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Promoting integrated resources management

LANDFILL MANAGEMENT Municipalities meet the challenge

GEOSYNTHETICS Why SA leads the way

The official journal of the

MATERIALS RECOVERY Ways to commercialise waste

Construct 3 Technologies

What is quality worth to you? SUSTAINABILITY

HERO PLASTICS|SA

“Banning plastics is not the answer. Preventing litter and putting waste plastics back into productive use definitely is.” Douw Steyn Sustainability Director, Plastics|SA

ISSN 1680-4902 • R50.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 22 No.01 • February 2020


for a

cleaner

environment

Reducing emissions, conserving natural resources Geocycle treats waste in a safe and environmentally-friendly way. This contributes to a cleaner environment. In 2017, it processed in excess of 14 million tons of waste materials and prevented 16.9 million tons of CO2 emissions. www.geocycle.com • 011 657 2390

For a zero-waste future

V/2018/Geocycle1/Resource


Vol. 22, No. 01, February 2020

ON THE COVER

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CONTENTS F E B R U A RY 2020

MUNICIPAL FOCUS

Huge sums of money are spent developing world-class geosynthetic materials, but often insufficient care taken during the installation of these products. Construct 3 Technologies’ unique Geo-Q software provides complete control over the process, ensuring a quality outcome. P4

REGULARS

President’s comment 2 Editor’s comment 3 News round-up 6 Events 36

COVER STORY

What is quality worth to you?

SUSTAINABILITY HERO

What makes a sustainability hero?

MUNICIPAL FOCUS

Cape Town looks to the future Sustainability for Stellenbosch Please load airspace

INSTITUTE NEWS

IWMSA is sprucing things up!

20 ORGANIC WASTE

MINE WASTE MANAGEMENT

Rethinking mine waste will bring unexpected benefits

ORGANIC WASTE

On-site food waste solutions Converting food waste from Cape landfills Vermicomposting can restore soil health

MARINE & COASTAL

Clean-up Champion of the Year

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RECYCLING

Finding viable alternatives for waste paper

MATERIALS RECOVERY FACILITIES

Ways to commercialise waste

GREEN BUILDING

CARBON TAX

South African businesses wrestle with new carbon tax

GEOSYNTHETICS

SUSTAINABILITY

in association with

}

WASTE-TO-ENERGY

The case for co-digestion

GREEN BUILDING

Making concrete bricks out of recycled polystyrene

SUSTAINABILITY

Brewing beer with renewable energy The true cost

infrastructure news

6 10 12 14 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 28

SA leads the way

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infrastructure4

30 32 34 35

www.infrastructurenews.co.za

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PRESIDENT’S COMMENT

A year of promise Leon Grobbelaar, president, IWMSA

Compliments for 2020. I trust you are as excited as I am to take the year head on to make a difference.

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y the time you read this message, the IWMSA would have launched its new logo, branding and mobile app. One of the highlights of the year will be the WasteCon 2020 Conference & Exhibition taking place in October at Emperors Palace, Gauteng, where we as the waste industry get together and share our knowledge and ideas and just catch up with old friends from all over the world. The call for abstracts has gone out, so submit your abstracts online and secure your exhibition space early. As a national member of ISWA, we will see participation from industry specialists from abroad and other African countries.

Commitment from government Late last year, Minister Barbara Creecy of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) set the scene with The Plastic Colloquium, which was attended by hundreds of people. The removal of plastics from our waste streams and the cleaning up of the oceans was high on the agenda. During 2020, there will be many more of these to follow and our new minister made it clear that she

would like to see action and that the time for talking is over. One of the reasons I am so excited about 2020 is because of the commitment made by the DEFF and the signing of the memorandum of understanding with the national regulator. We have met numerous times and the department has committed to join as a patron member of the IWMSA. This proves that we are heading in the right direction and that we can rely on the DEFF’s participation in the future. As a team, we would like to explore hosting the annual ISWA World Congress in South Africa, which would be a first for the African continent. The IWMSA will embark on a marketing campaign to increase our membership and to align ourselves with the other professional waste organisations and tertiary educational organisations across the country. The IWMSA is serious about providing you, our members, with the best possible training, support and benefits, which will empower you with the necessary information and skills required.

Local changes Global Recycling Day, which takes place on 18 March 2020, will recognise the people, places and activities that showcase the important role recycling plays in contributing to an environmentally stable planet. The IWMSA would like to see that communities place much more pressure on our municipalities to initiate sustainable recycling programmes and to make it easy for communities to recycle. As a country, we are drowning in our own

waste waste, with landfill airspace diminishing all over the country. Increasingly, we are seeing that communities are getting fed up with substandard operating landfills and placing immense pressure on local municipalities and regulatory authorities to issue directives to these local authorities. Gone are the days of simply accepting these substandard operations. On the regulatory front, we have taken note of the minister’s notice to withdraw the section 28 notice calling for the paper and packaging industry, electrical and electronic industry and the lighting industry plans. The minister has reached the decision that none of the plans submitted complied with the criteria. We have also seen the National Waste Management Strategy published for comments within a 60-day period. We have seen a draft review on the effectiveness of the implementation of the Waste Classification and Management Regulations (WCMR) and the associated Waste Norms and Standards (NS). This report could lead to a revision of the WCMR and NS in due course. WasteCon 2020 will be the voice of reason where environmentalists, contractors, engineers and all concerned can voice their opinions on how we as humans can innovate and protect the environment that we borrow from our children. May 2020 be the best year ever, for everyone!


EDITOR’S COMMENT

Editor Danielle Petterson Managing editor Alastair Currie Journalist Nombulelo Manyana Head of design Beren Bauermeister Chief sub-editor Tristan Snijders Contributors Don Blacklaw, Leon Grobbelaar, Gavin Heron, Rudi Katzke, James Lake, Logan Moodley, Gillian Niven, Boyd Ramsey Production & client liaison manager Antois-Leigh Botma Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise Group sales manager Chilomia Van Wijk Financial manager Andrew Lobban Distribution manager Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham Printers Novus Print KZN Tel +27 (0)31 714 4700 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 gail@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 2020. 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.

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Bridging the divide

he environment has been taking centre stage on global platforms of late, with issues like climate change garnering more attention than ever before. The recent World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos saw some of the world’s most powerful leaders come together to discuss climate change, albeit without any real consensus as to the way forward. Ahead of the summit, the WEF released its Global Risks Report 2020, which ranked the top five risks to humanity as: (1) extreme weather events; (2) climate action failure; (3) natural disasters; (4) biodiversity loss; and (5) humanmade environmental disasters. Although Greta Thunberg may have achieved meme status with her “How dare you?” comment at the UN's Climate Action Summit in New York City last year, her call for urgent action on climate change is a near-universal one that should be heeded. The 2020 report states that, “The nearterm impacts of climate change add up to a planetary emergency that will include loss of life, social and geopolitical tensions, and negative economic impacts.”

Where does SA stand? In an effort to take some action on climate change, South Africa introduced the carbon tax on 1 June 2019, to encourage the country’s largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters to switch to cleaner forms of energy. Unfortunately, the tax has received a fair amount criticism, particularly around potential loopholes (read more on page 26). South Africa is the world’s 14th largest GHG emitter. This is largely due to the country’s heavy reliance on coal and, although the Integrated Resource Plan calls for a shift towards gas and renewables, coal will continue to play an important role for decades to come. Concerningly, Eskom is exempt from carbon tax until 2023, despite accounting for more than 40% of the country’s GHG emissions. This means that Eskom is not incentivised to make major changes in the short term. And even if it were, the cashstrapped utility would not be able to implement

those changes. Which begs the question of how it will pay the estimated R11.5 billion annual carbon tax bill in future. And if this weren’t bad enough, the money collected from the carbon tax is not ring-fenced for climate change programmes. Just like the plastic bag levy, South Africa may never see this tax being used to address the problem it was implemented to fix.

Low-hanging fruit Considering the countr y’s many waste management challenges, it could be that addressing climate change in the short to medium term could simply be unachievable in a South African context. The IWMSA and Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) recently held their second waste management dialogue. Although well attended, it was unfortunate that only one audience member was a municipal representative. The general consensus was that, although government needs help and the private sector has solutions, it is very difficult to get members of both sectors in the same room. Mark Gordon, deputy director-general, DEFF, noted that municipalities want and need to engage with the private sector; however, companies need to approach municipalities with real, workable solutions that fit in with development plans. Nevertheless, legislation blocks many solutions and that red tape needs to be removed in order to bridge the divide between the public and private sectors. The oppor tunities exist – they merely need to be unlocked – and the key is to start with the lowhanging fruit. We cannot succeed until we get the basics right.

Danielle FEBRUARY 2020

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COVER STORY

What is quality worth to you?

Huge sums of money are spent developing world-class geosynthetic materials, but often insufficient care is taken during the installation of these products. Construct 3 Technologies’ unique Geo-Q software provides complete control over the process, ensuring a quality outcome.

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ver the last few years, the industry has seen significant technological advancements in geosynthetic materials, and the equipment utilised for their installation. However, geosynthetic construction quality control and quality assurance procedures have remained largely unchanged. With barrier systems, it is also becoming increasingly complex to achieve compliance with local and international containment standards and specifications. It, therefore, stands to reason that as barrier system complexity increases, so too should the practical implementation and management of the on-site construction quality control and quality assurance. Unfortunately, this is not the case. South Africa’s waste legislation is quite

clear on the impor tance of barrier systems to prevent pollution; however, the poor installation of geosynthetic liners often leads to environmental pollution. “Although engineers design for some leaks, zero leakage is possible with the right quality control measures in place,” stresses Henco Weidlich, managing director, Construct 3 Technologies. Weidlich argues that it is no longer appropriate merely to apply standard or generic on-site construction quality control and quality assurance procedures. This approach lends itself to administrative errors and practical installation mistakes, which can ultimately lead to barrier system failure. “The real question we need to be asking is: ‘How much is quality worth?’. Unfortunately, many people still don’t see quality as a potential risk, and this needs to change,” he says.

Quality control solution In response to the growing quality control problem, Construct 3 Technologies has developed the Geo-Q Online Management System. This unique

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geosynthetic installation management software is the first of its kind in the geosynthetics industry and encompasses all local and international standards to implement both quality assurance and quality control during the operational management of a geosynthetic installation. Currently, project completion, construction quality assurance and construction quality control data packs typically consist of manually completed Excel spread sheets, data capturing software, or hand-written documentation. Geo-Q is a cloud-based solution that records and makes information available in real time, providing the client, engineer and all other stakeholders on the project with on-demand access. This makes it possible to view what happens on-site from the boardroom, anywhere in the world, enabling transparency through online


COVER STORY collaboration with the client, main contractor, geosynthetic installation contractor, engineer and even the manufacturer of the materials, explains Weidlich. “The perception around quality control being on one person’s shoulders needs to change. Quality is everyone’s responsibility, including the client’s, and we are slowly showing clients just how important this is,” he continues. Geosynthetic specialist Geo-X has tested the application over the past several years and successfully completed numerous projects, setting a new benchmark for compliance in Africa. “We’ve proven that this software can change the way business is done for the better,” says Weidlich.

Why choose Geo-Q? Geo-Q offers numerous benefits over traditional methods. The software features 86 check points as per SANS 10409, with daily checklists and sign-offs. From the beginning, manufacturers have access to ensure that the materials supplied are correctly installed and fit for design requirements. The software maintains complete traceability of all lining materials used for the project, from manufacturing to installation. The client or client representative also has access to the Geo-Q platform in order to participate and obtain accurate information at any given time, enabling verification that all information recorded is correct. The main contractor can verify that all information recorded is correct, while the engineer is able to verify that all work completed for the day complies with the project specification. The geosynthetic installer or third-party quality controller can populate the information received from the crew on-site and complete the verification process after all testing procedures have been

completed for the day. Impor tantly, information cannot be changed after sign-off, ensuring accuracy and accountability, stresses Weidlich. Geo-Q also allows for the uploading of photos, documents and video recordings for reference points, and live online chats are downloadable as meeting minutes for each project. The software is completely in the cloud, available on any device with an internet connection and does not require any software download. Once the project is complete, the data pack is immediately available for download with no editing required. Weidlich notes that Geo-Q now covers all international standards and has gained the interest of big mining houses and other international organisations.

Watch the video to learn more

Making the change According to Weidlich, the most difficult part of implementing such a transparent quality control and assurance system is getting the industry to accept and participate in the initiative. Construct 3 Technologies has approached clients and engineers to assist with the implementation of the system. A significant amount of time and effort has had to be spent on training every individual who will operate on any geosynthetic installation site, in order to change the way they apply the process in the field. A great deal has been learnt through this process, resulting in the production of an installation manual and guideline that would complement the standard set by various engineers and authorities.

“Through continued collaboration with all stakeholders on an equal platform, we can all contribute to the continuous improvement of the installation of all geosynthetic materials,” concludes Weidlich.

Henco Weidlich +27 (0)82 777 1605 henco@c3t.co.za

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NEWS ROUND-UP

SUSTAINABILITY NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD SA’s first 100% recycled plastic water bottle Bonaqua still water bottles will soon hit the shelves with a new and green The plastic is all sourced from South Africa and produced by one of the twist. The Coca-Cola Company’s Bonaqua has launched a 100% green largest recyclers of PET bottles on the African continent – Extrupet. The recyclable water bottle – made from locally discarded plastic. company recycles over 2.5 million bottles a day. The equivalent of one-and-a-half old Bonaqua A first for South Africa plastic bottles goes into making the new 500 mℓ rPET bottles. This innovation is a first for the local market and The company says it’s able to do it at the same forms part of The Coca-Cola Company’s ambitious cost, which means there is no change in price global goal to create a world without waste. for the consumer. It aims to collect and recycle 100% of all the “We are sourcing the highest-quality recycled cans and bottles it produces by the year 2030. material to demonstrate what can be done According to the beverage giant, the new plastic and to grow our use of recycled material to resin is good enough to meet its stringent food stimulate the further collection of bottles,” safety standards, doesn’t compromise the quality Bonaqua launches SA’s first said a spokesperson from the company’s of Bonaqua water, and matches the same quality water bottle made entirely research team. standards of a normal virgin PET bottle. out of recycled plastic

Durban voted greenest city in the world

Durban has officially been crowned the greenest city in the world by the first Husqvarna Urban Green Space Index (Hugsi). Not only is Durban the global winner of the first Hugsi index, the African megacity of more than 3 million inhabitants also scored the highest percentage of green space in urban areas and highest percentage of urban area covered by trees. Hugsi is a digital innovation initiative that uses computer vision and deep learning techniques on satellite images to generate insights about the size, proportion, distribution and health of green space in urban areas. The city beat 94 others from across the world. Rio de Janeiro and Austin, Texas, made up the top three. The index recognised Durban for its sustainability and green initiatives, which were aimed at safeguarding green spaces. Sibusiso Mkhwanazi, deputy head: Parks, Leisure and Cemeteries Department, said the recognition was as a result of the city’s greening strategy and policy, which directs the planting of 80% indigenous trees and 20% exotic plants.

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Durban is officially the greenest city in the world

“The strategy is setting aside huge natural and green areas known as Dmoss as part of spatial planning. It informs us on what to plant, how to plant and where to plant more trees. Furthermore, as part of creating an urban forest, the city has a programme where we plant trees to rehabilitate areas that have been eroded. This effort has then contributed to us being the greenest city,” said Mkhwanazi.

Here are some more statistics as to why Durban is a green city: • Percentage of urban green space: 60% • Urban green space per capita: 185.8 m2 • Average health of urban vegetation: 0.73 • Distribution of urban green space: 66% • Percentage of urban green space covered by trees: 42% • Percentage of urban green space covered by grass: 18%. Durban is also recipient of two Arbor City awards from the National Department of Agriculture.


NEWS ROUND-UP

Air pollution could kill 160 000 in next decade More than 160 000 people could die over the next decade from strokes and heart attacks caused by air pollution, a report has warned. That is the equivalent of more than 40 heart and circulatory disease deaths related to air pollution every day. The British Heart Foundation (BHF), which compiled the figures, said there are an estimated 11 000 deaths per year, currently, but that this will rise as the population continues to age. It has called for the UK to adopt the World Health Organization’s

guidelines on air pollution and meet them by 2030. The WHO air quality guidelines offer guidance on reducing the effects of air pollution on health. The BHF said pollution may have a detrimental effect on heart health, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, and exacerbating existing health problems. Jacob West, executive director: Healthcare Innovation, BHF, said millions of people are inhaling toxic particles that enter the bloodstream and get stuck in the organs

– raising the risk of heart attack and stroke. “Make no mistake, our toxic air is a public health emergency, and we haven’t done enough to tackle this threat to our society. “We need to ensure that stricter, healthbased air quality guidelines are adopted into law to protect the health of the nation as a matter of urgency. Clean air legislation in the 1950s and 1960s and, more recently, the smoking ban in public places show that government action can improve the air we breathe.”

Air pollution poses a major global health threat

New recycling technique for old tyres Scientists of the Brook Research Group at McMaster University, Canada, have recently discovered a process that uses silicone chemistry to help break tyres down into a reusable product. The chemical process breaks the sulfur-to-sulfur bonds that hold the tyres together. The silicones selectively cut the sulfur-sulfur connections, leaving only organic chains that can be easily isolated and reused to create new products. Tyres are a classic example of a high-volume product that’s derived from non-renewable petroleum resources and designed for single use. They do not fit within the desired paradigm of reduce, reuse, recycle. And, staggeringly, around three billion automobile tyres were produced in 2019 alone. Some old tyres are used as fuel in the cement industry or ground into rubber crumb and used as a reinforcing agent; however, these aren’t efficient ways to utilise the resource. The newly discovered process, originally designed to make new silicones using very small quantities of a catalyst, has been repurposed to address the sustainability of petroleum-based tyres.

The first step involves cutting the tyres into sections and then forming powdered crumb from them. Then, a mild, rapid reaction produced by heating this material with specific silicones at 100°C for 45 minutes converts about 90% of the available organic materials into a readily processed pale yellow oil. The remaining substances — such as inorganic carbon, silica, metal and polyester cord fibres — are removed by filtration. The oils recovered from the used tyres are very similar in constitution to the virgin polymers initially used to make tyres. Through this process, the Brook Research Group has demonstrated that the oils can be repurposed to make new tyres. In one instance, the recovered polymers were converted back into new rubbers. The inorganic residue, initially removed by filtration, can also be reused as a reinforcing agent in the new rubber. Although there is more work to be done

to better establish the range of products that can be made from the recovered polymers, the overall process offers an opportunity to close the loop on automobile tyres, as the rubber can be efficiently degraded and then reused to make other useful materials.

A new recycling technique breaks down old tyres into reusable materials

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S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y H E R O

What makes a sustainability hero?

Blue Lagoon River mouth before the clean-up started

Plastics|SA’s (PSA’s) quest for a cleaner environment began in 1997 and its subsequent milestone achievements have received local and international acclaim. ReSource speaks to Douw Steyn, sustainability director, about PSA’s vision and mission to turn us all into sustainability champions.

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atented in 1909, Bakelite was the world’s first synthetic plastic and a massive leap forward in the polymeric development of commercial products. Today, plastic derivatives continue to revolutionise our society. Being incredibly durable materials, plastics can be used to design and build just about anything from aircraft components to daily household storage containers. For those less informed, though, the fact that most plastics don’t biodegrade is a major concern for lobby groups, pointing to their growing threat to the environment. However, any manmade material can pose a threat, and plastics are no exception, especially when products end up as polluting litter or get indiscriminately sent to landfill. “A core part of our mission is to educate the public and industry about plastics,” says Steyn, who – alongside John Kieser, sustainability manager of PSA, and Wayne Munger from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife – was instrumental in launching the International Coastal

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Scoring green goals for over 23 years •  1997: International Coastal Cleanup campaign launched in South Africa • 2002: Minister of Environmental Affairs Rejoice Mabudafhasi supports PSA’s decision to introduce a parallel inland clean-up campaign to protect rivers and other water sources • PSA’s Sustainability Division initiates event clean-ups for major sporting events • 2010: PSA launches Recycling Day, later part of National Clean-Up and Recycle SA Week • 2011: PSA wins the Enviropaedia Award for Recycling at the inaugural Eco-Logic Awards; signs the Global Declaration for Solutions on Marine Litter • 2012: PSA launches the fishing-line bin initiative for the safe disposal of lines and hooks; starts a clean-up and recycle competition for schools; kicks-off the Berg-to-Beach campaign • 2013: PSA sponsors Ray Chaplin on his riverboarding expedition to raise awareness about the issue of plastics pollution in our rivers and oceans; launches inaugural African Marine Debris Summit in Cape Town • 2014: PSA awarded at the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife/Old Mutual Excellence Awards; launches the Zero Plastics to Landfill by 2030 campaign • 2015: Hosts the second African Marine Debris Summit • 2016: PSA and Aqua Amazing launch educational road shows to rural schools, highlighting the dangers of marine pollution; clean-up of the Beachwood Mangroves; event greening at Cape Argus, Two Oceans Marathon, and Cape Town Navy Festival • 2017: Beach clean-ups in KwaZulu-Natal following major storm events; Operation Clean-Sweep launched on World Oceans Day • 2018: Lolly bins introduced on South African beaches; PSA spearheads South Africa’s participation in World Cleanup Day; strives for zero plastic pellet loss • 2019: Spearheads clean-up of KZN beaches after floods; participates in World Oceans Day • 2020: Announces winner of the inaugural Caroline Reid Award for Clean-Up Champion of the Year


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y H E R O Jukskei clean-up

Litter trap made out of 146 plastic bottles, shade netting and rope

Cleanup campaign in South Africa back in 1997. At the time, Kieser was working for Oceans & Coasts. “In 2014, PSA launched its Zero Plastics to Landfill by 2030 campaign for a number of key reasons,” Steyn continues. “Foremost among these is that most plastics are recyclable and have economic value in second- and even third-life product manufacture. Another reason is that it supports government’s own initiatives to encourage the growth of a circular economy. Then there’s the reality that available landfill space is rapidly running out.” PSA’s programmes fully embrace the 4R environmental imperatives – namely reduce, reuse, recycle and recover – as outlined in government’s Good Green Deeds campaign. PSA formed part of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries’ steering committee that created the Billy Bin mascot and anti-litter programme. “Plastics are not killing our environment, but litter is!” stresses Steyn, which is why PSA has invested extensively in clean-up campaigns and school outreach initiatives that target both inland and coastal regions. When flood events happen, the results are often devastating for housing and infrastructure. For coastal zones, it’s a shocking aftermath. Flotsam comes down rivers in force and beaches become swamped with waste, particularly plastic waste.

Coastal clean-ups start with rivers The PSA’s Coastal Cleanup campaign is an annual

highlight on the environmental it reaches the sea, education programmes, cleancalendar, traditionally held on the ups, and waste management interventions. third Saturday of September. Working Winning the war on waste through regional volunteer groups in KwaZuluNatal and the Western Cape, the PSA facilitates the “To win the war on waste, consumers, government and industry must work together to create sustainable process, donating thousands of bags for these cleanup operations. However, this is just one of many processes. That starts with educating users about similar PSA activities that include Water Week, World the importance of recycling and how to separate Ocean Day, World Environmental Week and Ocean waste at source,” says Steyn. “Some dirty waste is more expensive to recycle.” Marine Week. In parallel, Steyn says South Africa must establish Another example is the PSA Green Events campaign clearer channels to market, such as more buyfor major sports events like the Two Oceans Marathon back centres, while stimulating the growth of and Cape Town Cycle Tour. In most cases, manufacturing centres specialising around 90% of the plastic waste in producing recycled products. collected is recycled. Manufacturers also need to research “Clean-up campaigns and develop plastic and packaging will be with us for as long materials that can be recycled. as it takes to change A major step in this direction consumer behaviour. In 2019, we had around was the formation of the SA 120 000 people participating Initiative to End Plastic Waste in Douw Steyn and donated up to the Environment in 2019, which is 500 000 bags. It’s a being coordinated by the Consumer voluntary process combined Goods Council of South Africa. with a scientific one, where waste “We need to maximise the total value chain – streams are recorded in a database,” he continues. from raw materials to end products and back again. “We share this information with interested parties We must establish more efficient collection systems; like Ocean Conservatory, a US-based global NGO to do this, we need involvement and commitment committed to combating plastic waste in our from municipalities, government, industry and marine environment.” consumers,” he adds. Sadly, rivers remain the main conduit of waste, so “Banning plastics is not the answer. Preventing much so that PSA has introduced river catchment litter and putting waste plastics back into productive projects to the north and south of Durban, in Port use definitely is,” Steyn concludes. Elizabeth and Cape Town, as well as the Sabie River. The latter passes through the Kruger National Park on its way to Mozambique. Some of the interventions proposed are the installation of litter booms to www.plasticsinfo.co.za capture and recover river-borne plastic waste before

John Kieser (front centre) and the clean-up team of the Two Oceans Marathon

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M U N I C I PA L F O C U S

Cape Town looks to the future The City of Cape Town manages roughly 2 million tonnes of waste per year. As new legislation comes into play and available landfill airspace decreases, the city’s strategy is to provide infrastructure for waste diversion, including organic waste, builders’ rubble crushing and recycling. By Danielle Petterson

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he City of Cape Town’s two existing landfills – Coastal Park and Vissershok – provide secure airspace up to the year 2032. According to Margot Ladouce, manager: Disposal Solid Waste, City of Cape Town, the city is currently in the process of authorising a regional facility to secure further airspace. Currently, the Coastal Park Landfill accepts general waste, while the Vissershok Landfill accepts both low hazardous and general waste. With the various changes being rolled out linked to diversion from landfill and liquid waste restrictions, the city needs to carefully monitor the trends in waste quantities.

Waste disposal infrastructure Cape Town’s current solid waste disposal infrastructure consists of the two landfill facilities, which each feature a drop-off facility. There are three refuse transfer stations at Bellville, Athlone and Swartklip, and an integrated waste management facility in Kraaifontein.

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The Kraaifontein facility includes a materials recovery facility (MRF), refuse transfer station and drop-off facility. Construction on a second MRF, to be established at Coastal Park, is due to commence within the next 12 months. A further MRF is planned for the Athlone Refuse Transfer Station, but this is still in the preliminary planning and environmental authorisation stage. The city’s 25 recycling and waste drop-off facilities offer residents free access to drop off recyclables, as well as bulky garage and garden waste that is chipped. The city’s tariff policy permits the use of the drop-offs for domestic garage waste with a vehicle carrying capacity of less than 1.5 tonnes. However, Ladouce reports that the city has experienced challenges with its green waste chipping tender, following the emergence of a new invasive species of beetle. The polyphagous shothole borer beetle, which lives in the trunks and branches of trees, was detected in April 2019. Specifications for the previous tender were drafted prior to this emergence and did not contain requirements for dealing with the threat posed by such a species.

Diversion from landfill The city is encouraging waste diversion from landfill through a range of services and programmes that include:

• chipping of green waste • partnerships with buy-back centres where residents and businesses can exchange their recyclables for cash in certain areas • Integrated Waste Exchange (IWEX) – a free online system that allows businesses, schools, organisations or individuals to exchange their waste with one another • a free ‘industrial symbiosis’ programme available to business and industry in Cape Town, known as WISP (Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme) and managed by GreenCape. According to Ladouce, various facilities are earmarked for expansion or upgrades, such as the planned establishment of an MRF and refuse transfer station at Coastal Park. This will incorporate an organic waste diversion/ beneficiation component to ensure alignment with the latest objectives and targets of national government. “We are steadily expanding a home composting programme where residents are provided with the tools and knowledge to turn their organic waste into compost, reducing pressure on landfills and methane build-up. The experience gained from this programme will ultimately inform a more formal approach for the city,” she says.


M U N I C I PA L F O C U S

In addition, builders’ rubble is crushed for reuse/ beneficiation on-site and elsewhere, where appropriate, linked to the current builders’ rubble markets.

Recycling drive In January 2020, the city signed a declaration to be a supporting member of The South African Plastics Pact, an initiative spearheaded by the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation and WWF in collaboration with the international organisation WRAP. By 2025, The South African Plastics Pact aims to change the way plastic products and packaging are designed, used and reused to ensure that plastics are valued and never become waste, through committing to various targets. The role of supporting members is to be involved in activities to identify solutions, amplify messages and cascade best practice, but not specifically to commit to the targets in the pact. Meanwhile, Cape Town residents are being encouraged to separate their waste and take household recyclables to any of the city’s 25

drop-off facilities where it is accepted and sorted free of charge to the public. Recyclable and reusable materials received at these facilities are recovered by contracted entrepreneurs. The city’s Recyclers app/portal is an interactive web-based map that allows Cape Town residents to view the drop-offs centres, buy-back centres and recycling collectors in their area. “We try to keep this updated as often as possible, but these businesses tend to change frequently, so not all the information is always 100% updated,” says Xanthea Limberg, MMC: Water and Waste, City of Cape Town. Unfortunately, while the city would like to extend the roll-out of its kerbside recycling collection programme, the cost remains the primary obstacle, with markets being at an all-time low. “There is a widespread belief that recycling is a silver bullet, and while that does represent progress in terms of waste awareness, we ultimately want to see a shift towards consumers avoiding unnecessary plastic waste materials wherever possible,” adds Limberg. Encouragingly, there is a growing

shift towards more mindful consumption choices globally, with society generally becoming more aware of the environmentally damaging effects of single-use plastics and excessive packaging. “While we are certainly seeing some evidence of this locally, there is still a long way to go in terms of feeling the benefits of sustainable consumer choices.” The city is also working directly with packaging and recycling industry bodies, supporting SMME development in the recycling space, and entering into partnerships with non-profit organisations to help drive the widespread adoption of economically viable green economy solutions. In addition to recycling and diversion targets, Limberg says the recent changes in legislation pertaining to liquid waste disposal and organic waste diversion targets also require attention, especially to find solutions. Unfortunately, illegal dumping and littering are by far the biggest challenges and a drain on city resources, and the vandalism of infrastructure is another major concern. However, the city remains committed to finding solutions and ensuring sustainable waste management solutions into the future.

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Sustainability for Stellenbosch With a population of around 188 000, Stellenbosch produced 219 896 tonnes of waste in 2018/19 – a major problem considering the municipality has run out of landfill airspace. By Danielle Petterson

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ell 3 of Stellenbosch Landfill has reached capacity and the municipality is now transporting waste 67 km daily from Stellenbosch to a private landfill in Vissershok via the Klapmuts transfer station. Waste from Franschhoek must also be trucked 85 km to Vissershok. Although plans are under way to extend the Stellenbosch Landfill, the municipality has had to focus on alternative approaches to waste management.

Moving to a circular economy Peter Novella, a senior fellow and past president of IWMSA who is semi-retired and currently working on contract for Stellenbosch Municipality, believes that, when it comes to waste management, we will see growing pockets of circular economy activity, resulting in landfills declining and changing in nature until we see a new order in waste management. Although the waste hierarchy has been around for decades, Novella argues that we need to rethink the way we implement the desirability of the hierarchy. “If we don’t rethink, we won’t make the advances needed to move to the so-called circular economy.” He believes that there has been a lot of deviation from the norm in Stellenbosch, which will lead to greater progress in adopting a circular approach. The first step comes in understanding your waste stream. A waste composition analysis is an essential decision-making tool and must cover domestic, commercial and industrial waste. The analysis also needs to be redone on a regular basis in order to measure the effectiveness of systems put in place to reduce or divert waste, and because waste streams may vary. Stellenbosch has done just this (see Figures 1 and 2) and discovered that a large amount of

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recyclable waste is still being sent to landfill. This is a clear indication of the need for greater awareness and education, and increased confidence of participants in the system. “Understanding the small components of what you put into your landfill is what’s important,” says Novella. Importantly, waste characterisation should not be undertaken too frequently, and the UNEP suggested timeframe is every five years. Notably, when Stellenbosch conducted waste characterisation in 2012 over three different seasons, no significant differences were observed.

Stellenbosch’s efforts According to Novella, Stellenbosch is conducting pockets of trials that address South Africa’s unique

challenges. Crucially, Stellenbosch is choosing to see the situation as an opportunity rather than a crisis and Novella applauds the Stellenbosch waste management team and the work it has done in recent years. The focus has been on diverting waste from landfill, and the municipality is currently establishing the city’s first public recycling drop-off centre as well as a materials recovery facility. Designs are also under way for an organic waste transfer station to accommodate future organic waste diversion targets. Stellenbosch has focused on the quick wins, such as crushing builders’ rubble to various G-grade specifications (G3 to G9) and selling it. However, there is a limit on the amount of rubble

Ash, furniture & clothing 4.73% Plastic 22.96% Metal 2.51% Glass 10.58% Paper & cardboard 20.34% Organics 24.85% Garden 6.16% HHW & e-waste 0.33% Other/residual 7.53%

FIGURE 1 Consolidated waste characterisation, broad categories (Stellenbosch Municipality, 2019)


M U N I C I PA L F O C U S several years, and Novella will play a key role in taking these forward and realising some of the more complex projects.

Gaining more airspace

Plans are under way to build a fourth cell at Stellenbosch Landfill

that can be put back into the economy. For years, Stellenbosch has offered free disposal for builders’ rubble, so when Cape Town reintroduced a tariff for the disposal of rubble, many people flocked to Stellenbosch, resulting in large quantities of rubble being disposed of there. Shorter queues at Stellenbosch Landfill, which allowed for better turnaround times, also contributed to the problem. This is now monitored by the site supervisor, and only waste generated within the WCO24 is accepted at the landfill. Another initiative is the chipping and composting of green waste. The municipality is also working on getting supermarkets in the region to adopt biodegradable plastic bags and move away from single-use plastics. Getting community participation is essential, particularly in schools and the informal sector. In the past, Stellenbosch has run swop-shops that allowed people to bring in recyclables in exchange for things like household goods, clothing and airtime. This pilot dispelled the general notion that recycling can only work in middle-to-highincome communities. Instead it was shown that recycling can be effective in lower socio-economic communities, provided there is some form of incentive to support the programme. In this regard, Stellenbosch conducted some successful trials with the Vollar (voluntary dollar) on Madiba Day in 2018. Vollars (a cryptocurrency) could be used at participating retailers to purchase certain household goods, and were given to people in exchange for recyclables. The municipality has trialled a HomeBiogas biodigester at Spier and now owns three of these biodigesters, which will be rolled out to schools. Kitchen waste from the schools and surrounds will be converted into gas, which can be used

to cook a warm meal for the schoolchildren. Another project Novella is excited about is separate food waste collection, which is targeted for mass roll-out in 2022, when the municipality will be required to divert at least 50% of organic waste from landfill. Separation will be done in the home and organic waste will be collected by the municipality and treated at either an aerobic or anaerobic plant. The

Plans are under way to build a fourth cell at Stellenbosch Landfill. However, two sets of Eskom high-voltage power lines pass over the site of the new cell 4 that lies between closed cells 1 and 2, and cell 3. These lines will need to be relocated around the facility to create space for the new cell 4. A basic assessment is required in order to obtain an environmental assessment to allow Eskom to proceed with the construction work. To save time, the basic assessment for a waste management licence to construct and operate the new cell 4 has commenced in parallel. Opening a new cell would add an extra 18 to 40 years of landfill airspace for Stellenbosch, dependent on the rate of waste diversion and future legislation. This, says Novella, would act as a backstop to allow the municipality to move ahead with other initiatives.

Final takeaways Novella cautions that proper waste management

Clothes

Paper packaging

Furniture

Paper/cardboard

Hard plastic

Tissues

Plastic wrap/ packaging

Organics

Maize bags

Leachate

Polystyrene

Garden

Metal

HHW

Glass

E-waste

Tetra Pak

Other

FIGURE 2 Consolidated waste characterisation, detailed (Stellenbosch Municipality, 2019)

initial phase will be rolled out to 4 000 households before eventually being implemented across the entire municipality. The municipality will provide each household with a kitchen caddy – a small plastic basket – as well as compostable plastic bags in which households must place their food waste. Once full, the plastic bags can be placed in a separate large storage bin – also supplied by the municipality – which must be put out for collection once a week. Many of these projects have been championed by the municipality’s waste division over the past

costs money; also, the more you divert from landfill, the higher the costs. However, it is essential that we harness the value in waste as we move forward. All costs need to be factored into the business model and it is a good idea to start with the easy wins, such as the elimination of single-use packaging, green waste and appropriate recycling. Understanding the waste stream is the foundation for waste diversion and the circular economy, and yes, landfills can be part of the circular economy. FEBRUARY 2020

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Despite modern waste management solutions, South Africa’s most reliable waste management option is still landfilling. By Logan Moodley*

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urrent statistics highlight that South Africans generate some 108 million tonnes of waste yearly, with 90% of it being disposed at at landfill sites – which are fast approaching capacity. Despite the need for modern waste management solutions, landfill sites cannot totally be eliminated from our waste management system, as they are still a required part of an integrated waste system to manage wastes that cannot be feasibly treated. However, running out of landfill airspace is reality for many municipalities in South Africa, including the eThekwini Municipal Area. Existing landfill sites in eThekwini Municipality are under extreme airspace capacity constraints and setting up new landfills is becoming more difficult. Cities are viewed as economic hubs leading to radical growth yet compounded by numerous challenges such as pover ty, unemployment and competing interests in the provision of equitable basic ser vices. With such pressures comes an increase in waste

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generation, placing added strain on existing waste management systems to become resilient in moving towards the new order of waste solutions. The city generates approximately 1.4 million tonnes of general waste per year, which is ser viced across four general landfills. The Cleansing and Solid Waste (DSW) unit, which is accountable for the waste management within the eThekwini Metropolitan area, is renowned for its innovative approach to landfill management. However, with the changing waste landscape, the DSW has had to investigate alternative and innovative solutions to extend the useful lives of its waste facilities. It found, through feasibility studies, that the most practical solution would be to secure airspace in the shor t term and then gradually integrate waste diversion and beneficiation into day-to-day waste management strategies.

Overview of eThekwini landfill sites Durban currently has four general landfill sites, namely Bisasar Road landfill site, Mariannhill landfill conser vancy site, Buffelsdraai landfill conser vancy site and Lovu landfill site. Bisasar Road landfill site • It opened in May 1980 and ser ves mainly the central areas of the city. • The site has a design airspace capacity of some 25 million m3 and is reaching imminent closure with approximately only 300 000 m3 airspace available. • I t is envisaged that the site can still be maximised by


M U N I C I PA L F O C U S obtaining a fur ther 150 000 m3 by landfilling on selected areas that have settled. • The site is now in preparation for the implementation of progressive capping and in progress of finalising detailed closure designs. The current operation has downsized and now only accepts builders’ rubble, garden refuse and sand/cover material. • The remaining useful life is approximated at two years. Mariannhill landfill conservancy site • The site has been in operation from around 1996, with a design capacity of some 4.4 million m3 ser ving the western catchment. • The total area of the site covers some 49.5 ha, of which 18.5 ha is landfill footprint. • Following the downsizing of Bisasar Road landfill site, the site has jumped from receiving 750 tonnes a day to 1 700 tonnes, which it is not designed for. • Useful life estimated at just over a year. Buffelsdraai landfill conservancy site • The site ser ves predominantly the nor thern catchment and fur ther receives bulk of the central areas waste. • It receives some 1 000 tonnes a day of general waste, the bulk of which is hauled in from the Electron Road Transfer Station, making it one of Durban’s busiest landfills.

• T he design projected airspace is approximately 40x106 m3, banking landfill security in the nor th of the eThekwini metro for practically 70 years. • T his landfill has been recognised as eThekwini’s flagship landfill for best practice improvements and ecosystem restoration. Lovu landfill site • The site was commissioned in July 2014 and receives some 480 tonnes of waste a day. • The total projected airspace capacity in the order of some 7 million m3. • It banks landfill security in the south of the eThekwini metro for approximately 35 years. • The site has also seen a rapid increase in waste volumes arising from other landfills in the city closing, necessitating the need to accelerate the cell lining development. Of the four sites, two landfills – Bisasar Road and Mariannhill – are imminently reaching closure. Mariannhill landfill will reach capacity by 2020, leaving no safe waste disposal option for the inner and outer west of eThekwini. The city made the decision to downsize the operation at Bisasar Road landfill site in Januar y 2016 and now only accepts garden refuse, construction and demolition waste, and sand material. As a result, waste patterns saw the Mariannhill landfill site increase in waste tonnages, as this is the closest landfill by default. This has brought about the need to investigate alternative options to mitigate a looming waste crisis.

Increasing landfill airspace through waste diversion and landfill lining Since other options such as land mining and rerouting waste collection to other city landfills did not offer favourable results (proving to be not cost-effective, as the bulk of the total waste management cost lies in transpor t), the city was compelled to look at more practical options such as utilising waste as a resource. These included garden refuse, builders’ rubble and sand material. It was more favourable to accelerate landfill lining development at the Buffelsdraai and Lovu landfill sites. Moreover, it was also recommended that the existing transfer station be upgraded to ensure waste can be maximised through aggregation and hauled to other landfill sites across the city. The waste facilities also required the improvement of assets to be able to ser vice the expected increased volumes. The Clermont transfer station was planned in anticipation of the Mariannhill landfill site closure. The site is to ser ve the inner west for improved waste transpor tation economics through the installation of static waste compactors.

Increasing landfill airspace through waste beneficiation Waste beneficiation is the treatment of waste to improve its physical or chemical proper ties to use it as a raw material input into other production processes and extracting economic value. The concept is in line with

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M U N I C I PA L F O C U S

initiatives to maximise the diversion of waste from landfill sites through reuse, recycling and recover y. It’s about seeing waste as a resource rather than ‘just waste’. The three key requirements that have been identified as key to ensuring the success of waste beneficiation projects are to secure land for the project, guarantee the feedstock and secure a market off-take. The proposed eThekwini quick-win projects meet the requirement, as the areas for the projects are to be set up on the city’s own landfills, the feedstock is of the selected waste streams identified for beneficiation, and market off-takes are proposed for internal city use. An example of such a quick-win project is mechanically treating garden refuse. Garden refuse constitutes between 4% to 7% of the total waste stream received at landfills in the eThekwini Municipal Area. Using mechanical treatment, garden waste can be turned into alternative organic products such soil amelioration, cover material and compost. The compost will suppor t rural communities surrounding the city to ensure that there is nutrient addition to subsistence farming and the promotion of agricultural business, whereby previously disadvantaged people from the outskir ts of the city can supply local produce to bigger suppliers. This is seen as a sustainable market as it addresses pover ty alleviation,

promotes economic development and assists the city in controlling urban sprawl. This could also immediately increase landfill airspace by some 4%, seeing as garden waste would not be going to landfill but rather garden refuse sites. Mechanically treated garden refuse will be used as alternative cover material and topsoil equivalent in landfill rehabilitation and in the supply of growing medium to the city’s Parks and Recreation unit. The new arising package of low-hanging fruit options through waste beneficiation is seen as practical for implementation and will contribute to some 40% diversion, leading to immediate airspace relief. The shift to alternative waste solutions is still currently competing against relatively low landfill gate fees, making implementation poor. Therefore, securing local city internal markets is seen as key to the success of waste diversion and beneficiation, as the project will bring about socio-economic benefits. There are aspirations to radically change up the waste hierarchy, growing recycling and recover y and reducing landfilling. The implementation of alternative waste management options gaining momentum is hindered by low landfill gate fees and restrictive environmental compliance aspects. Therefore, a practical outlook is to bank land as an ‘integrated waste management facility’, securing airspace in the shor t term as the first line of defence and gradually bleeding in waste diversion for beneficiation, with only residual waste intended for landfilling. It must be fur ther

The compost will support rural communities surrounding the city to ensure that there is nutrient addition to subsistence farming and the promotion of agricultural business, whereby previously disadvantaged people from the outskirts of the city can supply local produce to bigger suppliers. This is seen as a sustainable market as it addresses poverty alleviation, promotes economic development and assists the city in controlling urban sprawl recognised that it is not feasible to recycle, treat or prevent all waste streams. Therefore, the reality is that landfills will continue to play a critical role heading into the future.

*Logan Moodley (Pr. Eng) is the deputy head: Plant & Engineering at eThekwini Municipality.

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INSTITUTE NEWS

IWMSA is sprucing things up!

Following industr y feedback and months of strategy and business model consulting and planning, the IWMSA has relaunched its brand.

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uring 2018, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa conducted business model research to find out what its members thought of the structure and strategy of the IWMSA. Following this, they have changed up their look by introducing a brand-new and improved logo. Instead of their well-known red and white, they have introduced their green-shaded logo that puts waste management at its centre. Established in 1976 by a group of municipal cleaning workers concerned about the negative impact of waste handling and disposal practices at the time, the IWMSA adopted the red and white logo. The logo remained the same from 2007 to 2020, except that the name of the IWMSA and Southern Africa were added to the bottom. The arrows pointing around Africa reflect the four areas that are affected by ineffective waste management. Leon Grobbelaar, president, IWMSA, said that the period of change was ver y difficult but necessary. “The current logo was under attack and

change was inevitable. It has come and gone; we are living in a new era and we needed to change it.” The new logo still focuses on waste management, with the W and the M seen in the negative and light green space of the logo. Utilising the bright green gives the feeling of life and a renewable source that links back to the IWMSA’s objective of educating businesses in the best ways to manage their waste, in ways that will assist in creating a clean and healthy environment. The four sectors still reflect the four pillars of the environment – namely land, water, fauna and flora.

The app will also give people the ability to connect with other IWMSA event attendees. The IWMSA’s Central Branch will also be launching its Recognition Awards, aimed at recognising those that have recently received environmental awards.

ISWA The IWMSA has also become a national member of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). The ISWA is a non-governmental, independent and non-profit association, and follows the mission statement to promote and develop professional waste management worldwide as a contribution to sustainable development. They are currently in the bid to host the 2024 ISWA World Congress. The annual ISWA World Congress is the biggest and most diverse event of the association. It is an opportunity to gain more knowledge and expertise from counterparts and colleagues from around the world.

What stays the same In addition, the institute has relaunched its website, incorporating the bright green colour scheme. They have also launched their mobile app, which will give details on upcoming events, institute news and updates.

One thing that remains constant is the IWMSA’s vision to provide South Africa with a clean and healthy environment, and to support and promote sustainable best practice in the waste and secondary resources sectors.

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MINE WASTE

Rethinking mine waste will bring unexpected benefits

As one of the largest contributors to national waste, South African mines should be rethinking their usual linear approach to managing residues. Beyond improving their environmental and social impact, they may be surprised by the economic benefits. By James Lake*

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Mining generates a range of waste streams in its mineralised waste. The bulk of these are residues consisting of waste rock and tailings. Other residues, produced in smaller volumes, include concentrated effluents, sludges, sediments, leached ore residues, slags, furnace dust and filter cakes

he potential environmental impacts of mining residues have long been recognised by mine operators and regulators. The resulting legislation now guides and assists mines in managing impacts through the mine life cycle. Indeed, there are not just environmental impacts to consider: real health and safety risks exist – as demonstrated by the 270 fatalities from the 2019 failure of the Brumadinho tailings storage facility in Brazil. Mines’ waste management is typically driven by a mine residue management plan. These plans – as well as the regulations that guide them – generally assume that residues are managed in a linear fashion, from production to deposition and ultimately in situ closure of the mine or residue facility. This approach is a tacit acceptance by the industry that mine residues are likely to be a permanent feature in the landscape after mining. It is an approach that unwittingly ties mines to considerable levels of expenditure. It is SRK’s experience that the disposal and/or treatment of mine residues are the largest contributors to closure costs. The post-closure management of run-off and seepage generated from residues is also costly. But there is another way.

In some instances, regulations themselves are a limiting factor, particularly in South Africa. Despite these barriers, the industry has recognised opportunities to reduce, recycle and reuse waste. Some mines have developed programmes, often as enterprise development opportunities, where the mineralised residues are reused in a variety of ways. On mine sites, this often includes the placement of tailings into voids – to stabilise excavations and provide support for safe mining to continue. There are also off-site uses of tailings and waste rock – mainly in the construction industry. Here, residues are used as aggregates or additives to cement, concrete and other hydraulically bound mixtures. Residues have also been refined, to be used as soil ameliorants or flocculants in water treatment. To effect a radical transformation in the management of mine residue, however, the mining industry needs to rethink its linear approach to residue management. This means moving away from a paradigm where residues are left in the landscape after closure. Instead, real effort must be applied to either reducing volume, or altering the physical and chemical characteristics of the waste material to allow for future use – where this is realistic and economic.

Reduce, recycle, reuse

Cost-effective changes

Trends in waste management – both locally and internationally – are to reduce, recycle and reuse waste. Many mines successfully apply these imperatives to their non-mineral wastes, but there are real and perceived barriers to applying this approach to mineralised residues. These generally relate to the sheer volume of mine residues produced and their low economic value.

To achieve this, mines can consider various costeffective changes to their mining activity. For example, the amount of waste rock generated can be reduced by modifying their blast regimes. This could also change the physical characteristics of the waste rock to allow for alternative future uses. Other changes can be made in the metallurgical beneficiation stage: milling requirements can

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be adapted to focus not only on metal liberation but also to generate a tailings stream capable of being utilised downstream – while still considering safety requirements. Such an altered paradigm may allow mines to realise economic benefits previously not considered. Recovery and processing residues may provide alternative employment opportunities, for instance. This progress may in turn feed into the operation’s social transition to closure plan and could reduce both its closure and post-closure liabilities. These prospects grow more attractive as mines look for ways to reduce their environmental impact while enhancing resilience and self-sufficiency in local communities. It’s time that mine waste becomes an opportunity rather than just a cost.

*James Lake is a partner and principal environmental scientist at SRK Consulting.


ORGANIC WASTE

On-site food waste solutions

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oth the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town have announced an aimed 50% reduction of organic waste going to landfill by 2022, pushing for a 100% ban by 2027. While these initiatives are focused largely on green waste, food waste will be targeted as part of any municipality’s waste-to-landfill reduction initiatives. Outside of food processing facilities, shopping malls generate significant volumes of organic waste in their food courts, restaurants and supermarkets. For large shopping malls, food waste volumes can exceed 100 tonnes a month. This volume of food waste would use 150 m3 of increasingly scarce landfill airspace per month and generate 627 tonnes of CO2e emissions when landfilled.

Reducing waste to landfill Known for locally developing and manufacturing innovative on-site food waste composting systems, Earth Probiotic Industrial has been successfully

Waste generators are facing two significant waste management threats: their ability to comply with changing waste regulations and managing waste costs.

rolling out its industrial-scale composting solutions across South Africa. A Heron IVC (in-vessel composter) unit was installed at Emperors Palace Hotel Casino Convention and Entertainment Resort at the end of 2015. Managing over 38 000 kg of food waste per month, this unit has now processed over one million kilograms of food waste. The installation of this unit has enabled Emperors Palace to reduce its landfill airspace contribution by over 1 500 m3 and decrease CO2e emissions by over 617 000 kg. Additional IVC machines have been installed at Eastgate Shopping Mall and Sandton City. Installed in July 2019, the Sandton City composter is currently processing in excess of 45 000 kg of food waste per month.

Complete solution The Heron IVC is a fully automated on-site food waste composting machine. Utilising indigenous South African microorganisms, all food waste can be processed

through these IVCs. This includes cooked and uncooked vegetables, meat, fried chips, seafood, egg shells and bones – essentially all organic waste coming from a mall’s food outlets. Additional waste inputs processed are contaminated cardboard, egg cartons and paper waste (essentially low-value or non-recyclable wood-based materials that have a high carbon ratio). As food waste is processed on-site, the Heron IVC mitigates the impact of labour disruptions, as experienced during the Pikitup strike a few years ago. With waste reducing by two-thirds during the composting process, the costs and carbon emissions of removing compost output are also significantly reduced compared to unprocessed organic waste. Automation and remote management systems are built into the Heron IVC composter. All input/ output weights can be recorded and then published to online dashboards, enabling easy and efficient reporting and analysis. The Heron IVC is the only locally developed and manufactured in-vessel composting machine. This South African on-site composting solution helps waste producers to be compliant with existing and future regulations, as well as have financial predictability regarding waste management costs. FEBRUARY 2020

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ORGANIC WASTE

Converting food waste from Cape landfills The large amount of food waste ending up in Western Cape landfills has prompted a new project to recycle this waste more effectively. A local ecofarming initiative is working alongside Cape Town eateries to fight against food waste, by conver ting it into compost produced much and methane gas that can be used more organic food waste than others, for cooking, lighting and heating. sometimes requiring By Nombulelo Manyana two buckets a day. We

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he Rainbow Warriors International organisation developed the initiative to not only help divert organic waste from overloaded landfills but also to convert it into a useful resource. Rainbow Warriors International is a registered non-profit organisation, founded with the aim of educating rural communities and small-scale farmers about the impacts of climate change. The organisation conducted a self-funded feasibility study in November 2019, which involved the daily collection of kitchen waste from eight restaurants, juice bars and coffee shops in Observatory, Cape Town. Each establishment was given a 20 litre plastic bucket with a lid, which they used to throw all pre- and post-consumer food waste into. The bucket was then collected the next day for two weeks. The study was aimed at looking at the volume of waste produced by each restaurant.

Eatery waste volumes “The juice bars and vegan-only establishments

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found that education about food waste and how best to deal with it was the biggest obstacle to compliance,” says Ryan Fortune, executive director, Rainbow Warriors International. Following the findings, the organisation is continuing its work by partnering with six restaurants, who were part of the initial study. Over the next three months, they will collect about 200 kg of food waste weekly from the hospitality businesses. The food waste will then be transformed into methane gas or composting through processing methods known as red wiggler composting.

Organic composting Red wiggler earthworms consume the waste and excrete worm castings, also known as vermicompost. The compost is an odourless, clean, organic material containing several micronutrients essential for plant growth, making it an excellent fertiliser for plants. The organisation has also recently invested in black soldier fly larvae, which are able to consume a much wider variety of food waste than earthworms, at a greater speed. Before they pupate and become flies, these larvae can be dried, powdered and pelletised into high-protein animal feed.

“We are also in advanced discussions with John Holmes at the Oude Molen EcoVillage in Pinelands, who has a biogas digester, to see how much waste he will take from us to create methane gas for local household energy use.” The processing through red wiggler earthworms and black soldier fly larvae will be done at a processing site in Woodstock, while methane gas will be produced through the biogas digester located at Oude Molen EcoVillage. Fortune says they developed the campaign to create greater awareness about this food waste issues. “The main aim is to create awareness among restaurant owners and the general public, as well as demonstrate efficient and environmentally sound waste treatment options.” Ryan Fortune, Rainbow Warriors International


ORGANIC WASTE

VERMICOMPOSTING can restore soil health Ever yone knows about the threat of plastic to our oceans and to the fish that are har vested daily all over the world. Less known, and an even greater threat, is the worldwide destruction and degradation of our soils. By Don Blacklaw*

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he United Nations has warned that we have treated our soils so badly that they will soon no longer be able to produce crops. The British parliament, in conjunction with its farming community, is in the process of passing legislation to protect and improve their nation’s soils in a manner that maintains farming viability. The problem is not only the result of erosion caused by wind and rain, but also caused by monoculture – the continuous working of soils allows the carbon in the soil to escape. In fact, agriculture is also, to a marked degree, responsible for global warming. Carbon is essential to soil health, as it feeds microbes, of which there are a multitude. They, in turn, are required to maintain and support plant growth. No carbon in the soil means no microbes and, therefore, no plant growth.

No tilling Fortunately, some farmers have appreciated the situation, and South Africa has a strong no-till association. Regular ploughing has stopped and the soil is disturbed as little as possible, with crop residues allowed to break down in the field as opposed to being burnt. Between main crops, cover crops are planted, which are also are allowed to break down and, in turn, increase the soil carbon level. The application of farmyard manure and composted material is beneficial. The key is the incorporation of materials to build up the carbon and organic material levels for soil health and

water retention. In fact, in the USA, many are advocating a return to mixed farming as one solution. In addition to following a no-till programme, a farmer in the Harrismith area, Redge Jelliman, started vermicompost production in 2002. The carbon level of his soils has since increased from 0.3% to 3.5%, with a marked improvement in crop health and yields, and has led to a 50% reduction in chemical fertiliser usage.

Diverting organic waste Our landfill sites are under huge pressure. Consideration must, therefore, be given to direct non-toxic organic waste to be composted and returned to the land. In New York, which plans to have zero delivery to landfill sites by 2030, food outlets have brown bins for food waste, which are collected daily and the contents composted using a windrow system. Collection points in many places in the city are there to receive organic waste for composting on a much smaller scale – in some cases, going the vermiculture route. Vermiculture can work well on a large, medium or even household scale and the final products have improved many gardens, small holdings and farms. Recent developments in vermicomposting have simplified the process and the final product is of better value than ordinary compost. This has been confirmed by work done by the University of KwaZulu-Natal. There are many systems available to compost waste with worms, some of which are ideally suited

for small-scale business. The final products, namely worm wee and vermicompost, can be sold back to the people from whom the waste has been collected.

Taking a fresh approach There are many areas of South Africa characterised by strips of bare and vulnerable ploughed land and sad-looking crops. Considering the likelihood of the country seeing a proliferation of new smallto-medium-scale farmers who will likely find it difficult to maintain the carbon level and water retention ability of their soils, it would be wise to make compost or vermicompost available to them. I believe that if a fresh look were taken at composting non-toxic organic waste, together with the distribution of the final product, we could certainly contribute to restoring and maintaining the health of South Africa’s soils. Vermiculture is a simple process and we have seen several small-scale entrepreneurs successfully market the final products. Currently, we have some 57 million mouths to feed; and as this number continues to grow, food production becomes increasingly paramount. We must, therefore, get non-toxic organic waste out of our landfills and back into the soil. And, in this regard, vermicomposting is the simplest and most costeffective option.

*Don Blacklaw is the owner of Wizzard Worms.

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M A R I N E & C O A S TA L

Clean-up Champion

Douw Steyn (left) and John Kieser of Plastics|SA award the cash cheque and trophy to Alison Bryant of the Keep Plett Clean campaign

of the Year Resounding suppor t for Plastics|SA’s inaugural eco-champion initiative underscores South Africa’s commitment to a litter-free environment.

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lison Bryant of the Keep Plett Clean campaign is the winner of the Caroline Reid Award for the Clean-up Champion of 2019. This is a new, annual award was established by Plastics|SA to recognise and reward excellence in South Africa by an individual in the field of marine and coastal clean-ups. The announcement was made during a gala dinner to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Marine & Coastal Educators’ Network (MCEN), held at the Zeekoevlei Yacht Club in Cape Town during February 2020.

The name behind the award Caroline Reid was a passionate ocean conservation warrior from KwaZulu-Natal who tragically passed away at the age of 42 in a fatal motorcycle accident in 2018. She was a dynamic clean-up champion who coordinated hundreds of beach and diving clean-ups and who was central in the work done to clear up millions of plastic pellets released into Durban harbour in 2017. “Caroline was a very dear friend who worked tirelessly to increase the awareness of plastics pollution on the KwaZulu-Natal coastline,” says Douw Steyn,

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sustainability director, Plastics|SA. “The conservation community suffered a huge loss with her untimely death. We therefore wanted to establish this annual award not only to remember and honour this wonderful person, but also to recognise and thank similar individuals who altruistically give of their time to make our marine and coastal environment a better place by combating pollution.” John Kieser, Plastics|SA sustainability manager and South African coordinator of the annual International Coastal CleanUp, says that this year’s inaugural competition drew entries from around the country. “We were very impressed with the quality and quantity of nominations submitted for this award. The judges had a tough time selecting a winner from the 14 finalists, who all proved their passion and commitment for our environment and were making a tangible difference through removing litter from our oceans and waterways,” he explains. The 14 finalists were: Aaniyah Omardien (Beach Co-op), Alison Bryant (Keep Plett Clean), Ann-Louise van der

Berg (Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa), Denzil van der Westhuizen (Clean Surf Project), Erin Conradie (Cape Agulhas Clean-ups), Jaco Kriek (#trashtag), Janet Ormond (Curb Plastic), Jessie Naidoo (Master Waste Management), Lisl Barry (#trashtag), the Mosselbank River Conservation Team, Pinkey Ngewu (Dyer Island Conservation Trust), Toshka Barnardo (Sustainable Seas Trust), and Zoe Prinsloo (Save a Fishie).

About Keep Plett Clean Alison Bryant is the driving force behind the Keep Plett Clean campaign – a community initiative started in February 2014 with the aim of keeping Plettenberg Bay spotless and a premier holiday destination. With the help of 30 volunteers and a few permanent staff members, Alison ventures out with bibs and pickers every week to make sure every bit of waste is picked up and removed from the town’s beaches and streets. Accepting her award, Bryant thanked Plastics|SA for launching the initiative and stressed the importance of ongoing education to teach the public and schoolchildren about how they can help keep the environment beautiful and clean. “I would like to pay special tribute to eco-warrior Caroline Reid who embodied everything we are striving for in our efforts,” said Bryant. The prize money awarded to the Keep Plett Clean campaign will be used to assist with paying for the transport of staff members and volunteers who need to reach outlying areas of the town in order to do clean-ups. “This award shows that if we all do our bit and care for our communities, together we can really push South Africa forward and help our country go from strength to strength,” Bryant concluded.


RECYCLING

With the global market for pulp and paper in a state of oversupply, the paper industr y is investing in research for viable alternative uses for waste paper.

Finding viable alternatives for

waste paper

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lthough 2019 has seen supply in excess of demand for both pulp and paper worldwide, collection rates for the year to date are good. However, the global market for waste paper has changed considerably over the past few years. China’s stricter requirements for cleaner waste paper imports since the end of 2017 and the country’s ultimate aim of having zero waste imports has meant that 30 million tonnes of waste paper need to find a new home. As a result, the global prices of waste paper have declined significantly. These structural changes present both a challenge and an opportunity.

Successful paper recycling in SA According to the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa), more than 12 million tonnes of paper and paper packaging has been

recovered in South Africa for recycling during the past decade. The overall paper collection rate in 2018 of 71.7% is comparable with the most successful countries globally. South Africa is in the enviable position of being able to recycle up to 90% of its recovered waste paper locally into paper packaging, serving the agricultural, manufacturing and retail sectors. The challenge – and opportunity – is to develop new uses for recovered waste paper during this economic slowdown, which has led to lower production by South African paper mills that use waste paper as raw material.

Opportunities Pamsa’s producer responsibility organisation, Fibre Circle, has earmarked R2 million specifically for research and development of alternate and innovative uses for waste paper.

“In line with the circular economy, we have to work together to develop new paper-based solutions to prevent valuable and usable fibre going to landfill and ensure it is turned into value,” says Francois Marais, manager, Fibre Circle. “This will require exploring novel material substitutions. “There is also a socio-economic imperative – we cannot afford to see the fruits of 10 years of entrepreneur training and SMME creation come to nothing,” says Marais. “We have to adjust to a new normal: reduce the amount of packaging we consume and find innovative uses for waste paper, beyond cardboard boxes.” Wood-based fibre, which includes paper and board, is a greener, renewable alternative to fossil-based materials. Made from farmed trees, wood and paper store carbon in their fibres. Wood and paper – essentially cellulose – are also versatile. “Sending it to landfill is just not an option,” says Marais.

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

Postal Address

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

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M AT E R I A L S R E C O V E RY FA C I L I T I E S

Ways to commercialise waste

Materials recover y facilities (MRFs) are integral in shaping today’s and tomorrow’s circular economy, and form par t of an overall waste strategy. However, to function effectively and affordably, a feasibility study must be under taken, since each site is unique, says Richard Emer y, executive associate manager, JG Afrika. By Alastair Currie

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RFs are becoming increasingly common in South Africa, given the pressing need to shift waste streams away from landfills and focus on recycling as a key activity. MRFs come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from large-scale industrial set-ups for bulk inter ventions to smaller-scale operations that make provision for community-based and labour-intensive projects. The latter provide much-needed employment while preser ving the environment, but the caveat is that specialist management and a constant source of saleable waste streams are essential. “Commercial facilities are typically set up to handle tonnages ranging from 1 200 to 1 500 tonnes per month and require multimillionrand investments, given the high level of mechanisation likely required,” explains Emery. “However, there’s plenty of oppor tunity for more grassroot facilities in the 300 to 500 tonne per month range, costing anywhere from R2 to R40 million, where manual sor ting is the central production process and the barrier to entr y is relatively low,” he continues. “This is definitely

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an area where municipalities should focus on implementing workable systems. That could include paying a subsidy to MRF operators.” JG Afrika has extensive experience in designing small and large MRFs. At the top end of the scale, current examples include the design of a privately owned clean packaging plant in Cape Town. This will handle products that include paper, plastics, metals and glass. As Emer y points out, the secret to sur vival in the waste business is waste stream flexibility. Par t of the reason for this is the present commodity price volatility of the international recycled waste industr y. Large global buyers like China have a major influence. Therefore, to remain competitive, MRF owners need to ensure that their facilities make provision for multiple and parallel production lines and commodity price changes now and in the future. In this way, they can shift the focus away from paper to metals, for example, according to buyer demand. Given the right scale, MRFs can present excellent oppor tunities for public-private par tnerships (PPPs), either as standalone operations or in conjunction

with existing and new landfills. However, the oppor tunity needs to be big enough. “JG Afrika provides transactional advisor y ser vices for a wide range of waste management inter ventions,” Emer y explains. A case in point is a new initiative being rolled out by Eden District Municipality. This PPP project entails the establishment of new domestic solid waste and hazardous waste sites. A waste diversion model forms par t of this.

Waste characterisation assessment To facilitate the process at municipal level, JG Afrika has developed a series of Excelbased tools to assist in conducting waste characterisation studies. These are vital for a successful outcome. Based on the type and volume of saleable recyclable materials, such as cardboard and aluminium, municipalities can punch in the numbers and then estimate the size and scope of each MRF in terms of product throughput, which then leads to the calculation of potential sales turnover. “The point to emphasise is that an MRF must operate as a business and be run by specialists with a working understanding of the waste recycling market. So, size isn’t the issue: a small MRF can run as a going concern and then scale up to greater things,” Emer y continues. “To star t with, for example, a model as basic as 1 tonne per day of compost could work. Prospective entrepreneurs need to target the low-hanging fruit. For example, plastic bottles are easy to source and transpor t, while glass is heavy and expensive to ship to a waste buyer.”

Dirty MRFs Clean, source-separated waste is vital as an avoided processing cost at a recycler. Dir ty


M AT E R I A L S R E C O V E RY FA C I L I T I E S

MRFs are not sustainable on their own, currently. That’s because clean waste is far easier and less costly to capture and repurpose. A prime example is paper: if it’s clean and baled, then it’s ideal for shredding back into pulp. If it’s contaminated by liquids or food wastes, or mixed with other material types, like plastics, it’s more costly for a downstream buyer to do their own separation.

To effect change, people and businesses need to be ready when it comes to recycling; however, one of the key stumbling blocks is that disposal to landfill is still relatively cheap

Multipronged approach

“There are places for dir ty MRFs, but not from a sole business plan viewpoint; rather as a precursor to something else,” says Emer y. “Even if the volumes are there, the current market is generally priced too low. For this reason, dir ty MRFs need alignment with a bigger-picture approach, where the end game has a dual purpose – for example, the extraction of paper and sale of the residual organics for incineration in a waste-to-energy plant.”

in South Africa. Emer y says that policy needs to make this more costly to help incentivise a permanent culture shift. South Africa also needs to add value to waste in promoting a vibrant recycling sector, by, for example, implementing a deposit on recyclable plastic bottles, and establishing more buy-back centres. Perhaps some of the funds generated from the carbon tax could be channelled into formalised MRF initiatives.

South Africa’s Depar tment of Environment, Forestr y and Fisheries (DEFF) embraces the value of MRFs in the mix, and has been engaging with JG Afrika in the development of workable recommendations. A key MRF study was recently conducted by Emer y, together with JG Afrika technical consultant Aiden Bowers and DEFF project manager Malcolm Mogotsi. This was the subject of a presentation at Landfill 2019. “Based on our experience, one of our first obser vations is that the development of a onceoff blueprint is not possible,” Emer y asser ts. “Our recommendations are that all prospective MRF operators plan and understand what can be achieved for each specific site, what’s reasonable and appropriate.” In the future, old landfill sites in South Africa could be mined for their commodities, as is the case in other par ts of the world. As prime greenfield oppor tunities become scarcer in urban centres, there’s also a local and international trend towards remediating contaminated brownfield and waste sites, and placing the land back into productive use. In fact, JG Afrika is currently working on a project where the intention is to build a housing development on an old industrial landfill site. “Basic economics dictate that underpricing landfilling will continue to lead to its overuse, while alternatives like MRFs are still being overlooked as par t of a municipal waste diversion strategy. MRFs are definitely par t of the solution,” he adds. “Either way, as older landfills close and licences are not issued for new ones, waste diversion and recycling could become commonplace but we need to have the culture change. But why wait?” Emer y concludes.

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C A R B O N TA X

South African businesses wrestle with new carbon tax

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hile the Carbon Tax Act (No. 15 of 2019) is designed to persuade the country’s largest greenhouse gas emitters to switch to cleaner forms of energy, we fear it may largely fail to meet that objective, owing to loopholes in the Act. In brief, the Act imposes a carbon tax of R120 per tonne of CO2-equivalent, which will increase annually at a rate of inflation plus 2% until 31 December 2022, and in line with inflation thereafter. The carbon tax liability is calculated as the tax base (sum of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from combustion, industrial processes and fugitive emissions, proportionately reduced by certain tax-free allowances) multiplied by the rate of the carbon tax. The enactment of the Act was accompanied by the Customs and Excise Amendment Act (No. 13 of 2019). The South African Revenue Service will administer the tax. The legislative framework for this purpose is found in the Customs and Excise

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South Africa’s Carbon Tax Act, which came into effect on 1 June 2019, gives teeth to the countr y’s international climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. By Gillian Niven and Rudi Katzke, partners, Webber Wentzel

Act and the relevant rules issued in respect of that statute. The latest rules in this regard were published in the Government Gazette on 23 December 2019, and cover certain practical aspects such as the licensing of emissions facilities and the submission of carbon tax accounts by licensees. The emissions data that underpins the calculation of a taxpayer’s liability is disclosed as a result of GHG Reporting Regulations published by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries. This system regulates the reporting of data and information from identified point, non-point and mobile sources of atmospheric emissions to the new National Air Emission Inventory System.

Some reprieve Six months after the Carbon Tax Act came into force, the Carbon Offsets Regulations were published. They provide a mechanism for companies to reduce their carbon tax liability by

5% to 10% of their total GHG emissions through investment in a carbon offset programme. In addition, two sets of draft regulations relating to the Carbon Tax Act have been published for public comment. These are the Draft Trade Exposure Allowance Regulations and the Draft GHG Emissions Intensity Benchmarks. The Draft Trade Exposure Regulations give some reprieve to companies exposed to international competition. They contain a list of affected sectors that qualify for certain allowances. The sectors include those that produce and distribute electricity; manufacture and distribute gas; mine coal, lignite, uranium, iron ore and other minerals; extract petroleum and natural gas; manufacture items such as food, wood and paper and glass; or make chemicals, machinery and equipment. For those sectors, the carbon tax payable will be the sum of the GHG emissions for each category, less the allowances for each emissions category (combustion, fugitive or industrial process). An alternative approach to calculate the trade


C A R B O N TA X exposure allowance has also been proposed, where a taxpayer can argue that the sectorbased allowance does not accurately reflect the appropriate level of the allowance. Under the Draft GHG Emissions Intensity Benchmarks, taxpayers that perform better than an approved sector or subsector emission intensity benchmark will qualify for a performance allowance.

Gillian Niven

Rudi Katzke

Recent changes There have also been some recent changes to the Carbon Offsets Regulations. One amendment was to allow Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) projects approved from bidding window three and other renewable energy projects with up to 50 MW of installed capacity to be eligible for offsets. Another change was to make projects and offsets issued for a specific monitoring period up to 31 May 2019 eligible for offsets. These amendments present additional opportunities and support in the renewable energy space and the country's policy ambitions of transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Because of the way the carbon tax is designed, a 5% offset allowance does not necessarily lead to a 5% change in carbon tax liability. It is possible to achieve an even greater reduction in carbon tax payable.

Addressing loopholes In practice, it is evident that some of South Africa’s energy-intensive primary industries have the pricing power to pass on the tax to their customers – the downstream manufacturers. The primary producers may, in fact, even benefit from carbon tax, since they levy this tax liability on to customer invoices, which are payable immediately. The requirement, however, to submit the tax return in this regard only becomes due in June 2020 and therefore offers the taxpayer an opportunity to benefit from additional interest earned on such monies. As a result, there is little incentive from the heavy emitters in monopolised industries to invest in renewable energy

alternatives or clean fuels, while the additional cost will intensify economic pressures on smaller downstream businesses in South Africa, feasibly creating unforeseen anti-competitive practices. There are also gaps in the regulations that enable some companies to switch fuel sources from those defined in the Carbon Tax Act to those that are excluded from it, resulting in circumstances where the calculation of the tax liability is not possible. If the tax cannot be calculated, the taxpayer is essentially excused from paying it. We expect that as these loopholes become evident, regulations will be further tightened in phase two of the implementation of the carbon tax regime, which begins in 2022.

RECYCLING PLANTS FOR MUNICIPAL AND INDUSTRIAL WASTE Pellets or fluff as alternative fuels AMANDUS KAHL GmbH & Co. KG Dieselstrasse 5–9 · 21465 Reinbek Hamburg, Germany · +49 (0) 40 72 77 10 info@akahl.de · akahl.de

Johannes Schuback & Sons (S.A) PTY Ltd. Sandton/South Africa T +27 11 70 62 270 · F +27 11 70 69 236 jsssa@mweb.co.za


GEOSYNTHETICS

SA leads

the way Despite an oftenpessimistic view of the state of waste management in South Africa, the countr y is leading the world in many respects. By Boyd Ramsey*

D

uring late 2019, I had the opportunity to spend several weeks in South Africa on two trips, concurrent with the 17th African Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering and the South African Landfill 2019 Conference & Exhibition. In addition to each conference, I stayed for several weeks and visited many participants in the South African waste and geosynthetics arenas. I left South Africa with many positive thoughts and impressions. Perhaps it is human nature to be somewhat pessimistic. Much of our education is focused on problem-solving and, in fact, nearly every test or examination consists of finding or selecting answers and solving problems. For many people and groups, this spills over into a focus on what is seemingly going wrong and what may need to be corrected or changed. I saw this during my visits and many of the people I spoke to expressed very negative sentiments on the state of the environment in South Africa. My thoughts, however, were more optimistic, as I am an optimist. My personal proverbial glass is not only half-full, but comes with a delicious drink, an umbrella and fresh fruit as a garnish!

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Setting the standard

I am fortunate enough to have travelled a great deal of the world and been involved in waste containment, geotechnical engineering and geosynthetic materials throughout my career. I have first-hand knowledge of waste containment and management around the globe. My message to you is that South Africa, while having many problems and challenges, also has many activities and accomplishments that lead the world and the industry in this area. I will highlight briefly three themes: the use of digital technology in construction quality assurance, the use of recycled materials supporting a circular economy, and the format and content of environmental regulations.

Digital technology South Africa has two of the leading firms who have created and are developing digital technology in construction quality assurance (CQA). These two companies, Aquatan and Geo-X, have, over the past years, developed and refined digital tools for documenting, tracking and managing the construction processes. For geosynthetics, and many other materials, installation quality is a critical contributor to product and design performance. If not installed properly, it likely won’t work very well and may not perform as its design intended. In the past, CQA was managed and documented with paper

For geosynthetics, and many other materials, installation quality is a critical contributor to product and design performance. If not installed properly, it likely won’t work very well and may not perform as its design intended records, and an inspector walked around and wrote down what happened. The systems, developed separately by these two South African companies, offer digital advances. The data is captured digitally, in some cases directly downloaded from the installation equipment. Photos can be taken and digitally integrated into the CQA records, documenting special events and conditions – this

Boyd Ramsey


GEOSYNTHETICS is particularly useful when there are multiple ‘layers’ and materials are buried. This data can be integrated into GPS services to assure that locations with potential problems can be identified and monitored. The summation of this digital information can be easily communicated, emailed and shared with project participants in a timely and efficient manner. The developments and systems of these two South African companies are being used by other industry participants around the world, setting a new standard for performance.

One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Antoine de SaintExupéry: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Recycled materials The second area where South Africans are leading the world is in the use of recycled materials to manufacture geotechnical/geosynthetic materials. Kaytech, a South African geotextile manufacturer, is utilising recycled polyester from water bottles and other sources to produce a continuousfilament polyester geotextile fabric that can be used in transportation, waste, infrastructure and other applications. Many nations are struggling with the necessary and proper utilisation of materials that are diverted from the general waste streams and have use and value as recycled materials. Plastics need to improve in this area to match the performance of glass and metals. This is becoming not only an economic issue, but a serious environmental consideration. In Australia, over the past year, there has been a great deal of

discussion, effort and planning put forth with the goal of achieving a more circular economy where materials are reused at the end of their life cycles. The decision by China to stop accepting waste materials from other countries is certainly driving this effort. Kaytech takes a material that would otherwise likely end up in a landfill and converts it into a valuable, high-performing, geotechnical material. There are many countries around the world that want and need similar operations. The Kaytech model needs to be duplicated throughout the world. Our global garbage is too valuable to bury; as a society, we need to be much better at extracting the value and energy from our waste and this company’s actions are an excellent, leading example.

Environmental regulations The final accomplishment of South Africa is the creation and content of its environmental regulations. In any effort, it is necessary to have a plan. I am big on plans, as they are even more important than goals. One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” A country’s environmental regulation provides the framework for a plan to address environmental issues, and South Africa has very good, wellcrafted and comprehensive environmental regulations. Under the leadership of Kelvin Legge and the staff at the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, the regulations embodied and referenced in the Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008)

provide a plan to manage waste and protect the environment. These regulations have been used by and are repeatedly supplied to other countries as examples of how to regulate waste in a comprehensive fashion. Yes, enforcement is an absolute necessity and critical portion of the effectiveness of the regulations, but without good regulations, enforcement is impossible. South Africa should be proud of this plan to protect the environment. Clearly, all is not just sunshine and roses. South Africa has a large waste disposal problem. Litter and the improper non-engineered disposal of waste are serious and widespread issues. However, in the context of the events I attended, that is understood and being addressed. Further, as discussed above, South Africa has created tools, manufacturing capacity and proper planning to assist in the improvement of waste management, waste stream reduction and proper utilisation, and the improvement of the South African environment. Further, South Africa has organisations such as Gigsa (Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa) and the IWMSA that are supporting these efforts. I enjoyed my time as a guest in your country, and I look forward to returning.

*Boyd Ramsey is a leader in the geosynthetic and waste disposal industries and owner of Boyd Ramsey Consulting LLC. For more information, email boydramsey@me.com.

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WASTE-TO-ENERGY

The case for co-digestion The Western Cape has called for a total ban on organic waste to landfill by 2027, with target of 50% by 2022. Other municipalities are following suit and although organic waste-to-energy has often been touted as too expensive, there are cases in which it may be both practical and cost-effective. Karl Juncker, owner, By Danielle Petterson WEC Projects. This has been proven

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outh Africa produces around 10 million tonnes of food waste per year, most of which comes from presale processes before the food even hits the shelves. According to a 2017 WWF report, titled Food loss and waste: Facts and futures, the cost of energy embedded in this food waste is approximately R1 billion per annum. The energy wasted ever y year by producing food that is never consumed is estimated to be able to power Johannesburg for roughly 16 weeks. But what if that food waste were turned into energy?

Creating efficiencies Many of the large wastewater treatment plants in South Africa’s metros contain anaerobic digesters. They form par t of the process to treat sewage sludge and generate biogas, which can in turn be used to generate combined heat and power (CHP). Significant oppor tunities exist to boost CHP production at these plants by adding organic waste to the anaerobic digesters. Organic waste with a high organic fraction can significantly increase biogas production, says

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at the Nor thern Wastewater Treatment Works in Johannesburg, where ice cream waste was added to the digesters and more than doubled biogas production with the same set-up. The key is to have consistent sources of organic waste, as big changes in consistency can be problematic. If municipalities were to approach surrounding businesses, regular sources of consistent organic waste could be secured. “Wastewater sludge is relatively low in organics. Adding 20% volume of high organic

210 kg per person of food waste generated per year

sludge would be fantastic in a wastewater digester. With consistent organic addition, you can double or even triple your biogas production,” says Juncker. He uses Johannesburg Water as an example. The utility requires 17.18 MWe to run its treatment plants with the potential of generating 9.58 MWe from biogas produced in the anaerobic digestion process. If the

utility were to incorporate organic waste, it has the potential to meet and even exceed its energy requirements.

Prohibitively expensive? The consensus at the Landfill 2019 Conference was that landfilling is ‘prohibitively cheap’ – in other words, alternative waste treatment methods are too expensive because landfilling is too cheap. However, as municipalities are faced with diminishing landfill airspace and organic diversion targets, organic waste-toenergy may present an attractive alternative. In terms of alternative energy production, waste-to-energy is typically labelled as far more

“There is a big benefit to adding high organic waste to stimulate biogas production. If your digesters operate correctly, you are guaranteed a good product.” Karl Juncker, WEC Projects


expensive than solar or wind power. However, Juncker points out that wind and solar have limitations. Although solar may appear cheaper per kW produced, there are only four to five hours a day for peak solar energy production. It is also difficult to store this energy and bad weather affects its productiveness. Wind power has similar limitations. Large-scale wind and solar are also typically limited to

20% of SA’s water is used for food that is wasted

decentralised locations far from where the energy requirements are. Biogas, on the other hand, can be easily stored in gas holders and its peaks manipulated to suit requirements, allowing for continuous energy production. As a result, Juncker believes that, per hour, the costs work out to be similar. The infrastructure costs are the largest expense when it comes to waste-to-energy. By utilising existing infrastructure at wastewater treatment plants in a co-digestion facility and simply adding engines, costs can be significantly reduced, making it far more economically viable. Such par tnerships could also be used to

2.8 t – 4.14 t of CO2 emissions generated across the food supply chain per tonne of food reduce the overall costs of wastewater sludge treatment and improve environmental compliance for municipalities.

Other advantages By conver ting organic waste to biogas for energy production, municipalities can help contribute to the circular economy. The power generated can be used to run the wastewater treatment plant while the heat can be used in the biodigesters or sold back to industr y for heating requirements. There also exists the oppor tunity for nutrient removal. The digested sludge and organic waste are high in nitrates and phosphates, which can be sold to the agriculture sector as fer tiliser. Biofuels and biogases could also be created for use in vehicles. Water is another by-product that can be treated and reused. Industries that generate organic waste are typically high water users and could be supplied with water in exchange for their waste. Abattoirs are per fect operations for par tnerships, says Juncker. They generate a large amount of organic waste, which can be fed into digesters, and require heat, power and water for their operations, which can be produced through the biodigestion process. The process also creates inherent reduction in emissions, offsetting what would be created if that organic waste were sent to landfill or composted. This opens oppor tunities for carbon credits. Composting is also a lengthy process that requires lots of space, Juncker points out. “There is a big benefit to adding high organic waste to stimulate biogas production. If your digesters operate correctly, you are guaranteed a good product,” concludes Juncker.

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GREEN BUILDING

Making concrete bricks out of recycled polystyrene More than 50 000 tonnes of raw material virgin polystyrene is impor ted into South Africa ever y year. The versatility of polystyrene enables it to be manufactured into many products, ranging from food packaging to insulation in cooler rooms and even hangers. By Nombulelo Manyana

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ver 5 000 tonnes of polystyrene was recycled in South Africa last year, some of which is used in building and construction innovations such as lightweight concrete. This figure is significant keeping in mind that virtually no separation at source is available to consumers in South Africa. Although there is a long way to go, a large demand for material drives recycling initiatives. The Polystyrene Association of South Africa (PolySA) represents the entire value chain of the country’s polystyrene industry, including raw material suppliers, manufacturers of expanded polystyrene and high-impact polystyrene, recyclers and retailers.

Envirolite recently won Silver in the Inclusive category at the SAPRO 2018 awards, “for the substantial volumes of post-consumer polystyrene trays and cups recycled into a durable product with improved properties over its alternative concrete variants.” 32

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PolySA has been supporting lightweight concrete projects since 2012 and has seen the market experience tremendous growth over the past six years. One of the fastest growing markets for recycled polystyrene is lightweight concrete blocks and screeds, made from an aggregate mixed with cement and additives, which are insulated, soundproof, fireproof and water-resistant. Envirolite Concrete, an associate member of PolySA, was formed in 2018 after more than six years of developing its lightweight recycled polystyrene concrete blocks and screeds. One of the largest suppliers of such innovative alternative building products to the South African construction industry, the company produces a unique lightweight


GREEN BUILDING and can be irrigated with an internal drip system or manually. Cowie says that living walls form an integral part of the movement towards sustainable, environmentand human-friendly developments. The use of recycled polystyrene in creating the Eco Green Wall ensures good moisture retention, enhances the cooling effect on the environment, offers excellent acoustic properties and reduces pollution through recycling. These walls are also lightweight and fire-resistant.

Working towards sustainable environmental developments concrete block that is also the first in South Africa to utilise the tongue and groove interlocking system to improve walling alignment and speed up block installation. “These concrete products are not only environmentally friendly and easy to install but are used for a wide range of walling installations, from load-bearing walls to infill walling for highrise concrete frames,” says Hilton Cowie of Envirolite Concrete. Lightweight concrete blocks and screeds have already been used in various large commercial projects such as the Trumpet Towers in Johannesburg, the BMW Pavilion and Zeitz MOCAA in the V&A Waterfront, Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth, and the Gautrain station in Sandton. Envirolite has recently expanded its product range, with the introduction of the Eco Green Wall Block, made from a mixture of recycled polystyrene and cement for use in the construction of soil-based, living walls.

The lightweight concrete block A green wall is a wall partially or completely covered with greenery that includes a growing medium, such as soil, water or a substrate. The Eco Green Wall Block is made from recycled polystyrene and cement for the construction of soil-based living walls. The concept of living walls or vertical gardens has been practised for ages in many parts of the world. Ivan van der Walt from Abrus Enterprise developed the Eco Green Wall system as an answer to the need for a system that is durable, easy to install and

www.polystyrenesa.co.za

maintain, and that would be suitable for all areas, especially areas with low humidity and rainfall. According to Cowie, there is a growing trend to establish living walls in urban and rural spaces. “These walls positively change the character of these spaces into more human-friendly and ecologically sustainable environments,” he says. With living spaces becoming smaller in urban developments, the vertical plane presents an ideal opportunity to develop gardens upwards to soften these hard surfaces, leaving the horizontal spaces to be utilised for movement, seating and entertainment. Enclosed planting cavities ensure longer moisture retention and less frequent watering. Walls can be painted in order to display the green foliage better. Some of the benefits are: • climatic control – decrease extreme temperature fluctuations of building and the environment • acoustic control – noise reduction • improve air quality in urban environments • commercial and DIY use – ideal for ornamental plants, strawberries, herbs, indigenous plants, grasses and food gardens. The goal of a living wall is to imitate the ecology of a natural rock face by creating a suitable environment that can sustain a balance between plants and other organisms in a vertical plane. The wall can be constructed as free-standing, against an existing wall, or back-to-back. Being easy to construct, walls can be built with mortar or tile adhesive and have a long, low-maintenance lifespan. Removable plant trays facilitate easy maintenance

Envirolite works closely with waste management services across South Africa to divert polystyrene waste from landfill, in order to be used in the manufacture of energy-efficient walling and flooring products. The company recycles more than 1 000 cubes of waste polystyrene per month, helping to greatly reduce landfill volumes around South Africa, and plans to expand its polystyrene recycling efforts beyond South African borders. Any form of expanded polystyrene can be used to manufacture the lightweight concrete. Items such as polystyrene cups or food trays and a wide range of polystyrene packaging are utilised. They can upcycle this waste into energy-efficient structures, making Envirolite Concrete the most sustainable building solution currently on the market. Envirolite recently won Silver in the Inclusive category at the SAPRO 2018 awards, “for the substantial volumes of post-consumer polystyrene trays and cups recycled into a durable product with improved properties over its alternative concrete variants.” The Inclusive category was for products manufactured from 100% post-consumer recyclate. Post-consumer recyclate comes with a packet of challenges, ranging from contamination issues to inconsistencies and supply. This means that winners in this category have managed to market a 100% recyclate product after extensive research and development trials and verification. Envirolite is currently busy with three student residence apartment blocks in Johannesburg, as well as a large affordable housing project in Gauteng.


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

Brewing beer with renewable energy SAB and AB InBev Africa have kicked off a multibillionrand investment with the goal to purchase 100% of the business’s electricity requirements from renewable energy at manufacturing sites across Africa by 2025.

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B InBev’s global renewable energy commitment is that 50% of the company’s purchased electricity will come from renewable energy sources by 2020 and 100%

by 2025. SAB and AB InBev breweries have already installed on-site solar facilities at their seven South African breweries. This will partially power each facility and represents 7% of the business’s electricity requirements. This is equivalent to removing approximately 2 000 vehicles from South Africa’s roads. “We’ve achieved our 50% target in key markets across the globe ahead of schedule and we are well on track to achieve our 100% ambition, with good progress being made in Africa,” says Taryn Rosekilly, VP: Sustainability, SAB and AB InBev Africa. To reach its 100% goal, SAB and AB InBev will have to source from off-site

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renewable energy facilities. Unfortunately, this is proving to be a challenge within the confines of existing policy. Rosekilly says that, in South Africa, partnerships are required with Eskom, energy regulators and the government to define a regulatory framework that will support SAB and other private sector companies in generating power off-site. This would support Eskom’s current challenges by reducing grid electricity demand. “Goal 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals talks to the need for partnerships in order to achieve the significant amount of work required to transition us to a more sustainable future. As a company, we realise the need for collaboration, and to tackle what is perhaps one of the greatest threats the planet collectively faces. “There is still much work to be done to maximise the benefits that renewable energy can bring and, by joining arms with our partners in government, civil society and within the private sector, we believe change is possible if we act as a collective and we act urgently,” says Rosekilly.

Pan African Renewable Energy SAB and AB InBev Africa is in the process of working on a Pan African Renewable Energy tender, which would seek to source an equivalent of 440 MW of solar capacity in order to meet its 2025 target in Africa. This represents an initial investment of approximately R5.6 billion for installation at these facilities, which would be invested by the business’s development partners, with a further R12.4 billion in energy costs that would be committed by AB InBev over a 20-year period. The implementation will consist of three phases, beginning with on-site solar installations with a capital investment of around R1.1 billion. Once maximum on-site capacity has been

achieved, renewable energy solutions will expand to appropriately identified sites surrounding the breweries: • Phase 1 represents on-site solar installations. • Phase 2 will see renewable energy solutions installed on land adjacent to SAB’s breweries, which would be hardwired to its breweries. • Phase 3 will involve off-site renewable energy solutions, which comprise remote installations requiring wheeling agreements to deliver the power to the breweries. In line with the above, SAB plans to migrate one of its South African facilities to 100% renewable energy supply by the end of 2020 – one of the first of its kind in the country. The multifaceted solution will encompass a wind and solar energy mix, a wheeling arrangement and energy banking. Outside of the breweries, in surrounding communities, SAB and AB InBev Africa plan to provide access to clean and affordable energy to around 80 000 people. Renewable energy microgrid solutions will provide power to consumers at a significantly lower cost than current solutions. This process will be delivered and managed through a blockchain solution.

Driving emissions reduction As part of its renewable energy campaign, SAB and AB InBev will soon be using the first Fuso eCanter electric truck to arrive on South African shores. The eCanter is designed and manufactured by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, part of the Daimler Group’s global commercial vehicles business. Boasting zero emissions, the 7.5 tonne Fuso eCanter is the first of its kind in the world. The vehicle has a battery capacity of 82.8 kWh and a distance range of approximately 100 km to


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

120 km. It is currently operating in customer hands in multiple countries – including Germany, Japan and Portugal – and has now been brought to South Africa for customer demonstrations. “The commitment made by AB InBev today not only demonstrates a step in the right direction, but true vision and leadership that are key to shaping our present and future,” says Ziyad

Gaba, head of Fuso Trucks Southern Africa. The eCanter will be charged using renewable energy from SAB and AB InBev’s breweries. According to Mark Andrew, logistics director: T1 & T2, AB InBev Africa, the company drives over 120 million kilometres in Africa every year. Consuming over 50 million litres of diesel annually, the emissions are significant. AB InBev Africa is focusing on high-impact initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. Over

the last few years, it has focused on driving fewer kilometres through efficient routing and optimising load sizing. Fuel probes have also been installed in 840 vehicles to accurately track fuel consumption in order to introduce better driving standards. AB InBev Africa is constantly renewing its fleet with newer, more efficient vehicles. The trialling of the eCanter in South Africa is the next step in reducing emissions and the company’s overall carbon footprint.

The true cost The true cost of stuff isn’t what you pay for it. This became apparent on a recent visit to a client to evaluate their food waste composting needs. By Gavin Heron*

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he visit enabled us to do an audit on meal numbers and serving methods, as well as ask the client exactly why they want to do this. This is impor tant because there’s a different attitude when the response is: “Because our boss told us to,” versus, “Because we’re an environmentally responsible company and need to do more.” In this case, the international holding company had pushed a zero-waste-to-landfill instruction across its global operating units. The on-site waste company was doing a great job and had found buyers for most of the recyclable waste coming out of its factory, apart from the cheap, non-recyclable plastic knives and forks packed with takeaway lunch packs. We’re all familiar with these utensils – they’re the ones that come with your standard “chicken or beef?” meal in economy class. This cutlery pack is a plastic knife, fork, spoon and stirrer,

along with salt and pepper sachets and a paper serviette wrapped in cellophane. In my experience, fewer than two utensils in the pack are regularly used. At this facility, the cutlery waste – given the head office instruction – was sent to a hazardous waste facility at R4 000 per tonne. But the purchasing department didn’t want to buy recyclable utensils because they were deemed too expensive! When we calculate the cost of something, what really needs to be summed is the purchase price plus the disposal price (divided by the number of uses such an item can realistically enjoy). By doing these sums, the purchasing department might find that going business class with steel cutlery is in fact more costeffective than the cheap plastic stuff!

*Gavin Heron is the director of Earth Probiotic Recycling Solutions. FEBRUARY 2020

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EVENTS

Upcoming EVENTS for CESA INFRASTRUCTURE INDABA

AFRICA ENERGY INDABA

Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre, Western Cape

Date: 3 to 4 March 2020 Website: www.africaenergyindaba.com

Venue: Spier Conference Centre, Stellenbosch, Western Cape Date: 11 to 12 March 2020 Website: www.cesa.co.za/indaba

The Africa Energy Indaba Conference will discuss, debate and seek solutions to enable adequate energy generation across Africa. Delegates, drawn from all continents, represent an unrivalled combination of industry experts, project developers, financiers, energy users, government officials and energy industry manufacturers. The key strategies to be discussed include: • Explore what is needed to meet the rapidly growing need for energy access in Africa. • Learn more about the African market and prospective business opportunities in the energy space, regional integration, the importance of African power pools. • Learn about disruptive business models, the need for innovative financing solutions, and the impact of Industry 4.0 on the energy sector. • Hear more about evolving grid technologies (e.g. micro, mini and off-grid solutions), renewable and cleaner energy, energy storage and energy efficiency.

POWER & ELECTRICITY WORLD AFRICA 2020

The two-day session brings together leading experts, including government officials, consulting engineers and built environment professionals, for the purpose of improved delivery and management of public infrastructure. The event aims to foster partnerships between government and the private sector, particularly the engineering sector, and capacitate the channels of service delivery through cooperation and the development of common goals.

Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Gauteng Date: 31 March to 1 April 2020 Website: bit.ly/3344b33 Built on 23 years of history, Power & Electricity World Africa is about innovation, investment and infrastructure – energy for the people! The conference is a C-level platform that focuses on global trends and practical innovative energy applications as well as how market players can capitalise on business opportunities across the continent. This is the place where the energy community finds solutions to its challenges.

WASTECON 2020 Venue: Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng Date: 6 to 8 October 2020 Website: www.wastecon.co.za

THE SOLAR SHOW

AFRICAN UTILITY WEEK & POWERGEN AFRICA

Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Gauteng Date: 31 March to 1 April 2020 Website: bit.ly/34hlZIj The show is intentionally designed to inspire and encourage knowledge exchange, project opportunities and to showcase disruptors who promise solutions that are transforming how energy is supplied in Africa. The event welcomes utilities, government, IPPs, large end-users, disruptors and innovators all looking to procure from, and collaborate with, the best in the world.

Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre, Western Cape Date: 12 to 14 May 2020 Website: www.african-utility-week.com African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa is Africa’s premier meeting place for the entire power, energy and water value chain. Attending the event offers you the opportunity to connect with over 10 000 industry professionals, source new products and services from 360 exhibitors, keep up to date with the latest industry developments, gain valuable contacts, and find inspiration that will help drive your business or career forward.

The IWMSA will host its 25th flagship conference and exhibition, WasteCon, from 6 to 8 October 2020 at Emperors Palace in Gauteng. The conference will take place over a period of three days, with plenary, parallel and workshop sessions. One of the most prominent highlights of the conference will be a technical tour that will take place on 9 October. Details of this exciting tour will be revealed at a later stage, so watch this space and make sure you book your seat in advance, as space will be limited.

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS Amandus Kahl

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Construct 3 Technologies Earth Probiotic Recycling Solutions

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OFC 11

Envitech Solutions 31

Lafarge

JG Afrika

Plastics|SA

JPCE

IBC 23

IFC 8

Polystyrene Association of South Africa 33


Where some see obstacles, we see opportunities For engineering innovation, you need a true cross-over company

We thrive on challenges. They keep us innovative and on the cutting edge of our industry. Proudly South African, JG Afrika provides civil and structural engineering and environmental consulting services throughout Africa.

SIKHULISA SONKE • WE DEVELOP TOGETHER

www.jgafrika.com


25 TH WASTE CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION

Golf Conference Technical Tour

6-8 October 2020 Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa

Enquire about exhibition opportunities

HOSTED BY:

Submit your abstract www.wastecon.co.za + 27(0)11 675 3462

wastecon@iwmsa.co.za

Profile for 3S Media

ReSource February 2020