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The official journal of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa

Promotin g in teg rated res ou rces m a na ge m e nt

Waste streams

Sustainability megaforces

Population increases and high waste costs

A complex, unpredictable system

Shale gas


Environmental and economic risks

Asbestiform and the ‘regulated six’

ISSN 1680-4902 R35.00 (incl VAT) • Vol 14, No 3, August 2012


Look out for the frog! PG 6

in the HOT SEAT “There is a major paradigm shift towards providing a sustainable one-stop solution for e-waste recycling.”

Malcolm Whitehouse, sales manager at Desco Electronic Recyclers

is printed on 100% recycled paper

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contents ISSN 1680-4902, Volume 14, Number 3, August 2012


Promoting integrated re source s manage me nt

Waste streams

Sustainability megaforces

Population increases and high waste costs

A complex, unpredictable system

Shale gas


Environmental and economic risks

Asbestiform and the nUHJXODWHG{VL[o

+5504 KPEN8#6 Ĺ–8QN0Q#WIWUV


The RĂŠSource team stands firmly behind environmental preservation. As such, RĂŠSource magazine is printed on 100% recycled paper and uses no dyes or varnishes. The magazine is saddlestitched to ensure that no glues are required in the binding process.


Look out for the frog! PG 6

Cover story KPVJG+276($7 “Th “There Th is a major paradigm shift towards providing a su u sustainable one-stop solution for e-waste recycling.� Malcolm Whitehouse, sales manager at Desco Electronic Recyclers M

is printed on 100% recycled paper


OilKol: The environmental treatment experts


Air pollution / CDM

3 5 76

48 53

President’s comment Editor’s comment IWMSA news


Hot seat 10

Medical waste

Desco: The responsible e-waste recyclers


Solid waste 12 22

Solid waste management practices in Western Africa DEA’s waste collection pilot project

The importance of medical waste bins in hospitals

Hazardous waste 59

Asbestiform, asbestos and the ‘regulated six’ International expertise meets local safety standards




Wastewater management

29 31

New carton recycling mill to boost local jobs Wood versus plastic pallets New appointments at Plastics SA

Landfills 33



Change vector analysis for monitoring groundwater

Plant & equipment

Population increases and escalating waste management costs

71 73

Waste to energy 46


Global sustainability megaforces Local solutions for coal dust management Wet flue gas desulphurisation plant for Kusile

New compact recycling crusher hits the market The ‘green’ fleet

Shale gas development and the associated risks

in association with infrastructure news



59 RÊSource August 2012 – 1

:HRƪHUessential productsIRUwaste storage and transportation. 3mƾFROOHFWLRQEDQN

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President'sCover comment strap

Introducing the new IWMSA president...


t is indeed an honour and a privilege for me to take up the reigns of the Institute of Waste Management Southern Africa (IWMSA) presidency. I would like to thank all the past presidents, the council, head office and members of the IWMSA for their vote of confidence in electing me as the new IWMSA president. My congratulations, in turn, go to Dr Suzan Oelofse for her appointment as vice-president. The synergy and rapport that we have built up over the past few years will definitely be beneficial to the crucial role we have to play in setting the strategic direction for the IWMSA for my two-year term of office. My vision is to see the IWMSA becoming increasingly instrumental in facilitating dialogue as well as action amongst key stakeholders in the industry; to encourage others with the same vision and concerns to work together for the greater good of effective and sustainable waste management. I feel that as an organisation, we all need to be proactive in ensuring that empowerment seminars, workshops and training inter ventions are brought right down to grass roots level in order for individuals to better understand where they fit into the value chain – to really grasp the fact that waste is a resource and that a sustainable living can be made by nurturing these resources appropriately. Great strides have been made in the past few years in ensuring that we offer quality waste management education and training to our members and the waste industry. Our education prospectus currently comprises both accredited as well

as non-accredited training to cater for the between and within the waste sector diverse needs of our waste industry. Our and government collaborative efforts with regulatory authori- • ensuring self-regulation within an approties have borne much fruit, and this has priate legal framework. culminated in the first ever combined DEA Member input into this crucial process will be Waste Khoro and Wastecon 2012. sought during our various branch workshops My thanks to the outgoing president Stan as well as during the workshops to be held Jewaskiewitz and the IWMSA council for during Wastecon 2012. Continued focus will the excellent strides made in this regard. be placed on ensuring that as an organisation During my term, continued focus will be we remain relevant and service the needs of placed on further strengthening the alli- our members. The excellent work that has ances that have been forged with all waste been achieved by the public relations and regulatory authorities, whether national, marketing portfolio of the IWMSA will be used provincial or local. These alliances with as the building blocks to further ensure that our regulatory authorities will ensure that the IWMSA is the organisation of choice of the norms and standards established in the waste management industr y will be of the highest standard. As an organi” Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman, President, IWMSA sation we are on the brink of exciting changes. The IWMSA appointed all stakeholders in the waste management the Centre for Environmental Management industry. Your continued of the North-West University to conduct support and inputs in research on the feasibility and possible ensuring that the vision modalities available to the IWMSA to estab- of the IWMSA becomes lish quality assurance arrangements for a reality is therefore earour organisation members. The benefits of nestly requested. implementing a quality assurance system Yours in waste for our members will include: • ensuring the reputability of our IWMSA management organisation membership Deidre Nxumalo• establishing appropriate linkages Freeman

My vision is to see the IWMSA becoming increasingly instrumental in facilitating dialogue as well as action amongst key stakeholders in the industry

Patron members of the IWMSA

RéSource August 2012 – 3

Editor's comment Publisher: Elizabeth Shorten Associate Publisher: Ferdie Pieterse Editor: Candice Landie Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600, Head of design: Frédérick Danton Senior designer: Hayley Mendelow Senior sub-editor: Claire Nozaic Sub-editor: Patience Gumbo Production manager: Antois-Leigh Botma Production coordinator: Jacqueline Modise Financial manager: Andrew Lobban Marketing & online manager: Martin Hiller Distribution manager: Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator: Asha Pursotham Administrator: Tonya Hebenton Printers: United Litho Johannesburg Tel: +27 (0)11 402 0571 Advertising sales: Christine Pretorius Tel: +27 (0)11 465 8255

Publisher: MEDIA No.4, 5th Avenue Rivonia, 2191 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 Share Call: 086 003 3300 Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 Annual subscription: R195.00 (incl VAT) South Africa ISSN 1680-4902 The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 675 3462 E-mail:

All material herein RéSource is copyright-protected and may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the prior written permission of the publisher. The views and opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or editor, but those of the author or other contributors under whose name contributions may appear, unless a contributor expresses a viewpoint or opinion in his or her capacity as an elected office bearer of a company, group or association. © Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

ReSource is endorsed by:

WasteCon is back!


he much-anticipated biennial event on the IWMSA calendar, WasteCon, is back again, with this issue of RéSource being the official magazine at the event. In this issue, we welcome the new institute president Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman and a new editor on RéSource, starting with the November 2012 edition. After much deliberation and with a heavy heart, I say goodbye to my friends and colleagues in Johannesburg as my family and I prepare for life in the Mother City. Just talking about the amazing people I have the privilege of calling friends and the talented people I have had the privilege of working with, will see my farewell speech fill this entire magazine. So, in summary, I am grateful for the knowledge gained, friendships made and successes shared. This may be the end of my journey in the waste industry but the show must go on, and kicking off this issue are the environmental experts at Oilkol as well as Desco Electronic Recyclers sharing the company’s history and its recipe for success. A very interesting read in this issue is a round-up of KPMG’s recent report Expect the Unexpected: Building Business Value in a Changing World, which looks at the 10 global sustainability megaforces affecting global, environmental and social issues. Each one has important implications for business, which must be understood, assessed and built in to long-term strategic planning. Another one definitely worth a read is the Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) waste collection pilot project in Mafikeng.The programme is being run in the peri-urban areas surrounding Mafikeng

Local Municipality through a ser vice level agreement with the DEA and the municipality. It has provided over 31 850 rural households with kerbside waste collection and two free plastic refuse bags per week. For those of you who haven’t heard, Tetrapak, in conjunction with Gayatri Paper Mills, has launched a new carton recycling mill in Germiston. Gayatri employs a modified hydropulper, not unlike a giant, domestic blender, which separates the paper board from the PolyAlu through a cold water friction process. The pulp is pumped off into the main paper mill where it is turned into cardboard… and the manufacturing process continues. With sustainability a key economic and environmental driver, this recycling mill will also help boost local jobs. On the subject of sustainability, who thinks that an eco-friendly coal-fired power station is nothing more than a fabricated theory? Well, the Cosira Group/Alstom Consortium has been appointed main suppliers of the wet flue gas desulphurisation plant for Kusile power station. A first of its kind in South Africa, the plant will dramatically reduce the sulphur dioxide content from the power plant’s flue gases in order to improve the limits set by international committees on emissions from coal-fired power stations. But I’m going to stop right there before I give away all of the magazine’s content. I probably won’t see most of you until our paths cross someday, so enjoy WasteCon and stay blessed.

After much deliberation I say goodbye to my friends and colleagues in Johannesburg as my family and I prepare for life in the Mother City

Happy reading!


RéSource August 2012 – 5

Kaliningrad based research ship Academic Joffe in Antarctica.



Defunct Whale Oil Extraction Plant at Grytviken on South Georgia Island where Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.

The Antarctica Option Is pollution causing Global Warming? Well there are as many views on that as there are people with opinions. What is certain is the fact that we are already suffering the consequences of pollution. The last frontier is Antarctica. All products that are shipped there and produce waste is shipped back to the country of origin for disposal, but the world is changing and our hunger for resources will reach Antarctica. The biosphere of Antarctica is the last real wilderness on the planet and is worth protecting as it is under threat. South Africa is a signatory to the Antarctica treaty. The review of the operations of the treaty is due in 2021 and who knows what will befall this pristine environment. All we can do is to plead with the world to protect this area from exploitation upon review of the treaty. The Rhinos amongst others are species facing extinction, but we are missing the point that the species at the top of the food chain, man, is fast becoming a threatened species. In South Africa with its acid mine water and polluted air, the zero pollution option is rapidly moving from a nice to have to becoming an essential. The planet does not belong to us, we are only borrowing it from our children and it seems more and more like we are busy stealing it from them. ®

OILKOL is convinced that the only way that hydrocarbon waste can be successfully managed is by recording the new product against the waste product removed. If one visits Antarctica, one is struck by the fact that all waste created on the continent is collected and removed for safe disposal. The significance of this is that it is done at great expense and also that this occurs on a continent that has no government at all. It proves that it can be done and OILKOL® is committed to the “Antarctica Option” for South Africa. OILKOL® is unique with the After Treatment Systems® that it offers the country. It looks at Hydrocarbon After Treatment® in a way that Antarctica handles waste. Where it differs though, is that the waste is not just removed off-site, it is treated in such a way that zero pollution occurs.

So what do frogs and OILKOL® have in common? Frogs are the first to leave a polluted environment. It therefore is a good indicator to watch out for and if the frogs leave you can start worrying for they live in the water that we drink. This explains the choice of the frog as symbol on the seal of approval. Therefore, watch out for the Oilkol Frog as a sign of a responsible used oil generator. Oilkol’s focus moved from, just the collection of used oil, to the environment and thus a strategy, to collect and recover 100% of the waste associated with used oil generated in South Africa. The Oilkol Environmental Seal of Approval® system is a unique hi-tech system, designed with South African conditions in mind. OILKOL® has a custom designed paperless record keeping system that will be accessible by its customers. This will greatly simplify the added administrative burden placed on the generators of waste by the Waste Management Act. The Oilkol Environmental Seal of Approval® does not only certify that the generator's waste of the new product purchased is 100% recycled, but also that proper controls, insurance cover and record keeping exist, that are also subject to frequent external audits. The OILKOL® Virtual Data Centre is in the process of acquiring ISO 27000 certification for its Information Security Management System. Information is going to become more important in the near future and the interaction between various databases needs to be secure to ensure a smooth and fast flow of information. Maintaining a high standard of information security is important to OILKOL® as it has to protect its own information as well as that of its customers. This is particularly important if one understands that there were two million reported security breaches in South Africa during the preceding 12 months. The Oil After Treatment System®enables generators of used oil to ensure that all new oil purchased is recovered and treated. OILKOL®, through 33 years of experience, has realised that to achieve its environmental objective of collecting all the used oil that was once new oil, they would have to target new oil sales and not rely on available used oil estimations. Add to this the need for accurate and reputable record keeping, by receiving the Environmental Seal of Approval, the used oil activities of the generator automatically become part of the OILKOL® ISO 14001:2004 Certified Environmental Management System.


OILKOL® started a Filter After Treatment System® as a project to provide an even better service to its customers and the environment in 2011. This project has been hugely successful and therefor OILKOL® is happy to announce that its Filter After Treatment System® has progressed past the project phase and is now a fully fledged service, that OILKOL®provides to its customers. FATS®is the most environmentally friendly system on offer in the market as it meets all the legal requirements for the after treatment of used oil filters in South Africa. The used oil filters are cleaned before being recycled. The physical process, combined with the detailed record keeping, allows OILKOL® to also offer the Oilkol Environmental Seal of Approval® for the 100% pollution free disposal of used oil filters. The essence of the Filter After Treatment System®, is the Oilkol Environmental Seal of Approval® and the drive to clean the filters to the point where we have zero pollution. This is another OILKOL® first. Millions of litres of waste engine coolant are generated each year during routine preventative and other maintenance procedures. By recycling engine coolant, the user helps to protect sewage treatment plants and keep ethylene glycol out of storm water and sewerage, consequently protecting waterways. OILKOL® recently commissioned a waste Coolant After Treatment® facility. This Coolant After Treatment System® results in a recycled coolant that is virtually identical to the new product. A pre-requisite for this service to be successful is separation at source. Our customers are storing their waste coolant in separate containers without mixing it with foreign substances, for separate collection. Oily rags can be recycled, thereby increasing their span of usage about fivefold depending on the type of cloth ® ® and extent of oil contamination, because of this OILKOL has initiated the Rag After Treatment System . In the four years that OILKOL® has been offering the Environmental Seal of Approval to users of oil we have seen an exponential rate of growth in the number of participants. This is good news as it means that the records available and the active management of used oil in South Africa is fast approaching the point where it will be the best of its kind in the world. These successes are what encouraged OILKOL® to extend the Oilkol Environmental Seal of Approval® certification to all the After Treatment Systems®.








Hot seat


The responsible e-waste recycler Reaching its 20-year milestone, Desco Electronic Recyclers has made strides in the e-waste industry, setting benchmark standards in the education and recycling of electronic waste products in South Africa. Malcolm Whitehouse, sales manager at Desco, talks about the company’s history and shares its recipe for success.

Q. Why was the company formed? MW The company was formed in 1992 by Costa Airaga and his wife Desiree. It is a family business that was based on the opportunity in recycling electronic waste identified by the founder. Initially, emphasis was placed on printed circuit boards, because there were more mainframe computers in service that contained high-quality printed circuit boards. The main thrust of the business in the early days was based on the recovery of precious metals, but as time passed it became more and more apparent that a fully fledged, sustainable one-stop electronic waste (e-waste) recycling service was a better alternative. In those early days, when e-waste recycling was practically unheard of, developing and establishing the business presented challenges and frustrations, with the fact that glass, paper and tin cans were commonly

10 – RéSource August 2012

recycled and very few South Africans had heard the term e-waste or electronic waste. It demanded tenacity of purpose to make Desco the leader of this industry in South Africa.

From an industry perspective, what are the laws/regulations governing the recycling of e-waste in South Africa? MW Desco adheres to and has the requisite permits for the following environmental laws and regulations: • A Section 20 permit (Section 20 of Act 73 of 1989 as amended) of the Environment Conservation Act, which allows storage on site of e-waste for more than 90 days, as well as authority to operate a recycling facility on said site. • The Second Hand Goods Act (No 6 of 2009), which dictates the relevant rules and regulations of recycling, reprocessing

• • •

and dealing in scrap metals (related also to e-waste). A localised permit from the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to operate a waste reprocessing facility. Various transport waste hub permits related to the hazardous nature of e-waste. Hazchem legislation pertaining to certification of vehicles and drivers. The Consumer Protection Act (No 68 of 2008), which is applicable to retailers or resellers of equipment, as well as importers or manufacturers of OEM equipment. A Precious Metal Refiners licence.

At Desco, how important is it to educate the youth on recycling, and what programmes are you currently involved in? MW We feel that it is vitally important to

Hot seat

HOW MANY DROP OFF CENTRES DOES DESCO HAVE NATIONWIDE? Do you provide an online site map of these drop-off locations and, if so, how does this functionality work? What is your book a collection service all about?

create awareness among the youth about the importance of e-waste recycling. One of the main reasons for this is that, in general, South Africa is very far behind in terms of awareness of e-waste recycling. We have embarked on a number of awareness programmes with schools in Gauteng as pilot projects. Based on that success, we aim to soon roll out more projects in the main centres.

Desco has reached its 20-year milestone. What have been some of the key challenges along the way, both as a company and in terms of recycling, and how are these issues addressed? MW The first challenge was to change the prevailing mindset, which was based on a general ignorance of recycling, to one of recycling e-waste responsibly. Another challenge was to keep abreast of legal and industry standards. Desco’s commitment to adhere to ISO Standards, attain relevant certification, the implementation of a safety, health and environment management system, as well as legislative requirements to structure and formalise our business excellence approach, has allowed us to establish a culture of responsible recycling of e-waste. This is a major paradigm mind shift towards providing a sustainable one-stop solution for all e-waste recycling. Finally, with electronic technology becoming smaller, lighter, faster and more efficient, volumes have had to increase to maintain our sustainability.

What have been Desco’s collection and recycling statistics from 2010 as compared to 2011? MW During 2010 Desco processed essed a total of 3 400 t of e-waste and during 2011 we processed 5 500 t. This amounts to an increase in volume of 62% year-onant increase year. Although it is a significant in volume, there is still a need ion for more awareness creation on programmes and education regarding the importance off e-waste recycling.

We currently have 119 drop-off or collection points: • Incredible Connection: 60 stores nationally • Hi-Fi Corporation: 33 stores nationally • Makro: 13 stores nationally (soon to be 18 stores) • Builders Warehouse: 1 Strubens Valley • Schools: 6 in Gauteng • Shopping malls: 2 in Gauteng: Kolonnade and Northgate – in conjunction with Incredible Connection • Universities: 2 in Gauteng • Other: 2 in Gauteng • Agencies: Nelspruit, Durban, East London,Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, George, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Rustenburg, Vanderbijlpark, Klerksdorp. For your convenience, there is an online Google map on our website depicting all the collection or drop-off points. Book a Collection is a service whereby anyone requiring an e-waste collection from Desco only needs to fill in the form on the website. This form is then sent to the logistics coordinator. He will make contact and arrange the collection. Typically, one of the criteria for the collection is that a 1 t capacity bakkie load or more qualifies for a FREE collection and disposal service. The form is very comprehensive in terms of what information Desco requires to schedule a free collection service. All mandatory fields as well as other fields should be completed to ensure an efficient service.

What is your comment on the illegal shipments of e-waste to Africa? MW This is a practice that a lot of developed countries are using to try and address the problem around the digital divide. Unfortunately, this has exacerbated the problem of disposing of redundant and end-of-life electrical and electronics equipment in the developing nations in Africa. Electronic goods were or are exported to Africa under the ‘pretext’ of second-hand equipment. Unfortunately most countries on the receiving end of this scrap do not have the skills, knowledge or infrastructure to deal responsibly with it. This has resulted in widespread malpractices. Typically, the ‘feel good’ objective has turned into a nightmare for the governments of the countries concerned. People living in a developing country have the same dreams and aspirations as those who have the best of everything at their fingertips in the developed countries.

Informal e-waste is growing in countries such as Nigeria and Ghana and e-waste contains many different substances, most of which are toxic. What are some of the environmental and health hazards surrounding e-waste? e-w MW The main mai hazardous materials found in electronics devices are lead, mercury, mer beryllium oxide, lith cadmium, lithium and brominated

flame retardants (plastic computer casings). If these materials are not handled properly, they can lead to serious illness or even death. If they are discarded on landfills, they leach out and contaminate the groundwater systems. Desco complies and is certified to ISO 14001 standards, as well as all other national legislation regarding e-waste recycling. Desco has achieved a target of up to 98% of all electronic waste handled being fully recycled. This is achieved through dismantling all e-waste into prescribed fractions of e-waste.

How has becoming a (new) official sponsor to the Miss Earth pageant opened doors for Desco on a commercial scale? MW This sponsorship of the Miss Earth pageant has been of benefit to Desco in that we are seen to support a truly worthy cause. We have had many corporate clients take notice of Desco through this collaboration, specifically as the pageant is endorsed by so many large organisations, such as WWF, Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, South African National Parks, Consol Glass,United Nations Environment Programme and TUNZA. We are proud of our association with Miss Earth and what it stands for and achieves. Tel: + 27 (0)11 979 3017

We feel that it is vitally important to create awareness among the youth about the importance of e-waste recycling.” Malcolm Whitehouse, sales manager at Desco

RéSource August 2012 – 11

Solid waste


Solid waste management practices in Western Africa In Western Africa, the rapid rate of uncontrolled and unplanned urbanisation coupled with a high density of urban settlements and changing consumption patterns have accelerated the need for water supply, sanitation and waste management infrastructure.

12 – RÊSource August 2012


frican countries are characterised by the world’s highest urban growth rates (Achankeng, 2003). Approximately 9 000 t of solid waste is collected daily in Lagos, Nigeria; in Accra, Ghana, the amount reaches 1 400 t/day. The situation in medium-size cities and in semi-urban areas is not much different: regular waste collection only reaches higher income neighbourhoods and the proper disposal in adequate landfills is virtually inexistent. Discarded waste composed of paper, plastics, clothes and organics has become part of the urban living environment. Refuse bins that are not always emptied become miniature waste dumping sites. People living in the vicinity of these dumping sites are exposed to bad smells and smoke caused by the intended or unintended burning of the waste heaps. Waste lying in the

recycling should be improved, reducing the environmental impact caused by improper handling, recycling and disposal practices, including open-air incineration. The informal sector, representing a significant part of today’s waste collection, reuse and recycling system, has to be fully integrated both economically and socially, while designing future waste management schemes. The European Commission FP-7 financed programme on Integrated Waste Management in Western Africa (IWWA) has compiled and analysed relevant information on waste management practices and approaches from African and European countries with the aim to provide tools and build local capacities for future solid waste management planning and decision making. This series of articles summarises the status of solid waste management prac-

The public administration and the private sector are challenged in developing adequate waste management policies streets is blocking the rain and wastewater drainage system, which leads to the flooding of the surrounding living areas and negatively impacts the water supply system and the water quality. Waste pickers living adjacent to the dump sites sort waste and try to make a living with revenues from recyclable goods. In the past, remedial efforts towards a functioning waste management system could not cope with these challenges, mostly due to the lack of finances and insufficient or inefficient public administrative capacities. The situation has reached extreme levels in most towns and it is widely recognised by international organisations and policy makers that a functioning waste management system that copes with the specific urban challenges is a prerequisite for improving the living conditions of the urban population while decreasing the environmental degradation. The public administration and the private sector are challenged in developing adequate waste management policies and in implementing environmentally, socially and economically sound waste management systems. The deficient waste collection scheme needs to be upgraded and adjusted to the waste quality and quantities. Waste separation, reuse and

tices in four countries of Western Africa: Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal.

Methodology To get an overview on the current solid waste management practices, a comprehensive survey was conducted by the IWWA AfroEuropean research team together with the partner institutions in the four project countries. Prior to the survey, characterisation criteria for the solid waste management system were defined in order to retrieve comparable data. The criteria covered the areas of waste characteristics, collection and transportation practices and infrastructure, reuse and recycling practices and infrastructure, secondary markets, downstream processors and final disposal practices and infrastructure. The sur vey was composed of four different questionnaires, which were completed by the par tner institutions in the respective countries. The municipal solid waste management and the plastic waste management practices were assessed through selected case studies. For each countr y, two towns that were considered to be representatives for the countr y’s respective waste management system were selected and documented, one an urban area (>100 000 inhabitants, equal to a large city) and one a semi-urban area

RéSource August 2012 – 13

Solid waste

TABLE 1: GENERATION OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE (MSW) IN GHANA, IVORY COAST, NIGERIA AND SENEGAL Ivory Ghana Nigeria Senegal Coast KomendaAccra Edina-Eguafo- Abidjan Lagos Ido Dakar Matam Abrem (KEEA) 372 2 119 3 577 1011 550 3.75 Area covered (km2) 270 4 000 000 200 000 4 100 000 8 000 000 117 129 3 000 000 17 500 Population 2 200 165 3 000 9 000 195 1 400 7.8 MSW generated per day (t/day) 0.55 0.83 0.7 1.13 1.66 0.54 0.45 MSW generated per inhabitant (kg/ day perinhabitant) Sources: IWWA 2011, Burgeap 2011, LAWMA 2011, IAGU 2007, IAGU, 2005In large cities, a great variation in waste generation rates can be observed: from 0.45 kg/day per inhabitant in the poor areas to 1.23 kg/day per inhabitant in the richest neighbourhoods –Abidjan, for example (Sané, 1999).

(10 000 to 100 000 inhabitants, equal to a medium-size city). The management of electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) was assessed on country level. For each country, data was

based on existing information, previous studies and interviews with local experts. It turned out that some questions were difficult to answer without the existence of a functioning waste management sys-

In Senegal, the average waste generation for municipal waste is 0.60 kg/day per inhabitant for cities with more than 100 000 inhabitants retrieved from e-waste countr y assessments that had been conducted within the framework of other projects (see SBC 2011, Amoyaw-Osei et al. 2011, Messou and Rochat 2011, Wone and Rochat 2008). Information on health care management was also collected at country level. The questionnaires were completed

14 – RéSource August 2012

tem. If questions as regards to quantities could not be answered, the quantity was roughly estimated and/or the situation was described qualitatively. All information contained in the questionnaires was compiled and analysed in order to give a comprehensive overview on the current solid waste management practices in the four countries

with a special emphasis on similarities and differences of the considered systems.

Waste characteristics Municipal solid waste 1. Waste generation The origin of municipal solid waste is mainly households, hotels and restaurants, market places and offices. In large cities such as Abidjan, Dakar, Accra or Lagos, waste also originates in significant quantities from slaughter houses, small businesses, smaller industrial estates, health care and schools. The average volume and composition of municipal solid waste is displayed in Table 1. According to the statistics, the quantity of waste generated varies between 0.45 and 1.7 kg/day in the seven areas studied. In Senegal, the average waste generation for municipal waste is 0.60 kg/day per inhabitant for cities with more than 100 000 inhabitants, and 0.33 kg/day per inhabitant for cities with less than 100 000 inhabitants (GRET, 2006). Surprisingly, the waste generation rate per day per inhabitant in large Western African cities is well above the average rates of some industrialised European countries where the average level of income and consumption is much higher. For instance, Paris has a population of 2 233 818 and produces 3 192 t/day or 0.69 kg/day per inhabitant (City of Paris, 2011). This is due to the fact that in most industrialised countries, municipal

Solid waste

waste covers waste generated directly by households and by small businesses. Large businesses usually have their own service providers while the public service undertakes (directly or by subcontracting) the collection of domestic waste. However, in most Western African countries, a lot of waste is collected by the informal sector, including waste from large businesses. So, there is in fact some ‘industrial’ waste included in the municipal solid waste statistics of most Western African cities, which makes comparison difficult. The challenge for the public waste collection is huge in the urbanised and densely populated areas such as Abidjan and Lagos that have to deal with up to 9 000 t/day of municipal waste (Table 1). 2. Waste composition The waste composition is similar in all studied countries (see Table 2): 40 to 70% organic, 15 to 20% plastic, 4 to 13% paper and cardboard, 2 to 5% metals and 7 to 25% accounts for the rest (glass, textiles, other inert materials, ashes, etc.). There

TABLE 2: MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE COMPOSITION IN GHANA, IVORY COAST, NIGERIA AND SENEGAL Waste composition (%) Ghana Ivory Coast Nigeria Senegal Accra KEEA Abidjan Lagos Ido Dakar Matam Organic 67 40 49 45 N/A 44 N/A Plastic 20 20 8 15 18 Paper, cardboard 4 10 6 10 13 Metals 2 5 2 5 4 Glass 2 N/A 2 N/A N/A Textiles, inert materials, ashes etc. 5 N/A 24 N/A N/A Rest N/A 25 8 25 21 Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 Sources: IWWA 2011, MACOM 2010, EDE 20033. Plastic waste

are no differences in the waste composition between urban and semi-urban areas, except for the region of Matam (Senegal) where, due to its Sahelian location, a large amount of sand reaches the municipal waste stream. In all cases, municipal solid waste contains both toxic and valuable substances. Toxic materials for instance are car batteries, dry batteries from electronic devices, electronic components, pharmaceutical products, oils, chemicals and agrochemicals. Valuable substances include metal scrap, glass bottles, plastics, organics and tyres.

TABLE 3: ORIGIN OF PLASTIC WASTE IN GHANA AND NIGERIA Origin of plastic waste (%) Ghana Nigeria Accra Lagos Households 35 25 Commerce 65 35 Shops 30 Offices 5 Schools 5 Source: (IWWA 2011)

3. Plastic Waste Plastic waste originates from households as well as offices, shops, little markets, RéSource August 2012 – 15

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TABLE 4: QUANTITY AND ORIGIN OF PLASTIC WASTE IN GHANA, NIGERIA AND SENEGAL Quantity of plastic waste (tonnes/year) Ghana Nigeria Senegal Accra Lagos Dakar Total 54 750 1 620 9 500* Packaging N/A 810 N/A Agricultural films 486 Bottles 324 * Includes plastic waste generated and recycled by plastic transforming industries Source: IWWA 2011

The main plastic types recycled into new products are polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate and polypropylene schools, etc. In Accra and Lagos, households account for around 25 to 35% of the total plastic waste generated. More detailed information on the origin of plastic waste is provided for the city of Lagos, Nigeria (see Table 3). In the city of Dakar, plastic waste is mingled with household waste, which makes it impossible to determine its origin. In Dakar, plastic waste also originates from around 40 plastic processing companies. For semi-urban regions, no specific data on plastic waste is available as plastic waste is neither collected separately nor further processed. Information on the quantity of plastic waste is available for Dakar, Accra and Lagos (see Table 4). The quantities, however, do not correspond to the total quantity of municipal solid waste generated and its respective plastic content (Table 2). It is therefore assumed that the quantities indicated in Table 4 are related to the plastic waste that is processed in a separate stream. Plastic waste in municipal solid waste is not homogenous. It is composed of

polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), etc. In Lagos, LDPE accounts for around 60% of the plastic waste. According to available data from Senegal, more than 14% of the household plastic waste is composed of plastic bags and around 4% is bottles and old plastic shoes. The main plastic types reused are bottles made of PE, PET and PP. The main plastic types recycled into new products are PE, PET and PP. Some forms of PS and PVC are also processed in Ghana and Senegal. In Nigeria, there is also nylon and tyre recycling.

4. e-Waste The origins of waste electrical and electronic equipment – e-waste – are private households, corporate businesses, public institutions and repair businesses. In addition, in West Africa e-waste is also directly imported under the disguise of second-hand electric and electronic equipment. In Ghana, households account for over 50%, repair businesses for around 30%, imports for around 10% and corporate and public consumers for only 6% (Amoyaw-Osei et al. 2011) of the total e-waste generation. The large share of e-waste generation in households is mainly due to the significant weight of large household appliances (e.g. refrigerators) and consumer electronics (e.g. televisions), which are less used by corporate and public consumers. In other documentations, the origin could not be determined, but a similar split is expected. The quantity of e-waste generated in the four project countries, according to the assessment reports, is summarised in Table 5 (Amoyaw-Osei et al. 2011, Wone and Rochat 2008, SBC 2011). E-waste in Ghana and Nigeria reaches around 7 kg/ year per inhabitant.Due to high amounts of second-hand imports, Ghana and Nigeria have a high availability of second-hand equipment that can be purchased at comparatively low prices, which makes such products available for a larger share of the population. Electronic equipment as second-hand products, which have a shorter lifespan compared to new products, result in a high e-waste generation per year. In Ivor y Coast, the e-waste generation is significantly lower with less than 1 kg/year per inhabitant. A comparison of e-waste from personal computers shows that in Senegal, compared to Ghana and Nigeria, e-waste quantities are still rather low. The share of e-waste collected in relation to the total e-waste generated is difficult to estimate. Due to the informal door-to-door collection, it is assumed that in Ghana and Nigeria, up to 95% of the e-waste generated is also collected. For the Dakar region, it is

TABLE 5: E-WASTE GENERATION IN GHANA, IVORY COAST, NIGERIA AND SENEGAL E-waste quantities Ghana Ivory Coast Nigeria All e-waste (tpa) 179 000 15 000 1 100 000 All e-waste (kg/year per inhabitant) 7.52 0.72 7.11 E-waste from personal computers (tpa) 6 400 N/A 70 000 E-waste from personal computers (kg/year per 0.27 N/A 0.45 inhabitant) Sources: Amoyaw-Osei et al. 2011, Wone and Rochat 2008, SBC 2011

Senegal N/A N/A 900 0.08

RéSource August 2012 – 17

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Solid waste

estimated that of all the e-waste collected, about 20% is reused as spare parts, around 78% is dismantled manually and 2% is disposed of without any treatment. In Ivory Coast, a large share of obsolete equipment is stored and only a small amount is reaching the recycling sector. E-waste that goes for recycling is dismantled manually into various components, including valuable fractions that can be sold such as ferrous metals, aluminium, copper, brass, bronze, printed wiring boards, processers and rubber. Unsellable fractions, which often contain hazardous substances, are plastics (partly with brominated flame retardants), glass, leaded glass from CRT (cathode ray tube) screens, batteries that possibly contain mercury and cadmium, and capacitors possibly containing polychlorinated biphenyles. 5. Health care waste Health care waste includes all the waste generated by public and private healthcare establishments, research facilities and laboratories. It includes solid waste (sharps, non-sharps, body parts, medical devices, etc.) and liquid waste (blood, chemicals and pharmaceuticals). Healthcare waste can be non-hazardous or hazardous – when it includes infectious waste (having the potential of transmitting infectious agents to humans or animals), pathological waste, sharps and radioactive waste. Biomedical waste includes liquid/gaseous waste arising from health care (Basel Convention, 2003). The indicator generally used to express the quantity of health care waste is in kg/day per bed. Table 6 summarises the health care waste generation in the four studied countries. The average rate compares rather well with the amount reported in other

TABLE 6: HEALTH CARE WASTE GENERATION IN GHANA, IVORY COAST, NIGERIA AND SENEGAL ITEM Ghana Ivory Coast Nigeria Senegal Number of healthcare facilities 1 439 2 610 64 (Lagos and Ibadan 2 236 (private, public, pharmacies, etc.) only) Number of beds 22 127 N/A N/A 2 576 (Dakar only) Tonnes of healthcare waste/year 12 114 3 794 27 (Lagos and Ibadan 269 (Dakar only) only) kg/bed per day 1.5 N/A 0.5 (kg/day per N/A patient) Sources: IWWA 2011, Hueber 1992, IAGU 2005

countries, such as the 0.60 kg/day per bed in Limpopo, South Africa (Nemathaga et al., 2008), and the 0.84 kg/day per bed in El-Beheira, Egypt (Abd El-Salam, 2010). A survey conducted in Ghana estimated ver y hazardous waste (acids, solvents, chemicals, expired medicines, explosives, inflammable materials, photographic developer and fixer solutions, toxic substances, radioactive materials, etc.) to represent about 3% of the total health care waste, i.e. 0.05 kg/day per bed (Hueber, 1992). The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that most of the waste produced by health care facilities (75 to 90%) is nonrisk or ‘general’ health care waste coming from the administrative and housekeeping

functions of health care establishments (WHO, 1999). The remaining 10 to 25% is hazardous health care waste and is estimated at 0.5 kg/day per bed in highincome countries and 0.2 kg/day per bed in low-income countries. But as hazardous and non-hazardous wastes are not always separated appropriately in West Africa, the real proportion of hazardous waste could be much higher. A cultural specificity is the low proportion of anatomical waste, in Dakar for instance, as placentas, fetuses and body parts are often given to patients’ families. Part II of V to follow in the November edition of RéSource RéSource August 2012 – 19

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Vehicle solutions put safety first in local waste management A dynamic new partnership between Boitumelong Holdings and Ros Roca Group, a leading manufacturer of waste equipment in Europe, is poised to transform local waste management practices by ensuring the well-being of industry workers.


he partnership, under Lefatse Vehicle Solutions, will be launching the Dennis Eagle Elite 2 purpose-built chassis in South Africa in October 2012 and will offer safer and more efficient waste collection and transportation through its superior technology. Boitumelong Holdings was started in 1988 by chairperson John Sithole with just one borrowed flat-deck truck and eight casual labourers. It has since evolved into a major operation with a fleet of trucks and hundreds of full-time staff – providing world-class waste management services to residential, commercial and industrial customers. The company also provides waste service delivery on behalf of municipalities in the areas of solid, industrial, medical and mining waste, with clients that include Pikitup Waste Management in Johannesburg, Giyani Municipality in the Northern Province and Ekurhuleni municipality in the East Rand.

20 – RéSource August 2012

In 2006, John Sithole discovered the Dennis Eagle truck and immediately made it his goal to offer the vehicle to the local market. He recognised that it had safety features that could be of immense benefit to the crews working on trucks around the country. “The Dennis Eagle Elite 2 vehicle is purpose-built for municipal operations and is a stern favourite in countries where it is already operating due to the additional legal payload potential, but most importantly, because of the unique safe crew accommodation,” explains Sithole.

Revolutionising safety These are some of the vehicle’s advanced safety features: • Seating for the driver as well as three crew members is standard, with the option of increasing this to five. This means that no

operator needs to hang off the back of the vehicle or ride on the rear steps. • A low step allows ease of access in and out of the cab, which reduces the risk of leg and back injuries for the crew. • The crew can avoid stepping into the traffic thanks to the walk through cab facility. • Drivers have low-level visibility due to the deep windscreen, and are able to see pedestrians who are in close proximity to the vehicle. “Dennis Eagle is proud that safety comes first and this should be the same for everyone involved in the collection of waste,” says Sithole. “These safety features are a first in South Africa and bring us up to speed with international standards.” Indeed, there has been a dramatic drop in reported injuries internationally to workers in companies that have added the Dennis Eagle refuse vehicles to their fleets.


Through our customer-centric approach, specialist skills base and application of advanced technology, Lefatse aims to be the ultimate fleet management partner The vehicle is also ideal for use in the local industry because of several bespoke features such as the Dennis Eagle Elite Chassis, which is supremely engineered and designed to meet the rigorous operating conditions in South Africa. Other special features include: • The cab sits over the front axle allowing for optimal weight distribution and the asymmetric rear spring suspension allows for the body to be mounted as far forward as possible to achieve optimum weight. This means that the vehicle is less likely to be overloaded and therefore complies with the loading regulations set by the department of road safety. • To avoid damage to the vehicle, flashing beacons are built into the corners of the cab roof. • To avoid damage to the headlights, they are mounted on the front grille and not low down on the bumper. • To reduce the risk of damage on a landfill site, the engine and gearbox are each protected by a 5 mm steel sump guard. • a larger 23 m3 body is also available, should that be required. In addition to bringing new safety standards to the country, Lefatse will also be creating new jobs and fostering skills development. “80% of the parts and accessories are sourced locally with the aim of manufacturing the complete vehicle in South Africa as volumes increase,” explains Sithole.

A customer-centric approach Lefatse will offer clients funding, maintenance and operational rentals for all fleets. This includes full maintenance lease solutions. A solution for specific needs can be provided, customised solutions are tailored to individual waste requirements– whether it is national, provincial, local and public sector, or large corporate or SMME. “Through our customercentric approach, specialist skills base and application of advanced technology, Lefatse aims to be the ultimate fleet management partner,” adds Sithole. In addition to the full maintenance lease products, a range of value-added services such as fuel management, specialised vehicle rentals, insurance, licensing, reporting and fleet consulting is also offered. Lefatse’s solutions are focused on the client and are completely outcomes-based, which protects clients from unplanned cost escalations, fuel fraud, excessive maintenance costs and disposal risk. Different rental agreements with the option to purchase are available, giving clients the opportunity to know exactly what to budget for, knowing that all services and expenses are covered. To complete the revolutionary one-stop waste offering, Lefatse is also proud to offer the Terberg lifter to the South African market. One of the bin lift’s innovative features is the automatic raising of the lifter chair section to increase the ground clearance when reverse or forward gears are selected.

These lifts adapt to the vehicle’s movements; the lifts are positioned at the ideal height when a bin is presented to the lift during loading operations, but once the vehicle is in motion, the chairs automatically lift upwards, giving greater ground clearance.

Experience the Dennis Eagle Elite 2 firsthand at WasteCon The theme of this year’s WasteCon conference and exhibition – ‘Wrestling with Waste’ – ties in very well with the benefits of the Dennis Eagle Elite 2. Lefatse will be participating in the WasteCon Exhibition, held from 8 to 12 October, where the unique features of the Elite 2 vehicle will be unpacked at its indoor stand. Knowledgeable staff and interactive installations will assist visitors in understanding the various features. In addition, a vehicle will be on display at an outdoors stand where its benefits can be experienced first-hand. With advanced safety features that have not yet been utilised in South Africa, as well as cutting-edge technology and design, the Dennis Eagle Elite 2 will usher in a new era of safety and efficiency for the local waste management industry. Contact Tumelo Sithole E-mail: Tel: +27 (0)11 786 0306 Fax: +27 (0)11 786 9930

RéSource August 2012 – 21

Solid waste


DEA undertakes national waste collection pilot project By end of August 2012, the Department of Environmental Affairs will have successfully completed a R43 million three-year national pilot project, which provides weekly waste collection services to rural households using a labour-intensive Expanded Public Works Programme model. By Margaret Mondlane


he pilot programme is being run in the peri-urban areas surrounding Mafikeng Local Municipality through a service level agreement with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the municipality. The project has provided over 31 850 rural households with kerbside waste collection and two free plastic refuse bags per week. The DEA’s pilot included the financing of a waste collection vehicle for the community-based contractors while using a comprehensive small contractor development programme. The project was launched by DEA deputy minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi, and waste collection services commenced in September 2009 to the previously unserviced households. The waste collection service also included general cleaning and removal of illegal dumping sites in the collection route area. The goals of the project were to develop a small and medium enterprise-driven, LEFT Before the cleaning project in Lorwaneng, Mafikeng RIGHT After the cleaning the project

22 – RéSource August 2012

labour-intensive model for domestic waste collection for wider rollout to municipalities, so as to:

contract jobs over the past three years. Preference was given to employ contractors and employees from the same municipal

The project has provided over 31 850 rural households with kerbside waste collection and two free plastic refuse bags per week • reduce backlog in domestic waste collection services through technical and financial support • achieve the objectives of job creation, skills development and poverty eradication set for the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) • implement a community-based approach to waste management and reduction that is aligned with National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No 59 of 2008) and government’s policy of waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The department created five communitybased contractors who employed 14 employees each, therefore creating 75 permanent

wards that they would be collecting waste. The employees entered into a three-year employment contract, which provided them with benefits provided by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (No 75 of 1997).

The planning stages Planning by DEA and the Department of Public Works for the project started back in 2006 when a need was identified to develop domestic waste collection as an area of expansion to fast-track skills development and employment in unserviced areas. In 2007, six municipalities (Mbombela, Bushbuckridge, Emfuleni, Thulamela, Nkomazi and Mafikeng) were investigated to

Solid waste

determine the feasibility of implementing the model. Mafikeng and Mbombela were then shor tlisted to potentially host the pilot project. A comprehensive review was under taken for both municipalities, which included a planning review of both municipalities’ Integrated Development Plans and Integrated Waste Management Plans as well as technical, institutional and financial assessments. The outcome of the review resulted in Mafikeng being selected as the recipient of the project.

Feasibility study A detailed business plan was developed for Mafikeng and it was determined feasible to implement the domestic waste collection model as it constitutes an ‘expansion of service’ according to the Municipal Systems Act (MSA). Accordingly, to implement the model, the Mafikeng Municipality followed the decision-making process as set out in Section 78 of the Act, which requires the undertaking of a status quo analysis and feasibility study to assess the internal and external capacity of the municipality to

Tedcor, contracted to perform the waste collection services. Tedcor in turn appointed the five community-based contractors who were each given support to finance the purchasing of the waste collection vehicle and were equipped with accredited training in small business management, opera-

Planning for the project started back in 2006 when a need was identified to develop domestic waste collection as an area of expansion to fast-track skills development and employment in unserviced areas render the service. The research further determined that compliance with the Section 78 decision-making process is onerous and requires substantial technical expertise and funding. Many municipalities do not have this technical expertise or sufficient finances to procure them or the funding to expand waste services to all residents. Hence it is essential for municipalities to have access to technical, financial and procurement expertise to meet the obligations stipulated by Section 78 of the MSA; in this instance the DEA provided funding for the Section 78 assessment.

Skills development The contractual arrangements included the DEA appointing an implementing agent, Shisaka Development Services, which partnered with Linkd Environmental Services to provide technical assistance to the municipality and to oversee the service provider,

tions management and labour relations from the University of South Africa. Additionally, Tedcor provided oversight of the contractor’s business management to ensure their success by providing mentoring and guidance. Labour was provided with numerous training courses throughout the three-year period in compliance with EPWP standards. Shisaka Development Ser vices and Linkd Environmental Ser vices provided technical assistance to the Mafikeng Local Municipality, which included reviewing the: • human resources and institutional capacity to take over the service • landfill capability • waste reduction and recycling

ABOVE Contractors of the Domestic Waste Collection Project with the deputy minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs at the launch in September 2009

• financial sustainability • enhanced waste collection models. Some of the interventions included a customised Integrated Waste Management training course for municipal officials, review of the landfill airspace and operations, and provision of a comprehensive financial review of the project.

Funding model The DEA used a step-down approach for the funding model where it subsidised the project completely during the first year, which commenced in September 2009. In the second year, the department reduced the funding amount and the municipality paid for 33% of the service, and in the third year the municipality is obligated to pay 66% of the

RéSource August 2012 – 23

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Solid waste

service. The project is now about to enter the fourth year where the municipality will be in a position to take over the service as its own. The duration of the model has provided

the urban area and cleaning the central business district. This is due to a struggling and ageing fleet operated by the cash-strapped municipality. Service delivery

The Mafikeng Local Municipality now has an Integrated Waste Management Plan, which was adopted by council this year sufficient time for the municipality to inherit the funding costs. At the end of August 2012, the community-based contractors will own their own waste collection vehicle and will be given an opportunity to be contracted out by the Mafikeng Local Municipality and the Ngaka Modiri District Municipality. Since the pilot project services mainly rural residents falling out of the ratepayer base, the local municipality has requested that the district municipality provide funding for the collection services. Mafikeng is currently experiencing challenges in providing an effective service in

which was adopted by council this year and is also funded through the pilot project. The adoption of the plan shows the municipality is committed to cleaning up Mafikeng. The DEAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s endeavour to create jobs and to roll out waste collection services to unserviced areas is providing a winning solution for municipalities to meet their obligation to provide waste collection services in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act.

protests in recent months have also aggravated the challenge of keeping Mafikeng clean. The DEA is aware of these challenges, but was restricted to provide support only to the project area, which falls outside of the central business district so as not to put the community-based contractors at risk. However, starting from September 2012, the community-based contractors will be contracted directly by the municipality and will be able to provide additional support for the urban area under a municipal contract. The Mafikeng Local Municipality now has an Integrated Waste Management Plan,

* ABOUT THE AUTHOR Margaret Mondlane, project manager at Linkd Environmental Services, specialises in environmental science, natural resources and project management and Geographic Information Systems. She has over 13 years consulting experience in Southern African and has completed over 50 projects in various disciplines such as environmental management; waste management; forestry development; national, provincial and local government support; poverty alleviation and job creation; and socioeconomic impact assessment and feasibility studies.

RĂŠSource August 2012 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 25

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New carton recycling mill to boost local jobs The partnership between food processing and packaging Tetra Pak and recycling operation Gayatri Paper Mills ensures the complete, environmentally responsible and friendly lifecycle of the carton from cradle to grave, with 6 000 t of used beverage cartons per annum destined for local reuse.


etra Pak and Gayatri Paper Mills’ partnership came to fruition with the operational launch of the first carton recycling facility of its kind in South Africa during the week of World Environment Day, which was 5 June. “When the contents are gone, the carton lives on,” says Rodney Reynders, environment cluster leader for sub-Saharan Africa at Tetra Pak. “The unpretentious carton pack goes largely unnoticed in consumer homes worldwide more than 400 million times a day – it’s appreciated for its low-carbon, low-cost simplicity, but goes unrecognised for its engineering excellence.”

The advantage of the carton The introduction of the recycling facility ensures that Tetra Pak’s cartons are even more environmentally friendly as the impact of every element of the carton’s lifespan is now considered, from responsibly managed forests to use and reinvention as a recycled product. In addition, the multilayer engineering keeps product fresh inside for up to 12 months without needing energy-sapping refrigeration. The company’s milk and juice processing machines use the latest technology to save energy and water, while technical processing support to customers focuses on reducing product waste during the packaging of milk and juice. The aseptic cartons consist mainly of renewable paper board (75%) with the remaining layers of aluminium and polyethylene (PolyAlu) making up 25% of the carton. Both portions of the used carton waste are 100% recyclable.

The recycling process Waste management and private collection companies across the country collect recyclables and sort them into different material streams. Carton waste is then baled and sold on to Gayatri Paper Mills for recycling. Gayatri employs a modified hydropulper, not unlike a giant, domestic blender, which

26 – RéSource August 2012

separates the paper board from the PolyAlu through a cold water friction process. The baled units are fed – caps and all – via an elevator into the hydropulper. The pulper blade agitates the cold water solution and within 20 minutes the paper board has become separated from the PolyAlu portions. The pulp is pumped off into the main paper mill where it is turned into cardboard. The cardboard is then converted into boxes that are used to ship milk and juice products into stores for people to buy – a complete, closed loop product story. The PolyAlu portion that remains is baled and sent for aggromulation into small pellets that can then be used to manufacture a wide range of useful products, from cellphone covers to park benches, school desks and chairs.

Job creation The partnership is looking for rapid annual expansion in the volume of recycled material sold back into local industry. It creates wealth from waste and sustainable local revenues. This partnership is part of Tetra Pak’s ongoing global programme to boost recycling rates. In 2010 the company supplied 158 billion individual packages used by food and beverage companies around the world to deliver over 74 billion litres of milk, juice, fruits and other products to consumers. Thirty-two billion used cartons were recycled globally that year, which eliminates more than 473 kt of waste and provides the base material for many new products.

Recycling STREAMLINED FOOD PROCESSING AND PACKAGING OneStep In 2010, Tetra Pak launched OneStep technology for ultra-high temperature UHT (UHT) milk production. OneStep combines heat treatment, separation and standardisation, enabling customers to reduce energy consumption and lower their carbon footprint by about 40%. Water use is cut by up to 60% and effluent load by 40%, thanks to reduced product losses. Sterilisation Through a radically different approach to sterilisation, Tetra Pak can reduce the yields fruit power consumption of customers’ filling lines by up to 50%. To reach this reduction level, the company is researching alternative technologies that will also reduce chemical use in the sterilisation process. Water Recovery and reuse minimise water consumption. Tetra Pak provides closed cooling recovery water systems for its processing equipment, as well as solutions to recover water and valuable milk components. Mixing it up The TetraPlant Master automation platform is used in customers’ factories for controlling and optimising activities such as recipe handling and juice and vitamin mixing. In 2010, an environmental report module was launched that tracks key performance indicators such as energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions against target values – highlighting areas for improvement. ABOVE (L-R) Uros Kepic, MD Tetra Pak South Africa and cluster VP sub-Sahara Africa, Asha Chhita, GM at Gayatr Paper Mills and Rodney Reynders, environment cluster leader, sub-Sahara Africa at Tetra Pak

The model is based on established carton recycling businesses in Brazil and seeks to include partners from local businesses to government and entrepreneurs. Several direct jobs have already been created by the partnership, with many knock-on jobs for balers and collectors. The carton

manufacturer works closely with local recycling programmes to provide an extensive base for consumers to recycle their household carton waste, both as part of suburban home collection programmes and drop off sites at schools, key retailers and some industrial drop off areas. Lists of recycling drop off points can be found at and www.

ABOVE The Gayatri recycling mill site

RéSource August 2012 – 27

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HEAD OFFICE Address: 17 Derrick Road, Spartan, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa Postal Address: PO Box 600, Kempton Park 1620 Tel: 011 573 2300 Fax: Administration – 011 573 2331 E-mail: Web:


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We at Pikitup Johannesburg (Pty) Ltd. aspire to be the leading integrated waste management company in Africa. That is why we’ve made it our mission to provide sustainable and innovative waste management solutions that exceed stakeholders’ expectations time and time again. Our service offering includes Round Collected refuse, Business Waste, Special Waste, Landfill Sites, Garden Sites and Green Waste Recycling; just some more ways we’re working toward a better, greener South Africa.



The ‘what’s greener’ debate

Many solutions have been explored over the years to find environmentally sound ways of producing industrial pallets. But the traditional wooden pallets are under scrutiny from vehicle and fleet owners because of the many problems they present on the road.


or the uninitiated, almost every product you purchase today in any type of store was probably at one time transported on a pallet. Pallets are typically square, flat structures on which products are stacked for transportation. The pallets make it easier for machines to lift the products all in one bundle. Most pallets are made of wood, but they can also be made of plastic or metal. Given that the road transport industry alone is responsible for 18% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and that South Africa is highly dependent on road transport –well over 80% of freight in the country is moved by road – vehicle and fleet owners can expect that many ‘green’ regulations will affect, if not target, the transport industry. In line with the South African government’s instruction for companies to find environmentally friendlier solutions to reduce their carbon footprint, ExtruWood manufactures custom-built plastic pallets that offer vehicle and fleet owners a triple bottom line of environmental compliance in supporting recycling, assisting in the preservation of South Africa’s dwindling wood reserves and perhaps most importantly, massive cost savings over the longer term due to the durability of the product. A number of factors come into play when comparing plastic to wooden pallets. Plastic pallets are 100% recyclable. This means if

a plastic pallet becomes damaged, it can simply be reworked and remanufactured into a new pallet without the need for new resources or unnecessary waste. In theory, plastic pallets need never end up in the landfill that it originated from as plastic bottle caps and other high-density polyethylene containers. Conversely, wooden pallets have a much shorter life span, they damage and warp easily, and the production puts immense pressure on our country’s wood reserves. It is estimated that within the next two to three years, South Africa will become a net exporter of wood – to the tune of 6 000 t annually. Most wooden pallets must be replaced or repaired after limited use and millions of trees are felled each year for pallet production. Most of these pallets end up in landfills, are burnt or become scrap litter. Plastic pallets are easily sanitised, have high odour resistance, a much longer service life span and durability, and offer enhanced product protection, thus saving on transportation, pilferage and labour costs, and making them safer and ‘greener’. Wooden pallets are susceptible to bacterial and chemical contamination, rendering them unreliable for fleet companies transporting food and other sensitive product lines. Heat treatment of wooden pallets, required to prevent the transfer of plant pests from one

country to another, adds to the burden of CO2 emissions. “It is no longer necessary to constantly repair and replace wooden pallets that are easily damaged,” says Kamal Diaite, business manager at ExtruWood. “ExtruWood pallets have been designed to meet exacting demands of logistics and warehouse operators, not to mention toughness and durability. They do not deteriorate in any weather conditions and are ideal for cold storage situations, especially for food items.” The pallets are also tailor-made, come with comprehensive guarantees and can drastically reduce the size of any pallet pool. Timber Plastics is another example of a company converting plastic waste into an environmentally friendly product, including pallets. The products are made from a wide variety of plastics, which enables the company to convert large tonnage of plastic waste. Timber Plastics currently recycles the equivalent of 37 800 000 plastic bags per month or 2 268 000 two-litre cooldrink bottles. Plastic pallets such as these provide the added benefit of being eco-friendly as they are made from 100% recycled plastics that would otherwise have been part of the waste stream. The pallets are by default a net contributor to carbon emission savings, reducing the user’s footprint.

RéSource August 2012 – 29



New appointments at Plastics|SA Plastics|SA is pleased to announce three new appointments at its head office in Midrand, Johannesburg: Dianne Blumberg, online editor; Jacques Lightfoot, sustainability manager; and Amos Mkhonto, technical trainer.

DIANNE BLUMBERG: online editor


lumberg started her career in the plastics industry as the personal assistant (PA) to Bill Naude (the then executive director of the Plastics Federation of South Africa) in 2004. Born and raised in Cape Town, she completed various courses through UNISA, the most recent one being a programme in Marketing Management (2011). Although Dianne has managed to juggle

her duties as PA to the executive director with those of updating and maintaining Plastics|SA’s websites, the recent launch of its new online and social media campaigns has necessitated the need for a full-time online editor. Blumberg says she hopes to see the South African plastics industry thriving, offering many new opportunities for growth and job creation.

JACQUES LIGHTFOOT: sustainability manager


ightfoot obtained his BTech in Polymer Technology from the Tshwane University of Technology in 2006 before he went on to register as an assessor and moderator with merSETA in 2007. He completed the European Adhesive Specialist Bonding Diploma at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials in 2009. Lightfoot’s career in the plastics industr y began in 2000 when he started working in the family business,

Light Enterprises (now RNL Plastics), where he gained valuable experience and understanding of the issues facing players in the local plastics industr y. He is excited about his new career as sustainability manager at Plastics|SA because of its commitment to leaving a lasting environmental legacy. Lightfoot hopes there will be an even greater awareness of the environment and the need to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible.

AMOS VELAPHI MKHONTO: technical trainer


khonto completed his National Higher Diploma in Polymer Technology in 2000 before he kicked off his career in the plastics industr y as a setter at Megapak in Olifantsfontein. Before joining Plastics|SA, he worked for Polyoak Packaging in Germiston. Asked about what excites him about his new position, Mkhonto says he is eager to become a subject matter expert on specific processes, and adds that

he is also looking for ward to interacting within the industr y while imparting knowledge through training and coaching. “I would like Plastics|SA to become a benchmark for the industr y with regard to training and development in using the latest technology. I would also like to introduce plastics skills to rural areas, creating jobs and creating career awareness opportunities in the plastics industr y.”

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Population increases equal higher waste management costs Africa as a continent currently has a total estimated population of about one billion people who generate an estimated 230 million tonnes of waste a year! The average economies of African countries are growing at a significantly higher rate compared to developed countries and more people with more money means more waste. By Chris Liebenberg


iven the statistics above, this means that the total quantity of waste that will have to be managed increases at a higher rate than the population increase. The large quantity of waste cannot be ignored and the waste generated in any city requires ever-increasing funds to manage it and control environmental concerns adequately. Uncontrolled waste can cause significant environmental harm and even human illnesses and fatalities. The other component of the total waste sector that needs special attention and cannot be ignored is hazardous and chemical waste. But fortunately there are many options of improving the status of waste management in Africa and a number of successes have been recorded over the past decade, although many problems still remain.

Current status The standard of waste management varies greatly between countries in Africa. Looking at major trends and emerging issues on waste management in Africa the following have been found: • Poor waste management practices, in particular the widespread dumping of waste

in water bodies and uncontrolled dump sites, which aggravates the problems of generally low sanitation levels across the African continent. • Urbanisation is on the rise in Africa and this trend is expected to continue in the future. A particular concern is the inability of infrastructure and land use planning methods (including those for waste management) to cope with urban growth, which is currently the highest in the world at 3.5% annually. This is particularly relevant in slum areas, which constitute a big part of many of the cities and towns in Africa. There are some successes in the cities, but waste management infrastructure is largely non-existent in the rural areas of Africa. Improvements in infrastructure are urgently needed to combat the high cost of health services and thereby alleviate poverty and reduce rural-urban migration. The gap between waste management policy and legislation, and actual waste management practices is widening due to perennial capacity constraints and lack of waste management facilities for various waste streams. At present there is still a very limited regulatory regime in most countries and there

are very limited, or none, waste management planning standards or regulations in place. In many cases, especially on donor funded projects, European or American standards are applied in the developing countries, which quite often may not be appropriate. In addition, there are limited funds for research or development of standards, regulations and guidelines. Access to major investments and acquiring the technical know-how needed to resolve the capacity constraints remain a tall order. In some countries good regulations are in place, but limited or no enforcement is taking place. The general view of authorities is that proper waste management has a low priority among poor communities. Awareness is, however, increasing rapidly; it has been found that people do not want random uncontrolled waste near their dwellings anymore and they insist that the authorities address the situation. It has also been found that the level of service varies between the rich and the poor. As mentioned above, waste generation is expected to increase significantly as a result of industrialisation, urbanisation and also the modernisation of agriculture in Africa, which will further aggravate current capacity constraints in waste management. The fast-growing use of ICT and rapid turnover in technology (particularly computers, mobile phones, etc.) is creating a growing e-waste stream, for which there is no waste management capacity yet and this leads to the disposal of both e-waste and municipal waste in dump sites. Changing lifestyles and consumption patterns of the growing urban middle class in particular is increasing the complexity and composition of waste streams in Africa. LEFT Kiteezi Landfill Kampala Uganda before upgrading

RéSource August 2012 – 33

LEFT Livingstone Zambia Landfill 2004 RIGHT Mutare Zimbabwe Landfill

On a positive note, it can be reported that the rapid economic growth in many countries is improving the financial capacity to address waste management. There are a number of instances where private contractors have established private waste services that are used by the business sector and the more affluent residents. If one looks at the situation in developed countries, one finds that waste management standards are very high and collection is done with sophisticated systems. The per capita waste generated is also significantly higher due to the higher income levels. Disposal is done in properly designed and engineered landfills, but this is only the residual waste after the waste have been separated – recyclables are reclaimed and organics are composted and sometimes sent to wasteto-energy plants recovering energy from the residual waste streams. Comprehensive standards have been compiled and are enforced very strictly. This can be explained by the fact that these countries have ample financial and R&D resources, and they have experienced a rapid deterioration in their environment in the past and now want to conserve what is left. We in Africa still have a chance to save much of our environment before it is too late!

Managing the impact on the environment Most people do not realise what the negative impact of irresponsible waste management is on the environment and what all the inherent risks of poor waste management are. There are a number of physical risk factors such as the fact that livestock tend to eat plastic bags and twine, which kills them, or sea turtles who mistake plastic bags for jelly fish and thus food. Waste quite often contains items like needles, syringes, blades, broken glass, etc. – what is known in the industry as sharps – which can cause cuts to human feet or hands and lead to infection. Air pollution is caused by decomposing organic waste which produces carbon dioxide and methane (greenhouse gasses), as well as other gases that can have a very bad smell. Depending on a number of conditions, decomposing waste can produce leachate and this liquid is generally hazardous and contains heavy metals, carcinogens, acids and poisonous substances. Medical waste in itself has a number of scary hazards. Uncovered waste also attracts disease carrying vermin and vectors such as rats, mice, insects, flies and mosquitos. Then there are also the negative aesthetical impacts from scattered and windblown litter.

Options for improving waste management There are a number of actions that can be taken to improve the waste management situation. As a first step it is always recommended to compile a proper Integrated Waste Management Plan (IWMP), which must at least consist of a status quo documentation, followed by a gaps and needs analysis to determine corrective or improvement actions. Once this has been determined, an implementation framework for solutions should be developed; this will include budgets and programmes. If required, this can then be followed by a process of developing appropriate standards and solutions. Once this IWMP has

34 – RéSource August 2012


The gap between waste management policy and legislation, and actual waste management practices is widening been workshopped with all the interested and affected parties, the solutions must be budgeted for and funding allocated or applied for. Officials need to be experienced in waste management to manage this process and if they are not, the necessary capacity building should be addressed as well. If there is a capacity constraint on side of the utility, it is recommended that experienced consultants and contractors be appointed where required to assist with implementing appropriate and sustainable solutions. Another very important factor is that public education and involvement should be fostered and government must contribute to improving the awareness of responsible waste management. It has been found that active public participation in waste solutions is a very important factor in a programme’s success. Since there is such a dire backlog in providing adequate waste solutions,

international support can be garnered in building capacity and providing assistance with technical issues and raising awareness. Recycling can also play an important part in waste management as it will reduce the waste going to landfill and will also create a number of employment opportunities. It is important to identify feasible recycling projects, and recycling programmes must be designed with flexibility to handle fluctuating and uncertain markets. Here authorities can play an important facilitating role by investigating ways and means of increasing the use of waste products, assist in developing local markets for recyclables in the community and encourage business sectors that use recycled materials to come to the area. Other support can be in expanding the local use of recyclables. In conclusion, it should be mentioned that it will be important for countries to

develop a vibrant waste management industry where the public and private sector jointly develop the industry. Training institutions should also get involved in research and capacity building. What is clear is that waste management in Africa is an awakening giant with a massive backlog that needs to be addressed. Solutions must be economically feasible, implementable and relevant to the local realities as it is not recommended at this stage to apply one standard throughout the world.

* ABOUT THE AUTHOR Chris Liebenberg is the manager of the Environmental and Waste Management Division of WorleyParsons RSA, responsible for the sub-Saharan Africa region in the global WorleyParsons group. He joined this division in 1986 and built it to its current status where projects have been executed all over South Africa and in various countries in Africa and the Middle East. His civil engineering career started in 1975 on construction of dams and water distribution systems for the Department of Water Affairs, after which he became more and more involved in waste and environmental engineering and related environmental projects. RéSource August 2012 – 35

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Water balance covers and their applicability to South African landfills In South Africa, compacted clay caps have been installed for landfills from G:S:B+ to H:H classifications, in terms of the Minimum Requirements for Waste Disposal by Landfill. However there are a number of concerns regarding compacted clay covers and their long-term effectiveness. By RA Nortjé, D Brink, T Da Silva

ABOVE Compacted clay covers


lternative covers (alternative to prescribed compacted clay covers) are in use in the United States and are being tested in other countries, including Australia. Predominant among these alternatives are water balance covers. The use of water balance landfill covers is relevant to South Africa as many areas do not have the clay required for capping in terms of the Minimum Requirements for Waste Disposal by Landfill (MRWDL), and desiccation of clay capping layers is a real concern in dry climates. While the cover designs included in the draft Third Edition of the MRWDL incorporate a geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) within the compacted clay layers, there are a number of potential issues regarding their use in capping, namely cation exchange, desiccation and shrinkage. This paper describes the United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Alternative Capping Assessment Project,

considers suitable climate, soils, vegetation, design and testing methods for water balance covers, and discusses the relevance thereof to South Africa.

Introduction Landfill caps are constructed to protect human health and the environment. This is achieved by minimising the percolation of precipitation through the cover and into the waste body, providing a long-term barrier between the waste and the environment, preventing uncontrolled landfill gas emissions and protecting groundwater resources. In addition, landfill caps include a substrate that can support vegetation, provide erosion control, and improve the aesthetics of the waste facility. South Africa is not a clay rich country and many areas where clay is abundant contain clays that are unsuitable for lining and

capping purposes. An example is black turf, which is unsuitable due to its expansiveness. There are also a number of concerns regarding the long-term effectiveness of compacted clay covers, relating to desiccation, freeze-thaw effects and the effects of differential settlement, all of which can result in cracking and a significant increase in hydraulic conductivity. Albright et al (2006) analysed data from three conventional clay caps at three sites situated in different climates in the US. The water balance of the covers was monitored using large, instrumented lysimeters for two to four years. Initial drainage at the Iowa and California sites was less than 32 mm per annum (the performance criteria used for the study), while the initial drainage rate at the Georgia site was about 80 mm per annum. The cover drainage rate increased by factors of

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between 100 and 750 over the monitoring periods. For all three sites, the drainage rate exceeded the required 32 mm per annum by the end of the monitoring period. The drainage rates developed a rapid response to precipitation events, which suggests that increases in drainage rate were the result of preferential flow. Data from the three sites showed that the effectiveness of all three covers as hydraulic barriers diminished during the two to four year monitoring period, which is short compared to the required design life of most waste containment facilities. Pedogenesis (or weathering of the placed soils) also results in increased throughflow. In a study by Benson et al (2007), hydraulic properties of soils used for water balance covers were measured at the time of construction and one to four years after construction to assess how the properties of cover soils change over time as a result of exposure to field conditions. Data was evaluated from 10 sites in the US, representing a broad range of conditions. The comparisons showed that saturated hydraulic conductivity increased by a factor of at least 10, and in some cases by a factor of nearly 10 000, along with significant changes to parameters determined from the soil water characteristic curves. The larger changes measured occurred for denser or more plastic finer-textured soils. Given these issues, it seems to be a waste of effort and resources to source

clays, subject them to high compaction and then have them fail within a matter of years. There are alternative barriers to compacted clay layers in caps, including GCLs, geomembranes and even asphalt layers. So what are the alternatives? In a number of countries, water balance covers are effectively utilised. The philosophy behind water balance covers is very different from

ABOVE The philosophy behind water balance covers is very different from barrier covers

barrier comprises at least two layers, with the upper layer having a lower saturated permeability than the lower layer, such as silt overlying sand. Because the unsaturated permeability of sand is lower than silt, while the soil is unsaturated, soil moisture is

The comparisons showed that saturated hydraulic conductivity increased by a factor of at least 10, and in some cases by a factor of nearly 10 000 barrier covers: for a water balance cover, sufficient moisture storage capacity is provided in the cover for precipitation, which is then transferred back into the atmosphere by evapotranspiration in drier spells. These covers are also referred to as store and release covers, or evapotranspirative covers or water storage covers. There are two sub-species: the monolithic water balance cover or the capillary barrier water balance cover. The water storage component of a monolithic cover is constructed of one material, while the capillary

held in the upper layer by capillary tension, until saturation is reached and breakthrough occurs. This seems counterintuitive, but is effective in increasing the water storage potential of the upper layer of a cap. Given that water balance caps have been proven to be equivalent, and in some cases superior, to conventional clay caps (Albright et al, 2004) as well as the issues identified with conventional clay caps, it is believed that water balance caps could be successfully designed, constructed and maintained for South African landfills.

The US EPA Alternative Cover Assessment Programme The US EPA developed the Alternative Cover Assessment Programme (ACAP) for landfills under its Technology Innovation Programme in the late 1990s. The ACAP includes

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demonstrations and full-scale applications of alternative landfill covers. These covers are designed to manipulate water balance principles to minimise percolation into the waste, which is very different from using the low permeability barrier approach. Monolithic evapotranspiration (ET), capillary barrier ET, bioengineering management and asphalt covers are included in the programme. As part of the original study, alternative cover profiles were tested at 11 sites in the US, seven at semi-arid and arid sites, and four at humid sites (Benson et al, 2002). The alternative covers tested included 10 monolithic barriers and four capillary barriers. Seven of the alternative covers were vegetated with grasses, while

against which equivalency was measured for the alternative caps. Albright et al (2004) summarise the ACAP’s results as follows: “Surface runoff was a small fraction of the water balance (0 to 10%, 4% on average) and was nearly insensitive to the cover slope, cover design or climate. Lateral drainage from internal drainage layers was also a small fraction of the water balance (0 to 5.0%, 2.0% on average). Average percolation rates for the conventional covers with composite barriers (geomembrane over fine soil) typically were less than 12 mm/year (1.4% of precipitation) at humid locations and 1.5 mm/year (0.4% of precipitation) at arid, semi-arid and sub-humid locations. Average percolation

Alternative capping designs are increasingly being considered and used at waste disposal sites

five were vegetated with a combination of grasses and shrubs. Two of the alternative covers at humid sites were vegetated with a combination of grasses and hybrid poplar trees: the latter due to their ability to extract large quantities of water from the soil. At 10 of the sites, conventional caps were also tested, for comparison purposes (Benson et al, 2002). Each cap was tested using a large instrumented pan-type lysimeter (20 m by 10 m), which allowed direct measurement of surface runoff, soil water storage, lateral drainage and percolation from a full depth cover profile (Albright et al, 2004). Percolation rates were devised for conventional clay and composite caps,

40 – RéSource August 2012

rates for conventional covers with soil barriers in humid climates were between 52 and 195 mm/year (6 to 17% of precipitation), probably due to preferential flow through defects in the soil barrier. Average percolation rates for alternative covers ranged between 33 and 160 mm/year (6 and 18% of precipitation) in humid climates and less than 2.2 mm/year (0.4% of precipitation) in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid climates. One-half (five) of the alternative covers in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid climates transmitted less than 0.1 mm of percolation, but two transmitted much more percolation (26.8 and 52 mm) than anticipated during design. The data collected

support conclusions from other studies that detailed, site-specific design procedures are very important for successful performance of alternative covers.” It is noted that a number of the water balance covers that did not meet requirements in the ACAP study were in areas where vegetation is dormant in winter and early spring brings significant snow melt, resulting in significant percolation. Considerable snow melt is not typical to South African climatic conditions. Alternative capping designs are increasingly being considered and used at waste disposal sites in the US, including municipal solid waste landfills, hazardous waste landfills and radioactive waste sites. While water balance covers have become accepted technology in the US, their full-scale application is confined to areas where it has been proven that they can and do work effectively (Benson et al, 2010). Prior to water balance covers being approved, they must be designed specifically for the intended site, tested in a lysimeter and their effectiveness must be monitored for two years following full-scale construction. This means that the design and monitoring of water balance covers has typically been far more rigorous than for conventional landfill caps. As a result, the upfront research and design costs are considerably more than for conventional caps, yet they remain a suitable, cost-effective alternative in many areas. Cost savings estimated for alternative cover projects up to and including those constructed in 2006 total US$205.644 million (R1.69 billion) (Benson et al, 2010). As at February 2010, ACAP’s website ( altcovers) included information on 92 alternative landfill cover projects, including 45 demonstration projects and 47 full-scale applications. These are predominantly ET, or water balance, covers.

Suitable soils for water balance covers Typical values of hydraulic conductivity for the storage layer of a water balance cover are 1 x 10-4 to 1 x 10-5 cm/s (Kavazanjian, 2001), and the cover is compacted to between 75 and 85% Proctor dry density, usually dry of optimum. For a water balance cover to function, the soil needs to store water and it is necessary for the designer to understand this soil behaviour. While landfill engineers are au fait with the saturated hydraulic conductivity of soils, and this can be tested in a number of South African soils


laboratories, unsaturated hydraulic conductivity is less familiar. Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity decreases as soil water content decreases, and this relationship is typically estimated from a soil water characteristic curve (SWCC), which is fitted using Van Genuchten’s equation (Van Genuchten, 1980). This curve is determined using methods described in ASTM D6836 and depicts volumetric water content against suction. In order to determine the SWCC, a hanging column test is performed for low suctions, pressure plate apparatus are used to test soil water for suctions up to 800 kPa, while a chilled mirror hygrometer is used to test soil water at high suctions. No soils laboratory in South Africa is currently equipped to undertake all the testing necessary to determine this curve, necessitating testing at international laboratories. Figure 1 shows typical moisture content – matric suction curves for four soil types (Kavazanjian, 2001). To the designer, the difference between the volumetric content at field capacity (typically 33 kPa or 330 cm of suction) and the wilting point of vegetation (typically 1 500 kPa or 15 000 cm, but can exceed 4 000 kPa or 40 000 cm in desert conditions) is critical. Coarse soils drain at lower suctions, while fine soils drain at higher suctions (see Figure 1). The ideal soil for a water balance cover is not so coarse as to drain below field capacity (such as a sand), nor should it be so fine as to retain soil moisture in high suction conditions. Silty soils are usually suitable for water balance covers, while loose clays perform better than compacted clays. For capillary break covers, the SWCC for the capillary break material is also required, as the interface between the materials affects the suction at which breakthrough occurs for the finer-grained soil.

300 mm of the cover, vegetation that can root through the entire depth of the water balance cover is usually chosen. This makes the vegetation less susceptible to adverse conditions, and increases the long-term sustainability of the cover. In the US, there is considerable emphasis on determining and replicating the natural local vegetation for the rehabilitation of sites (Benson et al, 2010). This entails assessing natural vegetation species distribution, coverage, leaf area index and rooting depths in the area, and attempting to replicate these on the site cover. This assists in ensuring that the vegetation chosen is suitable for the site’s climate, altitude and growing season, and is likely to survive adverse conditions, such as frost. Additional consideration is required to determine whether the vegetation would survive

FIGURE 1: Representative moisture content versus matric suction curves (from Kavanzanjian, 2001)

additional salt loading, wind at higher elevations and whether root penetration to waste depth would be detrimental to the plants. Vegetation is established and maintained more readily when cover soils are placed with less compaction and a more open pore structure (Goldsmith et al. 2001), as is typically the case with water balance covers.

Feasibility of water balance covers Before embarking on the design of a water balance cover, assessing the feasibility of a water balance cover for a particular site should be carried out (Benson et al, 2010). The suitability of a water balance cover for the site’s climatic conditions needs to be considered. The availability of suitable soils should be assessed. While costs for water

There is considerable emphasis on determining and replicating the natural local vegetation for the rehabilitation of sites

Vegetation for water balance covers Vegetation is an important component of a cover design, as it improves aesthetics, limits erosion and may increase the stability of the cap. The MRWDLs (DWAF, 1998) includes the following in the cover system requirements: “A 200 mm-thick layer of topsoil planted with local shrubs and grasses. The layer must be lightly compacted after spreading. In arid regions, this can be substituted with a layer of natural gravel.” For water balance covers, transpiration from vegetation should be maximised. Rather than vegetating only the top 200 or

RéSource August 2012 – 41


considered to ensure that these are realistic. Final design would take into account the geometry of the cover, surface water management, gas management and erosion control strategies. Once designed, a full depth cover is typically tested in a lysimeter to measure performance before being approved for fullscale use, if a similar water balance cover has not previously been approved for use in the area.

Summary and conclusions

ABOVE Final design would take into account the geometry of the cover

balance covers are generally lower than for conventional covers in the US, this is not always the case, and may not be the case in South Africa as a water balance cover is usually thicker than a conventional cover. The application and approvals process for alternative covers is clearly defined in the US, while this is not the case in South Africa. In cases where capping must be applied to combat environmental pollution in the short term, the time taken for design, performance testing and the approvals process for a water balance cover would usually preclude its use.

Design of water balance covers The design methodology included here is as presented by Benson et al (2010). For the design of a water balance cover, it is necessary to determine what the performance goal for the cover would be. This may be equivalence to a conventional compacted clay or composite cap, or it could be a specific performance specification. The MRWDLs (DWAF, 1998) state that the saturated steady state infiltration into a compacted clay capping layer should not exceed 0.5 m per year, as measured by means of an in-situ double ring infiltrometer test. This does not constitute a percolation specification of 500 mm per annum, however, as saturated conditions on a cover are unlikely to occur permanently. ACAP initially used a percolation limit of 30 mm per annum for compacted clay covers, but many of the compacted clay covers tested exceeded this percolation rate. For the South African situation, it is therefore suggested that side by side

testing of a water balance cover and MRWDL compacted clay cover be carried out to determine equivalence. Once the performance goal has been established, the local vegetation should

The use of water balance landfill covers is relevant to South Africa as many areas do not have the clay required for capping in terms of the MRWDL, and desiccation of clay capping layers is a real concern in dry climates. While the cover designs included in the draft Third Edition of the MRWDL incorporate a GCL within the compacted clay layers, there are a number of potential issues regarding their use in capping, namely cation exchange, desiccation and shrinkage.

Climatic data is obtained to determine how much water would need to be stored in the cover be evaluated to determine likely transpiration rates. Candidate borrow-sources for soils should then be investigated, and the types and quantities of potentially suitable cover soils should be assessed. Laboratory testing of potential cover soils should then be carried out to determine their characteristics, including particle size distribution, saturated hydraulic conductivity and the soil water characteristic curve. The characteristics of any capillary break layer materials being considered should also be determined. Climatic data is obtained to determine how much water would need to be stored in the cover. Once the available storage in a potential cover soil has been determined, the required thickness of the cover can then be calculated. Water balance modelling is then used to model different scenarios (typical performance, worst case performance, vegetation changes, soil pedogenesis and so forth), and to fine tune the cover design. A number of computer programmes are available to carry out this modelling, such as UNSAT-H, VADOSE/W and HYDRUS. As with all computer modelling, the models are sensitive to input parameters, and both the inputs and the results should be carefully

The US EPA’s ACAP tested alternative covers at 11 sites across the US, with conventional caps tested at 10 of the sites for comparison purposes. The results of the ACAP study were encouraging, with half of the alternative covers in arid, semi-arid and semi-humid climatic areas transmitting less than 0.1 mm of percolation. ACAP’s website includes 47 full-scale alternative cover projects, and cost savings estimated for alternative cover projects in the US (up to and including 2006) total more than US$200 million. Suitable soils for water balance covers typically comprise silts, loose clays or sands with fines. Vegetation for landfill rehabilitation should be designed by considering the natural vegetation in the region of the site, including species mix, root depth, leaf area index and so forth. The design methodology developed for ACAP, and fine-tuned through the last decade, provides a sound basis for the development of a water balance cap. Given that water balance caps have been proven to be equivalent, and in some cases superior, to conventional clay caps (Albright et al, 2004), as well as the problems associated with conventional clay caps, it is believed that water balance caps could be successfully designed, constructed and maintained for South African landfills.

RéSource August 2012 – 43


ACMP calls for review of the Waste Act The possible impact of the current definition of waste in the Waste Act on job creation, the national climate change response strategy, innovation and international trade barriers was the topic of a briefing of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs by Dr Dhiraj Rama, executive director of the Association of Cementitious Material Producers.


he current definitions in the Act do not provide clarity as to when a material becomes waste and when it ceases to be waste. The Act recognises only reuse, recycling and recovery as acceptable treatment processes to end waste status. Cleaner production and associated technology interventions are not considered. There is no allowance for possible new emerging technologies or innovation that does not fall within the scope of reuse, recycle or recover. The definitions have resulted in waste permitting requirements becoming necessary for substances that otherwise are handled as products in other countries. This has far reaching consequences for generators, transporters and consumers. He described international practices, including the pragmatic European Union (EU) approach which provides guidance to when a material or object assumes waste status and when a waste ceases to be waste. Details of these are included in the European Waste Directive. In the EU Waste Directive, important definitions such as by-product, recovery and prevention have been included. The definition of prevention was specifically highlighted and quoted as follows: Prevention means measures taken before a substance, material or product has become waste that reduces: a) the quantity of waste, including through the reuse of products or the extension of the life span of products b) the adverse impacts of the generated waste on the environment and human health; or the content of harmful substances in materials and products. The description of the by-product and recovery definitions are also noteworthy as it provides unambiguous clarity on material status.

44 – RéSource August 2012

International guidelines

Local standards

In the United Kingdom (UK) the Waste and Resources Action Programme of the Government Environment Agency continually produces quality protocols for a wide range of waste materials. These define how ‘waste’ can be turned into a saleable product on the open market. The methodology involves innovative approaches by hosting multiple consultations and is sector based. Conventional waste streams, ranging from vegetable oil to pulverised fuel ash, go to landfill even though they can be reused or recycled. This is because of the difficulty in selling them on once they are classified as waste. The protocols entail an elegant, simple approach. Many of these materials are considered to be by-products rather than waste as informed by various criteria. The following demonstrates some of the criteria included: • the material is certain to be used • no further processing is required for use • the material is used as an integral part of the continuing production process. Application of these protocols have resulted in materials such as blast furnace slag, pulverised flue ash, bottom ash and elected biomass, composting and agriculture streams being declared by-products and not waste. In the United States, the concept of ‘coproduct’ has been introduced – if the use of the material presents no greater threat or harm to human health and the environment than the use of the product or raw material. In Australia, the approach taken entails the inclusion of the following definition to clarify waste status: Waste will remain waste until it can be demonstrated that it constitutes a product that is ready and intended for imminent use without the need for further treatment to prevent any environmental harm.

In South Africa, the Act has included the scope for a beneficial use approach to waste. However, as is the case with the definitions, the approach is quite restrictive and does not yield end of waste status to the resources identified. Rama cautioned that defining many such by-products as waste could have major impacts on the government’s greening the economy projects, job creation, climate change mitigation strategies and administrative costs to small enterprises. An immediate example that comes to mind would be the use of biomass as an energy source. There are already international publications confirming that misdirected definitions of waste are stifling the growth of this sector. In his opinion, there is already a robust Environmental Impact Assessment regulatory requirement in place to ensure that environmental best practice is adopted by the different sectors. Classifying many of these materials as waste would not protect or improve the environment, while declaring these materials as by-products would improve efficiency in the way the products are used in terms of the hierarchy of waste principles by avoiding unnecessary financial and administrative burden. Furthermore, amendments to the Waste Act would also support our country’s sustainable development initiatives as well as contribute to our international commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “It is important that the department facilitates commerce by reviewing the Waste Act,” he advocates. “Much of the regulatory administrative burden, particularly on emerging enterprises, would be avoided without compromising the environment.”


Shaping the future Engineered Linings, one of Africa’s prominent geomembrane lining system installation companies, offers durable and dependable lining solutions to meet exacting environmental protection and liquid storage demands.


ased in South Africa, with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, it is proud of its long-established history

and its reputation of no compromise when it comes to the use of premium materials, equipment and systems. Our fully trained contracts teams have a high degree technical competence and can handle projects that involve complex lining systems and quality-driven processes. Sales and marketing director Jonathan Sykes comments: “The future for the company is extremely bright. By meeting or exceeding the various project

standards, we are experiencing growth in all aspects of our business and are constantly adapting our business to meet the challenges of the future. We are an ISO 9001 – 2008 registered company and enjoy the strength in depth, which is brought about by being a member company of the widely acclaimed PSV Group. PSV is committed to achieving sustainable practices throughout its operations. The synergy and geographical spread between the member subsidiaries and the ongoing technical collaboration with clients to meet their needs is yielding positive results.” Sykes adds: “While we are active throughout Africa and other regions on an international level, we are also very committed towards providing local expertise and finding the best solutions at local levels.” We are constantly striving to improve our systems at all levels and to employ the best available technology on all our projects.” RéSource August 2012 – 45





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Waste to energy


Scientist warns of environmental, geophysical and economic risks Earth scientist, Dr Chris Hartnady, has called on stakeholders to not only be aware of the environmental impacts and geophysical risks of shale gas production, but also to evaluate the full energy cost and other economic considerations.


hale gas is natural gas contained in a shale formation and has become an increasingly important source of natural gas in the United States (US) over the past decade – spreading interest to potential gas shale sites in the rest of the world. One analyst expects shale gas to supply as much as half the natural gas used in North America by 2020. Induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking, commonly known as fracking, is a technique used to release petroleum, natural gas (including shale gas, tight gas and coal seam gas) or other substances for extraction. This type of fracturing creates fractures from

Water resource competition and depletion: Hartnady quoted estimates that the exploration phase in three areas of the Karoo would require 48 000 to 216 000 m³ of water from 24 wells. Should exploration be successful, however, actual gas production was likely to require about 10 000 wells; the Marcellus and Barnett shale gas areas in the US (with similar resource assessments) required 12 000 and 14 000 wells, respectively. The production phase in the Karoo would require an additional 5 000 to 20 000 m³/ well and the water demand would lie in the range of 50 million to 200 million cubic

crossing groundwater flow paths and casing flaws or failure in well construction. Peer-reviewed research into contamination of groundwater at the Marcellus shale gas field in the US showed that thermogenic (from a heat source) methane abundance was 17 times greater within a 1 km distance from gas extraction areas, than methane of near-surface biogenic origin in non-extraction areas.

Well casing and cement failure: The BP Macondo well blow-out in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico was caused by loss of control over the gas influx into the well, through faulty casing and the cement seal. Cement has little tensile strength of its own and fails in tension before lending significant support to the casing. The Achilles heel is the casing shoe. The assumption of no contact between the cement sheath and borehole is unrealistic. Gas can easily escape up the casing or outside the casing in the fractured zone.

Geophysical risks:

a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations and has been found to have a serious effect on the quality of water. Speaking at the Shale Southern Africa Conference in Cape Town earlier this year, Hartnady highlighted factors such as fracking, cement failure, the depletion of water resources and geophysical risks in relation to shale gas production. Important statements that Hartnady made during his presentation are outlined below.

46 – RéSource August 2012

metres. Shale gas production would become a serious competitor for water, requiring as much as four times the current annual usage of the groundwater in all three of the Shell exploration areas.

Groundwater contamination: Groundwater contamination was possible due to fracking fluids injected into rocks during the fracking process, cross-contamination of aquifers through drilling-induced fractures

Referring to the 5.6 magnitude Oklahoma earthquake in 2011, Hartnady (internationally renowned for his expertise in structural geology and tectonics) said this state had previously experienced around 30 small earthquakes a year. Since 2010/2011, this had soared to over 1 000 a year. Hartnady attributed this dramatic increase to the accelerated disposal of wastewater brines from unconventional oil and shale-gas production, often in refurbished old oil wells in depleted areas of former conventional oil production areas. “The 2011 ‘hydroseismic’ events in Oklahoma and Ohio bear important lessons for the Karoo, especially since – though not common knowledge – significant earthquake activity is established in this

Waste to energy

part of the country. The earthquake catalogue of South Africa shows many epicentres within and around the Karoo.”

Economics of shale gas drilling: A focus only on environmental impacts and geophysical risks, without questioning the economics of shale gas drilling, was counterproductive, said Dr Hartnady. Energy cost considerations (energy required for extraction, processing and distribution) indicated a low net energy yield of shale gas development. The ratio of energy profit to energy investment was likely to be much lower than conventional fossil fuels, perhaps around factor 10 at best and possibly near break-even at worst. Much depended on what energy costs were internally accommodated by the commercial producers and what was externalised through hidden or overt energy subsidies paid for by government and tax payers. “The most important part of energy security is ensuring that there is indeed a reasonable and profitable energy return on the energy investment (capital equipment, labour,

transport infrastructure and all necessary public services), when all energy costs are summed.” There is a need for prior scientific investigations of the deep (probably saline) aquifers within and underlying the main Karoo basin, and concurrently the crustal stress regime within and around those units, as well as a full lifecycle analysis of both energy and water consumption within the shale gas production process. He proposed that the Karoo shale gas initiative, which is based on a finite, nonrenewable resource unlikely to last till the end of the 21st century, be measured up quantitatively in a direct and competitive challenge against “the ultimate energy-value proposition in this part of the world. The

Karoo shale gas concession is an area of excellent direct normal irradiance, which constitutes one of the very best opportunities on the planet – as good if not better in some respects than parts of the Sahara – for concentrating solar power generation. So why look down to shale gas as a profitable energy operation, [when] instead we should all be looking up.” RéSource August 2012 – 47

GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY FOR LOCAL SOLUTIONS INVITATION TO ATTEND POWER-GEN Africa is a unique forum for the industry, combining both a world class conference with an exhibition showcasing the latest technological developments. This premier event will attract senior decision makers, enabling you to make crucial contacts within the sub-Saharan energy industry.

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The inaugural POWER-GEN Africa will provide comprehensive coverage of the power needs, resources, and issues facing the electricity generation industries across Sub-Saharan Africa. Global attention is being paid to Africa’s power requirements as the continent continues to experience rapid growth and development, driving the need for more widespread and reliable electricity. With POWER-GEN Africa’s conference and exhibition focusing on all aspects of the power industry and bringing together the world’s leading power equipment suppliers with those developing power infrastructure in this dynamic region of the world, this is one event you cannot afford to miss.


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Air pollution /CDM


Global sustainability megaforces In KPMG’s recent report Expect the Unexpected: Building Business Value in a Changing World, more than two dozen forecasts have been analysed in an attempt to identify the changes likely to have the greatest impact on business. RéSource takes a look at the climate change concept in relation to business.


ew research from KPMG International has identified 10‘megaforces’ that will significantly affect corporate growth globally over the next two decades. The KPMG study, Expect the Unexpected: Building Business Value in a Changing World, explores issues such as climate change, energy and fuel volatility, water availability and cost, and resource availability, as well as new urban centres spawned by population growth. The analysis examines how these global forces may impact business and industry, calculates the environmental costs to business, and calls for business and policymakers to work more closely to mitigate future business risk and act on opportunities. Emphasis was placed on the availability of quality numerical projections, key pressures causing global environ-

1. climate change 2. energy and fuel 3. material resource scarcity 4. water scarcity 5. population growth 6. urbanisation 7. wealth 8. food security 9. ecosystem decline 10. deforestation. Each one has important implications for business, which must be understood, assessed and built in to long-term strategic planning. Awareness and comprehension of each is vital, but as the next section of this report demonstrates, it is only the first step. These megaforces do not function in isolation from each other in predictable ways. They act as

The analysis examines how these global forces may impact business and industry, and calculates the environmental costs to business mental and social problems, and the most significant consequences of those pressures for natural and human security. The set of 10 sustainability megaforces are:

48 – RéSource August 2012

a complex and unpredictable system, feeding, amplifying or ameliorating the effects of others. Business leaders seeking to manage the risks and harness the opportunities of

the future must understand how these megaforces function and how they might affect their own organisations. Michael Andrew, chairman of KPMG International, says: “We are living in a resource-constrained world. The rapid growth of developing markets, climate change and issues of energy and water security are among the forces that will exert tremendous pressure on both business and society. We know that governments alone cannot address these challenges. Business must take a leadership role in the development of solutions that will help to create a more sustainable future. By leveraging its ability to enhance processes, create efficiencies, manage risk and drive innovation, business will contribute to society and long-term economic growth.” Yvo de Boer, KPMG’s special global adviser on climate change and sustainability, says global sustainability megaforces will significantly increase the complexity of the business environment. “Without action and strategic planning, risks will multiply and opportunities will be lost. Corporations are recognising that there is value and opportunity in responsibility beyond the next quarter’s results, that what is good for

Air pollution /CDM

It is developing countries and the businesses that operate in them that are most vulnerable to climate change impacts people and the planet, can also be good for the long-term bottom line and shareholder value,â&#x20AC;? says De Boer.

Climate change Financial risk Climate change is the one global megaforce that directly impacts all others discussed in the report. There are six key types of risk

to business from climate change: physical risk, regulatory risk, reputational risk, competitive risk, social risk and litigation risk. These risks include new laws and government initiatives to tackle climate change such as energy efficiency requirements and standards, carbon taxes, emissions cap and trade systems, and fuel tariffs. Businesses may also be at risk of damaging their brands if they are seen to do the wrong thing, with

the added threat of litigation if they fail to comply with legislation or to disclose their carbon impacts. Predictions of annual output losses from climate change range from 1% per year, if strong and early action is taken, to at least 5% a year if governments fail to act. However, it is developing countries and the businesses that operate in them that are most vulnerable to climate change impacts even as their rapid industrialisation increases their contribution to global CO2 emissions. From a local perspective, Neil Morris, the director of climate change and sustainability

RĂŠSource August 2012 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 49

Air pollution /CDM

Extreme weather events are set to become more frequent and up to one sixth of the world’s population could face disruption to water supplies at KPMG in South Africa, says that in Africa, these sustainability megaforces are even more pronounced. “With growth as the primary agenda item for the continent, the key challenge and the area of greatest opportunity for business is to decouple our growth from environmental impacts and resource depletion.” The KPMG research finds that the external environmental costs (which today are often not shown on financial statements) of 11 key industry sectors jumped 50% from US$566 billion (about R4.8 trillion) to US$846 billion in the eight years from 2002 to 2010. This represents, on average, a doubling of these costs every 14 years. The report calculates that

if companies had to pay for the full environmental costs of their production, they would lose 41 cents for every US$1 in earnings on average.

Physical risk The physical risks are considerable. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that we are on course for a long-term global temperature rise of 3.5˚C. This could cause ‘irreversible’ impacts, including near-total deglaciation in the long term, contamination of groundwater supplies, water shortages for hundreds of millions of people, lower agricultural yields in many places and more malnutrition, infectious diseases and deaths

from heat waves, as well as increasingly severe floods, droughts and storms. Extreme weather events are set to become more frequent and up to one sixth of the world’s population could face disruption to water supplies and an increased risk of flooding from melting glaciers, mainly in the Indian subcontinent and areas of China and South America – regions that are seen as the new driving force for the global economy. While agricultural yields could increase in higher latitude areas such as Northern Europe, elsewhere, particularly in Africa, falling yields could leave hundreds of millions of people without enough food. Sea level rises could cause flooding in low-lying coastal areas, displacing “tens to hundreds of millions of people” in places such as Southeast Asia, particularly Bangladesh and Vietnam, and small Caribbean and Pacific islands. Some of the world’s largest and richest cities, such as Tokyo, New York, London and Shanghai could also be affected. Human health could be affected as more people become vulnerable to mosquito-borne diseases, air quality worsens and more extreme weather events occur. Climate change is expected to also affect ecosystem health and biodiversity, in turn reducing land productivity and adding to food security stress and water scarcity.

Moving forward Urgent action is needed to avoid such a global temperature rise, but because

50 – RéSource August 2012

Air pollution /CDM THE 10 GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY MEGAFORCES THAT MAY IMPACT BUSINESS OVER THE NEXT TWO DECADES CLIMATE CHANGE: This may be the sole global megaforce that directly impacts all others. Predictions of annual output losses from climate change range between 1% per year, if strong and early action is taken, to as much as 5% a year if policymakers fail to act. ENERGY AND FUEL: Fossil fuel markets are likely to become more volatile and unpredictable because of higher global energy demand, changes in the geographical pattern of consumption, supply and production uncertainties, and increasing regulatory interventions related to climate change. MATERIAL RESOURCE SCARCITY: As developing countries industrialise rapidly, global demand for material resources is predicted to increase dramatically. Business is likely to face increasing trade restrictions and intense global competition for a wide range of material resources that become less easily available. Scarcity also creates opportunities to develop substitute materials or to recover materials from waste. WATER SCARCITY: It is predicted that by 2030 (Water Resource Group: 2010), the global demand for freshwater will exceed supply by 40%. Businesses may be vulnerable to water shortages, declines in water quality, water price volatility and reputational challenges. POPULATION GROWTH: The world population is expected to grow to 8.4 billion by 2032 (United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs, Population Division: 2011). This will place intense pressures on ecosystems and the supply of natural resources such as food, water, energy and materials. While this is a threat for business, there are also opportunities to grow commerce and create jobs, and to innovate to address the needs of growing populations for agriculture, sanitation, education, technology, finance and healthcare. WEALTH: The global middle class (defined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and

energy-related facilities such as power stations, buildings and factories last for many decades, “80% of the cumulative CO2 emitted worldwide between 2009 and 2035 is already ‘locked-in’ by capital stock that either exists now or is under construction and will

China, Australia and South Korea plan to create carbon markets by 2015 still be operational by 2035,” according to the IEA. Individual countries have started acting to cut emissions – China, Australia and South Korea plan to create carbon markets by 2015, for example, while many more have carbon reduction targets – but fragmented national responses require business to understand and comply with a complex and unpredictable patchwork of carbon legislation around the world. Meanwhile, international action on climate change has been slow and disjointed. A price on carbon has been established through trading systems such as the EU Emissions Trading System and the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism, but the carbon markets have been dogged by political interference and the economic crisis. Progress was made at the 2011 UN climate conference in Durban, with all the world’s major emitters agreeing that

Development (OECD) as individuals with disposable income of between US$10 and US$100 per capita per day) is predicted to grow 172% between 2010 and 2030. The challenge for businesses is to serve this new middle-class market at a time when resources are likely to be scarcer and more price-volatile. The advantages many companies experienced in the last two decades from ‘cheap labour’ in developing nations are likely to be eroded by the growth and power of the global middle class.

URBANISATION: In 2009, for the first time ever, more people lived in cities than in the countryside. By 2030, all developing regions including Asia and Africa are expected to have the majority of their inhabitants in urban areas. Virtually all population growth over the next 30 years will be in cities. These cities will require extensive improvements in infrastructure including construction, water and sanitation, electricity, waste, transport, health, public safety, and internet and cell phone connectivity. FOOD SECURITY: In the next two decades, the global food production system will come under increasing pressure from megaforces including population growth, water scarcity and deforestation. Global food prices are predicted to rise 70 to 90% by 2030. In water-scarce regions, agricultural producers are likely to have to compete for supplies with other waterintensive industries such as electric utilities and mining, and with consumers. Intervention will be required to reverse growing localised food shortages. In relation to this, the number of chronically under-nourished people rose from 842 million during the late 1990s to over 1 billion in 2009. ECOSYSTEM DECLINE: Historically, the main business risk of declining biodiversity and ecosystem services has been to corporate reputations. However, as global ecosystems show increasing signs of breakdown and stress, more companies are realising how dependent their operations are on the critical services these ecosystems provide. The decline in ecosystems is making natural resources scarcer, more expensive and less diverse. It is increasing the costs of water and escalating the damage caused by invasive species to sectors including agriculture, fishing, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and tourism. DEFORESTATION: Forests are big business – wood products contributed US$100 billion per year to the global economy from 2003 to 2007. The value of non-wood forest products, mostly food, was estimated at about US$18.5 billion in 2005. Yet the OECD projects that forest areas will decline globally by 13% from 2005 to 2030, mostly in South Asia and Africa. The timber industry and downstream industries such as pulp and paper are vulnerable to potential regulation aimed at slowing or reversing deforestation. Companies may also find themselves under increasing pressure from customers to prove through certification standards that their products are sustainable. Business opportunities may arise through the development of market mechanisms and economic incentives to reduce the rate of deforestation. they must cut emissions, but a new global deal – if it eventuates – will not be agreed until 2015 and will not come into force until 2020. Nonetheless, the need to tackle climate change brings opportunity to innovators. The US$100 billion-a-year Green Climate Fund (GCF) should make it easier to cut

emissions and help developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change. The GCF could lead to the creation of public-private partnerships in developing nations that can build green industries, create jobs, reduce poverty and improve infrastructure, as well as tackle climate change.

RéSource August 2012 – 51

global environmental solutions

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Air pollution /CDM


Local solution for coal dust management Coal is often regarded as a necessary evil in that it provides the country with most of its power and valuable export earnings. However it has a reputation for being a ‘dirty’ energy source, especially in its handling. If the management of the dust generated during coal handling is looked at creatively, there are opportunities for the use of this plentiful resource.


owden-owned company Engart has developed a cost-effective and efficient coal dust capture and containment system, which can improve workplace health and the lives of communities located near coal-related operations. The Engart surface dust scrubbers are a derivative of the company’s range of scrubbers that are mounted on continuous miners where they have been used to control dust in operations underground. Waldo van der Merwe, dust scrubber systems manager at the company, says the surface scrubbers enable coal industry-related operations such as mines, power stations, shipping terminals, and coal train and truck operators to more effectively control the dust generated at critical plant surface loading and unloading points. “Coal dust can, for instance, be a pervasive problem at power stations. However, it is often specific areas such as transfer points where much of this dust is released and where it is unnecessary to install sophisticated engineered systems because the area where the dust is generated is localised,” Van der Merwe states.

surface dust scrubber unit is highly effective in controlling the coal dust.

Market share

ABOVE Engart Crusher House 3DModel 1

The dust-free air is exhausted, and the resultant sludge is pumped away for disposal. In the instances of power stations and shipping, this sludge can be returned to the original coal load where, once it is dry, it becomes part of the product transported or burned. Several mechanical safety devices are built into each unit to ensure that they can be used in explosive environments. These include a flame-proof electric motor located out of the air stream and an antispark impeller track system.

Application-specific units How it works The Type 46 and Type 36 surface units are capable of handling air volumes of up to 25 m3/s and have the capacity to overcome the resistance of external duct systems. These units are supplied on skids and are consequently easily transported, installed and commissioned. They can also be moved to alternative sites relatively quickly, making them extremely portable. Dust-laden air is drawn into the dust extractor and mixed with water at the impeller and in the chamber. The mixture of dust, air and water is then drawn around the motor and caught in a steel woven mesh, which is continually washed by a multi-nozzle spray bank.

Depending on the volume of dust involved, an affordable dust scrubber system can be designed for an individual application to effectively control ambient dust during working operations. An audit of the operation by an Engart representative from Howden, in conjunction with the plant engineers, will determine if surface scrubbers are the best option and, if they are, where they can be employed most effectively to control dust. Areas included in the analysis are procurement budgets, and running cost and maintenance priorities – all of which can impact on the selection of an appropriate dust capture and containment technology. In most instances a ducted system connected to a

The scrubbers have established themselves as premier dust scrubbers in coal mines and other environments in South Africa where airborne dust is a risk to health and safety. The compact, robust design means it can be adapted relatively easy to surface unit applications where its use in a ducted system requires higher pressures, without impacting on reliability. According to Van der Merwe, the locally designed and manufactured units have been used successfully in the United States (US) before being introduced to the South African market. “In the US our representatives incorporated surface-mounted units into ducted systems to control the dust released at railcar tipping points,” he explains. “In these applications, the units proved to be highly effective in controlling large amounts of dust, in a package that that is energy efficient and requires very little maintenance.” The systems capture up to 99.7% of total dust and 95% of respirable dust, vastly improving the health conditions for those working in these operations.

BELOW Engart surface scrubber

RéSource August 2012 – 53

Air pollution /CDM


Wet flue gas desulphurisation plant for Kusile The wet flue gas desulphurisation system being installed at Kusile power station by the Cosira Group/Alstom consortium is the first of its kind in South Africa – it will dramatically reduce the sulphur dioxide content from the power plant’s flue gases.


ulphur dioxide (SO2) exists in flue gases as a result of burning fossil flues during power generation and is the foremost contributor towards acid rain. “While wet flue gas desulphurisation (WFGD) has been a popular choice for flue gas scrubbing on the international market, South Africa has chosen, until now, to utilise other methods of decreasing SO2 from gas emission. Although other methodologies exist to reduce SO2 from flue gas emissions, advanced proven technology such as WFGD processes are adopted to improve on the limits set by international committees,” says John da Silva, CEO of the Cosira Group. According to the group’s WFGD project director, Richard de Arruda, WFGD has been a popular choice for fossil-fuelled

54 – RéSource August 2012

power stations for over 25 years in Europe and the United States, and the technology is set to become a standard in

Emission control The COP 17 conference held last year pinpointed a number of critical issues that need

Sulphur dioxide exists in flue gases as a result of burning fossil flues during power generation and is the foremost contributor towards acid rain developing countries as awareness of its benefits increases. “There is no doubt that WFGD is the preferred environmentally friendly choice as it removes at minimum 95% of SO2 gases from the emissions,” he says.

BELOW Flue gas desulphurisation system RIGHT Eskom power station

to be addressed to ensure compliancy. De Arruda explains that sophisticated sensors interconnected with the WFGD plants control systems continually record fuel gas emissions. These sensors provide the control systems with accurate monitoring information

Air pollution /CDM

necessary to ensure that emissions are kept to the performance levels of the plant. Should emissions exceed the acceptable levels, alarms will trigger control mechanisms that adjust the plants’ inputs in order to correct the levels. “We are proud to be a part of

the precedent-setting initiative at the Kusile power station in terms of reducing greenhouse gases and improving South Africa’s carbon footprint. We are confident that its success will open the doors for upgrading industries other than power generation in the future,” Da Silva concludes.

About Kusile Kusile is a coal-fired power station close to the existing Kendal power station in the Delmas municipal area of Mpumalanga. It is the second most advanced coal-fired power plant project in Eskom after the Medupi power station in Lephalale, where construction commenced in 2007. The station will consist of six units, each rated at approximately 800 MW installed capacity giving a total of 4 800 MW. Once complete, it will be one of the largest coal-fired power stations in the world. The coal for the power station will be supplied by a new colliery near the power station. Anglo Coal South Africa has committed, in a letter of intent, to supply 17 Mt of coal, over a period of 47 years, through its

ABOVE Sulphur dioxide emissions from coal fired power stations

empowerment subsidiary Anglo Inyosi Coal. Another interesting aspect to this project is that Kusile will be the first power station in South Africa to have flue gas desulphurisation installed. Eskom is fitting the WFGD to the Kusile plant as an atmospheric emission abatement technology – in line with current international practice – to ensure compliance with air quality standards, especially since the power station is located in a priority airshed. The WFGD plant is a totally integrated chemical plant using limestone as feedstock and producing gypsum as a by-product. Gypsum is used in the manufacture of dr y walls and ceilings. The first unit is planned for commercial operation in 2014. The other units will be commissioned in approximately eightmonth inter vals with the last unit expected to be in commercial operation by 2018. To date, the project is still on schedule to meet the target date.

There is no doubt that WFGD is the preferred environmentally friendly choice as it removes at minimum 95% of SO2 gases from the emissions.” John da Silva, CEO of the Cosira Group RéSource August 2012 – 55

Medical waste


The importance of medical waste bins in hospitals A lot has been said over the years regarding the health and hygiene in hospitals, but one thing that is overlooked time and again is hospital-acquired infections. As such, one of the most important tools in hospital hygiene is hospital bins.


edical waste is unwanted biological products that are highly infectious in nature. It has to be disposed properly otherwise it poses a health and environmental danger. Medical waste is found in hospitals, laboratories, research centres, tattoo parlours, etc. Medical waste is broadly classified as infectious waste and biohazardous waste, and can easily spread any disease virally and can even pose a danger to life. Hospital bins are a great source of dirt that gets accumulated over a period of time if not emptied timeously. They house a great deal of waste that can contain bacteria, which may further reduce the levels of hygiene in patients. They also contain bodily

56 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; RĂŠSource August 2012

fluids and other waste products that, if stringent measures are not followed, will cause numerous problems for staff and patients. The management of medical waste in developing countries poses a major health problem, inviting serious health implications. When visiting health care facilities, patients should not become more ill than they already are, hence it is vitally important to ensure patient safety by keeping the health centre clean and environmentally sound. Waste collection service providers also have to be looked at meticulously.

waste is mixed with the municipal waste and a percentage is buried without any measure or burned with no proper regulation. Public awareness of health care waste has grown in recent years, especially with the emergence of Aids. In addition, the possibility that health care wastes could transmit HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and other agents associated with blood-borne diseases is also a major concern. Therefore, the disposal of health care waste and its potential health impact are an important public health issue.

Waste threats and disposal Illegal disposal In many instances of illegal disposal, medical

Effective medical waste disposal is the first and foremost way to prevent unwanted

Medical waste

diseases and untoward infection from medical wastes. All staff in any hospital or laboratory are equally responsible in housekeeping. Good housekeeping can reduce the infection to a great extent. It also cuts down on the spreading of microorganisms and bacteria. The advantages of proper medical waste disposal include the creation of a healthy atmosphere that is free from microbes, thus minimising the risk of infection to staff, visitors and other people, cutting off unpleasant sights and bad odours, and the reduction of fleas and insects. Most staff are not aware of the risks involved when handling medical waste and the related infections. Sharp objects, such as used needles, pose serious risk of infections like HIV, HBV, etc. If medical waste is not properly disposed by staff, then infection may easily spread to patients and other clients who visit hospital and laboratories. Moreover, while disposing of medical waste, it must be done cautiously without polluting the environment. In an ideal world, staff disposing of medical waste must be well-trained and must be observed by a

supervisor. In addition, every hospital must follow the segregation guidelines.

Bin varieties Some hospitals have installed fire retardant bins in many places that are required by the rules of safety and hygiene. The safety of the patients is crucial to hospitals, making these bins very important in areas where patients’ health and safety is at risk. Hygiene should be a top focus in places where health care is of primary importance. These bins are not only fire-retardant, but also have antibacterial and microbial proper ties, which help ensure that the bin is not responsible for spreading any kind of disease or infection. There are many medical waste bins, community waste bins and waste collection bins in hospitals that are colour-coded and are available in different areas throughout the health care facility. There are also

simple sack holder bins that have pedals or even sensors to prevent mishandling of the bin. Mishandling of bins is a serious issue as this is where most transfer of infections occurs. When installing the medical waste bins, litterbins and waste collection bins, another important factor to consider is size. All bins should ideally be roughly the same size. If one type of bin is filled before another, then there is an increased chance that people will fill the wrong bins with the wrong products – and may lead to improper disposal methods thereof. The hospital bin is a very important tool that helps ensure that health care facilities remain hygienic for a long period, and it is ultimately the responsibility of the authorities in question to take care of this fact. Source: RéSource August 2012 – 57

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Hazardous waste


Asbestiform, asbestos and the ‘regulated six’ Extensive work in outlining the worldwide asbestos problem and putting it in its proper perspective has been performed by public health officials, medical researchers and regulatory authorities. Frank Ehrenfeld, laboratory director for International Asbestos Testing Laboratories, sheds some light on the subject.


ithout repeating similar information and assuming an awareness of the global concerns of environmental and worker safety matters – it may be worthy to explore some subtle and growing issues in the United States (US) arena involving the understated mineralogical and laboratory characterisation issues that may prove far reaching in future asbestos issue expansion.

Overview International and various national definitions of asbestos may eventually be impacted by continued studies of the physiological, epidemiological and mineral data collected globally over the last few decades. From a legal standpoint, the answer is quite simple. In the US we have long associated the ‘regulated six’ in our definition of asbestos. The definition includes parameters of mineral length to width (fibrosity), flexibility and durability (tensile strength), and of some more clinical mineralogical conventions like ‘asbestiform’. Many of us involved with the environmental testing industry are well versed in these familiar definitions. Yet the subtleties of these definitions, especially when it comes to debate between mineralogists, geologists, public health professionals and industrial stakeholders, are significant. At the infancy of asbestos public health legislation and the parallel birth of regulations in the testing community in the US, there was a feeling of compromise which worked well to shepherd through meaningful and


Asbestos ABOVE Asbestos waste

Of course, there was some comfort and convenience with the current definition, as it relieved the labs of any gray areas of interpretation

US Regulated Six

Specific type of mineral fibrosity in which the fibres and fibrils possess high tensile strength and flexibility Term applied to a group of silicate minerals belonging to the serpentine and amphibole groups which have crystallised in the asbestiform habit, causing them to be easily separated into long, thin, flexible, strong fibres when crushed or processed Chrysotile, anthophyllite, actinolite, tremolite, grunerite (Amosite), and riebeckite (crocidolite)

RéSource August 2012 – 59

Hazardous waste

ABOVE Fluoro-edenite. Biancavilla, Sicily 2009 FIGURE 1. Massive tremolite (var. hexagonite) ground with a pestle in a mortar to produce cleavage fragments. Unground sample (upper left) and scanning electron micrographs at various magnifications are shown. Photograph courtesy of USGS.

FIGURE 2. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Standard Reference material 1867a “Commercial Asbestos-Tremolite”. Photograph courtesy of USGS.

timely rules, codes, and guidelines. These regulations made a positive difference in many arenas. Yet for many involved in analytical circles there was always a feeling of incompleteness about the seemingly rigid definitions of the ‘regulated six’ asbestos minerals. This feeling often was associated with case by case or sample to sample observations of the minerals characterised in accredited testing laboratories (labs). Of course, there was some comfort and convenience with the current definition, as it relieved the labs of any gray areas of interpretation. Said another way, the analytical methods for sample collection, preparation, analysis, and data production were usually inflexible. There was some consolation knowing that counting rules were black and white, and that the job of the lab analyst was just filling in the blanks on an analytical data matrix – it was someone else who would interpret and make public health decisions based upon our data. An example… our training as mineralogists and/or microscopists helped us distinguish amphibole cleavage fragments from true asbestiform fibres, but we didn’t have to worry about any overlaps or fuzzy areas of definitions since the counting rules specified a clear length to width aspect ratio. After a generation of maturation, it is safe to say that the current definition for asbestos is not adequate.

crocidolite (riebeckite), tremolite, and actinolite. It is this specific ‘group’ that has been rigidly defined by US regulations and other early foundational documents at the infancy stage of this knowledge base that were mentioned above. For better or worse, it has also been the foundation of various legal arguments. Stakeholders have invested countless hours and dollars behind these definitions and therefore there is a wealth of legal precedence regarding their ‘acceptance’. However, acceptance does not mean valid-

Mineral maneuvers The definition for asbestos listed above simply states: “term applied to a group…” This is from one of the recent ISO methods on asbestos analysis. The original AHERA and other pre-2000 USEPA documents always include the ‘regulated six’ minerals of chrysotile, anthophyllite, amosite (grunerite),

60 – RéSource August 2012

Roadmap to EMP Again, the issue of limitations of the definition of asbestos has been recognised by significant authorities in the US (eg. ASTDR, NIOSH, USGS, OSHA). The best and perhaps most recent example is the Centre for Disease Control’s work with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Engaged professionals should regard this issue and this topic as a requisite to their vocation and their role in public health. The CDC/NIOSH produced the following document: Current Intelligence Bulletin: Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongated Mineral Particles: State of the Science and Roadmap for Research. This is also available at http://

The hope is that other EMPs will be recognised as asbestos, with all of the rights and privileges that entails ity, nor does it mean static intransigence. There can be growth and evolution of any recognised definition. I have witnessed heated dialogue between colleagues debating these definitions. The debate has raged on for well over 25 years. As the knowledge base widens, and especially as bio-physiological and epidemiological evidence mounts, the definitions are, by default, evolving. This maturation has been evident in the more open ISO definition above and in other inclusive parameters in associated guidelines (eg. USEPA Vermiculite Attic Insulation Method). The conversation now involves other asbestiform minerals that exhibit the properties (and possible hazards) of the regulated six. That is, crystal growth habit that is asbestiform with high flexibility, tensile strength, fibrosity, and durability in the environment and, as research is concluding, in biological studies.

bestos-pr.html. The roadmap parallels other historical efforts at clarity. That is to say, the road took some twists and turns and the simple “how do we get from Point A to Point B?” morphed into something that, in an effort to be inclusive of multiple interest group concerns, looked like a map of the Boston Subway. The hope is that other EMPs will be recognised as asbestos, with all of the rights and privileges that entails, and with the bottom line of underscoring public health. For instance, here’s a brief list of some current mineral fibres of concern:

Vermiculite (winchite/richerite): Much has been made of the disaster at Libby Montana and the amphibole mineral complex associated with vermiculite that originated there. Though the actinolite/tremolite series of amphiboles is commonly the mineral in

Hazardous waste RIGHT An asbestos insulation board

question, the whole solid solution series of related hornblendes has contributed winchite and richerite to the dialogue. Where do these two mineral types stand? Is it from asbestiform growth habit? Fibrosity? Durability? Check, check, check. The biological damage was extensive enough that a new classification of ‘Libby Amphibole (LA)’ has been added to the metrics lexicon to incorporate these endmember minerals. Many laboratory professionals could differentiate these minerals from actinolite and tremolite by conventional means – but, often times an accurate characterisation was outside the grasp of many commercial labs. These are officially not regulated asbestos and there are implications for mischaracterisation. With the recognition of the LA category, a comfort level was again established that allowed for labs to ‘call it like they see it’ under the guidelines of counting rules and identification parameters. Once again, labs could do their best and let other

professionals (risk assessors etc.) deal with the repercussions of their data.

Taconite: Headlines in public and academic circles

have proclaimed a connection between this iron-rich silicate rock and mesothelioma. Recent research (2007) focusing on at least one large formation of this rock type in the Great Lakes region of the US that has RéSource August 2012 – 61


twenty-five years


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Hazardous waste


The realm of asbestos disease has expanded to include more than the regulated six target minerals shown iron-rich regulated asbestos minerals in close geologic association with the taconite deposits. These include ferroactinolite, grunerite (amosite), and ferrous rich serpentine mineral. Currently a US$5 million (R42 million) study through the University of Minnesota is being conducted with 2 000 participants to look at the issue. Could taconite be incorporated into a changing and more inclusive definition of asbestos? Or are there mineral and geological issues ancillary to taconite that are the cause for concern?

Erionite: Erionite is known to be a human carcinogen and is listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Group 1 Carcinogen. Erionite has been linked to cases of mesothelioma in Cappadocia, Turkey. Zeolites are microporous aluminosilicates of which there are 176 recognised types. Erionite is a fibrous zeolite, and the Turkish occurrence exhibits extreme fibrosity and can be considered asbestiform. Occupational exposures were prevalent and resulted in many pleural and pericardium diagnosed cases of cancer. Most of the zeolite used in the US is in a ver y fine, granular, non-fibrous form. It is used extensively as a filtering and catalyst media. Fibrous erionite, a residue from volcanic ash, has also been the cause for health investigations in North Dakota and Arizona. Might this fibrous silicate be added to an expanded definition of

62 – RéSource August 2012

asbestos or does the Elongated Mineral Particle definition capture this case?

Fluoro-Edenite: The World Asbestos Conference was held in Taormina Sicily in October 2009. The location was up the coast from Biancavilla, the village where off-the-chart rates of malignant pleural disease have been documented. These cases centered around the absence of industrial exposures to asbestos and the prevalence of volcanic quarry activity where the amphibole mineral was detected. Research continues to demonstrate the health significance of this fibrous mineral especially when compared to asbestos disease cohorts. Like Winchite and Richterite, will this amphibole be considered for any comprehensive list?

Breaking ground Are the concerns of these minerals global? Though perhaps not ubiquitous, really anywhere with exposed outcroppings of fibrous silicates, especially volcanic dust may have the potential for health consequences. International health and safety organisations continue to research and discover that the realm of asbestos disease has expanded to include more than the regulated six target minerals! The four examples above cover three continents. Our lab fields calls and emails about these and other exotic fibrous minerals almost daily from around the world. As this is written, a call from Mexico about Erionite was received.

As an interested industrial hygienist or an indoor air quality professional what should you know about these issues? First off, be aware that these elongated mineral particles might be found in many locations – quarries, foundries, road or excavation sites, and in existing building products. There are a number of occupations that might have the potential for exposure – miners, construction workers, demolition contractors, etc. Notice in the examples listed previously that there is a propensity for exterior exposure (mines, quarries, etc.). Natural occurrences of asbestos (NOA) is a term employed by professionals in defining surface occurrences of asbestos. It seems that many asbestos professionals use NOA to mean naturally occurring asbestos. All minerals including asbestos are, of course, originating naturally in geologic formations – thus there is a redundancy with ‘naturally occurring’. Finally, assume nothing. That is, definitions of asbestos may still be in place by regulators, but to provide the highest level of due diligence, a more open-minded approach might be followed when you sample for airborne contaminants, request laboratory analysis, and interpret data for exposure or risk assessments. “The lab data did not detect any asbestos, but there are high concentrations of long thin silicate minerals.” Please consider the consequences of such observations.

Final note Perhaps the next step is to be aware (and educated) of the EMP dialogue that is ongoing and become an advocate for expanded definitions of asbestos through local, national and international organisations that promote public health.

* ABOUT THE AUTHOR Frank Ehrenfeld is the laboratory director for International Asbestos Testing Laboratories. He directs over 40 world-class scientists in environmental and materials investigations from the 12 000 square foot facilities in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. In his spare time, he participates in his profession as a part of AIHA’s Technical Advisory Panel, Analytical Accreditation Board, and as vice chair of ASTM’s D22.07 Committee on Sampling and Analysis of Asbestos. You can contact Frank at and at



At the heart of a green chemical industry


esponsible Care (RC) represents the heart of the chemical industry. It demonstrates that this important industry is not about reckless manufacture or use of harmful substances and taking shortcuts, but about improving the lives of South Africa’s citizens while putting the safety of the environment and people first. Run by the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA), RC is a global initiative that assists

signatories to improve their safety, health and environmental (SHE) performance by continuously raising standards in management and operations. CAIA members sign a voluntary pledge, committing themselves to the guiding principles of RC and undergo regular third-party verification audits to ensure compliance. RC starts when the CEO or senior executive of a company or site signs the Responsible Care Public Commitment in the presence of staff, union representatives and other stakeholders. The SHE performance of RC signatories is monitored annually by the reporting of key performance indicators. Legal compliance is important and it is expected that companies know what legislation they should comply with. Action plans must be in place should they not comply or if there is new legislation with new requirements.

A number of signatories have shown significant improvements in their SHE performance and have implemented worthy improvement programmes in the time that they have been committed to RC. Arch Wood Protection ran a ‘Goal is Zero’ campaign in 2010 aimed at achieving no recordable employee injuries or illnesses, process safety and environmental incidents, and accidents or spills during product transport. Resulting from this campaign, Arch recorded its best safety performance ever through the first three quarters of the year. Idwala Sales and Distribution launched an energy conservation campaign in 2010 that resulted in significant electricity savings at its Durban and Cape Town offices. RC also supports a company’s sustainable development initiatives. Visit RéSource August 2012 – 63

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Hazardous waste


International expertise meets local safety standards

By 2020, the International Council of Chemical Associations aims to – through a combination of voluntary and regulatory initiatives – provide global capacity to implement best assessment practices and management procedures, especially in developing countries. International chemical product safety specialist Annamaria Frascaria introduced local product safety specialists to the council’s Guidance on Chemical Risk Assessment.


he product safety specialists who gathered at the Responsible Care product safety workshops hosted by the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) in Johannesburg and Durban, benefitted from international expertise that allowed them to compare South Africa’s safety standards with those implemented in the global chemical industry. The workshops, held on 7 and 8 June, were part of the CAIA’s Responsible Care¹ initiative that endeavours to promote the safe manufacture and use of chemicals throughout the lifespan of the product. The aim of the workshops was to introduce the chemical industry in South Africa to the Global Product Strategy (GPS) and to supply information on the importance of GPS and why its principles must be implemented. In addition,

64 – RéSource August 2012

the workshops assist the chemical industry in implementing a product stewardship programme within their business based on the Responsible Care guideline documents.

Global strategy International chemical product safety specialist Annamaria Frascaria, from Dow in Belgium, introduced workshop delegates to the International Council of Chemical Associations’ (ICCA’s) Guidance on Chemical Risk Assessment – a useful tool that allows information to be gathered for any chemical product placed on the market. Frascaria has been working in the specialist field of product safety for 23 years and was excited about her first trip to the African continent. In her presentation, Frascaria said that by

2020 – and in accordance with the ICCA’s vision for a GPS – the association will have: • established a base-set of hazard and exposure information adequate to conduct safety assessments for chemicals in commerce • provided global capacity to implement best assessment practices and management procedures, especially in developing countries • shared relevant product information with co-producers, governments and the public • worked across the value chain, so suppliers and customers can effectively evaluate the risks and enhance their performance • made information on chemicals publicly available (GPS IT-por tal via

Hazardous waste

The Dow goal statement, on the other hand, states that by 2015, the company will make publicly accessible safety assessments for its products globally and, in doing so, will address relevant gaps in hazard and exposure information – continuing to take appropriate action based on the assessments to further protect human health and the environment throughout the life cycle. At the end of 2011, there were 411 Product Safety Assessments (PSAs) posted on the Dow website, including the addition of 60 new PSAs during the fourth quarter. Dow’s published PSAs now cover products accounting for approximately 78% of Dow’s 2011 revenue. PSAs are written for the lay public and cover topics such as basic hazards, exposure potential and risk management measures. They complement other product safety, handling and stewardship documents, which are part of the product responsibility package. The aim of the company’s PSAs is to provide the public with accurate chemical information. Louise Lindeque, Responsible Care manager, says: “We really appreciated

Frascaria travelling to Africa to share with us the importance of chemical risk assessment. The objectives of her GPS presentation were well explained so that delegates could understand the context of chemical risk assessment and the GPS product summaries, which is one of the important outcomes of risk assessment.” All chemical companies are faced with increasing demands and expectations from the community, unions, employees, regulatory authorities and customers to continuously improve the safety, health and environmental performance of their products, making these discussions imperative for the local chemical industry.

Local product stewardship At these workshops, Elsie Snyman, the Sasol senior manager of SHE: Product Stewardship, delivered a presentation on how to implement a company’s product stewardship programme. She focused on product stewardship principles, its framework for implementation and the framework

deliverables and enablers for product stewardship implementation. She emphasised the importance of making relevant risk information transparent and available to the public. The chemical industry in South Africa has started implementing its GPS plan and is already executing some of the first steps recommended in the guideline. The guideline formalises chemical risk assessment as companies will use the same methodology to come to a science-based conclusion of risk, taking into consideration the hazards and exposure scenarios. “Implementation of the Chemical Risk Assessment guideline and developing GPS safety summaries demonstrates the commitment of chemical companies to the Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management, sustainable development and Responsible Care,” adds Lindeque. ¹ Responsible Care is a global initiative by the chemical industry that assists signatories to improve their safety, health and environmental performance.

RéSource August 2012 – 65

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Wastewater management


Change vector analysis for monitoring groundwater dependent ecosystems The use of remote sensing and GIS techniques have been important tools for environmental monitoring, especially in areas where baseline information is lacking and or the terrain is such that data collection is time consuming and expensive. By N Chimboza and A Mlisa


roundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) within the gateway wellfield area were mapped using change vector analysis (CVA) (Umvoto 2005). This paper focuses on the use of Normalised Differential Vegetation Indices (NDVI) to interpret seasonal changes in vegetation cover, especially those identified as linked to groundwater fluctuations and surface-groundwater interactions. To facilitate the assessment of the probable combinations of effects resulting in seasonal vegetation change, or lack thereof, a geospatial model is required. This involves documenting the magnitude and direction of vegetation change – called CVA after Malila 1980 – with respect to the regional and sitespecific patterns that potentially impact on the change.

Study area The study sites are situated within Fernkloof Nature Reserve (FNR) (1 446 ha), which effectively lies between latitudes 34˚22ʹS and 34˚25ʹS, and longitudes 19˚13ʹE and 19˚18ʹE. The FNR is situated approximately 120 km east of Cape Town and is managed by Hermanus Administration, the Overstrand Municipality, assisted by the Fernkloof Advisory Board. The area experiences a warm, temperate Mediterranean-type climate. The mean annual rainfall is 674 mm (Hermanus Magnetic Observatory), with the maximum mean monthly rainfall of 81 mm occurring between June and August, and a minimum of 21.7 mm between December and January (FNR Management Plan, 2001). Precipitation in the form of mist occurs in

autumn and winter. The warm Agulhas current results in temperate winters and warm summers. The annual temperature averages 16.8˚C, with an average summer maximum of 20.5˚C and average winter minimum of 13.2˚C (Toens, 1994). The main vegetation type in the FNR is classified as Macchia or Mountain Fynbos (Veld Type No 69, Acocks; Vegetation type 64, Low and Rebelo, 1996). The Fynbos biome is characterised by its high richness in plant species (over 8 000 species) and the high number of endemic plants – over 80% (Low and Rebelo 1996). The main physiognomic features of the vegetation are the prevalent sclerophyllous shrub form, the scarcity of trees and the relatively minor importance of grasses and of evergreen succulent shrubs (Kruger 1979). Fynbos is characterised by the presence of the following three elements: a restiod component, an ericoid or heath component, and a proteoid component.

Methodology and analysis Quantitatively assessing the likelihood of groundwater dependent ecosystems or perennial systems occurrence requires that vegetation classes be classified and clarified and assessed in the context of topographical and hydrogeology aspects of the area. Figure 1 shows an illustration of the steps undertaken in the analysis.

Image selection and data acquisition Groundwater dependent ecosystems are anticipated to exhibit significant spectral differences compared to the surrounding vegetation between seasons. Multi-temporal images, from a minimum of two seasons, are therefore required for change detection mapping. To determine the dates of the required seasonal images, knowledge and analysis

66 – RéSource August 2012

Wastewater management

of the rainfall patterns of the study area is important. A comparison of rainfall data from Vogelgat, HMO and Hamilton Russel weather stations was done. Monthly rainfall records for the three stations for the monitoring period are shown in Figure 2. The optimal acquisition dates would be at the point when groundwater dependent ecosystems areas exhibit significantly different characteristics to the surrounding land cover, usually coinciding with a period of seasonal climatic change and associated vegetative response (Jensen 1996.) For the greater Hermanus area with a winter rainfall season, images were selected from October 2008, September 2009 after a wet season and March 2009, February 2010 end of dry season, when groundwater dependent ecosystems should be wetter and therefore greener. The study acquired red, green and blue aerial-photos using Canon, while the Nikon D100 (Kodak #89B opaque infrared gel filter) was used for the near-infrared (NIR) aerial photo. A single strip of stereo aerial photography covering the study area was captured with the parameters outlined in Table 1. The camera specifications allow for images to be taken in the visible and near-infrared spectrum, which are important for vegetation studies (see Table 2 and Figure 3). In the visible spectral region (0.4 to 0.7 μm), light absorption by leaf pigments dominates the reflectance spectrum of the leaf and leads to generally lower reflectance. In the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum, there are two main absorption bands, in blue (0.40 to 0.59 μm) and in red (0.67 to 0.89 μm), due to leaf pigments for use during photosynthesis. These strong absorptions bands induce a reflectance peak in the yellow to green (0.55 μm) band. In the NIR spectral region (0.7 to 1.3 μm), leaf structure explains the spectral properties. The internal leaf structure as well as the amount of air spaces in the mesophyll determines the interfaces with different refraction indices. NIR spectral region has two main spectral regions: between 0.7 and 1.3 μm where reflectance is high, except in two minor water-related absorption bands (0.96 and 1.1 μm), and between 1.1 and 1.3 μm, which corresponds to the transition between high NIR and the water-related absorption bands of the short wave infrared. The acquired image covers the Fernkloof nature reserve in which the recharge zone to

FIGURE 1: Project process flowchart

FIGURE 2: Monthly rainfall figures from the weather stations for 2008 and 2009


29 September 2009

09 February 2010

Image Resolution (GSD – nominal)

1.25 m

1.25 m

Shutter Speed (Canon 10D)

1/4 000 sec

1/4 000 sec

Aperture Setting (Canon 10D)



Shutter Speed (Nikon D100)

1/4 000 sec

1/4 000 sec

Aperture Setting (Nikon D100)




Wavelength (μm)


Band 1

0.45 to 0.49 (Blue)

Water absorption

Band 2

0.49 to 0.59 (Green)

Vegetation reflectance

Band 3

0.61 to 0.68 (Red)

Vegetation absorption

Band 4

0.78 to 0.89(NIR)

High vegetation reflectance

the gateway wellfield is located. The image also covers the Hermanus gateway wellfield area. Besides acquired seasonal digital aerial photography, the following data is also required to assist in the discrimination

of groundwater dependent systems: • 1:50 000 rivers • 1:50 000 geology contacts • 1:50 000 geological faults • 20 m DEM

RéSource August 2012 – 67

Wastewater management

Band 3 is the red chlorophyll absorption band of healthy green vegetation and is one of the most important bands for vegetation discrimination. Band 4 is especially responsive to the amount of vegetation biomass present in a scene. It is useful for identification of vegetation types and emphasizes soil crop and landwater contrast. FIGURE 3: Typical spectral response characteristics of green vegetation (after Hoffer, 1978)

Identification of groundwater dependent ecosystems A change vector can be described by direction of change and a magnitude of change from date one to date two. If a pixel’s gray-level value in two images is given by X  (x 1 ,x 2 ,x 3 ,...,x n ) and Y  (y 1 , y 2 , y3 , ..., y n ) respectively, where n is the number of bands, then a change vector is defined as Z  Y  X  ( y1  x1 , y2  x2 , y3  x3 ,..., yn 

where ΔZ is all the change that occurred between the two dates for that particular pixel. To quantify multidimensional change magnitude Z in CVA, the Euclidean distance between the vector endpoints in the change space is computed Z  ( y1  x1 ) 2  ( y 2  x 2 ) 2  ( y3  x3 ) 2  ...  ( y n  x n ) 2

This represents the total gray-level difference between the two dates (Jin Chen et al. 2003). The greater Z is, the higher the possibility of a change between the two season dates. Therefore, lower Z values show areas of potential groundwater discharge and sur face-groundwater interaction, as the possibility of change between two seasons on such areas is believed to be very little. Bands 2, 3 and 4 were used to quantify the change direction that occurred between the two seasons. These bands were selected with respect to their significance in vegetation studies: Band 2 corresponds to green reflectance of healthy vegetation and provides support in analysis of land use, soil and vegetation characteristics.

68 – RéSource August 2012

Topographic analysis: Topographic analysis of the area was done using a 20 x 20 m Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Topographic position and stratigraphy influence both the frequency and duration of soil saturation. For example, areas of lower elevation in a floodplain or marsh have more frequent periods of inundation and/or greater duration than most areas at higher elevations (Department of the Army, 1987). Two major topographic variables were calculated from the DEM, namely slope model and slope aspect. Slope model is the measure of the magnitude of sur face steepness, which is computed as the vertical angle in degrees. Slope aspect is the mapped direction of downward slope, expressed in degrees of azimuth angle (range 0 to 360 increasing clockwise from north). Flat areas are indicated by the value –1. Land cover classification: A land covermapping task was undertaken to further detail map the classes based on the South African National Land Cover 2000 (NLC2000) mapping. The NLC2000 dataset was not used mainly because of the difference in the mapping scales. This step is critical in identifying, masking and subsequently excluding from further data processing any land cover classes that would not contain groundwater dependent ecosystems such cultivated lands, residential areas, etc. Imagery collected soon after the wet season (end of October imagery) was used to produce this dataset since almost all vegetation classes would be identifiable. Unsupervised classification was done using the ISODATA (iterative self-organising data analysis) algorithm, which requires the

user to specify the number of initial desired classes in the image – in this case 30 classes were specified. The algorithm then attempts to locate the mean vector for each of the 30 classes. Next, 30 initial estimates of the location of the mean vectors in the 4D spectral space are obtained. Each pixel is then assigned to a class based on how close (minimum distance to the mean) it is to the mean vectors. The mean of all the pixels provisionally assigned to a class becomes our new estimate of the class mean (Schott 2007). The sample pixels are tentatively reassigned using the new class means, and the procedure repeats in this fashion until the class means no longer change (Schott 2007) or until a maximum percentage of pixel assignments have been reached between iterations.

Results Results from the CVA, topographic analysis and land cover classification were used to identify possible GDEs. Areas that have low probability of occurrence of groundwater dependent ecosystems were masked out, these include built up areas, water bodies and cultivated lands to ensure that only natural vegetation changes and not humaninduced changes are mapped using the land cover classification results. Field verification: Using results from the above analysis, eight sites within the Fernkloof Nature Reserve were selected for the field verification process and the results are given in the table below. The aim of the field verification was twofold: • to verify the existence of riparian and wetland vegetation in locations identified by the CVA analysis in the field • to review and revise the algorithms to correctly reflect the location of vegetation units in the field. From the visited sites, two were identified as ecological monitoring sites while three others were identified as potential monitoring site and the remaining three had no relevance to ecological monitoring. The monitoring remarks (see Table 3) followed consultations with ecologist involved in the field verification and also an input from external ecologists.

Monitoring of the GDEs Site 7 and Site 8a from the CVA, now named FK7 and FK8 respectively, were selected for monitoring. These sites were identified to be

Wastewater management

suitable for continuous ecological monitoring to detect groundwater abstraction impact, if any.

Conclusions and recommendations The main objective of this study was to utilise the NDVI technique as a tool for monitoring groundwater dependent ecosystems using aerial photo imagery. The ground truthing has also shown that the CVA methodology is effective at mapping potential perennial groundwater discharge areas and therefore may be used as a tool to identify groundwater-surface water interaction monitoring sites. Though the results were positive, there is a need for more stringent filters to be applied to ensure that less unneeded information is received during the analysis. The following recommendations were made: As suggested by Thompson et al (2002), there are also various other biomass indicator combinations, which beg investigation, that may be used to more accurately or effectively interpret the data spectrally. For example, the use of hyperspectral imagery,

which provides a wider range of spectral coverage. This will enable a much better filter on the type of vegetation to be analysed. The inclusion of soil type data, containing information on hydric properties of the soil, e.g. permeability of the soil. This would be highly recommended for localised studies. Detailed analysis of vegetation species; this can be provided by the use of hyperspectral imagery to ascertain the occurrence of wetland vegetation. A depth to water table dataset is also useful to ascertain that vegetation sprouts mapped are linked to groundwater. A further development in the time series analysis is to use the area covered by the ecological site instead of a point source. A GPS mapping of the ecological site area must be undertaken to ensure ground truthing is done for the polygon shapes to

be taken out of the remote sensing process. The groundwater exploration study is currently focusing on prioritising the sites picked up by the ground truthing, determining which are suitable for on the ground monitoring, and developing a monitoring methodology. The primary factor to be monitored is water availability to plants and therefore data from piezometers installed at the sites could be used in conjunction with the biomass monitoring method developed for time series change detection. RéSource August 2012 – 69

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Plant & equipment

New compact recycling crusher hits the market Following discussions with customers, rubble master engineers have catalogued a list of potential improvements to the product and the Rubble Master RM80 GO! is the end result.


rushing and screening specialist Pilot Crushtec is launching the new Rubble Master RM80 GO!, an extensively updated edition of the popular RM80 compact recycling crusher that has operated in the country for the past three years. “The RM80 GO! is a logical development of its predecessor’s design. Following discussions with customers, Rubble Master engineers have over the past few years catalogued a list of potential improvements to the product and the RM80 GO! is the end result,” says director of sales, Graham Kleinhans. One of the most important features of the new Rubble Master is that manual controls have been replaced by a colourcoded pushbutton control system, which makes it exceptionally easy to operate. “The new range requires just a single operator who can set up and start the machine purely by pressing a series of buttons in the right sequence. In addition, this same operator can tram the Rubble Master around a site using its remote control system,” he continues. He adds that in a business where time is money, it should be noted that the RM80 GO! is capable of being offloaded and made

ready for action within 10 minutes of arrival on site. Significantly, it packs an even bigger punch than its predecessor. It is now supplied with a John Deere 6-cylinder engine, delivering 168 kW at 1 800 rpm – an increase of 38%. Lower engine revolutions mean lower fuel consumption, and the RM80 GO! consumes a minimal 18 ℓ/h while its maximum throughput has increased to 160 t/h. Kleinhans is par ticularly enthusiastic about the functionality of the new design. “Ease of maintenance was high on its designers’ list of priorities and access to key components has improved to the extent that they can all be worked on from ground level. This will be a huge benefit for our customers, many of whom operate in rural areas.” He is quick to point out that the

ABOVE Without each one of our people, a record year such as this one could not have been achIeved BELOW The all new RM80 GO! compact recycling crusher

RM80 GO! is an ideal choice of product for use in business districts and residential areas. The crusher is fully compliant with European noise and exhaust emissions regulations and is fitted with a self-contained dust suppression system. Rubble Master is based in the Austrian city of Linz and its versatile compact crushers are used worldwide for the recycling of rubble, asphalt and concrete, and crushing medium hard stone to produce saleable construction materials. Every RM80 GO! is equipped with a magnetic separator as standard to ensure that crushed rock or concrete is produced free of metallic objects.

RéSource August 2012 – 71


MAN cleans up.

The ultimate vehicle for waste management. As a company dedicated to commercial vehicles, and only commercial vehicles, MAN understands the needs of specialist operators. In the waste management ďŹ eld, we offer quality heavy and extraheavy models. All feature the same reliability, durability and versatility that MAN clients have come to expect. Find out why, for decades, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a MAN for every occasion.

s",/%-&/.4%). s"/437!.!  s#!0%4/7. s#%.452)/.  s%!34,/.$/. s%2-%,/ s'%/2'% s*/(!..%3"52' s+)-"%2,%9  s-)$$%,"52' s.!-)")!  s.%,3025)4 s0).%4/7.  s0/,/+7!.% s0/24%,):!"%4(  s37!:),!.$  s6%2%%.)').'  For your Finance and Insurance requirements, contact us on 011 387 1940. An Authorised Financial Services and Registered Credit Provider.

Plant & equipment

The ‘green’ fleet Integral to an eco-friendly truck fleet is improving safety and efficiency while significantly reducing the overall carbon footprint.

combinations, powered predominantly by 6x4 derivatives from MAN. The new green fleet will be managed by Imperial and commenced duty with the launch of two MAN TGS WW 26.440 truck-tractors pulling the groundbreaking low tare mass ‘teardrop’ trailers fabricated by SA Truck Bodies, under licence to UK-based trailer builder Don-Bur. “Apart from the fact that we’ve built a strong relationship with MAN over the years, the original equipment manufacturer is internationally recognised for the high safety levels of its standard equipment as well as the industry-leading fuel consumption figures of its TGS WW mod-

Much investment into the greening of its supply chain has been made by the organisation


he imperative to reduce carbon emissions to help prevent global warming forms a central component of building materials manufacturer Lafarge’s environmental protection strategy. Over the past five years, much investment into the greening of its supply chain has been made by the organisation.In South Africa, Lafarge Gypsum SA runs a fleet of long-haul trucks carrying construction materials such as plasterboard, bagged cement, steel ceiling grids, metal studs and aluminium profiles between Gauteng and all major centres in the country. Research and development work to reduce the environmental impact of its long-haul truck distribution fleet, while also improving the safety of drivers and ground personnel, was done by the group in the United Kingdom (UK). According to Richard Nancarrow, supply chain manager at the company, Lafarge Gypsum SA initiated a pilot programme in partnership with MAN Truck & Bus SA and the Imperial Group to replicate what is being achieved in the UK fleet. “A combination of smart truck and trailer design, and comprehensive driver

training form the foundation of our green transport initiative, one which promises to greatly improve the safety and productivity of our long-haul fleet while significantly reducing its carbon footprint.” The existing Lafarge Gypsum SA truck fleet is comprised of some 30 truck-trailer

els. These factors played a significant part in satisfying the stringent safety and efficiency requirements of our green fleet specification sheet,” explains Nancarrow. For MAN Truck & Bus SA, the par tnership with Lafarge Gypsum SA and Imperial Group will act as a viable platform to prove the merits of both the TGS WW 26.440 and MAN’s local ser vice/suppor t infrstructure.

Lafarge Gypsum SA initiated a pilot programme in partnership with MAN Truck & Bus SA and the Imperial Group to replicate what is being achieved in the UK fleet

RéSource August 2012 – 73

A Daimler Brand 082500


The Mercedes-Benz Axor. Best practice just got better. In the area of waste management, the Mercedes-Benz Axor is synonymous with EHVWSUDFWLFH,WERDVWVDQXPEHURIIHDWXUHVWKDWPDNHLWHYHQPRUHHIĂ&#x20AC;FLHQW7KH instrument cluster with graphic display provides better visibility and is both more informative and functional. Automatic departure check is also available, whilst the state-of-the-art multifunction steering wheel integrates a whole host of features.

Attractive yet harder wearing fabric covers the comfortable seats and Axorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s looks have been spruced up with a trimmed grille and larger star. Of course, you still have our nationwide support network on 24-hour standby. For more information contact your Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle dealer, telephone 0800 133 355 or visit

Plant & equipment

Leading the way in sustainable mobility In a world challenged to reuse and recycle, to conserve and protect, comes an automotive brand determined to make a significant technological contribution towards reducing the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on the environment.


uel-efficient and environmentally sustainable premium automobiles and state-of-the-art commercial vehicles and passenger cars from MercedesBenz South Africa (MBSA) are the cornerstones of an environmentally conscious brand strategy. MBSA’s aim is to substantially reduce fuel consumption and to minimise emissions – and to completely eliminate them in the long run. To this end, the company is developing cutting-edge drive technologies that meet current and future mobility requirements in all aspects of road traffic. Alongside economic factors – primarily increasing fuel prices – the environmental sustainability of vehicles is gaining importance in customer’s purchasing decisions. Customers want safe, comfortable and powerful vehicles that are also extremely efficient and environmentally compatible. The key challenge is to make vehicles even more efficient and clean without compromising on comfort or safety. By developing optimised vehicles with hightech internal combustion engines, hybrid drives with a choice of output ratings and electric vehicles with batteries or fuel-cells, the manufacturer is consciously taking a multi-lane route to producing environmentally compatible and eventually zero-emission vehicles. In this way it is possible to provide sustainable mobility with great variety at a high level.

Roadmap for sustainable mobility MBSA’s development strategy is centred on securing its leading position within the premium vehicle segment, and three key fields of action are defined in the roadmap for sustainable mobility. These are: • The optimisation of vehicles with the very latest combustion engines – such as downsizing, petrol direct injection, turbocharging and BlueTEC – as well as specific vehicle optimisation initiatives in areas such

as aerodynamics, lightweight design and energy management (BlueEfficiency). • Further efficiency improvements via individually tailored hybridisation in a number of stages – from the start/stop function through to the two-mode hybrid with full electric drive capability. • Zero-emissions driving with fuel cells and battery-powered vehicles.

Up to 30% less fuel consumption Development engineers have devised individual packages tailor-made for each vehicle segment. The objective is to find the best solution for each individual vehicle model. Under the BlueEfficiency label, Mercedes-Benz has developed a package of various fuel economic measures, which are being rolled out through the entire model range. The package encompasses optimisation of weight, aerodynamics, rolling resistance, energy management and powertrain. BlueEfficiency initiatives can reduce fuel consumption by up to 30%.

The manufacturer wants to make petrol engines as efficient as diesel engines, and diesel engines as clean as petrol engines. With the highly efficient BlueTec exhaust gas treatment system, the company has already achieved its aim for the diesel engine, and thus proven the future viability of the self-ignition engine. When it comes to fuel consumption, the latest diesel technology is currently the best option for large sedans and SUVs. Many commercial vehicles under the brand are engineered with BlueTec and today we see more than 330 000 trucks and buses on international roads with this technology and around 5 000 with alternative drive systems. On both the commercial vehicle and passenger cars, Germany is moving to Euro 6 emission-free levels, which require diesel with a sulphur content of less than 10 ppm. MBSA has the technology to offer customers significant fuel savings, but without the required fuel as they cannot bring this to South Africa.

RéSource August 2012 – 75

IWMSA news


IWMSA welcomes new president The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa is delighted to announce the appointment of two women into the key roles of president and vice-president of the organisation following the recent election of new council and committee members.


he Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) is proud to rank among its members a number of women who are not only exceptionally well educated and experienced, but also passionate about the important role that good waste management practices play in improving both our society and our environment. The IWMSA bids a fond farewell to itsformer president, Stan Jewaskiewitz, who made an enthusiastic and dedicated contribution to the organisation during his tenure, and welcomes Deidre NxumaloFreeman as the new president and Dr Suzan Oelofse as the new vice-president. Nxumalo-Freeman, who has stepped up to the role of president from her previous role as vice-president, says: “I would like to see the IWMSA becoming increasingly instrumental in facilitating dialogue as well as action among key stakeholders in the industr y, encouraging others with the Dr Suzan Oelofse, vice-president, IWMSA

same vision and concerns to work together for the greater good.” Nxumalo-Freeman is also intent on tackling issues from the ground up. “We need to ensure that empowerment seminars, workshops and training inter ventions are brought right down to grass roots level in order for individuals to better understand where they fit into the value chain – to really grasp the fact that waste is a resource and that a sustainable living can be made by nur turing these resources appropriately,” she explains. Nxumalo-Freeman has worked hard at changing the way the public perceive women in the waste management industr y and the results are self-evident. She believes strongly that the IWMSA needs to work closely with regulator y authorities to create a higher set of norms

and standards in the waste management industr y and attributes her success to hard work, perseverance and the suppor t of family and friends. As vice-president, Oelofse’s responsibilities will be to ser ve IWMSA members by creating excellent networking, information sharing and learning oppor tunities. Oelofse is determined that the IWMSA should have the edge when it comes to awareness of new developments regarding waste regulation in Southern Africa. She intends to closely monitor developments in the industr y and to promptly disperse information to members where relevant. With a PHD from RAU and experience as a principal researcher at the CSIR, Oelofse’s goal is to find innovative ways to engage government on waste management issues.

Individuals need to grasp the fact that waste is a resource and that a sustainable living can be made by nurturing these resources appropriately.” Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman, President, IWMSA

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS 600SA Afrisam South Africa Akura Amandus Kahl Hamburg Barloworld Equipment Boitumelong Holdings CAIA Desco Electronic Recyclers Duncanmec Engineered Linings Enviroserv Waste Management Envitech Solutions

76 – RéSource August 2012

27 38 16 25 36 20 - 21 63 9 - 11 OBC 45 IFC 13

Golder Associates Africa Howden International Asbestos Testing Laboratories Interwaste Jan Palm Consulting Engineers Landfill Equipment MAN Truck & Bus Mercedes-Benz Mills & Otten Mpact Plastic Containers MTM Bodies

69 57 61 IBC 15 35 72 74 19 2 42

OilKol Oil-X-Oil Otto Waste Systems Pikitup Johannesburg Pilot Crushtec Plastics SA Power-Gen Africa Rose Foundation SLR Consulting Talbot and Talbot Vermeer Equipment Suppliers Worley Parsons

OFC 65 24 28 70 30 47 4 52 18 34 32

Resource Aug 2012  

Resource Aug 2012