Beyond borders: Achieving waste economic development by exploring opportunities outside the traditional waste economy

Sarah O'carroll

GreenCape Sector Development Agency

Sarah O’Carroll joined GreenCape in 2013 as a Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP) facilitator where she subsequently took over as programme manager in 2014. With the help of her team, Sarah is championing industrial symbioses as a key tool in developing a circular economy within the manufacturing sector of the Western Cape and beyond. Sarah was instrumental in the establishment of two other sub-national industrial symbiosis programmes in South Africa. Sarah's particular area of interest (outside managing WISP day-to-day) is market-led enterprise development in the green economy. Sarah is also GreenCape's representative at the Africa Circular Economy Network (ACEN). ACEN is an interest group of various experts looking at reinventing inclusive growth in Africa, using the concepts and principles of the Circular Economy.

Catherine Pineo

GreenCape Sector Development Agency

Cathy completed her Masters degree in Molecular and Cell Biology in 2012 at the University of Cape Town.  Cathy has a strong understanding of the close-loop paradigm and experience in the application of the concepts and principles of the Circular Economy. She joined GreenCape's Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP) in 2013 and facilitated the exchange of unused resources between companies i.e. turning waste into secondary materials, rather than being lost to landfill.  Further to this, Cathy’s expertise at GreenCape has extended into the bioeconomy and agricultural value chains. From 2014 she provided both analytical and strategic expertise on resource-based projects under the GreenCape Bioeconomy Programme. This includes developing regional water and carbon footprints for major agriculture commodities and sectors, assessing the potential impact of different agricultural practices and systems using life cycle assessments, as well as scoping opportunities and developing business cases for value-add to organic waste. Since 2016, she has been managing the GreenCape Agriculture Sector Desk, run in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. With the help of her team, Cathy is championing the “greening” of agricultural value chains, with expected impacts including uptake of opportunities for investment in green technology, systems and processes. This will be key in terms of supporting the development of sustainable and competitive agricultural value chains in the Western Cape and beyond. 


South Africa has in recent years seen an increasing shift towards sustainability in waste management. However, a lot of the focus has been on the traditional waste economy, and diversion of waste from landfill – i.e.... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Quinton Williams (The GreenCape Sector Development Agency)
  2. Tawanda Sango (The GreenCape Sector Development Agency)
  3. Lauren Basson (The GreenCape Sector Development Agency)
  4. Sarah O'carroll (GreenCape Sector Development Agency)
  5. Catherine Pineo (GreenCape Sector Development Agency)

Topic Areas

• Socio-economic metabolism and material flow analysis , • Open source data, big data, data mining and industrial ecology , • Circular economy


ThS-20 » International comparisons of sustainable systems (13:45 - Thursday, 29th June, Room E)

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