Durban’s closed loop landill site

Sustainability Writer

I recently wrote this case study about the Mariannhill Landfill Conservancy in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africafor UN Habitat’s 2012 report “Urban Patterns for a Green Economy: Optimizing Infrastructure”.

About 450 tons of waste arrives daily at the Mariannhill Landfill Site, 20 kilometres from Durban, South Africa. Far from an ecological hazard, this CDM project sets new standards for sustainable urban infrastructure by combining natural, robust and low-cost technologies.

The end result might not have been as positive without the dedication of the Mariannhill community, who set up a monitoring committee after discovering the city’s intent to establish a landfill in the area (Winn 2008). Their persistent concern about the ecological impact motivated the engineers at Durban Solid Waste (DSW) and the environmental department at the eThekwini Municipality to pursue a more sustainable design (Parkin 2011). These engineers are equally deserving of praise; they acknowledged the problems associated with conventional…

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