Posted on May 2, 2012

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The idea for Marianhill came about the mid-1990s before the Kyoto Protocol was even signed. Gunning for a conservancy status for the landfill from the start, e’Thekwini instituted a meaningful consultative process with residents and civil society.

Large waste removal vehicles travel to the smallest landfill of the e’Thekwini Municipality, located 31kms outside Durban, the capital city of the KwaZulu-Natal province. The Mariannhill Landfill only receives 450 tonnes of general municipal waste from the surrounding areas of Pinetown, Westville, Queensborough and Kloof. As these vehicles enter the site, a sign welcomes visitors to enjoy the birds and animals in the grasslands, forests and wetlands.

Bucking every waste management trend in South Africa, the Mariannhill Landfill Conservancy is a dump with a difference. At Mariannhill there are no unpleasant odours or a speck of litter strewn about. The site is separated from the surrounding middle-income and low-cost housing areas by only…

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