Proper waste management is an essential part of society’s public and environmental health, therefore identification of solid waste and pollutants is the first step in reducing pollution in the environment. South Africa has a high waste generation compared to other developing countries, However the intensively growing industrial and manufacturing economy of South Africa is resulting in overall waste increasing at about 2% to 3% annually (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/). Waste management is a challenge in most municipalities in South Africa, the department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (2007) reports that 87 percent of municipalities lack capacity and infrastructure to pursue waste minimization strategies. These days the advances in visual technology can assist in solid waste management, by the use of GIS technology and cameras. This re-search report is going to focus mainly on the important of the visual identification of solid waste pollution and what new technologies other countries are using to achieve this. It will further recommend how South Africa can adapt these technologies to improve the solid waste management system.
Owing to the increase in human population, industrial and technological revolutions, waste management has become very complex (Akinbile and Yusuf, 2011). Marshall and Farabahksh 2013, this has put pressure on waste management services, this has further led to illegal dumping in drains, near rivers and on public and private land, surveys indicate that illegal dumping sites have negative impact on quality of life by affecting aesthetics, health and general living conditions of residents (United states environmental Protection Agency 1998), at a global level dumping has led to increased costs associated with clearing and clean-up efforts (BBC news, 2005)