be studied in detail to establish how it can contribute to this endevour. Whilst appreciating the importance of waste recycling as a waste minimization strategy, Keyter (2009) emphasized a need for the introducing Public Private Partnership (PPP) concept, an approach that are now embraced in recycling initiatives in Namibia as will be presented in detail in this research.
2.5 Concluding remarks
The chapter was mainly focusing on the concepts and literature review which the researcher had been exposed to during the research aiding in coming up with an area of focus for the study. As reported in studies done by Hasheela, (2009); Magen, (2010); Lindell, (2012); Croset, (2014), Namibia is recycling solid waste and as reported by Ashipala (2012) recycling of solid waste in Namibia is still an emerging business associated with the production of secondary raw materials. In the Namibian context, emerging industries are a newly classified sector of the economy and according to Bird (2010), Abernathy and Utterback (1978; Forbes and Kirsch, 2011) as cited in Tanner (2012) such industries are often difficult to identify during their early development phases until after their products appear on the market. Due to lack of adequate data little attention has been given to the emergence of new industries as cited by Forbes ; Kirsh, (2011), however, with the changing perception in economic geography, scholars have begun to pay attention to emerging industries (Boschma ; Frenken, 2006; Grabher, 2009) as cited in Tanner 2012).
With that in mind, adequate data about the industry in Namibia is still limited as not much records are kept (RNF, 2013) resulting in little information known about the industry by the generality of the population. While previous studies have revealed that recycling activities are on-going in the country, no single comprehensive study has been carried out regarding the industry. This research is a direct response to that knowledge gap. In line with this, cities like Windhoek along with other towns and local authorities struggling with solid waste management could benefit from a broadened understanding of the industry. In light of such insights, this study sought to investigate the recycling industry in Namibia as a whole taking into account the different facets that shape industry.

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