Page 1

is printed on 100% recycled paper

The official journal of the

Promoting integrated resources management

Circular Economy

How circular is the South African economy?

Landfills

How can landfills be extended sustainably?

Waste Pickers

No reclaimers, no recycling!

MINING WASTE Legislative jumble

foils recycling potential

ISSN 1680-4902 • R55.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 23 No. 03 • August 2021


A VACCINE AGAINST CLOGGING

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Vol. 23, No. 03, August 2021

ON THE COVER Mine waste is the single largest waste stream generated in South Africa, accounting for 87.7% of all waste generated in the county, yet a quagmire of uncertainty holds back its recycling potential. P6

MINE WASTE

REGULARS

3 5 8 44 44

Editor’s comment President’s comment News round-up Events Index to advertisers

CONTENTS

MINE WASTE

Legislation preventing the recycling of mining waste

AUGUST 2021

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MUNICIPAL FEATURE

Incentive project encourages lower- income areas to participate in recycling

10

LANDFILLS

How can landfills be extended sustainably?

13

PAPER Register with the right PRO before 5 November

16

EMISSIONS Carbon tax compliance requires meaningful change 17 GEOSYNTHETICS

13

LANDFILLS

Landfill containment: cost-effective long-term solutions

19

LEGAL COMPLIANCE

Managing your waste to achieve legal compliance

20

MATERIALS RECOVERY FACILITIES

22

Stellenbosch’s new waste MRF

WASTE PICKERS

24

No reclaimers, no recycling

RECYCLING

Driving sustainable practices in the tyre industry From packets to pitches

30

PUMPS & VALVES

Spare pump parts more important than ever

RENEWABLE ENERGY

RENEWABLE ENERGY

26 28 29 30

Opportunities for solar panel recycling

PLASTICS

SA gears up to celebrate Clean-up & Recycle SA Week SAPRO opens entries for awards

32 33

CIRCULAR ECONOMY

17

How circular is the South African economy? EnviroServ joins government efforts to support circular economy

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

37 38

Delving into SA’s residential power use

EMISSIONS

34

INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS

41

Waste reuse

ORGANIC WASTE

www.infrastructurenews.co.za

Why composting should be part of your sustainability strategy AUGUST 2021

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WOMEN:

Powerful agents of change in the green economy and environment

This Women’s Month we celebrate the women who work tirelessly in support of the NCPC-SA’s mission to promote resource efficient and cleaner production in industry.

Join the ranks of these powerful agents of change by signing up for the NCPC-SA assessment or our training programs.

Visit: www.ncpc.co.za

The NCPC-SA supports the Sustainable Goals in:

THA 17-2021

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

We are currently not all in the office so please email us on ncpc@csir.co.za. For more information, visit www.ncpc.co.za. The NCPC-SA is a programme that promotes the uptake and implementation of resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP), funded by the dtic and hoisted by the CSIR.

the dtic Department: Trade, Industry and Competition REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.


EDITOR’S COMMENT

Going beyond recycling

Editor Nombulelo Manyana Managing editor Alastair Currie Head of design Beren Bauermeister Chief sub-editor Tristan Snijders Contributors Willem de Lange, Benita de Wet, Thurman Ezikiel, Lorren Haywood, Mishqah Hussain, Brendon Jewaskiewitz, Logan Moodley, Lerato Molefi, Suzan Oelofse, Garyn Rapson, Hugh Tyrrell, Eckart Zollner Production & client liaison manager Antois-Leigh Nepgen Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise Group sales manager Chilomia Van Wijk Distribution manager Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham Printers Novus Print Montague Gardens Tel +27 (0)21 550 2300 Advertising sales Joanne Lawrie Cell +27 (0)82 346 5338 joanne@3smedia.co.za

Publisher Jacques Breytenbach 3S Media 46 Milkyway Avenue, Frankenwald, 2090 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 www.3smedia.co.za Annual subscription subs@3smedia.co.za R200.00 (incl VAT) South Africa ISSN 1680-4902 Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa Tel +27 (0)11 675 3462 Email iwmsa@iwmsa.co.za All material herein 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 of authors expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa. © Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. Novus Holdings is a Level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Contributor, with 125% recognised procurement recognition. View our BBBEE scorecard here: https://novus.holdings/sustainability/ transformation The ABC logo is a valued stamp of measurement and trust, providing accurate and comparable circulation figures that protect the way advertising is traded. ReSource is ABC audited and certified.

We’ve all heard the classic trio: reduce, reuse, recycle. But ver y few people are aware that there are other steps you must take to reduce your impact on the environment – before ultimately recycling.

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ccording to a report released by the UN Environment Programme and the CSIR in 2018, Africa recycles only 4% of the waste it generates. This is a far cry from the African Union’s vision that African cities will be recycling at least 50% of the waste they generate by 2023. We must start thinking differently about not only where our waste goes but rather what we can do to reduce our environmental footprint. Within the waste hierarchy, there are six principles of sustainability, namely: rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. Not only do these six principles of sustainability force us to think about our waste generation habits but they further the efforts of moving towards a circular economy. Let’s take a look at these pillars:

Rethink Do I really need that? According to this principle of sustainability, this is the first question you should be asking yourself. It implores consumers to question and understand that their consumption habits have an impact on the environment – and decide whether they want it to be negative or positive.

Reduce This might be the most important of the six principles. We need to be reducing the amount of waste we generate by making smarter decisions. The idea is to consume less, so we waste less.

Refuse This one basically implores consumers to refrain from buying products that are not environmentally friendly and rather buy those that lend themselves to being recycled. With the gazetted extended producer responsibility regulations, this will be an easy consideration.

Reuse Before throwing it away, repurpose that product in another way. Reinvent it by upcycling it. One of the articles in this issue looks at how the tyre industry is reusing and repurposing waste tyres (see page 26). Always look for alternative ways to use your products.

Repair Before you recycle, think to yourself: ‘Can I fix this?’ This part asks us to explore the different ways we can expand the shelf life of the product and/or make better use out of whatever we buy.

Recycle Lastly, if you cannot reuse the product, then recycle it. Practise separation at source and buy recyclable goods. With the regulations government has put in place and continues to implement, consumers have no excuse not to recycle. We must start thinking beyond simply recycling and rather about implementing sustainable practices within our daily activities.

Nombulelo AUGUST 2021

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THE KEY TO GREAT COMMUNICATION IS BEING ADAPTABLE …UNLOCK the many benefits of IWMSA MEMBERSHIP…

BUILD YOUR NETWORK through regular interaction with like-minded individuals who are working towards a sustainable environment

REDUCED COST by attending events discounted exclusively for IWMSA members

KNOWLEDGE through education and training in the realm of effective and efficient waste management is also a key focus for us

HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD as we contribute to the improvement of waste management standards and legislation, support international, national and regional trends in best environmental practices

GAIN TRUST through adhering to the IWMSA code of ETHICS trusted by clients in the waste environment

APPLY ONLINE AT www.iwmsa.co.za www.iwmsa.co.za I ann@iwmsa.co.za I 011 675 3462


PRESIDENT’S COMMENT

LOOTING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES “We don’t make reality. We evade it. By looting natural capital and hiding the costs. But the bill is coming, and we won’t be able to pay.” – Richard Powers, The Overstory

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s I pen this note, in the midst of the devastating third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and the worst civil unrest democratic South Africa has seen, I cannot help but reflect on our recent past with dismay and genuine wonder as to what the future might hold. At the moment, with the shocking visuals of widespread destruction, looting, and loss of life and livelihoods being broadcast across the world, it is hard to remain positive about creating a viable and prosperous future for all, never mind getting on top of our waste management problems. The images of municipal waste collection trucks dumping their loads on our national roads, and the mess left behind by looters and arsonists are hard to erase from one’s mind. The damage to physical property, our status as an investment destination and national psyche is staggering. As events unfold, it is becoming clear that – if we are ever to emerge from this quagmire – the role and level of commitment of civil society are going to be the deciding factors.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IWMSA, VISIT THE WEBSITE

Mirrored by the sector This is also directly applicable to the waste management sector – while many of our national and local government officials have good intentions and the best interests of society at heart, they just don’t seem to be winning the war. This is exemplified by the recent victory in the matter of the South African Human Rights Commission vs Msunduzi Municipality, regarding the mismanagement of the New England Landfill in Pietermaritzburg, in which the municipality was found guilty of breaching a number of environmental laws, including section 24 of the Constitution, which upholds everyone’s right to a healthy environment, protected from pollution. It is a sad day when the resolution of matters on which we have an abundance of expertise – but a lack of political will and leadership – requires civil society to approach the courts for help. This is going to happen more and more, particularly as aggrieved parties become emboldened by such judgments. One may ask where are the established authorities, who are clearly mandated to deal with such matters, including enforcement?

we cannot think that recycling on its own will solve our problems. Much more attention needs to be paid to the upstream elements of resource utilisation, starting with the design and manufacture of components and products to enable costeffective and efficient recycling, and the reuse of materials down the line, while still performing the job for which they were intended. This is clearly part of the ongoing circular economy discussion, and will present many interesting and exciting challenges for years to come.

Registration open Please don’t forget to take a look at our website and support the IWMSA by registering for ‘Landfill and Waste Treatment 2021’ – our first virtual seminar and exhibition of its kind – to be held from 3 to 5 November. Plans are taking shape and we look forward to seeing you online. I wish all of you and your loved ones the best of health during these trying times. Please be safe and well.

Repaving the road ahead Speaking of looting, this edition of ReSource, featuring recycling and resource efficiency, is one with a relevant theme in our current waste management predicament. We simply cannot continue on the current path of resource exploitation and waste accumulation indefinitely, living permanently in a state of crisis. However,

Brendon Jewaskiewitz, President, IWMSA

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MINE WASTE

Legislation preventing the

recycling of mining waste Mine waste is the single largest waste stream generated in South Africa, accounting for 87.7% of all waste generated in the countr y. By Lorren Haywood, Benita de Wet, Willem de Lange & Suzan Oelofse*

T

he magnitude of environmental damage associated with acid mine drainage and leaching from mine waste dumps globally is rated by the European Environmental Bureau as “second only to global warming and stratospheric ozone depletion.” Merely addressing the environmental damage is not enough to mitigate the impacts. A more proactive approach is required. Avoiding waste generation by using smar ter mining techniques, as

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well as the reuse of mine waste in other applications, would bring about alignment with the waste management hierarchy and suppor t South Africa’s transition to a circular economy. Numerous uses of mine waste have been documented globally, including aggregate and fill material for construction, structural additives to concrete, topsoil for agricultural activities, backfill, landscaping material, and aggregate in roadbuilding. Mine water is often used for dust suppression and in mineral processing, industrial cooling, and

– with proper treatment – even for irrigation and domestic use. The mine water purification plant supplying water of drinking water quality to eMalahleni Municipality in Mpumalanga is an example; however, uptake of the reuse of mine waste in South Africa has been slow. The CSIR investigated the main reasons for the slow uptake of the reuse of mine waste in the South African economy and discovered that legislative and governance issues are the primar y reason. The


MINE WASTE Consequently, all materials considered to be waste from the mining process are only addressed in terms of environmental management requirements and reuse is not a major consideration of that management process. The cradle-to-cradle approach not only focuses on reducing, minimising and mitigating environmental impacts, but also encourages the uptake and reuse of mine waste as inputs into other industries. It is, therefore, not enforced and, consequently, closing the loop on mine waste is not possible. research findings were first published in the journal The Extractive Industries and Society in 2019, which highlighted the following key issues hampering mine waste reuse in South Africa:

The lack of a clear definition of mine waste Mine waste is not defined in South African law. The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (No. 28 of 2002; MPRDA) defines ‘residue deposits’ and ‘residue stockpiles’. These definitions are carried for ward into Categor y A: Hazardous Waste of schedule 3 in the amended National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008) in 2014. In the MPRDA, residue deposits and residue stockpiles are considered to be resources with reuse potential, whereas the same residue deposits and stockpiles are defined as waste streams in the Waste Act, schedule 3. This contradiction creates confusion on the legal status of the material and consequently hampers the development of any business case for the reuse of mining waste, or associated markets.

Conflicting mandates of authorities The responsibility for the regulation of mining activities and their environmental impacts is split between two depar tments to avoid conflicts of interest in the regulator y mandates. However, mine waste remains a contentious issue by vir tue of the fact that one depar tment views this material as a resource for future mining, while the other depar tment is concerned about potential environmental damage from a waste management perspective. Reusing mine waste as an input into the secondar y resources economy, as envisaged from a waste management perspective, permanently locks all future oppor tunity for remining from a mineral extraction perspective. Therefore, tension remains, and the conflict is not conducive to promoting the recover y and reuse of mine waste. In fact, it traps the residue between being a byproduct with economic value and being an environmental hazard. In the study, the impor tance of suitable, well-aligned legislation, clear unambiguous

definitions, and appropriate classification of waste streams were identified as necessar y to enable and drive the development of a secondar y resources economy – including industries suppor ting the repurposing of mine residue and waste. Failing to fulfil these requirements first will make it impossible for anyone to build a business in reusing mine waste. Fur thermore, the benefits to be realised if the largest waste stream in South Africa is reused or repurposed far outweighs the cost associated with the clean-up and mitigation of environmental damage caused by mining. The environmental benefits will be complemented by socio-economic benefits, including increased employment and improved living conditions for those living in currently and formerly mined areas. *Lorren Haywood, Benita de Wet, Willem de Lange and Suzan Oelofse form par t of the Sustainability, Economics and Waste Research Group at the CSIR.

Mine waste is classified as hazardous waste Listing residue deposits and stockpiles as Categor y A: Hazardous Waste in schedule 3 significantly impedes the reuse and recycling of mine waste. Even though the reuse of hazardous waste is technically and legally possible, the bureaucratic processes and legal requirements for obtaining the required environmental authorisations for reuse are challenging.

Approach to environmental management Another, perhaps less obvious, issue is that current legislation is aligned with a ‘cradle-tograve’ environmental management approach, despite the national government imperative towards creating a circular economy, which calls for a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach. AUGUST 2021

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NEWS ROUND-UP

SUSTAINABILITY NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD SOUTH AFRICA WELCOMES FIRST RECYCLABLE TOOTHPASTE TUBE Colgate’s first recyclable toothpaste tube is now available in South Africa. The oral care brand has launched its new Naturals toothpaste range, with packaging comprising a recyclable plastic tube inside a recycled carton box. Most of today’s toothpaste tubes are made from sheets of plastic laminate – usually a combination of different plastics – sandwiched around a thin layer of aluminium. The mix of materials makes it impossible to recycle through conventional methods. The Colgate Naturals range changes this in South Africa by using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) – the plastic used to make milk jugs and other plastic bottles already widely recycled. The tube has received recognition from APR (Association of Plastic Recyclers) and RecyClass (an initiative that works on improving recyclability of packaging), which set recyclability standards for North America and Europe respectively. The Colgate Naturals range is available now at all major retailers in South Africa. The three variants include Charcoal, Hemp Seed Oil and Aloe Vera, which contain ingredients that are 99.7% of natural origin to make the paste optimal for everyday protection.

Consol glass joins the battle Used oil generators urged against ocean pollution

to recycle responsibly

Consol has launched a multifaceted campaign to raise awareness around the pollution of oceans and encourage a switch from single-use to reusable packaging. Scientists assert that, unless we act soon to remedy the pollution of oceans, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by the year 2050. “By making better choices today, we can create a better tomorrow,” says Dale Carolin, senior executive: Marketing and Commercial, Consol. “By choosing sustainable packaging such as glass, we can be part of this important change and give our oceans a chance to recover. It’s a simple choice that can lead to oceans of change.” Consol will be joining hands with several organisations to raise awareness and encourage action against pollution of our oceans. Initiatives will include working with credible organisations to initiate monthly beach clean-ups on South Africa’s coastline. In an average beach clean-up, dozens of plastic bottles are collected, and these can be recycled and reused. A key element of the ‘I Changed 2050’ campaign is the launch of Consol’s 2050 Sleek Bottle, which is not only stylish but promises to be endlessly refillable and easily recycled.

As June marked National Environment Month, protecting the ecosystems fell firmly in the spotlight. Of par ticular impor tance was ensuring that hazardous waste does not pollute the natural environment. Used lubricating oil is a hazardous waste that, if irresponsibly dumped, can severely contaminate our water resources. One litre of used oil can contaminate a million litres of water. Used oil contains harmful compounds such as iron, tin, copper, zinc, as well as many other hazardous organic molecules. The Recycling Oil Saves the Environment (ROSE) Foundation – an industr y body that has been championing the responsible collection and recycling of used oil for 27 years – is calling on businesses that generate used motor lubricant oil, to become agents of change and ensure that they do their par t to protect the environment by responsibly collecting, storing and recycling the used oil they generate. The foundation says the safe disposal of hazardous waste is a critical issue and the legislation in place means that responsible waste management is no longer merely a good thing to do – it is a necessity.


NEWS ROUND-UP

DIGITAL RECYCLING PLATFORM WINS BIG Joburg-based digital recycling platform Kudoti was announced as one of five winners of Nestlé’s 2021 Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize – winning a cash prize of US$40 000 (about R568 000). Nestlé says the winning teams were selected for their innovative recycling impact through technology. Kudoti, which is Zulu for ‘in the trash’, provides a digital platform to help waste management and recycling companies optimise their operations through the use of data collection tools. The cloud-based platform digitises and automates waste management operations from star t to finish through SMS interactions and webbased inter faces.

Boost for recycling as bottle labelling trial signals success A groundbreaking trial that renders plastic bottles with selfadhesive labels fully recyclable promises positive spin-offs for the environment and plastic producers who have until November to comply with section 18 of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008). Until now, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles with adhesive labels have hampered South African recycling processes, because the glue from the labelling has discoloured the recyclate. This has meant that discoloured recycled PET (rPET) from those bottles could not be repurposed into high-quality, clear plastic beverage bottles, and could only be used to produce a limited range of products. Post-consumer PET bottle recycler Extrupet trialled a new wash-off label adhesive in April in conjunction with PETCO – which showed more than satisfactory results. Plastic producers are set to benefit from the new technology as it would help them comply with new government legislation on extended producer responsibility.

Renewable energy accounts for 7% of SA’s total energy supply As each country pledges its own targets to reduce the production of traditional fuels and turn to ‘greener’ energy sources, how much does each country currently rely on fossil fuel, renewable and nuclear energy sources? Research has found South Africa relies on coal more than any other country in the world, while generating only 7% from renewable sources. A study by energy tariff comparison platform Utility Bidder revealed that Singapore relies on fossil fuels more than any other country. While being the third most reliant nation on fossil fuels, South Africa also uses the highest proportion of coal in the world – standing at 73% of its total supply.

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M U N I C I PA L F E AT U R E

Incentive project encourages lower-income areas to participate in recycling In Saldanha Bay Municipality, a new initiative encourages residents in lower-income areas to par ticipate in recycling by feeding hungr y schoolchildren in return. By Hugh Tyrrell*

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ince it began in 2016, the kerbside recycling collection service operated by Saldanha Bay Local Municipality has been running well in middleand upper-income suburbs. Each week, householders put out their recyclable materials in a clear bag (provided free by the municipality), which is picked up on the same day as refuse removals. Participation by householders in these suburbs has reached over 40%. This is in line with international research showing that higher income and education corresponds with greater environmental awareness and action, including recycling. In the lower-income suburbs of the municipality, the recycling participation rate

is below 15%. Many of those who do not participate, however, would understand the value of recyclable packaging materials, as they form part of the purchase price of groceries and other items they buy. There is reasonable reluctance to part with their recyclables without some form of compensation in return.

Pick n Pay Working for people and planet As a retailer with thousands of suppliers and millions of customers, Pick n Pay is mindful of its broad reach and the environmental impact across the value chain. It is committed to reducing its impact – enabling its customers to play their part in protecting the environment – and working with its suppliers and partners to innovate for a healthy planet. In supporting circular economy principles, Pick n Pay’s progress is underpinned by promoting the ‘avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle’ waste management hierarchy. The retailer’s efforts include working towards ambitious commitments to reduce food waste across its value chain and to increase the renewability of packaging, with a focus on transforming the plastics system. The company assumes a leadership role in local and international collaborative efforts that bring retailers, brand owners, industry bodies and the government together to sit and work towards long-term common targets for the plastics value chain. This will drive positive change for its customers on a much larger scale.

Recycling collector Busiswe Madlaliso, showing off the street trolley for recyclables

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Pick n Pay is a founding member of the SA Plastics Pact, which was launched in January 2020. In 2019, Pick n Pay became a signatory to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Global Commitment to develop a circular economy for plastic. Pick n Pay is also a member of the South African Alliance to End Plastic Pollution in the Environment.


M U N I C I PA L F E AT U R E

PETCO Environmental solutions for post-consumer PET plastic PETCO, the PET Recycling Company, represents the South African PET plastics industry’s joint effort to self-regulate post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling. The PET plastics industry acknowledges that aside from the convenience and life-saving qualities of plastics, a solution for post-consumer plastic packaging is critical in order to minimise its impact on the environment.

Council officials and the recycling collector at the school for the launch of the REEP project

GreenEdge Communications, the recycling behaviour change subcontractor to the municipality, then researched various approaches to providing an incentive, with this in mind. A low-income suburb was selected as the pilot site, where a coupon incentive, exchangeable for food at a nearby shop, was initially offered to those who participated. However, this met with opposition from some parts of a neighbouring informal settlement community, which was not on the municipal recycling collection route and therefore unable to benefit.

The ‘Recycling Enterprise and Education Project’ GreenEdge then came up with an alternative concept as an incentive. Entitled the ‘Recycling Enterprise and Education Project’ (REEP), it encourages residents to participate in recycling, which helps to feed a schoolchild at the same time. In exchange for a bag of recyclables given by a resident to the roving mobile recycling collector, a donation will be made to the nearby Masiphathisane Primary School feeding fund. The donations are generously made as part of a sponsorship by Pick n Pay’s ‘People and Planet’ sustainability programme. PETCO came on board as a co-sponsor, kindly contributing the specially made recycling street carts and uniform. The recycling collector, Busiswe Madlaliso, lives in the suburb herself, thereby providing a community job creation component to the project. Thandokazi Mdungwana – the local

environmental coordinator for the national Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment – is providing environmental education, linked to responsible recycling and environmental care, to the school as well.

Creating employment while feeding young minds The pilot has achieved a fivefold increase in recycling collections, though off a low base. The project will run for three months and then be reviewed. If successful, the aim is to continue it and expand to other areas of the municipality. The REEP project aligns with the circular economy – diverting valuable waste materials from landfill into the recycling industry, reducing energy and resource use, and creating employment – while also helping to feed young learners at school. *Hugh Tyrrell is the founder of GreenEdge Communications.

Street scene in George Kerridge, a suburb in Saldanha Bay Municipality

To achieve this, everyone is involved – from the raw material producers, converters, brand owners and retailers, to consumers and recyclers, all are playing their part in the solution, with PETCO fulfilling the PET industry’s role of extended producer responsibility (EPR). EPR promotes the integration of the environmental costs associated with PET products throughout their life cycles into the marketing costs of the products, and shifts responsibility for dealing with the used container from government and the public to private industry. Operating throughout South Africa, PETCO has been financed by a voluntary recycling levy paid by converters on PET resin purchased. PETCO also receives grants from brand owners, resin producers and retailers. This goes into supporting PET recycling efforts and ensures an ongoing monetary value for postconsumer PET. PETCO’s ongoing public education, awareness activities and support for recycling entrepreneurs and projects promote environmental responsibility and encourage greater recycling of PET plastics. AUGUST 2021

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LANDFILLS

HOW CAN LANDFILLS

BE EXTENDED SUSTAINABLY?

The global increase in population, over-consumption and urbanisation has directly influenced the waste generation rates in recent years. By Logan Moodley, PrEng, Mishqah Hussain & Thurman Ezikiel

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n 2016, a study conducted by the World Bank reported an estimated worldwide waste generation rate of 2.01 billion tonnes – equivalent to 0.74 kg of waste generated a day per person (World Bank, 2019). This is expected to increase to 3.40 billion tonnes by 2050 – weighing approximately 500 times more than the Great Pyramid of Giza! Similarly, eThekwini Municipality is challenged with an ever-increasing amount of waste being generated, with the current option for disposal being landfilling. Landfilling, despite being at the bottom of the waste hierarchy, is key in the effective management of waste within South Africa. It is the primary and most costeffective means of disposal for residential and commercial waste within eThekwini. Despite its convenience and cost-effective nature, landfilling does pose environmental implications over and above the natural resources being wasted. These include the contamination of sur face water and groundwater by leachate, pollution of soil by direct contact with wastes or leachate percolation, air pollution, and the uncontrolled release of

methane by the anaerobic decomposition of waste. Hence, the management of waste produced within the municipality is of economic, environmental and social impor tance. As such, the design, construction and operation of landfills should be conducted in a sustainable manner while encapsulating these three aspects. In addition, consideration should be taken to move away from landfilling as the only option for waste treatment, while embracing waste diversion aspirations.

Working towards zero waste to landfill and beneficiation Within the management of solid waste, the idea of zero waste (although technically not zero, as there will always be residual waste needing final safe disposal) is an effective way to solve issues. Following the concept set out by the waste hierarchy, the aim is to landfill only waste that cannot be processed by diversion – i.e. recycling or reusing. While undeniably an ambitious goal, business leaders and policymakers must recognise the impor tance of initiating the adoption of

strategies and processes that move South Africa closer to a sustainable landfill. However, strategic waste management planning cannot be fully capitalised on without having a clear understanding of the waste stream in question. As such, the need for waste characterisation becomes a priority, begging the question: “How can landfills be extended in a sustainable manner?”

Waste characterisation study The waste generated within eThekwini Municipality is heterogeneous in nature, arising from var ying income groups – which contributes to the different waste streams. Hence, precise and reliable data regarding the composition of domestic waste generated is critical for the planning of future waste management strategies. Consider this as a basic recipe for a ‘good bake’. As such, Cleansing and Solid Waste (CSW) has designed, and is in the process of implementing, a tailored waste characterisation study to suit the current operation. The data obtained – and subsequent analysis thereof – will allow for city

Acceptable green waste to be shredded

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LANDFILLS

decision-makers, within the waste management sector, to pursue innovations and technologies that offer economic, environmental and social benefits (the triple-bottom-line assessment). The study seeks to fulfil the vision outlined by the National Waste Management Strategy (2011) in reducing waste generation rates and their respective impacts on the environment, and aims to contribute to the vaguely existing knowledge regarding the composition and generation of municipal solid solid waste (MSW) within the eThekwini region.

These findings will guide CSW into exploring alternate sustainable waste management solutions that aim to divert a large fraction of the MSW from landfills. In addition, the diversion of waste from landfill and maximising its potential can help CSW to reduce operating costs and increase process efficiency.

(i.e. do the easiest things first). Culture change and education towards reusing and recycling are part of a long-term strategy and addressed within the strategic development and planning of the 2022-2027 Integrated Waste Management Plan. However, short-term goals have been identified as the following:

Low-hanging fruit

i. The shredding of green waste In the eThekwini Municipal Area, green waste constitutes 4% to 7% of the waste stream received at landfills. The current method of disposal for this waste stream is landfilling. As a long-term solution, this option poses many challenges – one of them being a significant impact on landfill airspace, as it does not compact easily. In addition, hardy green waste takes a considerable time to decompose in the present anaerobic conditions.

In light of the waste characterisation study, CSW has recognised the need to act on opportunities within the business that can result in quick wins

FIGURE 1 The characterisation of waste

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LANDFILLS The rubble crusher in action

As a proposed solution, green waste has been targeted as the first step in saving landfill airspace, thereby extending the life of the landfill sustainably. Pilot-scale studies conducted on the mechanical treatment of green waste have demonstrated a 60% to 70% reduction in size (Moodley, 2011). The processed green waste, referred to as mulch, can be used for the following applications within the landfill operations: 1 Soil amelioration: The heavy earthworks machinery tends to leave the surface soil in a compacted state. This is unfavourable for plant growth due to a poor porosity and low oxygen content of the soil. Physical soil amelioration, a method used to directly improve the air and water balance of the soil, can be used to cultivate the compacted soil (Rollins & Kim, 2010). Thereafter, the processed mulch can be used to produce compost, which can be used to induce optimum plant growth on the surface layer. 2 Cover material: The need to properly manage exposure to solid waste in the landfill to the surrounding community is the

primary objective of the landfill operation. As such, cover material is key in achieving this. Successful implementation of the green waste project will result in a steady production of cover material from green waste. 3 Compost: The produced compost can be used to rehabilitate the Bisasar Road Landfill in the decommissioning stage by assisting in suitable plant growth on the site. A social benefit is the inception of vegetable gardens for the local community. ii. Rubble crushing Builder’s rubble constitutes a significant portion of the total waste stream received at landfills within eThekwini. Due to the limited availability of suitable land for new landfill development, alternate waste management solutions, such as the mechanical crushing of rubble/concrete, are being considered. The crushing of builder’s rubble was identified as a quick win as part of CSW’s Integrated Waste Management Plan. Possible applications for the processed rubble include alternate construction materials, as well as cover material. iii. Separation-at-source programme The strategic direction set in place by the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008; NEMWA) requires municipalities to implement programmes aimed at diverting waste from landfill. To achieve this goal, CSW initially developed buyback centres, community recycling and drop-off centres, waste exchange centres, materials recycling facilities, and onestop recycling processes within commercial and industrial regions to promote recycling within the surrounding communities. While these initiatives did encourage recycling, the quality and volume of the recycled materials did not meet the required objectives, hence calling for an improved strategy to tackle waste diversion – separation at source. CSW has, in the recent years, implemented a separation-at-source programme in certain

regions within eThekwini Municipality. Orange bags are supplied to households for the recyclable stream within municipal solid waste, including newspapers, magazines, cereal cartons, cardboard, plastics, plastic bottles, and Tetrapak materials. These bags are collected on the same day as the black refuse bags. With this initiative, CSW hopes to achieve waste minimisation by supporting households and businesses to separate recyclables from their waste, thereby promoting a community-driven approach to waste management.

Alternative treatment options An alternate waste management solution of interest to CSW is anaerobic digestion. This is due to the large portion of organic waste present in municipal solid waste, which can be utilised as a suitable feedstock for anaerobic digestion (AD), provided separation at source is effective. Furthermore, studies suggest that AD may be the most adequate and environmentally sustainable technology to tackle the challenge of food waste, as it is a relatively easy and natural way of turning a broad variety of complex waste into fuel gas and digestate. Currently, this initiative is in Phase 1 – the inception and planning phase within CSW. Technical support for Phase 2 to work has been triggered with CSW engineers.

Conclusion 1.  CSW is currently in the process of implementing a waste characterisation study that will inform decision-making on alternate waste solutions, hence diverting waste from the landfill and aiding in the move towards a circular economy as outlined in the NEMWA. 2.  The separation-at-source programme, shredding of green waste, and rubble crushing have been sighted as short-term goals in diverting waste away from landfill, making progress in moving towards the vision of zero waste.

References: Marcin K. Widomski, P. G. (2017). Sustainable Landfilling as Final Step of Municipal Waste Management System. Problems of Sustainable Development, 147-155. Novella, P. (2014). Sustainable Landfills – Can These Be Achieved? Proceedings of the 20th WasteCon Conference. Cape Town. R Cossu, H. v. (2013). Sustainable Landfilling. The World Bank, I. (2019, September 23). Solid Waste Management. Retrieved from The World Bank IBRD IDA: https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/ urbandevelopment/brief/solid-waste-management Timothy G. Townsend, J. P. (2015). Sustainable Practices for Landfill Design and Operation. Springer.

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PA P E R

Register with the right PRO before 5 November Taking practical or financial responsibility for the disposal of one’s products is no longer a nice-to-have or a tick-box exercise.

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xtended producer responsibility (EPR) of producers and importers in the electrical, lighting, and paper and packaging sectors has now been made mandatory by the South African government. On 5 May 2021, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) gazetted the amended EPR regulations under section 18 of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008). These regulations aim to provide the framework for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of EPR schemes. This will promote the effective life-cycle management of the identified

products and enable the implementation of circular economy initiatives. The regulations also make the producer (or group of producers) responsible for: the establishment of an EPR scheme, the development and implementation of an EPR plan, and compliance against annual recovery and recycling targets.

Calling for collective investment According to Francois Marais, manager of Fibre Circle – the producer responsibility organisation (PRO) for the paper and paper packaging sector – EPR will foster collaborative investment in material recovery infrastructure, such as convenient recycling facilities for consumers and collection at the pre-consumer phase. Fibre Circle is calling on obliged paper producers – which could encompass manufacturers and importers of paper and paper packaging, as well as brand owners and retailers – to join its ranks.

Any South African company or brand that makes or imports paper or paper packaging (whether primary or secondary) for distribution in South Africa is required to belong to an approved EPR scheme and to pay an EPR fee per sales tonne of product. In collaboration with its members, Fibre Circle will manage the EPR schemes for newspapers; magazines; office, graphic, mixed and other papers; corrugated cases and kraft paper; liquid board packaging; labels; and paper sacks. “By joining Fibre Circle and doing so before 5 November, your paper and paper packaging interests can be collectively represented and you will be compliant with EPR regulations,” says Marais. He adds that Fibre Circle will identify shared problems and opportunities for collaboration among member companies, municipalities, other PROs and the informal sector – all in support of a thriving circular economy.


EMISSIONS

Carbon tax compliance requires meaningful change While businesses only need to calculate their liability and submit their carbon tax return once a year, compliance with the Carbon Tax Act (No. 15 of 2019) itself is not a once-off accomplishment. By Eckart Zollner*

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arbon tax compliance is not as difficult to achieve as some organisations think. Rather, by using the right monitoring tools, such as a cloud-based carbon tax calculator, along with practical strategies like pollution prevention plans and carbon budgets, organisations can track compliance and determine liability in an ongoing manner. With a clear view of emissions across the organisational value chain provided by carbon analytics tools, businesses can monitor their outputs and measure the effectiveness of their carbon reduction efforts in line with their goals in real time.

Compliance requires meaningful change Calculating emissions to determine tax liability on an annual basis is not what the Act intended. Instead, it aims to use carbon tax as a tool to bring about environmental awareness and urge behavioural change in the industry. It has been an effective tool in other countries, with Sweden reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% while growing the economy by 78% between 1990 and 2017. In the same time frame, France cut emissions by 13% and grew its economy by 51%. As South Africans, meaningful change in both business

mindset and operational processes is required to play our part in averting climate change and preserve our planet for future generations. South Africa has committed to achieving netzero emissions by 2050. The Act was introduced in 2019 and is being rolled out in three distinct phases. While the first phase, lasting until 31 December 2022, has been introduced as a ‘soft phase’, subsequent phases are expected to have more stringent continuous requirements towards significant reductions in CO2 emissions. To make a meaningful contribution to achieving a carbon-neutral economy, organisations need to take seriously their obligation to reduce emissions and examine greener approaches in their business. How can they do this when compliance seems like an abstract concept and the target of 2050 seems so far away? The type of change required for meaningful compliance starts with quantification.

Change is measurable Once the output is measured and tracked across the organisation’s value chain, it becomes possible to determine the carbon budget and to identify the necessary starting point for pollution prevention plans. A carbon budget evaluates the tolerable quantity of output that can be emitted over a specified period, while a pollution prevention plan details practical measures

and processes that require change to reduce emissions over time. To do this, organisations must analyse their emissions continuously, set real-time goals and reduce emissions intensity at the required pace in order to stay within budget and achieve the desired results.

Technology provides the bigger picture Such tracking and analysis are easier these days, thanks to technological advancements. Designed for local conditions, cloud-based carbon analytics tools give businesses the power to visualise emissions across the entire operational chain for the primary purpose of cleaning up their operations while calculating tax liability at the same time, considering offsets and allowances in the Act. The pressure is mounting for industries to meet their carbon tax obligations and reduce their environmental impact but saving the planet does not have to feel like an unattainable goal. With the ability to monitor their carbon footprint, businesses will find it much easier to make meaningful changes required to achieve environmental goals and tax compliance. *Eckart Zollner is head of Business Development at Energy and Densification Systems. AUGUST 2021

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GEOSYNTHETICS

LANDFILL CONTAINMENT:

COST-EFFECTIVE LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS Arguably one of the most critical and far-reaching infrastructure decisions, secondar y only to the selection and preparation of the landfill site, is the choice of liner and capping system to be put in place.

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odern landfill best practice favours geomembranes as ef fective, durable barriers against liquid and gas leaching. To assure landfill owners and operators of a continuous, enduring seal across the entire area of the site, polyethylene geomembranes such as AKS Geoliner are specified as both lining and capping solutions.

It’s tough in a landfill

Karlo Wentzel Sales Manager: Geomembranes, AKS

elongate to over 300% under the same test conditions. In fact, all Geoliner produced by AKS meets or exceeds international standards such as GRI-GM13 (HDPE), GRI-GM17 (LLDPE) and the local SANS 1526. Testing during production is done as a matter of course; continued pinhole detection is applied across the entire width of the sheet. For added peace of mind, AKS invites customers to a plant visit to familiarise themselves with the integrity and quality standards at work in the company’s modern, easily accessible plant in Brackenfell.

in HDPE, with the same texture options of either single- or double-side. To ensure a consistent product with the highest level of accuracy, AKS liners are manufactured using European-made precision extruders. Geoliner can be custom-made to suit specific project requirements, taking into account installation needs, roll lengths, and truck or container loading configurations. When it comes to handling – to facilitate offloading and moving the product on-site – each roll is fitted with two certified lifting slings.

Longevity

Traceability

Along with its excellent impermeability, AKS Geoliner is characterised by its exceptional durability, high chemical resistance, UV protection and superior weldability.

An inline marking system ensures on-site quality control and traceability. Instead of relying on a mere sticker or label to identify the brand and batch, a line indicating the wedge weld overlap width – 150 mm from the edge – is printed ever y linear metre together with the roll number. The number is linked to the AKS quality control system and provides manufacturing information. In large installations, the number is entered in a panel layout to provide a record of every square metre of lining used on the site.

Because of the demanding, often aggressive and hazardous environments of landfills, the installed lining should comply with various manufacturing standards and pass numerous pre-installation and in situ tests to ensure it will withstand a lifetime of harsh surroundings. Factors considered when designing and manufacturing AKS Geoliner include the on-site physical stresses likely to be encountered, the types of waste material, the expected depth of fill, the compaction methods envisaged, and the geophysical characteristics of the site. Making allowances for these factors determines the type of resin used, the thickness, and the asperity height of textured or smooth geomembranes.

The material’s excellent tensile properties and high elongation characteristics, combined with flexibility, make for a tough barrier that is highly resistant to tearing and puncturing. At the same time, AKS Geoliner is flexible enough to allow for ease of installation without compromising its integrity.

Testing, testing, testing

Options

In AKS’s state-of-the-art laboratory, the company follows strict testing protocols, adhering to and usually exceeding international standards. For example, the US Geosynthetic Research Institute’s GRI-GM13 Standard Specification requires textured liner to elongate only 100% before break, where AKS’ textured liners will

Geoliner is manufactured using the calendered ‘flat-die’ extrusion process, in 7 m widths with thickness ranging from 1 mm to 3 mm. It is available in HDPE and LLDPE, with a smooth or textured finish, or a combination of smooth and textured, either on one or both sides of the sheet. AKS Megatextured Geoliner is available

Easy installation

Availability AKS Geoliner is manufactured at the company’s modern plant based in Brackenfell, Cape Town. A large yard with ample storage provides the shortest possible lead times to customers. For fur ther information, please visit aks.co.za, email info@aks.co.za or call +27 (0)21 983 2700. AUGUST 2021

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LEGAL COMPLIANCE

Managing your waste to achieve legal compliance Waste in South Africa is currently governed by means of a number of pieces of legislation. This can make understanding your responsibility as a generator, disposer, or transpor ter of waste challenging. By Garyn Rapson & Lerato Molefi*

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aste management is complex and is embedded in various pieces of environmental legislation, including the National Environmental Management Act (No. 107 of 1998; NEMA), the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008; the ‘Waste Act’), and the National Water Act (No. 36 of 1998; NWA). Waste is defined in the law as any substance, material or object that is (or is intended to be) unwanted, rejected, abandoned, discarded or disposed of by the holder, whether it can be reused, recycled or recovered, and includes all wastes as defined in the Waste Act. However, waste ceases to be waste in these cases: • once an application for its reuse, recycling or recover y has been approved or, after such approval, once it is, or has been, reused, recycled or recovered • where approval is not required, once a waste is, or has been, reused, recycled or recovered • w here the Minister of Forestr y, Fisheries and the Environment (‘the Minister’) has exempted any waste, or a por tion of waste generated by a par ticular process from the definition of waste

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•w here the Minister has excluded any waste stream or a por tion of a waste stream from the definition of waste. A key legal principle of waste management is the ‘cradle to grave’ principle, the effect of which is that the generator of waste bears responsibility for the environmental, health and safety consequences of its waste throughout its life cycle – i.e. from generation to disposal. It is wor thy to note that the Waste Act defines a ‘holder of waste’ as any person who imports, generates, stores, accumulates, transports, processes, treats, exports, or disposes of waste. Therefore, companies that generate waste and temporarily store it, as well as companies contracted to transport, treat and/or dispose of such waste, i.e. waste management contractors, are classified as ‘holders of waste’ in terms of the Waste Act. Understanding the definition of a holder of waste plays an impor tant role in understanding how responsibility is divided between the generator of waste and the disposer/transpor ter of that waste, as well as compliance necessar y for both par ties. To assist with legal compliance, we have produced the checklist table to the right. *Garyn Rapson and Lerato Molefi are both environmental law exper ts at Webber Wentzel.


LEGAL COMPLIANCE SPECIFIC OBLIGATIONS CLASSIFICATION & ASSESSMENT WASTE MANAGEMENT LICENCES

STORAGE OF WASTE

REMOVAL OF WASTE

TRANSPORT OF WASTE

DISPOSAL OF WASTE

POLLUTION

WASTE INFORMATION

COMPLIANCE The classification and assessment of waste is regulated by the Waste Act and, as such, compliance with the Waste Classification and Management Regulations GNR735 of GG 36784 of 23 August 2013 and the National Norms and Standard for Assessment of Waste for Landfill Disposal – GNR 635 of GG 36784 of 23 August 2013. All waste must be classified under these laws. Section 19 of the Waste Act provides that no person may commence, undertake or conduct a waste management activity without a waste management licence issued in respect of that activity. A list of waste management activities has been published in terms of Government Notice 718 of 3 July 2009 – these include Category A and Category B activities. Should a generator of waste and a company contracted to manage, treat and/or dispose of that waste trigger any of the listed waste management activities, the necessary waste management licences must be obtained by the respective parties. In terms of section 21 of the Waste Act, a person storing waste must at least take steps to ensure that: • the containers in which any waste is stored are intact and not corroded, or in any other way rendered unfit for the safe storage of waste • adequate measures are taken to prevent accidental spillage or leaking • the waste cannot be blown away • nuisances such as odour, visual impacts and breeding of vectors do not arise • pollution of the environment and harm to health are prevented. The person storing waste will also need to comply with the provisions of the National Norms and Standards for the Storage of Waste (GNR 926 of GG 37088 of 29 November 2013) and the Regulations Regarding National Norms and Standards for the Sorting, Shredding, Grinding, Crushing, Screening or Bailing of General Waste (GNR 1093 GG 41175 of 11 October 2017), if applicable. In terms of section 24 of the Waste Act, no person may collect waste for removal from premises unless such person is: • a municipality or municipal service provider • authorised by law to collect that waste, where authorisation is required • not prohibited from collecting that waste. Holders of waste must be appropriately authorised to collect and remove waste. Registration is typically required for these activities in terms of local by-laws. Transporters of waste for gain may be required to register with the relevant waste management officer in the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), province or municipality as applicable and to furnish such information as may be required. Transporters must also take all reasonable steps to prevent any spillage of waste or littering from a vehicle used to transport waste. Transporters of waste must be authorised to transport waste. Registration is again typically required in terms of local by-laws. In addition, transporters of waste must comply with Chapter 8 of the National Road Traffic Act (No. 93 of 1996), which sets out very specific obligations on the transportation of dangerous goods. Transporters of waste must, before offloading, ensure that the facility to which the waste is being transported is authorised to accept the waste. When hazardous waste is being transported, the transporter must ensure that the facility or place to which the waste is transported is authorised to accept such waste and must obtain written confirmation that the waste has been accepted. Section 26 goes on to provide that no person may dispose of waste, or knowingly or negligently cause or permit waste to be disposed of, in or on any land, waterbody or at any facility, unless the disposal of that waste is authorised by law. Regulation 15 of the Hazardous Chemical Substances Regulations (GNR 1179 of 25 August 1995), as published in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (No. 85 of 1993), also provides that an employer shall as far as is reasonably practicable ensure that hazardous chemical substance wastes that can cause exposure are disposed of only on sites specifically designated for this purpose in terms of the Waste Act, in such a manner that it does not cause a hazard inside or outside the site concerned. It is crucial that holders of waste who have contracted the services of a transporter of waste ensure that such transporter is disposing of its waste on landfills that are appropriately authorised to accept the waste. This is a vital in terms of complying with the cradle-to-grave principle of environmental law. Section 26 of the Waste Act provides that no person may dispose of waste in a manner that is likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to health and well-being. A key environmental principle commonly referred to as the ‘polluter pays’ principle is encapsulated in the NEMA, which says: “The costs of remedying pollution, environmental degradation and consequent adverse health effects and of preventing, controlling or minimising further pollution, environmental damage or adverse health effects must be paid for by those responsible for harming the environment.” This polluter-pays principle is incorporated in the NWA by section 19 and is fleshed out in section 28 of the NEMA, which places a duty of care on every person who causes, has caused, or may cause significant pollution or degradation of the environment to take responsible measures to prevent such pollution or degradation from occurring, continuing or recurring. The reference to a person generally refers to the owner of the land or premises, a person in control of land or premises, or a person who has a right to use the land or premises on which or in which an activity is performed or a situation exists that causes, has caused, or is likely to cause the pollution or degradation. Such persons will generally be held liable for the costs of remedying the pollution or degradation caused to the environment. Sections 60 to 64 of the Waste Act provide that the Minister must establish and incrementally implement a national waste information system for the recording, collection, management and analysis of data and information. Provincial waste information systems may also be established. Any person may be required, by notice in the Government Gazette or in writing, to provide within a reasonable time or on a regular basis, any data, information, documents, samples or materials that are reasonably required for the purposes of the waste information systems. The National Waste Information Regulations GNR 625 GG 35583 of 13 August 2012 came into force on 1 January 2013. The purpose of the regulations is to regulate the collection of data and information to fulfil the objectives of the national waste information system. Regulation 5 requires any person conducting an existing activity listed in Annexure 1 to apply to the DFFE to be registered on the South African Waste Information System (www.sawic.org.za) within 90 days of the promulgation of the regulations (i.e. by 1 April 2013) or within 30 days of commencing such an activity after the regulations come into force. Different activities must be registered individually. Once registered, quarterly reports must be submitted in terms of regulation 8 and appropriate records must be kept in terms of regulation 9 for five years. AUGUST 2021

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M A T E R I A L S R E C O V E R Y F A C I L I T I E S

Stellenbosch’s

NEW WASTE MRF As part of Stellenbosch Municipality’s commitment to becoming a greener and more sustainable valley, the local authority launched a brand-new waste materials recovery facility (MRF).

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andfills across the countr y are filling up, including the Stellenbosch Municipality site, which reached capacity in 2019. Building new landfill sites is not sustainable, nor is it environmentally feasible, as there simply isn’t enough land available to develop new landfills. Although Stellenbosch Municipality is currently investing in the expansion of its landfill site, it has also shifted its focus to minimising waste to landfill by reducing, reusing and recycling.

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Thus, the launch of the advanced recycling facility, commonly known as an MRF, is par t of the process of taking the minimisation of waste to the next level. This runs in conjunction with other waste minimisation initiatives.

and processed in Stellenbosch, allowing for faster turnaround times by eliminating the need to travel to Cape Town. At the same time, it will provide jobs to residents registered on the unemployment database, which also includes waste pickers.

Other initiatives

MRF processes

“The municipality is looking at various waste minimisation initiatives, which include the separation of green waste – which is shredded and beneficiated. We also diver t all clean builder’s rubble away from the landfill and are planning to crush this material to G5 aggregate to use in other construction projects,” says Stuart Grobbelaar, communications manager at Stellenbosch Municipality. The municipality has obtained an environmental authorisation and is busy with detail designs to construct an organic waste transfer station. The diversion of organic waste and recyclable material entails waste streams that have been identified in the National Waste Management Strategy as those that need to be diver ted from landfill. The MRF allows for recyclables to be handled

This is how it works at the MRF: • Mixed recyclables are transferred to the MRF and offloaded at the nor thern end of the building. • Bags are moved to the infeed conveyor by a loader or by hand, and are broken open by hand. • Glass bottles are removed and placed in a glass recycling container, while all other mixed recyclable material is placed on the infeed conveyor at an incline and feeds into the elevated sor ting conveyor, where the sor ters will extract the recyclables. • The 30 m sor ting conveyor has place for 36 sor ters, who extract the various recyclable materials and drop them into a separate container via a chute at each of their respective stations.


• The containers that hold recyclables that could be baled are then moved to the baler, where they are baled and stored at the western side of the building ready for collection. • T he equipment was sized to handle 450 tonnes per month. This state-of-the-ar t facility basically ser ves as a place where recyclables are taken to, grouped, and baled. They then will be provided to companies for use as raw material in the manufacturing of new products. The sor ted recyclables have a much higher value than mixed recyclables and will be easily accepted into the booming recycling market. “The municipality has awarded a tender to a company that is experienced in the recycling market. Par t of the scope of works for this tender is to ensure that the recyclable material is sold off and new markets are found to recover more recyclable material,” states Grobbelaar.

Community engagement The facility also features a public dropoff area, which will allow for residents to bring garage and recyclable waste to dispose of responsibly. Grobbelaar says that although local residents are ver y positive about the facility, the municipality plans to engage with more awareness and marketing initiates to get all residents’ suppor t. “The activating of the MRF is a significant step in preser ving our environment and maximising landfill airspace for future generations.”

Construction of the facility began in August 2019 and the total budget for the project was R29 million. The project was funded partly in terms of the Integrated Urban Development Grant and through own capital funding. The MRF currently has the capacity to process 450 tonnes of recyclable material per month and, although still in its early days, Grobbelaar says the recycling capacity has already been increased from 80 tonnes of recyclables to 100 tonnes within the first two months. “The aim is to reach maximum capacity soon.”

Towards a circular economy Grobbelaar asserts that with the country’s move towards a more circular economy, investing in alternative waste disposal sites like this will help to realise this momentous shift. “We have to look at different opportunities to reduce the amount of waste that ends up at landfill and apply the hierarchy of waste, which entails: avoid waste from being generated, reduce waste, reuse waste, recycle, treat waste, and finally dispose of waste. “Recycling will also result in less waste being landfilled and less raw materials being produced. Recycling will also reduce the need to develop or expand landfills in the future. Recycling creates employment and business opportunities for small and medium enterprises – and provides a source of income for many unemployed individuals. In the era of climate change, we need to reduce our dependency on raw materials, and recycling provides the opportunity to reuse and recycle material,” Grobbelaar concludes.


WASTE PICKERS

No reclaimers,

NO RECYCLING

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outh Africa’s waste pickers are critical to the recycling economy and green future yet, for the most par t, are still marginalised and discarded. According to research, reclaimers collect up to 90% of all post-consumer packaging and paper left behind; if they stopped today, there would be no recycling industry in South Africa. Over the past several years, Dr Melanie Samson – senior lecturer: Human Geography in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at Wits – has been leading initiatives to ensure that waste pickers are recognised and valued. Samson recently completed a three-year research project on ‘waste picker integration’ funded by South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation’s Waste Research, Development and Innovation Roadmap and the current Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE). She also facilitated the DFFE’s national stakeholder process to develop the Waste Picker Integration Guideline for South Africa (‘the Guideline’) and is its primary author. Samson previously worked for the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, and led a research and education project on gender and waste privatisation for the South African Municipal Workers Union. Her research focuses on how reclaimers forge value out of waste, reclaimer dispossession and ‘integration’,

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working in the informal waste economy. A major challenge has been that people don’t really understand the value that reclaimers bring to the South African recycling economy, Samson notes. “Each par ty [municipality, depar tment] has a different understanding of the existing recycling system. It’s therefore essential to develop a common understanding about what reclaimers do – with reclaimers sharing their experiences,” she adds. They are prevented from access to landfills in some municipalities, stigmatised by government and the public, exposed to unhealthy working conditions, and vulnerable to volatile price changes on the scrap market. Samson believes that the only way to overcome the challenges with regard to integrating waste pickers into the formal waste management sector is first to demystify the sector.

According to the CSIR, informal waste pickers (also known as reclaimers) recycle roughly 90% of the recyclables collected from households in South Africa – saving municipalities up to R750 million in landfill space ever y year.

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the political ecology of waste, and informal worker organising. Her research on reclaimers arose out of her activist work accompanying reclaimer movements. Prior to joining Wits, she was the African waste sector specialist for Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing, where she worked with reclaimer (waste picker) organisations across Africa, Asia and Latin America. This, she says, is where she learned about the many challenges that reclaimers face

Who’s helping who? From her work with Latin American reclaimer organisations, Samson has been able to see what element makes those integration models successful, in comparison to the South African context. “In countries like Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, you have well-developed models where cities pay for their service,” she says.


GWEAOSST YE NPT IHCEKTEI RC S Separation outside source

“When a municipality contracts private companies to recycle, they pay the company a collection fee, while waste pickers [in South Africa] are not paid for the collection ser vices they provide. “In South Africa, we always looked at integration as us doing waste pickers a favour by including them into the national waste management system, but we don’t see that waste pickers have been doing us the favour all along – boosting our economy and helping to make South Africa’s recycling rate equivalent to that of some Western European countries.” According to the 2020 National Waste Management Strategy, this is the timeline for integration: • 2020: Guidelines adopted and implemented • 2 021: All metros have integration programmes in place • 2024: All secondar y cities have integration programmes in place • 2024: 500 jobs/decent livelihoods created in collecting recyclables.

Changing the stigma According to Samson, a vital par t of waste picker integration is their par ticipation in decision-making within the waste management process and recognition of the public ser vice they supply. It also requires what Samson refers to as ‘social integration’. She says government and industr y need to transform how waste pickers are seen, appreciated and valued – by residents, industr y and government officials. “There is not enough focus on reclaimers as people. People with unique histories, knowledge, exper tise, ideas, passions – they are not given the same rights and dignity as ever yone else.”

Second, there is a need to understand what already exists – and this is where Samson coined the term ‘separation outside source’ (SoS), which helps with understanding the role of waste pickers. “Waste pickers created a wellfunctioning SoS system long before government interest in the 3Rs.” According to the CSIR, SoS saves municipalities up to R748 million per year in landfill airspace. It also saves them transpor t and labour costs. “Municipalities and industr y benefit, but don’t pay for the collection ser vice. Waste pickers only earn ver y low prices from sale,” asser t Samson. In contrast to the existing separation-atsource (S@S) system, SoS doesn’t allow for the ‘disintegration’ of reclaimers. Samson’s research has shown that, through S@S, companies or community coops were being paid to collect recyclables – meaning reclaimers were pushed out by the company but still had to keep working to sur vive. Only, this time, they access fewer materials and, unlike the contractors, are not being compensated for collection. “This means reclaimers’ incomes, working conditions and relationships with some residents deteriorated. Waste pickers are criminalised, their dignity is compromised, and local street reclaimers are simply not included,” she adds. Building on the SoS model (instead of impor ting companies into the sector) can ensure that waste pickers are prioritised and empowered though systemic integration, Sampson states. “The simple truth is we need reclaimers as much as they need us.”

The Guideline provides a clear and impor tant definition of waste picker integration. “Waste picker integration is the creation of a formally planned recycling system that values and improves the present role of waste pickers, builds on the strengths of their informal system to collect and revalue materials, and includes waste pickers as key par tners in its design, implementation, evaluation and revision. It includes the integration of waste pickers’ work, as well as the political, economic, social, legal and environmental integration of waste pickers,” Samson concludes.

Principles of waste picker integration in the Guideline 1. Recognition, respect and redress 2. Waste pickers know best what they want 3. Meaningful engagement 4. Build on what exists 5. Cost-effective, increased diversion 6. Evidence-based 7. Enabling environment 8. Improved conditions and income 9. Payment for services and savings 10. Holistic integration

Guideline Through the development of the Guideline, Samson argues that we need to ask ourselves the following key questions: “Who is being integrated into what, when, why, how, by whom, and in whose interests?” She insists, “Reclaimers are the exper ts, and they know best what they do, how recycling works in the city, and how they want to be integrated.” Samson adds that engagement and collaboration are par t of the definition of integration; if reclaimers are not involved in planning and implementation, it will fail. AUGUST 2021

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RECYCLING

Driving sustainable practices in the

tyre industry It is estimated that millions of waste tyres are lying in South African dumps, as stockpiles, or simply scattered across residential, industrial and rural areas.

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outh Africa’s recycling rate for vehicle tyres increased from 4% to 60% in the space of three years after the implementation of the Waste Tyre Management Plan. The strategy was developed where used tyres were collected from dealers, brought to dedicated depots, and then transpor ted to processing plants for recycling. All activities were funded by introducing a tax instrument that placed a levy on all new tyres. The environmental tyre levy, which is implemented through the Customs and Excise Act (No. 91 of 1964), allows for: • the tyre manufacturing industr y to pay the levy directly to the South African Revenue Ser vice, for depositing into the National Revenue Fund, as with all other environmentalrelated taxes.

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• the revenue raised through the levy to be appropriated to the Depar tment of Forestr y, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) via the national budgeting and appropriations process, for funding the implementation of the tyre waste management programme to contribute to reducing waste tyre disposal on landfills and to build a viable circular economy from the recycling of endof-life tyres. A fee of R2.30/kg is levied on all new tyre rubber. The proceeds are used to establish infrastructure for tyre collecting and downcycling, and pay for its administration. The DFFE is the current custodian of the industr ywide plan.

The SATMC Nduduzo Chala, managing executive at the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC), says local tyre manufacturers have always suppor ted the implementation of the levy to fund the proper treatment and disposal of waste tyres. “It is critical for the tyre industr y to ensure that waste tyres are disposed of correctly in order to limit the impact on the environment and ensure that they do not find a way back into the market,” he says.


RECYCLING Waste tyres that are resold are not only illegal, but pose a safety risk for consumers, Chala emphasises. The SATMC is the official industry body and trade association of the four local tyre manufacturers – Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Sumitomo. They are the voice of the local tyre manufacturers and represent them on trade, economic and environmental policies, and tyre sector regulations. They are currently focusing on four main areas of improvement – the proper mutilation and disposal of waste tyres, a reduction of materials used in manufacturing tyres, the sustainable sourcing of materials, and a reduction in carbon emissions.

also uses rice husk ash silicate, which helps to deliver similar performance to traditional sand-based silica with less environmental impact and waste to landfills.

Reduction in carbon emissions

Bridgestone has introduced the new Ecopia tyres, which are environment-friendly and fuel-efficient. This tyre reduces fuel consumption and boasts a quieter ride and improved roadholding, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Sumitomo Rubber SA has installed a 1 MW solar system on its truck and bus radial production facility roof in order to reduce its emissions from electricity consumption. Additionally, Continental Tyre South Africa won the Industrial Corporate Project of the Year award for innovative industrial energy management projects and outstanding contributions to the energy industry. Continental received this award for a heat recovery project that saved 4.5 million kWh of energy and over R1 million in 2019.

Sustainable sourcing of materials

A new dawn

Goodyear’s overall corporate responsibility includes the sustainable sourcing of materials. The company is exploring using a soybean oil tread compound in four of its tyre lines to create more sustainable rubber with added traction benefits. It

The Waste Bureau was appointed by the DFFE with the responsibility for tyre waste management since October 2017, after the withdrawal of the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) plan.

Environmentally friendly tyre

However, the Bureau has been challenged with processing capacity since it started managing waste tyre operations. Its processing per formance was fur ther affected in 2020/21 due to Covid-19. Chala emphasises that although the industry has been diligently paying the levy, these issues with the collection and disposal of waste tyres have impacted the tyre recycling industry negatively. “We need to put in place a sustainable recycling mechanism, so that tyres do not end up at landfills but are utilised effectively through recycling.” The SATMC and other players in the tyre sector are currently working with the DFFE to finalise the details of an updated/new draft industrywide plan. “As the local tyre manufacturers, we will continue to be responsible and work with government to ensure we comply with regulations and put in place measures that limit impact on the environment; however, the DFFE, as the custodian, needs to take more ownership of the plan and implement proper measures to dispose of waste tyres, seeing as the industry is funding it,” Chala concludes.

Specialist Waste Management Consultants • • • • • •

Waste Collection Optimisation Waste Transfer Station design General Waste Landfill design Hazardous Waste Landfill design Landfill Rehabilitation Landfill Auditing and Monitoring

Contact Numbers

Telephone:+27 (0)21 982 6570 Fax:+27 (0)21 981 0868

• • • • • •

Landfill Closure Leachate Treatment Regional Waste Studies PPP Involvement in Waste Management Alternative Technologies for Waste Reduction Integrated Waste Management Plans

Physical Address

60 Bracken Street, Protea Heights South Africa, 7560

www.jpce.co.za

Postal Address

P.O. Box 931, Brackenfell South Africa, 7561


RECYCLING

From packets to pitches Lay’s has launched a new global programme that will use empty chip packets and the power of football to bring joy to communities around the world.

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uring June 2021, Lay’s announced that it has partnered with the UEFA Foundation for Children and streetfootballworld on a new global initiative, Lay’s RePlay. The goal of this initiative is to reuse empty chip packs to help create sustainable soccer pitches. Lay’s also partnered with local organisation Amandla, the South African Football Association, and the City of Ekurhuleni. Up to five Lay’s RePlay football pitches are set to open throughout the world in 2021, with the first being in Thembisa, and Russia, Brazil, Turkey and the UK following suit. With the potential to benefit over 16 000 members of the community through more than 3 600 hours of play and educational-sporting programmes in the first year alone, Lay’s RePlay places a strong emphasis on involving community members and local organisations throughout the planning, construction, and maintenance phases of each pitch. In South Africa, the local programme, managed by NPO partner Amandla, looks to empower the youth, promote inclusivity, and share key life skills and prosocial behaviours with EduFootball sessions.

Net-zero pitches Lay’s RePlay pitches maximise social value while minimising environmental impact. From the

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materials making the pitch to the installation, the pitches are designed to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. In partnership with GreenFields, a global artificial pitch manufacturer, the empty Lay’s chip packets are collected from local waste and recycling partnerships, shredded and converted into pellets that form an underlying layer, called Ecocept, beneath the turf. Both the turf and Ecocept layer are 100% recyclable at the end of their lifespan. Beyond the turf, Lay’s has committed to adopting a carbon compensation strategy that will ensure all pitches deliver a net-zero carbon footprint over their lifespans of an estimated 10 years. This global initiative and commitment by Lay’s has been verified by independent consultancy Good Business, with an in-depth study finding that Lay’s RePlay pitches have a significantly lower environmental impact than alternative artificial pitches across several metrics, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, microplastic pollution, recyclable material and turf, ecological disturbance, and water usage. The brand launches Lay’s RePlay as a progression of the artificial pitches it developed with the UEFA Foundation for Children in Jordan’s Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps in 2017 and 2018, which have since provided 35 000 people with access to the sport.

Local partnerships Multiple stakeholders will collaborate in the construction of the mini pitches, each taking on average up to eight months to complete. The local implementing partner in each location will lead the process, under close supervision of streetfootballworld. The project will involve close coordination with the local community before, during and after construction, and local sourcing will be preferred to ensure local capacity development and to build trust. Community engagement will take centre stage, since the community is not seen as a mere recipient, but rather as part of the decisionmaking process. The approach will be participatory and involve talking to community stakeholders, understanding their needs, appreciating their contexts, and collaborating to find optimal solutions. To develop the communities’ interest and sense of ownership, committees will be set up. All committee members will be part of the community and therefore responsible for ensuring that the pitches continue to be a valuable and safe space for all community members.


P U M P S & VA LV E S

Spare pump parts more important than ever

World-leading pump manufacturer KSB Pumps and Valves has geared up to produce almost any par t for any pump regardless of brand, to ensure critical pumps remain operational during the grips of Covid-19.

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ccording to Grant Glennistor, division manager: KSB SupremeServ for South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, pump users are experiencing extreme shortages of spares for all types of pumps. Rather than turning to pirate-parts distributors and repair shops, they have turned to KSB for assistance to supply them. This is especially true to prevent critical water shortages and interruptions of other important social and industrial pumping requirements due to such parts shortages. As a result, KSB Pumps and Valves will help in case of emergencies and bottlenecks. The pump and valve manufacturer is able to draw on its vast knowledge and expertise in South Africa and, by extension, KSB globally. “Of course, we also supply KSB spare parts for pumps and valves over a tightly knit service network worldwide, with particularly short delivery times, so that we can ensure that the required spare parts reach the operators quickly.

KSB Pumps and Valves carries a full range of spare parts

by KSB, wear parts need to be replaced after they have been in service for a certain period of time or repair becomes necessary. With KSB original spare parts and reverse-engineered parts, you’re on the safe side, as they ensure the reliability of your pumps and valves. We don’t accept any compromises when it comes to the quality of our parts,” says Glennistor. He concludes that, no matter the size or type of pump, KSB Pumps and Valves will endeavour to produce the parts as a matter of urgency for critical applications. The company also produces par ts for applications in mining, industry, agriculture and other applications wherever assistance is required, especially while parts shortages plague the industry.

No compromise “Even in the reliable pumps and valves produced AUGUST 2021

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RENEWABLE ENERGY

Opportunities for

SOLAR PANEL RECYCLING According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, solar panel waste is estimated to exceed at least 78 million tonnes by 2050.

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outh Africa has demonstrated its commitment to a more sustainable future by suppor ting renewable energy and energy-efficiency measures. The renewable energy sector has experienced exponential growth in the past few years; however, with this rapid growth, the industry must now ensure that proper measures are put in place to manage endof-life cycles of these energy alternatives.

This is especially impor tant for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Not only is solar a sustainable source of energy but, according to research by Bloomberg, it is seen as one of the most affordable forms of new electricity generation. But, what happens to solar panels when they reach their end of life? According to Patricia Schröder, chairperson: Environmental Working Group of the South African Photovoltaic Industr y Association (Sapvia), the solar PV power industr y is working with government to develop a sustainable recycling value chain.

EPR compliance In terms of the industr y’s regulator y requirements, the solar industr y will have to comply with the extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations, which were finalised on 5 May 2021. The obligated solar equipment manufacturers, importers and brand owners are required to:

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• register with the Department of Forestr y, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) • join a producer responsibility organisation (PRO) OR to form their own PRO as a requirement of the EPR regulations. The regulations stipulate that the financial responsibility to manage the administrative and operational activities of the PRO is the obligation of the producers from 5 May 2021; they must finance the start-up activities of the PRO and it will require funds from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) members to manage end of life products. They must also develop and submit an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme Implementation Plan by 4 November 2021. Noncompliance is a criminal offence and carries severe penalties of fines and imprisonment. “Sapvia is currently communicating with the solar sector producers to ensure they can organise themselves to be compliant by the deadline. The Environmental Working Group is also actively working to assist the OEMs to meet their compliance requirements,” says Patricia.


RENEWABLE ENERGY The challenge with solar PV Since the regulations require the producers to take operational oversight of and financial responsibility for the management of postconsumer products, this could see the producers either purchasing recovered products back themselves or setting up sectors that will purchase the recycled material and use it in another form. This can be ver y tricky for the solar industr y, seeing as many components are manufactured overseas. There are, however, some locally produced products such as solar panels, inverters, mountings and batteries. Fortunately, off the back of the attractiveness of the countr y’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) many global OEMs are well represented in South Africa and have been active in the market for several years. The panels’ plastic, glass and silicon components can be relatively easily recycled; however, it is an energy-intensive process and may end up being costly for the producers. The aluminium mountings may be a cheaper part

of the process, considering there is an already established recycling sector for the licensed recover y of metals in the countr y.

Plenty of opportunity Solar panels, as well as the associated electronic components, contain various hazardous compounds and elements that need to be diverted from landfill to protect the environment. Some of these are PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls), lead, tin and arsenic. “If managed correctly, this waste can contribute towards the circular economy and secondar y markets, through recover y of material resources, without causing harm or danger to the environment,” states Patricia. Steffen adds that Reclite SA is currently increasing its recycling capacity

to meet future demand for the recycling of renewable technologies – both nationally and from neighbouring countries. “We are currently on track to supply the renewable energy sector with state-of-the-art recycling technology for solar panels, control gear and energy storage systems. With these systems in place, the sector can continue to grow without impacting the environment,” he insists. Steffen concludes that despite the logistical and financial challenges that come with solar product recycling, there are opportunities for skills development, job creation and revenue for producers – if the right offtake markets are developed.


PLASTICS

Plastics SA is calling on all South Africans to participate in the annual Clean-Up & Recycle SA week, taking place from 13 to 18 September 2021.

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lastics SA – the umbrella body representing the entire plastics industry – is gearing up to celebrate Clean-up & Recycle SA Week 2021. This year’s week will once again culminate in National Recycling Day on Friday, 17 September 2021 and the International Coastal Clean-up Day/Let’s Do It World Clean-up Day on Saturday, 18 September 2021. Apart from raising awareness and supporting clean-up initiatives by donating refuse bags, gloves and other equipment needed, this will also be the 25th year that Plastics SA will be coordinating South Africa’s participation in the International Coastal Clean-up Day – the world’s biggest volunteer effort for ocean health. “Clean-up & Recycle SA Week has become a highlight on our country’s environmental calendar. This annual public awareness week is supported by all the packaging streams in South Africa and encourages citizens, corporates and municipalities to help remove all visible litter from our country’s neighbourhoods and streets, rivers, streams, beaches and oceans,” explains Douw Steyn, sustainability director, Plastics SA. Plastics SA is hoping that this year will see a repeat of the huge success of last year’s Clean-up & Recycle SA Week. Despite Covid-19 restrictions

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SA GEARS UP TO CELEBRATE Clean-up & Recycle SA Week

prohibiting large groups at public clean-ups and gatherings that have become synonymous with this public awareness and volunteer effort, the spirit of camaraderie, positivity and willingness to make a difference in our environment definitely made 2020 one of the most memorable years. “Like last year, we are once again advocating that South Africans be eco-warriors in their own neighbourhoods by picking up any litter on our beaches or strewn in streets, rivers, streams or canals. Where community clean-ups are planned, we urge the organisers to adhere to safety protocols by limiting the number of volunteers participating, ensuring that participants wear their masks, checking that they maintain social distancing, and that enough sanitising stations are in place,” Steyn says.

2020 highlights Highlights of the 2020 Clean-up & Recycle SA Week included the launch of the Inkwazi Isu (Fish Eagle Project) by the KZN Marine Waste Network South Coast and the participation of Barbara Creecy – Minister of Forestry, Fisheries

and the Environment – in a beach clean-up at Dakota Beach, Umbogintwini in KZN, where 697 bags were collected with a weight of over 2.4 tonnes. In the Cape provinces, several hundreds of kilometres of the country’s coastline were cleaned in more than 72 audited clean-ups, while several more non-audited, informal clean-ups took place during the week. Fifteen 4x4 clubs hosted their clean-ups, as did several diving groups, who hosted underwater clean-ups. In the Cape provinces, 20 tonnes of litter was removed, separated and sent for recycling on International Coastal Clean-up Day alone! “South Africa and the rest of the world continues to go through a very difficult period in our history as we are still trying to beat the ravaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns, riots and public disturbances. However, each year, Clean-up & Recycle SA Week manages to restore hope as South Africans of all ages and walks of life unite in their efforts and volunteer their time and energy to help make South Africa a brighter, cleaner place for all!” Steyn concludes.

For more information about Clean-up & Recycle SA Week and where organised clean-ups will take place during September 2021, visit www.cleanupandrecycle.co.za or www.plasticsinfo.co.za.


PLASTICS

SAPRO opens entries for awards SAPRO encourages all plastic recyclers, innovators, converters, product designers and developers to demonstrate their commitment to the environment and saving resources by entering SAPRO’s Best Recycled Plastic Product of the Year Awards.

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he South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) has announced that entries are now open for the 2021 Best Recycled Plastic Product of the Year Awards. According to Phil Sereme, GM of SAPRO, this biennial competition aims to raise awareness and showcase the wide variety of ingenious products that are locally designed and manufactured using recycled plastics. “The event is a cornerstone of our strategy to grow the demand for plastic recyclate and helps to improve market acceptance of locally manufactured recycled plastic products. By acknowledging and showcasing the remarkable and inspiring range of manufactured goods that can be made from recycled materials, SAPRO encourages brand owners, retailers, converters and industrial designers to consider recycled plastics as a material of choice,” Sereme explains. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s awards ceremony will be a virtual event that takes place on 14 October 2021. During the event, the recycler of the material, the manufacturer of the product, as well as the brand owner will be acknowledged. Each category will have a winner and an overall winner will be announced.

Judging criteria According to Sereme, entries will be judged on

a number of criteria, such as the life expectancy and sustainability of the product, measures that were taken to ensure product consistency and customer satisfaction despite recycled material content, tonnages (or potential tonnages) of plastic waste that were converted and diverted from landfill, as well as the technical achievements in manufacturing to overcome recycled material challenges. The closing date for submissions is 15 September 2021 and entrants are required to deliver the actual, physical product along with the completed entry form, product description and two professional-quality, high-resolution digital images (minimum of 1 MB in size) on a clearly marked CD/DVD or memory stick to Plastics SA’s head office in Midrand. “We are grateful to Erema and Polyco who have again come onboard as our two main sponsors for this year’s event, as well as to PETCO, the South African Plastics Pact (facilitated by GreenCape), Packaging SA, and Plastics SA, who are our silver sponsors. “This is an opportunity like none other to highlight the phenomenal work being done by recyclers in South Africa and to bring the innovative, exciting new products being developed to the attention of market leaders, brand owners and the media as we strive to improve market acceptance for products made from recycled plastics by bringing them into the mainstream,” Sereme concludes.

AWARDS CATEGORIES

1 Packaging for

Non-food Products Packaging made from recycled plastic and used for non-food packaging products, e.g. home care, personal care, chemicals, lubricants, etc.

2

Packaging for Food & Beverages Plastic packaging used for food-contact applications

3 Agriculture & Related Products

Product packaging and items used in the agricultural sector, e.g. irrigation pipes, crop protection, animal feed troughs, etc.

4 Household & Leisure Products

Products such as knives, forks, bowls, domestic-ware, broom handles, garden chairs, etc.

5

Automotive, Electronic, Technical & Engineering Products such as electric plugs and automobile bumpers, dashboards and mirror housings, machine switches, etc.

6

Construction & Building Sector Products ranging from roof sheeting, building bricks and paving to plumbing applications

7 Textile & Clothing

Products manufactured from recycled material in the clothing or allied textile sector

8

During the last awards held in 2019, a simple shipping pallet made from recycled plastic, manufactured by Palletplast, trumped 27 other semi-finalists to win top spot at the Awards

Volume Award Products made of 100 % postconsumer recyclate (PCR). This will be for applications that, in the opinion of the judges, utilise ‘substantial volumes’ of PCR

9 OVERALL WINNER

The overall ‘best-in-class’ application from all the above categories AUGUST 2021

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CIRCULAR ECONOMY

HOW CIRCULAR IS THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY? The circular economy concept is gaining increasing traction as a comprehensive environmental-economic strategy, which falls in line with sustainable development imperatives.

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circular economy is a systemic approach to economic development designed to benefit businesses, society and the environment. The concept is gaining traction worldwide; however, it risks being empty talk if it’s not grounded in firm evidence. Systematic, comprehensive empirical assessments are required in order to understand the status quo and to be able to develop robust guidance without simply shifting problems. A team at BOKU, Vienna, developed a suitable accounting and calculation framework to

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capture and describe the state of circularity of a national economy. The Department of Science and Innovation, through the Waste RDI Roadmap, contracted the University of Cape Town, in partnership with the BOKU team, to adapt this framework to the South African situation and to develop economy-wide indicators of circularity for the South African economy. The team chose the year 2017 as the base year for the analysis, as this was the year with both the most recent and the most robust data in a variety of data sources.

Methodology The objectives of this study were: • to adapt the comprehensive economy-wide monitoring framework to the South African situation • to quantify all materials and energy use, as well as resulting waste and emissions • to derive policy-relevant indicators on the state of circularity of the economy • t o present systems-level guidance for improving the sustainable circularity of the South African economy. To achieve these goals, information was compiled for 82 materials, organised in six


CIRCULAR ECONOMY

FIGURE 1 Estimate of material flows in South Africa in 2017. Width of arrows is proportional to flow size

main categories and 12 subcategories, with tracking for each material according to domestic extraction, impor ts, expor ts, transformations into synthetic materials, additions to stock, demolition, generation of wastes, and fate of wastes, all for the calendar year 2017.

Main results South Africa’s extraction of all food, feed, minerals, metal ores and fossil energy carriers (coal) amounted to 875 million tonnes in 2017 (see Figure 1) – with 66% of this extraction being metal ores and coal.

Compared to this, imports are relatively small (32 Mt). Exports are large (170 Mt) and consist predominantly of refined metals and coal, while leaving the associated extractive waste in South Africa. Altogether, waste flows are relatively high. Solid and liquid outputs returned to nature are about 310 Mt, of which 171 Mt are extractive waste from mining activities.

Key findings and options for the way forward The picture of material flows that was developed gives rise to five key findings:

FIGURE 2 Estimated cycling rates for South Africa, 2017

Finding 1: An economy materially dominated by exportoriented extractives • Global resource use is unsustainable. South Africa is implicated as it exports non-renewable resources that are unsustainably used in a mostly linear manner. By mass, these exports are dominated by coal, iron ore and other ores needed for steelmaking. • Large volumes of extractive waste associated with these exports remain in South Africa, causing environmental and social harm. • Sooner or later, this growing global resource use will have to be downsized significantly due to intentional global policies or by looming disasters. Solution: South Africa can anticipate these developments and the sooner it reacts to likely global policy effects, the larger the attractive option space for business, employment and reduction of inequalities. Finding 2: An economy energetically dominated by fossil fuels, notably domestic coal suppor ted by imported oil • Domestic coal extraction and use for power generation is the largest linear flow in the current configuration of the economy, at 120 Mt/a. • Oil accounts for 65% of all imports into South Africa. AUGUST 2021

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CIRCULAR ECONOMY Solution: • Coal: Reducing and phasing out coal-based power generation is not only the single largest measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but would also result in improving circularity indicators. A back-of-the-envelope estimate for abandoning coal use shows that this would improve socio-economic circularity from 1.5% to 2.6% (a 40% increase). • Oil: A significant improvement here in terms of climate mitigation and circularity is only feasible if a decisive greening of mobility is envisaged, in which road mileage is considerably reduced, rail-bound traffic is refurbished, and all urban planning for new developments is designed to shorten daily commutes – allowing for walking, cycling and public transport. This improves health (less air pollution and more exercise), as well as saves both resources for material-intensive roads and energy for transport activities. Further, it ameliorates South Africa’s monetary trade balance. As a clear second priority after active mobility and public transport, e-mobility can supplement such a strategy. Finding 3: Low rate of domestic stock building • The material used domestically for building and maintaining stocks like roads, buildings, dams, factories or artefacts needs to be critically discussed as to whether it is sufficient to deliver the required services to the population. By comparison: in per capita terms, the EU’s material consumption is just 10% higher than in South Africa, but the building and maintenance of stocks are three times higher. Solution: Sooner or later, metal ore and coal mining activities will face sales problems in global markets due to international policies on climate, sustainability, circularity, etc. Phasing out these linear expor t-oriented activities offers the opportunity to reuse and refurbish stocks for communities in need of infrastructure, housing and durable consumer goods, thus stimulating alternative businesses. International examples for such a redistribution are promising, and can provide decent jobs with careful planning (better than waste picking). Finding 4: Pockets of high circularity in the domestic economy and significant informal activity around cascade use, reuse and recycling • Recycling: Many post-consumption materials are recycled. Loops are relatively well developed for some metals – mainly lead, copper, aluminium and steel – with recycling rates of 70% and above. Material recycling of paper products and container glass is well developed as well. • R euse: Container glass shows high reuse

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at significant scale, and it was estimated (but highly uncer tain) that significant informal reuse of certain construction and demolition waste happens in the context of informal settlements. Solution: A few domestic recycling loops like the ones of some metals are already partly closed. This can be further improved and they can become learning models for other loop-closing initiatives (including industrial symbiosis). Learning can focus on the link between loop-closing and creating decent jobs. In a circular economy, recycling activities are of a lower priority; wellmanaged nationwide reuse corners might be a better option. Such low-hanging fruit can be used to make the circular economy more appealing. In the transport sector, combined leasing and car-sharing options could contribute to improving circularity, with service providers required by law to maintain long service times and, as far as possible, closed loops for all car parts – be it through reuse or recycling. Finding 5: Sizeable bio-based flows at 17% of domestic extraction, but with significant sustainability concerns about ecological cycling • Of the 146 Mt of extracted biomass, about 57 Mt are crops (for food and feed), 51 Mt grazed biomass, 18 Mt residues, 16 Mt wood and 4 Mt cutting from greens. • Despite biomass being considered as a renewable resource, biomass use can interrupt geochemical cycles and impair the quality of ecosystems (e.g. loss of species and landscape diversity, habitat loss). • Estimating the sustainable fraction of biomass that qualifies for ecological cycling faces both a lack of data and disagreement between different fields of science (agricultural sciences and ecology). Solution: On a global level, there is sufficient evidence that the biogeochemical nutrient cycle (of nitrogen and phosphorus) has already transgressed the planetary boundaries of a safe operating space for humanity. This has been caused by industrial and agricultural processes. Hence, an assessment of a system’s capability to close the biological nutrient cycle and maintain the ecosystem’s regenerative capacity is essential.

The Natural Capital Accounts initiative is extremely important and other scientific assessments should help generate better evidence for tailor-made strategies to improve circularity and sustainability. Meanwhile, attention needs to be paid to sustainable farming practices, especially for grasslands, livestock and primary crop farming. Beneficial, no-regret measures include: improved manure management; reduced use of mineral fertiliser, replaced by compost derived from organic waste treatment; and the phasing-out of unsafe pesticides. On the demand side, food waste should be minimised and the separation of materials of biotic and abiotic origin should be improved to enhance the biodegradability of bio-based materials.

Conclusion This study has shown that the circular economy goes well beyond more recycling of end-of-life materials. Of the 875 Mt materials extracted, only 327 Mt eventually became waste; of these, about 221 Mt are extractive wastes. So, reuse and recycling can only target 106 Mt – which is 12% of what has been extracted. While improved waste management is essential, its reach to increase circularity is limited. For increased circularity, it is key to reconfigure resource flows overall through the economy. Thus, the South African economy needs to develop a new national development model that entails phasing out its extractive orientation of non-renewable resources for export and power generation. This would make it both more sustainable and more prepared for changes on the world market to be expected due to the unfolding effects of already existing global environmental policies. These global developments will increasingly limit the gains of the present economic orientation, which dominates South Africa’s inherited resource use. Only such a proactive strategy enables the country to seize the opportunities a circular economy potentially offers: new businesses in the service sector, decent jobs for all skill levels directed at a stronger domestic economy, and lower environmental impacts. However, this means a substantial change mainly in mining, agriculture, transport, urban planning and power generation.


ENERGY EFFICIENCY

EnviroServ joins government efforts to support circular economy In line with South Africa’s Cabinet approving the National Waste Management Strategy 2020, which sees policy and strategy supporting the circular economy concept, EnviroServ Waste Management is committed to growing its offering of alternative waste solutions to contribute to a circular economy model.

I

n the circular economy, waste management, reuse, recycling and responsible manufacture suppor t the development of new industries and jobs, reducing emissions and increasing the efficient use of natural resources,” says Ryan van Heerden, regional manager, EnviroSer v. Demonstrating EnviroSer v’s commitment to this mandate, 30% of the company’s workforce is dedicated to recycling and alternative waste management efforts. “We assess our customer waste streams with a zero-to-landfill approach. Our aim is to find beneficial uses for ever y waste stream that we manage and create something of value, boosting the economy by creating jobs.” Currently, EnviroSer v has solutions for 87 different types of plastic, and diverted from landfill over 5 500 tonnes of plastic last year with the help of 16 plastic recyclers.

The company also offers the environmentally friendly bokashi composting system for food waste to clients. Bokashi is a Japanese system that converts food waste and similar organic matter into a soil amendment that adds nutrients and improves soil texture, redirecting food scraps away from methane-producing landfills. Bokashi, meaning ‘fermentation’, is suited to small spaces, and uses a special bran inoculated with good bacteria that turns food waste into compost. As a closed system, it is odour-free, meaning the risk of vermin and fly infestations is removed. Organic waste that rots can become a health hazard, meaning that bokashi bins are per fect for companies that have food waste generated on-site, such as in canteens.

Partnering for solutions “We partner with our customers, enabling you

to decide on and implement the best waste management solution for your circumstances. The solutions we offer are practical and have no negative impact on the environment. EnviroSer v is concerned with customers’ reputations and will, through responsible waste management, assist you in complying with legislation.” Van Heerden says. EnviroSer v supports its customers with their circular economy goals and helps them to understand how they can be a part of the circular economy. Avoidance is the first priority in the waste hierarchy. “We find it easy to begin with waste minimisation, so producers need to measure all waste streams and generation points, report on classifications of waste, cradle-tocradle reporting, and sustainability reporting to understand the net impact of what you are producing as an organisation. Record your benchmarks and set your key per formance indicators. With continuous feedback comes continuous improvement,” adds Van Heerden. There is a need at many companies to conduct awareness and behavioural training, to move employees into a circular economy mindset, at all levels of the business. “Companies just need to get started. Measure, look at compliance issues from a legal, ethical and moral standpoint, plan for the future, and collaborate.” AUGUST 2021

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ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Delving into SA’s residential power use Amid ongoing electricity supply concerns in South Africa, the results of a groundbreaking study on residential energy use have been released.

T

he South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) – together with the Depar tment of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) – has completed a study to assess the impact of energy-efficient appliances on electrical energy consumption in the residential sector in South Africa, while looking at possible future energy impacts for the sector. The global residential sector consumes one fifth of the world’s energy, according to the International Energy Agency. During peak periods in South Africa, the residential sector can account for up to 35% of national electricity demand. Richard Larmour, research officer: Advanced Machines & Energy Systems Research Group at UCT’s Department of Electrical Engineering, explains that it was impor tant to embark

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on this study seeing as the sector remains relatively understudied. “There is an enormous amount that still needs to be learnt about how electricity is consumed by appliances in different income groups. “It is also important to identify the areas in the sector that have achieved the greatest savings and those that still have savings potential. In par ticular, there was a need to quantify the electricity savings that have resulted from the South African appliance Standards & Labelling (S&L) programme over the past five years, as well as what savings may be expected moving into the future,” Larmour explains.

Ensuring current data Theo Covar y, PhD – an energy efficiency expert contracted by Sanedi – agrees, saying that,

to his knowledge, the last detailed study on the residential sector was done by Eskom in the 1990s. “Much has changed since then – politically, economically and technologically. It is important to understand the household sector market as it is a high-growth one, in contrast to other sectors that dominated in the past such as mining. The number of households grows ever y year, with many more electricity applications – i.e. the number of TVs, laptops, phones, appliance penetration, etc. and products of the future, such as electric cars.” Covar y asser ts that sector sur veys like these should be done ever y two to three years. The data can be used to: inform national policy (in this instance, how the S&L programme is per forming); report on climate change (Depar tment of Forestr y, Fisheries and the Environment); assist Eskom and


ENERGY EFFICIENCY

in the future and using more smart and digitally connected technologies and innovative tools to do their daily work, there will likely be a large shift in energy consumption from the traditional commercial (office) sector to the residential sector. “We need to accurately monitor this transition, for planning purposes,” he states.

Some interesting findings

municipalities with planning; and provide data for research (universities). “Finally, accurate data can help identify longterm solutions,” says Covar y. Barry Bredenkamp, GM: Energy Efficiency at Sanedi, notes that with the ever-increasing probability of more people working from home

The study found that South Africa’s S&L programme has been effective in achieving meaningful savings in appliance energy consumption between 2015 and 2020. The highest energy savings were seen in refrigeration, by a hefty margin – especially in low- and middle-income homes. From the research sample, 98.1% of households reported owning at least one fridge, with 24% owning more than one. It stands to reason that massive energy savings can be gained from these appliances. With regard to lighting efficiency, the study highlights that very few households used LEDs in 2020. LEDs are more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs and compact florescent lights. “This indicates a large potential for

improving the energy efficiency of lighting. The VC9109 draft lighting regulation, once adopted, aims to remove less-efficient lamps from the market,” explains Teslim Yusuf, project manager: Data and Knowledge Management, Sanedi.

Changing behaviour However, in the short term, and in order to change lamp purchasing behaviour towards LEDs, the study has recommended that, along with power, luminous efficacy becomes a primary performance indicator on lamp packaging. This should be supported by long-term, in-store information campaigns. “Once again, consumer education is a clear priority. There is no doubt that energy efficiency must be considered at the individual level, if we are to achieve our countr y’s energy-efficiency targets,” Yusuf comments. In line with this, the study recommends that a few, simple, quantifiable behavioural changes can reduce energy use just as much as technical inter ventions. The study states: “A sound long-term strategy for improving residential energy efficiency in a sustainable manner will likely involve a blend of technical and behavioural inter ventions.”

Scrub away the competition Hako is a leading manufacturer of premium cleaning equipment and municipal technology, including versatile scrubber driers, sweepers, city cleaners, combined sweepers, and an extensive range of cleaning chemicals.

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Waste reuse

INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS

A sustainable method to conserve natural resources in a circular economy

South Africa is faced with limited natural resources and the need to conserve these as far as possible. Our manufacturing industry is a major contributor to the consumption of natural resources, which presents significant opportunities to reduce consumption and conserve natural and virgin resources. By Sandile Khumalo

A

ccording to the National Waste Management Strategy 2020 drafted by the Department of Forestr y, Fisheries and the Environment, under the waste minimisation pillar, there is a drive to divert 40% of waste from landfill in the next five years. This could be achieved through reuse, recycling and alternative waste treatment, but it remains recommended that care be taken when selecting the most efficient and sustainable mitigation method between the above.

Diver ting waste from going to landfill is impor tant, but possibly more impor tant is the method used to divert this waste. Waste diversion methods should ideally require minimal additional resources for reprocessing the waste, and should not create additional greenhouse gas emissions. When waste is reused as input material for another product, the use of natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions are avoided or minimised, and there is a cost saving – thus making waste reuse a sustainable waste management option.

Recycling vs reuse It is impor tant to highlight the difference between waste recycling and waste reuse, for the purposes of promoting waste efficiency and sustainability in waste handling and in the waste economy. In the recycling process, waste is reprocessed back into secondar y raw material for manufacturing new products, which will require additional resources to be used in reprocessing, such as energy, water, and even virgin materials. With reuse, on the other hand, waste is redirected for another purpose that will extend its life cycle in a different application. Waste reuse options mean fewer resources are required for reprocessing into raw materials, and the resource becomes a high-value secondar y raw material in the manufacture of another product. The main distinction between reuse and recycling is that waste reuse has the potential to positively impact on the efficiency of the selected waste management option, as scarce natural resources will be conser ved; while recycling places demands on other scarce resources. Industrial symbiosis advocates for the promotion of waste reuse for the benefit of resource efficiency and cleaner production.

Striving for resource efficiency The industrial symbiosis methodology uses a resource efficiency approach, where the waste resources of one company are recovered and reused by another company in order to recover and improve its value. Industrial symbiosis programmes build a network of businesses aimed at identifying mutually profitable links or synergies between businesses so that underutilised and under valued resources from one business are recovered and reused elsewhere by another.

The approach also contributes to promoting new, innovative business practices and technology development, creating oppor tunities for technology innovation and waste entrepreneurship. Industrial symbiosis advocates returning waste resources into the economy as high-value secondar y raw materials for reuse, ensuring the circularity in waste resources and impacting on the sustainability of scarce resources.

Realising a circular economy Among the benefits of waste reuse in the industrial symbiosis approach is its contribution to the realisation of a circular economy. A circular economy approach redirects waste into production cycles and keeps materials and resources in the economy, promoting circularity in waste, and ensuring that much of the value in waste is recovered. Industrial symbiosis is an excellent approach to help deliver a circular economy because, through waste reuse inter ventions, it is able to create circularity in resource usage and conser ve natural resources.

INCORPORATE INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS INTO YOUR PROCESSES Individuals and companies who would like to include industrial symbiosis in their processes should kindly email ncpc@csir.co.za. For tools and guides on how industrial symbiosis works, visit www.ncpc.co.za.

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Landfill and Waste Treatment 2021 Virtual Seminar and Exhibition 3-5 November 2021 Waste Management Facilities: Have we reached our destination?

KZN LaWTIG

The Landfill and Waste Treatment Interest Group of the IWMSA KZN Branch invites you to participate in this seminar and exhibition focused on the landfill and waste management industry

WE ARE GOING VIRTUAL!

Book your exhibition booth with Lesley of Cebisa Conferences lesley@cebisaconferences.co.za

For more information, contact Heather 031 109 0000 | kzn@iwmsa.co.za KEYNOTE SPEAKERS KELVIN R LEGGE BSc; PrEng; FSAICE • Chief Engineer: Department Water and Sanitation Directorate: Integrated Environmental Engineering “Facts and Fairytales in Waste Disposal Facilities Development”

JOHN PARKIN BScEng (Civil); MScEng (UKZN); PrEng • Former Deputy Head: Plant & Engineering Cleansing & Solid Waste Department (DSW) eThekwini Municipality “Landfill & Waste Technologies: Raw Truths & Broken Promises”

PROF CRISTINA TROIS MScEng; PhD; PrEng • Former Dean and Head of the School of Engineering at UKZN • Full Professor in Environmental Engineering • Currently the National Research Foundation South African Research Chair in Waste and Climate Change (SARChi) at UKZN “The Sustainable Landfill of the Future as Fulcrum of the Circular Economy”

For further event information, visit www.iwmsa.co.za GOLD SPONSOR

SILVER SPONSORS


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

Why COMPOSTING should be part of your SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY With tightened organic waste regulations and compliance pressure from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, companies need to be proactive with their organic waste management.

H

aving a corporate social investment drive is high on the agenda for most medium to large companies. Investing in an environmental or social upliftment initiative is embedded in a typical company sustainability strategy. While investing in a cause outside of a company is always welcomed by stakeholders, looking at addressing the environmental impacts within is where the real strides towards your sustainability will be made. This is according to Brian Küsel, director of BiobiN South Africa, who insists that landfill diversion and composting should be part of corporate responsibility and sustainability strategies. “National and provincial governments currently have their eyes on big organic waste diversion targets – a 50% reduction of organic waste going to landfill by next year (2022) and a 100% reduction by 2027,” says Küsel. “As these deadlines approach and available landfill space is reduced even more, government will continue to implement regulatory measures to get industries to treat and divert their organic waste.”

This is already evident with the recently introduced regulation, restricting waste with more than a 40% moisture content disposed of in landfill. Organic waste falls within this categor y. “We have seen the waste management sector scramble to comply with stringent and rapidly introduced amendments to waste treatment and disposal regulations. Currently, composting, even large volumes on a commercial level, does not require waste licensing, making it a feasible organic waste management solution. On-site composting units are also a proactive measure to remain compliant,” says Küsel.

On-site composting Contrar y to traditional composting systems that you would typically see in a home garden, on-site composting units are not open-pit heaps that produce foul odours and attract rodents. On-site units are neatly contained systems that are controlled with air induction and biofiltration to optimise the composting process. “While paper and plastics recycling are commonly a standard practice in most offices,

composting office food and organic waste will quickly follow suit,” says Küsel. Küsel concludes that of fice waste management is an essential component of a sustainability strategy – and now it needs to include organic waste. An on-site solution like BiobiN is an excellent method to dispose easily of food waste, gain carbon credits, and remain compliant with waste regulations that will inevitably become more stringent in the near future. AUGUST 2021

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43


EVENTS

Upcoming EVENTS IMESA & IAWEES JOINT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

ENLIT AFRICA Venue: Online Date: 26 to 28 October 2021 Website: www.enlit-africa.com

Back by popular demand! Join Enlit Africa, in partnership with ESI Africa, as it provides you with access to the latest industry trends, hottest topics, and suppliers of world-class products and services. This not-to-be-missed, three-day digital event takes place on 26 to 28 October 2021.

IMESA Venue: Online Date: 17 to 19 November 2021 Website: https://conference.imesa.org.za The annual IMESA Conference – organised jointly by the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa (IMESA) and the International Association for Water, Environment, Energy and Society (IAWEES) – is going virtual! Taking place from 17 to 19 November 2021, the annual IMESA Conference will create opportunities for individuals to gain valuable information and insight into issues facing the municipal engineering fraternity. The conference will take place online and all sessions will be available to watch on-demand afterwards. So be sure to register to receive your individual link before the start of the conference.

Enlit Africa-Connect is a digital meeting place where you can connect, engage and network with your industry peers in real time, or talk to a supplier to discuss your energy future. Watch cutting-edge content through live webinars, exclusive one-on-one interviews with the who’s who of the energy sector, compelling content from host publication ESI Africa, product launches, technology showcases and much more throughout the year.

LANDFILL AND WASTE TREATMENT 2021

Venue: Online Date: 3 to 4 November 2021 Website: https://iwmsa.co.za/landfill-and-waste-treatment-2021virtual-seminar-and-exhibition

The Landfill and Waste Treatment Interest Group KZN Branch will host the IWMSA’s biennial landfill seminar and exhibition from 3 to 5 November 2021. The seminar has been renamed ‘Landfill and Waste Treatment 2021’, because the IWMSA understands that the traditional focus on landfill, while essential, must be complemented with alternative waste management solutions to form an ‘integrated waste management facility’. The virtual seminar and exhibition will be accessible to all in Southern Africa and abroad, allowing for the whole landfill and waste management industry to participate and contribute. With no travel and accommodation costs, attending this high-value, low-cost seminar will be easier than ever before!

KZN LaWTIG

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS AKS Lining Systems

18

Athermal Retort Technologies

OBC

JPCE 27

Envitech Solutions

23

KSB Pumps & Valves

IFC

CSIR 2

G&W Base & Industrial Minerals

31

PAMDEV NPC

16

EIE Group

IWMSA 4,42

Plastics SA

12

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IBC

EnviroServ Waste Management

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environmentally responsible

SPECIALISTS SERVICES Chemical Division

The A-Thermal chemical division is able to treat the following hazardous waste through thermal destruction: laboratory waste chemicals pesticides expired pure organo-chloride and organosulphide waste permanent destruction of persistent organic Pollutants (POPs) cyanide waste decontamination of containers used in the chemical and pesticides industry sludges and wastewater/liquids contaminated with organo-chlorides heavymetal contaminated waste such as mercury waste

safe thermal treatment of hazardous and toxic waste

Pharmaceutical Division

The A-Thermal pharmaceutical division specialises in permanent, secure destruction of pharmaceuticals. Waste treated includes: finished pharmaceutical products (expired and discontinued) intermediate products raw materials quality assurance retention samples natural, homeopathic or complimentary medicine clinical trials laboratories in pharmaceutical industries medical devices cosmetic industries schedule 5 – 6 drugs (overseen by full-time on-site pharmacist)

CONNECT NOW

28 Keramiek Street | Clayville | Olifantsfontein | 1665 t +27 (11)316 1800 | f +27 11 316 4999 | e info@athermal.co.za

www.athermal.co.za


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