is printed on 100% recycled paper
Promoting integrated resources management
The vital foundation of design and construction
Circular Economy Reimagining the potential of waste
The official journal of the
The path to net-zero
Trash to Ash and Protecting Mother Nature
IN THE HOT SEAT Within the South African context, the reality is that, in most urban areas, the bulk of e-waste sent to landfill is picked up the same day by informal waste pickers specifically on the lookout for saleable materials." Malcolm Whitehouse General Manager at AST Recycling ISSN 1680-4902 • R55.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 23 No. 01 • February 2021
Vol. 23, No. 01, February 2021
ON THE COVER South Africans generate roughly 108 million tonnes of waste per year. Only 10% is recycled and the rest ends up deposited across our landfill sites. ReSource speaks to Henri Thompson, group executive chairman at Somerset Group, about the company’s introduction of a revolutionary technology to address this. P6
Editor’s comment 3 President’s comment 5 News round-up 8 Events 44 Index to advertisers 44
CONTENTS F E B R U A RY 2021
COVER STORY Trash to ash and protecting mother nature
Taking a holistic approach to e-waste
Emerging gas-to-power options for SA
How are smaller municipalities expected to manage landfills? The importance of properly designed and constructed landfills
Innovations in Cape Town increase waste diversion 20
PAPER & PACKAGING
The carbon story of paper
The vital role of geosynthetics Leading containment liners
Reimagining the potential of waste Achieving success
The path to net-zero carbon emissions
Lekela completes fifth SA wind farm
Lessons learnt in implementing bioremediation
Recycling goes back to school
EPR regulations an ongoing commitment
RECYCLING SA Plastics Pact launches roadmap to 2025
www.infrastructurenews.co.za FEBRUARY 2021
THE FLOW MUST GO ON.
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Editor Nombulelo Manyana Managing editor Alastair Currie Head of design Beren Bauermeister Designer Lizette Jonker Chief sub-editor Tristan Snijders Contributors Sathisha Barath, Brendon Jewaskiewitz, Stan Jewaskiewitz, Nick Mannie, Michelle Roux, Kate Stubbs, Chris Wiid Production & client liaison manager Antois-Leigh Nepgen Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise Group sales manager Chilomia Van Wijk Distribution manager Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham Printers Novus Print Montague Gardens Tel +27 (0)21 550 2300 Advertising sales Joanne Lawrie Cell +27 (0)82 346 5338 firstname.lastname@example.org
Are we ready for a circular world? In South and materials circulating for longer Africa, we generate within the economy, thus improving the productivity of these resources. 108 million tonnes of waste The circular economy framework per year – of which only 10% is governed by three key principles: eliminate waste and pollution, keep is recycled. The rest ends up products and materials in use, at our 826 landfill sites, which and regenerate natural systems. If executed robustly, a circular are quickly nearing critical system can help reduce the mounting capacity. This levels of municipal waste, reduce CO emissions, stimulate innovation, boost must change. economic growth, and create jobs. 2
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 email@example.com R200.00 (incl VAT) South Africa ISSN 1680-4902 Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa Tel +27 (0)11 675 3462 Email firstname.lastname@example.org All material herein is copyright protected and may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the prior written permission of the publisher. The views and opinions of authors expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa. © Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. Novus Holdings is a Level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Contributor, with 125% recognised procurement recognition. View our BBBEE scorecard here: https://novus.holdings/sustainability/transformation The ABC logo is a valued stamp of measurement and trust, providing accurate and comparable circulation figures that protect the way advertising is traded. ReSource is ABC audited and certified.
ot only are many sites toxic for the environment but they are proving to be detrimental to human health. A 2020 study found that those who live close to dumping sites are at higher risk of asthma, TB, diabetes and depression. Additionally, this linear approach to waste management also means that considerable organic resources go unused. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 57% of waste is organic, 13% plastic, 9% paper or cardboard, 4% glass and 4% metal, with the remaining 13% being other materials. This means that organic materials – which, if utilised properly can be turned into compost to grow crops or converted into methane in a bioreactor to produce electricity – make up the largest component of municipal solid waste. There is an urgent need to find sustainable and innovative ways not only to improve waste management but to make use of the current resources we are ‘wasting’. So, what needs to be done? Experts believe that moving towards a more circular economy is the only logical solution. A circular economy offers a shift away from the current linear take-make-waste extractive systems and introduces a regenerative approach. Circular systems design for durability, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling to keep products
It is now more important than ever to embed circular economy principles into government legislature. We have seen this happening with Cabinet’s approval of the National Waste Management Strategy 2020, which builds on the successes of the 2011 strategy. This places a renewed focus on circular economy principles, by promoting the design of products and packaging that reduce waste or encourage reuse, repair and preparation for recycling. The introduction of extended producer responsibility for various products – including paper and packaging, electrical and electronic equipment, and lighting – will also play a big role in diverting waste from landfill, thereby contributing to a circular economy. But a circular economy requires everyone in the value chain to actively participate, be it financially or by simply going the extra mile to make more sustainable choices. It requires a national responsibility, which everyone (both business and consumer) must embrace. Are South Africans collectively ready for this responsibility and individually ready to make the necessary sacrifices for our environment?
Nombulelo FEBRUARY 2021
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Waste Management Facilities: Have we reached our destination?
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Coming together in We are now a few months into 2021 – a year expected to herald positive change and a return to normality in many aspects of our lives. But, we are still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is wreaking havoc across societies, while posing new and critical challenges to the waste management industry.
he world is indeed ‘getting smaller’; other continents and nations feel much nearer and we share many fairly common problems – including waste management. While great technological strides are being made to deal with these, we must remain focused on narrowing inequality gaps between nations and finding appropriate and practical local solutions. I am currently reading Industry 4.0 and Circular Economy – Towards a wasteless future or a wasteful planet? by Mavropoulos and Nilsen, published under the auspices of ISWA. It is a fascinating examination of how the Fourth Industrial Revolution and circular economy can radically transform waste management and society – something we must strive for.
An unfortunate reality With an extremely heavy heart, the Council had to accept the reality that the 25th edition of WasteCon, which had already been postponed to February 2021, just could not take place in its familiar format under the current circumstances and restrictions. The health and safety of our delegates is paramount.
As the biggest and most important event on the IWMSA calendar, it will be sorely missed by the industry, but all is not lost. A number of virtual waste management training sessions and events are planned for the year ahead, and the WasteCon focus is now firmly on a bigger and better event in 2022, followed by the ISWA World Congress and General Assembly, in Cape Town, in 2024. The last year has seen quite a shake-up in the conferencing world, and the future and format of these kinds of events promise to be exciting.
Upcoming events Firmly on the IWMSA horizon for 2021 is the Landfill and Waste Treatment Conference from 3 to 5 November, hosted by the IWMSA’s Landfill and Waste Treatment Interest Group in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. This is a very popular event on our calendar, with the theme of this year’s seminar and exhibition being ‘Waste Management Facilities, Have We Reached Our Destination?’ We are pleased that the attendance and participation of our regulating authorities (the departments of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, as well as Water and Sanitation) has been confirmed, and sincerely hope that this assists in garnering the much-needed attention and support of municipal officials responsible for waste management. As an active professional in the field, I am also particularly looking forward to the upcoming planned webinar involving a panel discussion with our regulating authorities on hot-topic issues relating to the design and construction of disposal and containment facilities. Such matters include checklists and guidance for basal liners and capping closure of facilities or sources of pollution, the implications of projectspecific welding specifications for geomembranes on performance, electric leak location survey standards and their implications, and CQA plans.
Brendon Jewaskiewitz, President, IWMSA
As a joint GIGSA and IWMSA event, it was originally planned to be held during WasteCon 2020. Following the decision not to proceed with a face-to-face conference, and with the high level of interest and participation expected for this event, it was decided to proceed in a webinar format. Arrangements are currently being finalised, and the event will be advertised to our members shortly. As we know, all things eventually pass, and many of us cannot wait for a return to ‘normality’ with the opportunity to once again meet in person. In the meantime, I encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to safeguard yourselves and your loved ones.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IWMSA, VISIT THE WEBSITE
From trash to ash
and protecting mother nature
outh Africa’s landfill sites are not only fast approaching full capacity, but the piling-up of waste is causing tremendous land and air pollution. A 2020 study has also shown that communities who live close to landfill sites (within 5 km) are at a 41% higher risk of developing asthma, an 18% higher risk of developing tuberculosis, a 25% higher chance of having diabetes, and an 8% greater chance of suffering from depression. However, with government’s renewed focus on transitioning towards a circular economy – with the revision of the National Waste Management Strategy (2020) and approving key actions that will contribute to climate change, emissions reduction and waste minimisation – many businesses are looking for more sustainable ways to deal with their waste. For the longest time, there seemed to be no feasible solution in sight but Somerset Group’s Asher promises to deliver not only a sustainable waste management solution but also a costeffective one. Somerset Group is a multifaceted company with a special focus on international trade and infrastructure projects. It specialises in all things renewable energy, water and lighting. Since its inception in 2012, the business has grown into a multidisciplinary organisation that has developed extensive skills and resources in green technology.
South Africans generate roughly 108 million tonnes of waste per year. Only 10% is recycled and the rest ends up deposited across our landfill sites. ReSource speaks to Henri Thompson, group executive chairman at the Somerset Group, about the company’s introduction of a revolutionar y technology to address this.
This 2 t solar Asher in Cambodia is used to clear dumpsites
Upon signing an agreement with Keelinx SDN BHD, the authorised representative of Pamarai (the Asher’s global exclusive distributor, trademark owner and manufacturing partner) for Africa, Somerset was tasked with bringing Pamarai’s proprietary Asher technology to local and regional markets. The Asher is a zero-waste machine that can quite literally ‘bake’ waste into multipurpose ash without polluting the environment – effectively solving the problems associated with landfills and incinerators. Thompson says Somerset went through various legal frameworks to ensure that the Asher was legal and within the specifications of the countries it’s expected to operate in, largely because it is designed to comply with US EPA standards. In Malaysia, the Asher’s birth country, it has received its MyHIJAU Mark certificate, a green label awarded by the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation, a government agency under the Ministry of Environment and Water of Malaysia. The green label was
COVER STORY given after scrutinising its performance, safety, environmental impact and design aspects. It is also in the process of being certified with the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008). The first prototype was created in 2010 by Roland Tee, a retired Malaysian auditor. He realised, from reading newspapers, that there needed to be a more environmentally friendly way to dispose of waste. The Asher was then developed and improved until it became a commercially viable unit in 2014. Its patent has been approved in Malaysia, China, Australia and Indonesia, and is being used in a number of other countries, including Malaysia, China, UAE, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, India and Saint Lucia. The Asher is essentially a tiny waste disposal pyrolysis unit that fits nicely within a typical car parking spot and can reduce most solid waste materials (except glass, metal and concrete) into ash. When waste is put into the Asher, it ends up in the bottom of the thermal degradation chamber, where it will decompose via the plasma pyrolysis process. This is a process of chemically decomposing organic materials at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen. The process involves a change in the materials’ chemical composition, and it is commonly used to convert organic materials into solid residue containing ash, carbon and small quantities of liquids and gases. Tee also designed a water filtration system to filter and suppress the dioxins and furans from being discharged into the atmosphere. The emission generated from the thermal degradation process in the Asher is filtered and cleaned through its combination of liquid and solid filtration media. These media are a patented, specially formulated Nanogreen high-alkaline solution (of 13 types of metallic minerals) and flue gas carbon. Used together, the Asher releases the emission in the form of neutral, non-toxic, non-harmful vapour. The Asher is also equipped with a water selfcleaning system that cleans the liquid used during the filtration system. The integrated cleaning system will clean and alkalinise the contaminated water, which is then reused within the Asher itself. “It is a very simple operation; the technology is also very simplistic. That’s what attracted us to the Asher – it requires very basic training and supervision for operations and maintenance,” says Thompson.
WHY IS ASHER THE RIGHT WAY? • It’s self-sustainable, needing no external energy (2 t solar unit) • Green, eco-friendly • Cost-effective • Capable of 90% landfill diversion • Easily mobilised • User-friendly • On-site waste management
as large premises like airports, universities, malls, office towers and hospitals. “The beautiful part about the Asher is its versatility and redeployability, which means that it offers onsite waste management and enables treating waste as early as at source,” says Thompson. The Asher can treat most types of solid waste, organic and inorganic – including plastics, diapers, paper, textile, poultry farm waste, medical waste, e-waste and rubber. Sorting and segregation are not necessarily needed before waste goes into the Asher, which can reduce waste to 4% of its original volume. This means when you put in 2 tonnes of waste into the Asher, you get 80 kg of ash residue – which is nonharmful, non-toxic and reusable – at the end of the process per day. The ashes from the Asher can easily be used as fertiliser additives, soil stabiliser and soil conditioner, or mixed with other materials to make paving bricks and as construction filler.
Better than conventional A conventional 1 000 t incinerator is a huge capital injection and normally comes at a very high cost; however, the Asher, in most cases, works out about 80% cheaper, tonne for tonne. The 2 t solar Asher offers a return on investment in just under 18 months. In addition to selling the units, Somerset also offers a rental option. The average company will charge businesses to pick up the waste (dependent on quantity and transport) and dispose of it at landfill. With the Asher, treatment is done on-site. “We’ll supply the operators, or we can provide training to equip your staff with the necessary skills to operate the Asher and offer the necessary financial models, depending on the client,” Thompson explains. Somerset will also pick up the ash from the business on a weekly basis and include the relevant company in the revenue of that ash. That’s especially beneficial for SMME start-ups. In South Africa, a flagship mall in the north of Johannesburg will be taking on the solar Asher in the first quarter in 2021, where 2 t of food waste will be processed daily. “Although it’s very hard to get through the initial barrier and resistance to new technology in South Africa, we are very excited about this technology. If it is presented to the correct people, it will take off,” Thompson concludes.
From trash to ash Somerset Group currently offers three variants of the Asher. The 2 t solar-powered Asher, which is 70% vapour and 30% smoke, is most popular for deployment in rural areas, islands, landfill or dumpsite clearing or where electricity supply is a challenge. There are also the 2.5 t and 4 t electric smokeless units. These units emit vapour and are recommended for clinical waste, city use, as well
SUSTAINABILITY NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD Aluminium among the materials most recycled The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has released global aluminium recycling data. According to figures from the IAI, recycling just one aluminium can conserves enough energy to recharge up to 20 mobile phones, while global aluminium recycling saves enough energy every year to power the whole of France. Commenting on the recycling data, Marlen Bertram, director: Product Stewardship at the IAI, said: “Aluminium is one of the most recycled materials on earth. Today, the global recycling efficiency
rate is 76%. High recycling rates in all regions underline the economic and environmental value of aluminium scrap.” According to the IAI, every year, more than 30 million tonnes of aluminium scrap is recycled globally, ensuring its status as one of the most recycled materials on the planet. Aluminium can be remelted and reused without any impact on its unique properties. This means that aluminium products can be recycled repeatedly. Almost 75% of the 1.5 billion tonnes of aluminium ever produced is still in use today.
How Covid-19 impacted the waste sector and its workforce Businesses across the globe were forced to re-evaluate their approach to cleaning and hygiene regimes, especially their waste management protocols, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These changes will undoubtedly continue through 2021. One of the most interesting developments in major companies was the approach to including their new cleaning and waste management protocols into their communication strategies and incorporating these into their brand messaging. Waste generators also have legal responsibility, according to the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008), to take all appropriate steps to manage waste. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, there were standard health and safety policies and protocols in place, but these were simply not enough. Specific measures were implemented, including the revision of and training on stricter waste handling procedures, ensuring consistent supply of PPE, clocking stations upgraded to no-touch facial recognition biometrics, temperature testing, and self-declarations (including co-morbidities) of all people who enter the sites. “To ensure the health and safety of everyone within the waste management value chain – as well as of the population at large – companies should contract providers with the expertise and compliance to safely manage waste while limiting harm to their employees,” says Brindha Roberts, head: Sustainability at Averda.
Waste management companies urged to help limit landfill fires Fires at landfill sites happen more often than one would expect. There are several contributing factors that can lead to fires; however, whether as a result of arson or the exposure of materials on-site, the huge potential impact can largely be avoided with the implementation of adequate preventative measures. The effects of incorrectly handled fires are not limited to health and the environment but impact on society and business too. In some cases, nearby highways, schools and businesses have had to close. But on an effectively managed landfill, a fire will be controlled quickly, and limited damage suffered. There are clear regulations in place that determine the preventative measures that have to be in place – especially when it comes to the potential danger of landfill fires. A well-run site will ensure that daily cover-up is done, to ensure that no refuse is left exposed to the elements and to the potential risk of fire or combustion. Sites should also have trained firefighters as part of their teams to ensure a quick, on-site response. “My recommendation is for everyone to become familiar with these regulations. If you are sending any waste to a landfill site, make sure the site is properly managed and regularly audited. We all have a part to play in preventing landfill fires,” says Reg Gerber, national landfill manager at Averda’s Vlakfontein site.
FOOD WASTE INITIATIVE AIMS FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 10 million tonnes of food ends up as waste in South Africa, which is about a third of the 31 million tonnes produced annually in the country. Of this wasted food, about 90% is disposed of at landfills, where it leads to the production of greenhouse gases like methane gas and carbon dioxide. By cutting down on food waste, we not only decrease carbon emissions but significantly turn around the food insecurity felt by many South Africans. The 10x20x30 Food Waste Reduction Initiative is an initiative by local supermarket chain giant Pick n Pay. It has asked 20 of its biggest suppliers to join the company in its global food waste reduction initiative. The project is backed by 10 of the world’s largest food retailers and manufacturers, and will focus on in-store and supply chain food loss and waste. Partnerships and collaborative action are key factors Pick n Pay asserts will help to address food waste in value chains.
SA recovered 1.2 million tonnes of recyclable paper products in 2019 A Mpumalanga recycling project has received acclaim for improving the lives and livelihoods of Ermelo community members while making a positive difference to the environment. Johanna Leshabane launched Bophelo Recycling in 2007 after being retrenched. Today, with 11 full-time staff and 20 part-time waste pickers, the waste buy-back centre collects 36 t of recyclable PET plastic from informal settlements, households and schools in the Ermelo area. This equates to a 79% increase in total collection volumes since inception. Bophelo Recycling has helped stimulate job creation, economic growth and development in the area, and, as a result, has received national acclaim. This recognition, in the form of the Responsible Care Initiative Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category, comes from the Chemical and Allied Industries Association, which acknowledged the impact the project has made on improving the lives and livelihoods of Ermelo community members while making a positive difference to the environment.
Joining forces to develop renewables in sub-Saharan Africa Enel Green Power signed an agreement with a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) for a joint venture partnership aimed at financing, building and operating renewable projects in subSaharan Africa. The parties also signed an agreement whereby QIA will acquire 50% of EGP’s stake in projects in operation and under construction in South Africa and Zambia of approximately 800 MW capacity. Through this new partnership, Enel will combine its group’s sustainable strategy and enhanced expertise in business development, engineering and construction, as well as operation and maintenance of renewable plants, with QIA’s long-term investment strategy, in line with the two companies’ sustainability and decarbonisation targets. They will work together to accelerate the creation of an extensive green energy footprint in sub-Saharan Africa, contributing to the continued pursuit of its ambitious goals in this sector by further harnessing the region’s immense renewable potential and contributing to a more sustainable economic development model in this part of the world.
H O T S E AT | e WA S T E
Taking a HOLISTIC APPROACH to e-WASTE What services do you offer?
How formalised is South Africa’s e-waste industry and what’s the best way to grow it?
South Africa’s electrical and electronic equipment (e-waste) industr y offers huge potential for SMMEs and largerscale businesses within the circular economy. ReSource speaks to Malcolm Whitehouse, general manager at AST Recycling, about the company’s strategic vision as an e-waste, IT asset management and IT asset disposal leader. 10
MW The e-waste industr y in South Africa remains fragmented and the legislative framework to regulate it is still in progress. To move for ward, we need a formalised and integrated strategy from government that can be implemented and practised uniformly so that ever y par ticipant across the supply chain is empowered, be they OEMs, informal waste pickers, SMMEs or specialist e-waste recyclers like AST. According to the latest e-Waste Association of South Africa (eWASA) repor t, only 7% to 12% of e-waste is being formally recycled. Clearly, this indicates that there’s a great deal of informal activity, since eWASA estimates that South Africa generates about 6.2 kg of e-waste per inhabitant annually. E-waste is a secondar y resource material. You can recover up to 99% of what’s in any device, so the market is there if we can mobilise it more ef fectively as an industr y.
What are AST’s e-waste ISO credentials? We’re a pioneer in fully integrated ITAM/ITAD (IT asset management/IT asset disposal) and final e-waste recycling in South Africa. In addition to our Second-Hand Goods licences, we are ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 27001 cer tified. We are also preparing for ISO 45001 cer tification, in addition to ISO 37000 and ISO 44001, the latter two are more specifically focused on anti-briber y and anti-corruption, as well as collaborative relationships – which are especially impor tant for our international business expansion. We also adhere to the Basel Convention.
We’ve expanded our business to provide a holistic bouquet of ser vices. In this respect, our ser vices extend beyond e-waste recycling to include a full turnkey solution comprising ITAM and ITAD. Our ITAM ser vices include a review of current software and hardware used, ensuring licensing compliance, tracking how ICT assets are being used and where changes may be needed. We also assess a client’s existing software to determine network security. Our goal is to maximise cost ef ficiencies and ROI within an organisation’s ICT environment. We follow globally accepted best practice standards in terms of all our refurbishment protocols. We are also a registered supplier of new ICT equipment. On refurbished and disposed products, data sanitisation software ensures that any information is not forensically recoverable, helping us and our clients to fully comply with the POPI (No. 4 of 2013) Act.
What’s the potential market for South Africa and Africa? The circular economy model is not an academic debate – it’s a well proven and vital system for recycling and reusing ever y commodity we can. In South Africa, we believe there’s an annual potential of close to R2 billion (assuming and based on known volumes of ICT e-waste placed on the market currently). The environmental imperatives are clear. In addition to this, there’s the massive potential to create a vibrant e-waste industr y that could create thousands of new jobs. Post Covid-19, we believe our business model will be a major factor in helping to stimulate socio-economic growth within our sector. We currently have a client base of around 3 500 customers. If you just factor this by four employees per entity, that’s around 14 000 people that benefit monthly.
H O T S E AT | e W A S T E
Our customers ship from all over the countr y and we suppor t them in return by paying above market rates. Our main facility is in Johannesburg. We also have a star t-up in Cape Town, as well as KwaZulu-Natal. Within Africa, we’ve identified Kenya and Ghana as major new markets for 2021, alongside our existing operations in countries that include Botswana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There are also 19 other African countries on our strategic development roadmap. At present, we expor t PC circuit boards to overseas specialist refineries for the extraction of their precious and base metals content. That’s because no local specialist PC board refiner y exists. Our local refiner y is geared for extraction of precious metals from ore, and not from PC boards. Over the longer term, our vision is to help promote the creation of local refining capacity in South Africa and Africa.
Will 2021 see the end of e-waste to landfill? As an industr y, we’re all striving for this in conjunction with the Depar tment of Environmental Af fairs and associated stakeholders. However, it’s not just about e-waste, since all recyclable waste streams need to be included in government’s zerowaste-to-landfill strategy. Ongoing consumer education is vital to promote responsible recycling along the lines of regions like Europe, where this culture is well entrenched. Within the South African context, the reality is that, in most urban areas, the bulk of e-waste sent to landfill is picked up the same day by informal waste pickers specifically on the lookout for saleable materials.
What is the significance of the extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme? The EPR regulations, once implemented in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008), will require all producers (anyone that manufactures, assembles or distributes any electrical or electronic device) to register with an approved PRO (producer responsibility organisation) – eWASA or ERA FEBRUARY 2021
H O T S E AT | e WA S T E
for our industr y. We fully suppor t these EPR initiatives and will work closely to facilitate their fine-tuning and final development, once again, with all stakeholders concerned. I strongly believe that a collaborative approach from ever yone concerned is the only way for ward in this regard. EPR extends beyond the end of life of the device, so OEMs will need to have programmes in place. But there’s a grey area in respect of the wholesale and retail market. How do you control this area? Either way, we need to ensure that our EPR scheme is relevant for Africa, since our circumstances are unique.
Is Africa still a dumping ground for e-waste from developed countries? Some countries in Africa still do receive e-waste donations from the developed world. The question is: how much of that e-waste transitions to a second life? In many cases, it’s a small percentage, which is why this practice is generally referred to as deferred dumping. Various countries are taking a proactive stance to manage e-waste more ef fectively, Kenya being a prime example. During 2021, the Kenyan government plans to introduce EPR legislation. This will stipulate that OEMs must use a local and compliant recycler.
What’s the potential for job creation and SMME development, and how has AST made a difference? As we grow in scale, we will increasingly outsource our collection ser vices. That leaves more room for SMMEs, where we already provide formal training, skills transfer, mentorship and business development. Our hope is that we can help transition informal waste pickers into successful businesses that create employment within their communities. Thanks to our business model, we’ve established a steady market for SMMEs to sell their e-waste. We also give back to the community and schools through our managed donations programmes.
Are municipalities and industry working together to create a meaningful e-waste landfill diversion strategy? Managing bailing, compacting equipment and logistics costs are crucial factors in stimulating an ef fective waste diversion strategy, as is a formal market. Where materials recover y stations are installed, it’s vital to ensure that local waste pickers are suppor ted. In the past, we piloted the deployment of containers at shopping centres, with mixed results. Then and now, awareness of e-waste recycling remains a major challenge, but we’re working on it. For example, our
model has changed: we are now of fering up to 60% of the second-hand or refurbished retail value of the original device to motivate consumers to par t with their old equipment. They then get paid out when it’s refurbished and sold. What can’t be fixed will be scrapped and recycled properly, again using globally accepted best practices and our ISO cer tified standards. In 2021, we’re planning to reintroduce the recover y station concept by installing smaller-scale collection bins in secured residential areas.
Where to from here? In building an e-waste economy, government and industr y must work together to improve the ease of doing business and enable investment that is strongly based on industr y exper tise and adapted to suit local conditions. This includes how the funds generated by the EPR scheme are channelled back to ensure sustainable empowerment and job creation in the waste industr y. In terms of technology, we’re working with entities – locally and globally – to help us find solutions that work best in South Africa and Africa. That’s impor tant, since the complexity of the e-waste and ICT segments is evolving rapidly. Thanks to our holistic approach, we continue to diversify successfully into new markets.
ENERGY Current projects will have to overcome South Africa’s lack of gas pipeline infrastructure
GAS-TO-POWER options for SA In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the collection and disposal of hazardous waste is a critical focus area that requires greater self-regulation by the industr y, general increased vigilance, and insistence on the use of cer tified containers by authorities.
overnment’s recently launched Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) has stirred the interest of a number of private players in the gas-to-power sector, according the Nicola Rump, principal environmental scientist at SRK Consulting. “While the longer-established Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) is delivering considerable results in solar and wind energy generation, we are now seeing an exciting start in exploring the potential of gas in South Africa’s energy mix,” says Rump. She notes that the field of gas-fired generation in the country had previously seen little activity from private developers. This is changing rapidly, as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy was slated to begin evaluating RMIPPPP project bids by the end of 2020. With South Africa’s power system being so constrained, government is wanting these projects to start feeding the national grid by mid-2022. SRK is currently conducting a number of environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for gas-to-power projects in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Key aspects of the planning process for these projects, she says, included EIAs and related licensing requirements. Within the tight timeframes envisaged, these need to be carefully managed to avoid becoming stumbling blocks. “The introduction of strict timelines for the EIA process in recent years means that, while
EIAs are generally completed in less time than before, the process leaves very little time for accommodating any changes to the project design,” says Rump. It also requires a significant amount of work to be completed before the application is actually lodged with the regulator. “Gas-to-power projects need to submit a final scoping study to the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF). This must be approved before the EIA phase can begin. Once the final environmental impact report (EIR) has been submitted, the DEFF would decide on the conditions applying to the authorisation,” she adds. While a key attraction of gas is its lower carbon footprint compared to coal, South Africa’s dominant fuel source for energy, it is not without its environmental impacts. These include carbon emissions, for which projects would require an air emission licence before proceeding. “Climate change impacts are also becoming an increasingly impor tant consideration in these assessments, especially in light of South Africa’s commitments to global climate change and greenhouse gas emission agreements – and its emission reduction targets,” says Rump. Other impacts include noise and traffic, as well as effects on marine ecology of those projects requiring marine infrastructure. Currently, gasto-power projects tend to be close to ports to facilitate the supply chain from seaborne liquified natural gas (LNG).
She notes that current projects will have to overcome South Africa’s lack of gas pipeline infrastructure, basing their viability on LNG sources being shipped in. Among the advantages of developing a fledgling gas-to-power sector through the RMIPPPP is its potential contribution to the growth of local gas markets – helping pave the way for the installation of costly gas infrastructure. This is turn would hopefully reduce the cost of gas as a fuel and spur the uptake of this cleaner fuel in South Africa’s energy landscape.
Nicola Rump, principal environmental scientist, SRK Consulting FEBRUARY 2021
How are SMALLER municipalities expected to MANAGE landfills? Our Constitution gives South African citizens the right “to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being”. It also states that one of the objects of local government is to “promote a safe and healthy environment”. By Chris Wiid*
he Local Government Municipal Systems Act (No. 32 of 2000) sets out that one of the duties of municipal councils is to “promote a safe and healthy environment in the municipality”. It is wor th re-stating the above in order to remind ourselves of municipal obligations in the context of solid waste management. Having established a background, one has to ask whether municipally operated landfill sites are indeed poorly managed? Some clearly are, and these are generally the small to medium sites. Why, then, are they not being operated properly? Simply put, the key elements of providing this ser vice (planning, resources, finances, capacity, commitment and suppor t) are largely absent. The task of the provision of a solid waste management ser vice is underestimated and is often seen as messy, an irritation and something that can be given super ficial attention in the hope that it will go away. The latter par t is key – it will not go away and, indeed, carries on getting bigger. This is where smaller municipalities face significant challenges. First, the landfill is often a historical dumpsite located in a remote corner of town. The site would typically not satisfy most of the technical requirements and
would probably be best closed – but it is there and it is all that is available. With increasing populations and the tightening of environmental requirements, these sites are often thrust into stark view. The municipalities in question are suddenly obliged to manage the sites to a high standard but are expected to do so within the same deficient system and with equally deficient resources. This can star t from the upper-level managerial structures (who lack an appreciation of the complexities of waste management and, consequently, do not plan adequately nor provide sufficient resources) and includes plant and equipment managers who do not recognise the need for adequate, operational equipment. In terms of staff, there is often no dedicated post for the required people and duties are an ‘add-on’ to, for instance, a community health or environmental official. The officials are untrained and largely unsuppor ted – this results in a lack of motivation and increasing levels of frustration. When it comes to site staff, the same applies – they are inadequately trained and insufficiently resourced. A common lament from management is that there are no funds. This is probably the biggest challenge facing municipal officials. Waste management is the Oliver Twist in the queue for
funds – always wanting more and never given enough. There are many other hungr y orphans in the same queue who enjoy the privilege of bowls of financial gruel that are full. The result of the above are sites that steadily deteriorate while staff play a catch-up game they cannot win.
What, then, can be done? Perhaps more pragmatically, we should ask what exactly is achievable. Clearly, there is no silver bullet and small steps would be a star ting point. How about training? Streamlined and focused training should concentrate on the job description (as opposed to tr ying to make waste managers out of all staff members). In this way, an operator can be taught how to deal with waste at the landfill work face and does not necessarily need to understand the intricacies of an integrated waste management plan. The community health officer mentioned above would need broader training, as they would have to manage other aspects of waste management as well – including collection and transpor t. This will enable them to gain a broader understanding of their tasks. The designated waste management officer would need the most training, as their duties would include policy and planning. The latter aspect
must never be underplayed. Overall planning, at the most basic level, would inform (or drive) financial planning and budgeting. A fur ther aspect that deser ves recognition is that of plant provision and maintenance. The manager responsible must be made to understand the nature and operational demands of landfill site plant. Two multipurpose items of plant that are generally par t of even a small municipality’s fleet are a tractor-trailer and the ubiquitous digger-loader (TLB). These two can achieve a great deal on a small site and can also per form valuable duties on other, nonwaste tasks. There is also a need for a ‘fit-for-purpose’ approach – in the case of smaller sites, for example, it is unrealistic to expect the provision of a landfill compactor; instead, a simple, towbehind roller can be used. Again, this a generally already par t of the municipal plant complement. Maintenance is often a major challenge, where plant that breaks down is neither repaired nor replaced. Outsourcing is a fur ther option. Municipalities are (with necessar y controls) permitted to outsource. Staying within that which is achievable, the supply, operation and
maintenance of small items of plant can be secured in this way. Rome was not built in a day and small beginnings with realistically achievable tasks are a star ting point. Affordable training is available and the first step in sensitising role players and building capacity. The fundamental approach is surely to arrest the backslide and star t from there.
*Chris Wiid is a civil and infrastructure engineer. Disclaimer: This ar ticle is the author’s own view. It is a generalisation, seeks to promote discussion and is not intended to cast aspersions on the per formance of municipal or private entities. Fur thermore, the contribution of the many dedicated municipal staff members is acknowledged.
The importance of PROPERLY DESIGNED and constructed landfills Regardless of where we live, work, or play, we generate waste. To ensure our waste doesn’t harm public health or the environment, modern landfills are technically sophisticated and highly regulated. These landfills are commonly referred to as ‘municipal solid waste landfills’ to distinguish them from the open dumps of the past. By Stan Jewaskiewitz*
Construction of modern state-of-the-art landfill with waste acceptance controls, geosynthetic lining systems and leachate collection/management system
(Courtesy of the Wizard of Id)
nlike old dumps, modern landfills have sophisticated protective liners, leachate collection systems, groundwater monitoring, gas collection equipment, and environmental reporting requirements. Waste disposal is still, in many cases, carried out by dumping. Such dumpsites are often characterised by: •indiscriminately dumped heaps of uncovered wastes, which are sometimes burning • pools of standing, polluted water •rat and fly infestations • feral and domesticated animals roaming freely • where pover ty is rife, families of scavengers picking through the wastes. Such dumpsites are usually (but not always) outside the urban areas of towns,
located in areas not suitable for any other purpose. The reasons that such conditions are accepted are varied and numerous, but may be summed up as: • ignorance (of the health risks associated with dumping of wastes), or acceptance of the status quo, due to: – lack of financial resources to do anything better –lack of political will to protect and improve public health and the environment. A transition from open dumping to sanitar y landfilling would include intermediate stages that might be described as: • designated dumping (within a designated site, but with no control of operations) • controlled tipping (in a supervised site,
with wastes disposed of in an organised manner, in layers and covered periodically) • engineered landfilling (where the impact of wastes on the environment has been assessed and engineering measures taken to limit, but not necessarily eliminate, such impacts). Progression from one such ‘standard’ of operation to the next requires significant increases in technical competence at the local/site level and in financial resources to sustain it. There are oppor tunities for incremental improvements at ever y stage of development of a waste disposal site: from its initial siting, through design, construction and operation, to site closure and aftercare.
LANDFILLS Get the right site In the past, little regard was given to where landfills were located and how they were operated. Today’s modern landfills are built in locations that protect human health and the environment, as well as the structural integrity of the landfill. The greatest potential to safeguard the local environment from adverse impacts from a new landfill, without incurring the excessive cost of protective measures, is in selecting an appropriate location. Locating a landfill in the right hydrogeological setting can often avoid the significant expense of impor ting materials to create a basal barrier system to protect groundwater. Many other site selection criteria also have a bearing on the cost of site development and operation, and on the cost to the waste management system as a whole, including:
•distance from areas of waste generation • access from good public roads •likelihood of local (e.g. on-site) availability of cover material • proximity to municipal sewage treatment works (if leachate is to be collected). In the search for a new landfill site, the conversion of the existing dumpsite may also be considered. In an ideal world, a number of potential sites should be identified, and a systematic process of selection/rejection applied to yield one, two or possibly three preferred sites, on which full technical, financial and environmental assessments are then carried out. Unfor tunately, in the real world, more than one potential site may be difficult to find, formal assessments are seldom under taken, and the replacement site may be chosen on the basis of availability alone.
(Courtesy of the Wizard of Id) Figure 1 (Credit: National Solid Wastes Management Association)
LANDFILLS Design for low risk In under 35 years, landfills have changed from little more than holes in the ground to highly engineered, state-of-the-art containment systems requiring significant capital expenditure. Typically, older landfills were designed by excavating a hole or trench, filling the excavation with waste, and covering the waste with soil. In most instances, the waste was placed directly on the underlying soils without a barrier or containment layer (liner) that prevented leachate (water percolating through the waste and picking up contaminants) from moving out of the landfill and contaminating groundwater. Dumped garbage was often openly burned to save space for future waste disposal, creating air pollution and health hazards. When the waste reached a predetermined height, a final cover of soil was placed on top and sometimes vegetation was planted. In many cases, the vegetation failed to grow or died because of methane gas (a natural by-product of waste degradation) escaping through the final cover. Also, the landfill gas could move offsite into buildings and homes, potentially creating health and explosion risks. In contrast, modern landfills are specifically designed to protect human health and the environment by controlling water and air emissions. Figure 1 provides a typical cross section of a modern landfill. Liquid containment within a modern landfill results from a combination of the liner and the leachate collection system performing complementary functions to prevent groundwater contamination. Liners prevent leachate and gas migration out of the landfill while directing liquids to the leachate collection system. Liner systems are typically constructed with layers of low-permeability, natural materials (compacted clay) and/or geosynthetic materials (e.g. high-density polyethylene). The leachate collection system removes the liquid contained by the liner. A typical leachate collection system may consist of (from bottom to top) a perforated leachate collection pipe placed in a drainage
layer (gravel), a filter blanket, and a leachate collection layer. Waste is placed directly above the leachate collection system in layers. Delivered waste is placed on the working face that is maintained as small as possible to control odours and vectors. Heavy steel-wheeled compactors move the waste into the working face to reduce the waste’s volume. At the end of each day, the waste is covered with a layer of soil or an alternative daily cover (foam, tarps, incinerator ash, compost) to control vectors, odours, fires, and wind-blown litter. Once the landfill has reached its permitted height, the landfill is closed and engineered to prevent water infiltration by installing a low-permeability cap similar to the liner system. The final cap can be comprised of a compacted clay and/or a synthetic material. A granular drainage layer is placed on top of the low-permeability barrier layer to divert water off the top of the landfill. A protective soil cover is placed on top of the filter blanket and topsoil is placed as the final layer to support vegetation. In short, the sophisticated engineered systems in a modern landfill ensure the protection of human health and the environment by containing leachate that can contaminate groundwater, preventing the infiltration of precipitation that generates leachate after closure of the landfill, and collecting landfill gas, which can be used as an energy source or destroyed.
Is groundwater protection really necessary? Perhaps the most symbolic feature of modern sanitary landfills is the quality-assured, fully engineered basal liner, complete with integral leachate collection and removal systems. Their provision is required by environmental regulations in most developed nations and, though seldom enforced, in an increasing number of developing countries. The justification for protection of the groundwater environment in such a way is difficult
to dispute in principle: certainly, few politicians would wish to actively support a scheme that might be considered less than 100% free of risk.
Construction quality assurance (CQA) Having carried out a rigorous site selection and design process, it is imperative to ensure that proper construction procedures for the landfill and its various components are carried out in accordance with an approved CQA plan. This is the best ‘guarantee’ the owner of the landfill site can have that the landfill will not pose a threat to the environment.
Conclusion Despite legislation and policies on waste management, which emphasise the reduction and reuse of wastes with the concomitant need to divert waste away from landfill, very little progress has been made in this regard in recent years – all of this while the available airspace in existing landfills is dwindling and, in some cases, non-existent. As in the past, landfills will therefore continue to play an important role, in the foreseeable future, in our country’s waste management systems until such time that alternative waste treatment technologies are put in place. However, with proper design and construction processes, gone are the past problems associated with older landfills, such as groundwater and air contamination, acceptance of hazardous waste, and inappropriate locations in sensitive areas. Modern landfills, in contrast, are highly engineered containment systems that are designed and operated to minimise the impacts of municipal solid waste disposal on human health and the environment.
*Stan Jewaskiewitz, Pr Eng, is the technical director at Envitech Solutions.
Modern state-of-the-art landfill
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M U N I C I PA L F E AT U R E
Innovations in Cape Town INCREASE WASTE DIVERSION
Children choose items at the Swop Shop (Credit: PETCO)
Cape Town’s landfills are under increasing pressure as the city’s landfill airspace rapidly dwindles. In order to reduce waste going to landfill and become more resource efficient, the City of Cape Town (CoCT) continues to trial and implement several cutting-edge waste diversion and recycling initiatives. 20
ape Town generates more than 2.5 million tonnes of waste a year. To reduce waste to landfill, the CoCT prioritises waste minimisation and the separation of waste for recycling. Some of the recent initiatives trialled and implemented by the city’s Solid Waste Management (SWM) Department are outlined below.
Swop Shop trial The ‘Swop Shop’ approach has been trialled or used by many municipalities and involves residents swopping their recyclable waste for tokens to buy items from a Swop Shop. However, these shops are typically stationary and only offer a once-a-week service – a methodology whose efficiency could potentially be improved. Cape Town instead opted for a mobile service that could enable more communities and individuals to benefit. After testing community interest via a survey in four low-income areas in 2018, the Waste Minimisation Unit in the CoCT’s SWM Department
coordinated the procurement of a trailer-mounted Swop Shop during 2019, constructed and fitted out to the department’s custom specifications. This trailer was then deployed for a six-month trial period in four areas – namely Bloekombos, Delft, Ysterplaat and Khayelitsha – chosen to represent a variety of low-income areas. The Swop Shop was stocked with items such as non-perishable food, toys, books and clothing, which could be exchanged for recyclable waste, including items such as soft drink bottles, cans, detergent bottles and plastic items such as broken chairs. The collected recyclables were later sold to a recycling processing plant, where the recyclate is brought back into the manufacturing industry. In the first two weeks of operation in February 2020, over three tonnes of recyclable items were exchanged. A further six tonnes were exchanged in March 2020, before South Africa went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic; the project was halted until October 2020. Once the Covid-19 threat had sufficiently reduced, the Swop Shop trial continued from 1 October 2020, and the initial results have far exceeded the CoCT’s expectations, with approximately 28 tonnes and
M U N I C I PA L F E AT U R E
29 tonnes of recyclables exchanged during October and November, respectively. With the exception of one area (which was replaced by Gugulethu in November), residents have been keenly interested in supporting this initiative, boding well for the longterm sustainability of such programmes.
Organic waste diversion trial
Wolwerivier. The project sought to develop and trial two variations of a methodology that would be cost-effective and scalable, as well as offer local employment, local waste beneficiation opportunities and reduced carbon emissions. Although initially planned to run over an eight-month period – from October 2019 to May 2020 – the national Covid-19 lockdown shortened the project to six months, ending on 26 March 2020. In Langa, the learners at Siyabulela Primary School were asked to bring organic food waste from home, to be transported to the project site and composted (i.e. a drop-off model). In Wolwerivier, a team was appointed to collect organic food waste directly from participants’ homes (i.e. a community waste collection model) and compost it on nearby CoCT land. No motorised equipment was used in either area to collect the organic waste, as all participants lived within walking distance of the sites. During the six-month period, a total of 20.5 tonnes of organic food waste was diverted from landfill and turned into compost. Of the 100 participants enrolled in each project area, the project reached an average active participation rate of 42% in Wolwerivier and 77% at the Siyabulela school in Langa. Following this trial, the continuation of similar organic waste drop-off or collection models is currently being considered and evaluated within the SWM Department. The project successfully demonstrates the support of local
economic opportunities and facilitates community participation in implementing solutions, through promoting local employment and local waste beneficiation opportunities and facilitating skills development. Its details will be further expanded upon in a paper intended to be presented this year.
Home composting programme The CoCT’s home composting programme, which enables residents to compost their own organic waste via the distribution of home composting containers, began in 2013 as a feasibility study. This study tested whether residents from different areas in Cape Town would use home composting containers, and how much organic waste per household would be diverted from landfill. The results of the feasibility study were very encouraging, with 91% of the residents (616 out of 677 households) actively participating for nine months. An average of 16.9 kg of organic waste per household per month was composted during this study. Following the study’s successful results, more than 22 000 free home composters have been equitably rolled out since April 2016 to residents living throughout the Cape Town metro, in response to considerable demand. If the average household composts about 16.9 kg of organic waste per month, as found in the feasibility study, this equates to the expected composting of more than 370 tonnes of kitchen and garden organics per month, or more than 4 440 tonnes per year, through this programme. This has multiple environmental sustainability benefits, including improved soil quality and food security, as well as a significant reduction of carbon emissions, saving 1.31 tCO2e emissions per tonne composted. And by separating out organic waste at source, the rest of the households’ waste is less contaminated, which can improve its value if separated for recycling.
More than 25% of Cape Town’s annual waste generated is organic. Although the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning has prioritised organic waste diversion since 2018, there are still too few waste minimisation interventions aimed at organic waste diversion in low-income areas. In response, the CoCT’s Waste Minimisation Unit implemented a low-income organic waste diversion trial project Reuse of crushed builders’ rubble at Coastal Park MRF in Langa and
M U N I C I PA L F E AT U R E Builders’ rubble for Coastal Park MRF earthworks
Resident receives his free compost container
Wolwerivier compost heap preparation
A resident’s vegetable garden fed by home-made compost
Builders’ rubble is a valuable construction material and the SWM Department has recognised that it has no place occupying valuable landfill airspace. The CoCT is now maintaining separate stockpiles of clean builders’ rubble (less than 10% contamination with other material), which attracts a significantly lower landfill gate fee. However, due to a struggling construction industry and a perception in the public sector that builders’ rubble is a liability in construction, the large stockpiles of builders’ rubble at the Coastal Park Landfill had grown to approximately 450 000 m3, restricting operations and planning at the landfill. In response, the CoCT prioritised the use of builders’ rubble in the earthworks contract for the construction of its new materials recovery facility (MRF) at Coastal Park. Site surveys and geotechnical studies revealed that the builders’ rubble stockpiled at the landfill was suitable for the production of 19 mm aggregate, G7 and G9 materials (as per COLTO specifications) for the bulk earthworks, as well as the construction of detention ponds and a section of bioswale. Furthermore, material suitable for production of both sub-base and base material for the layer works of access roads was identified for the above earthworks contract. In response, the tender document was tailored to require the inclusion of builders’ rubble, with pricing requested for both builders’ rubble, which on average was offered at a cheaper rate, as well as commercially available virgin material, thus driving green procurement. Approximately 60 000 m3 of rubble sourced from the Coastal Park stockpile was subsequently used in the earthworks and bulk services contract. Certain portions only required screening to produce suitable aggregate to meet the technical specifications, while other material was screened, crushed and, in some cases, blended to achieve the required grading. The city found that builders’ rubble is a useful construction material when the quality and performance of the material is well matched to the application and recommends that municipal construction tenders make provision to favourably consider appropriate builders’ rubble sources. The Green Procurement Action Plan is designed to facilitate the use of recycled or recovered materials in the CoCT’s operations and projects. Further projects at the Coastal Park Landfill, including the construction of a new landfill cell, are also designed to include locally available builders’ rubble. As the CoCT continues to provide waste diversion projects, it hopes to increase the number of citizens participating in this sustainable behaviour.
PA P E R & PA C K A G I N G
THE CARBON STORY of
Science class recap
Paper has a fascinating histor y. Developed centuries ago, it has been through the mill – literally and figuratively – in terms of what it’s made from. It also has many interesting side stories: one tale about paper that often goes untold is how it actually stores carbon, making it good for the planet.
ven when planted trees are har vested for their wood – for timber construction or for paper, packaging and tissue – the carbon remains locked up in the wood fibres and stays there for the life cycle of those products. It’s just one of the reasons paper recycling is important – it keeps the carbon locked up longer. To understand why paper and wood products are vital to a lower carbon footprint, we can borrow from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman’s assertion that trees don’t grow from the ground – they grow from the air.
Many of us first learned about photosynthesis in primary school: how plants absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide (CO2) to make food. Trees take in CO2 from the air, and water from the ground – which also came from the air at some point – and convert this into growth (trunks, roots and leaves). Oxygen is returned to the atmosphere. This carbon cycle is why trees of all kinds are such a vital part of keeping our planet regulated, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. In South Africa, trees could be divided into two groups – indigenous trees in natural forests and commercially and sustainably farmed trees in plantations. The latter were introduced some 100 years ago to protect natural forests, by providing wood for productive purposes. Plantation trees are essentially crops that are planted and replanted in rotations, with only 9% of the total tree count being harvested in any given year. This means that there are always trees growing, at different stages of maturity, and these trees are contributing to the carbon cycle.
New chapters for wood As the paper sector finds ways to diversify in the face of digitisation and reduced printing paper demand, chemists and chemical engineers are increasingly discovering the wonders of wood. Wood is made up of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, sugars and extracts. The properties of these elements make them suitable ingredients in countless, low-carbon products. For example, dissolving wood pulp, a purified form of cellulose, is suitable for chemical conversion
into a range of products – it is spun into viscose and lyocell textile fibres for use in fashion and decorating textiles, cast into a film or regenerated into a sponge. Extremely versatile, it can also bind active medicinal ingredients or vitamins into palatable tablets, stabilise emulsions or increase viscosity – which is why it’s added to low-fat yoghurt and lipstick! Nanocellulose – tiny cellulose nanofibres – can be used in food supplements and edible packaging, or even as a composite for screens on electronic devices. Paper packaging manufacturers are exploring its use in weight reduction for paperboard without compromising strength and performance. The substance can also be applied as a recyclingfriendly barrier coating instead of plastic. By extracting more value from a tree, less goes to waste. This opens the sector up to make even more meaningful contributions to sustainable product development and the circular economy. And by growing more trees and making innovative things from them, career and work opportunities open up too. Now, isn’t that a great story?
The vital role of
Example of geotextile drainage systems
Geosynthetic materials are employed in many engineered applications. ReSource speaks to Charl Cilliers, president of GIGSA (Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa), about their evolving role in landfills and the broader built environment, as well as the impor tance of retaining trained specialists to achieve fit-for-purpose results. What types of geosynthetics are available for use in landfill applications? CC There are numerous applications, of which the key ones are listed below: • Barriers: examples are geomembranes and geosynthetic clay layers for barriers and covers. • Reinforcement: using geogrids for basal reinforcement or stabilisation of covers on steep slopes. Geogrids can also be used in mechanically stabilised embankments where space does not allow for gentle slopes. • Filtration and drainage: these include leakage detection systems between barrier layers, gas drainage in capping systems, and leachate collection systems above barriers. The typical geosynthetics here are drainage cores and geotextiles. • Protection: thicker geotextiles are placed above and below geomembranes to prevent puncture and long-term strain. • Erosion control: this includes landfill covers, surface water management, and silt fences around stockpiles. These structures typically employ geotextiles, geocells and hessian mats.
What are some of the technical and economic advantages of using geosynthetic versus traditional clay liners? Geomembranes in combination with clay layers provide enhanced performance over clay layers when used alone. They ensure intimate contact between the two barriers, causing leakage to be limited to areas around damage in the geomembrane. Geosynthetic clay liners are also easier and faster to install than traditional clay layers when used in the appropriate application.
Further points to note include: • Circumstances where suitable clay is not available may result in geosynthetics providing an alternative that could be faster to install and perform better. This will, of course, depend on the site and characteristics of the waste being stored. •There may be a potential cost saving (depending on application). • Furthermore, adequate design is required for the appropriate use of geosynthetics when used to replace or enhance traditional clay layer barriers.
Has there been a significant uptake in the use of geosynthetics in landfills? Due to the advantages of geosynthetics, there has been an increase in their use since they provide cost-effective alternatives to barrier and drainage requirements. Additionally, geosynthetics provide similar or better performance, which is – in some instances – easier to achieve compared to conventional civil construction techniques. However, I must stress that the appropriate use of geosynthetics is essential. For instance, it’s easy to overspecify geosynthetics in a design, which may present unnecessary costs for the client.
What national standards guide the use of geosynthetics in landfill applications? The National Norms and Standards (GNR 636 (23 August 2013): National Norms and Standards for Disposal of Waste to Landfill) prescribe the barrier systems required for various classes of landfill. In many of the classes, a geomembrane is prescribed. Geosynthetic alternatives for drainage layers and protection layers are also included. Each class
prescribed may contain a certain type of waste, with more hazardous waste requiring higherspecification barrier systems. The standards also prescribe the level of detail required in a design, which is submitted to the authorities for approval. Requirements include the submission of a construction quality assurance (CQA) plan.
Does South Africa encounter challenges with substandard geosynthetics? Substandard materials are always available on the market. A challenge is that these are often offered as cheaper alternatives to higher-quality geosynthetics. This is typically managed through both the project specification and quality assurance on-site. The project specification sets the quality requirements for the geosynthetics required on a project by referencing the requirements stipulated by the SABS. The engineer’s duty is to ensure that the geosynthetics proposed meet the specification. It is necessary to ensure that, once they arrive on-site, it is confirmed that the geosynthetics are the same as those stipulated at the tender stage. This can be verified by requesting manufacturing quality control records. In addition, independent conformance testing can be carried out on the geosynthetics when they arrive on-site. Lastly, the method of installation needs to meet the requirements of the project specification and approved method statements in the contractor’s quality control plan. Organisations like GIGSA aim to educate the industry on how to carry out adequate designs, draft stringent project specifications and carry out good CQA. Construction completion reports drafted at the end of projects are often required to be submitted to the authorities before a commissioning letter will be provided. If substandard materials are reflected in the report, or if CQA is not evident or poor, there may be consequences for the operations of the facility.
How important is correct installation? Correct installation is vital. The industry is fraught with poor CQA. In some projects, millions are spent
on the procurement of the correct materials only to fail during the installation process, causing a collapse in performance. This is largely due to undeveloped or substandard CQA procedures taking place, if at all. An example of how poor CQA can affect the performance of a landfill is evident in the application of landfill barriers, specifically the placement of drainage stone above a geomembrane. The literature states that up to 80% of damage inflicted on a geomembrane takes place during the covering of the drainage layer or ballast layer above the geomembrane. Without good quality assurance, the damage of the geomembrane is likely to be much greater than if good quality assurance is in place. This results in exponentially more leakage through the barrier system in cases of poor or no quality assurance. The authorities have issued a CQA plan template.Â This is useful in drafting a good CQAÂ plan.
What are the benefits of becoming a GIGSA member? The value of being a member of GIGSA cannot be overemphasised. Only through training and education can design engineers and construction quality control assurers become confident in the appropriate use and installation of geosynthetics. While there are many advantages of using geosynthetics, there is also a risk of inadequate or overspecified design, or a risk of substandard material arriving on-site and not being identified through rigorous quality assurance. GIGSA members are there to ensure optimum quality control and project execution.
A geogrid installation
About GIGSA GIGSA was founded in 1994 by a group of suppliers, installers, consultants, a regulator and an academic at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of the Witwatersrand. Its founding coincided with the publication of the first edition of the Minimum Requirements Series by the then Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. The intention of the Minimum Requirements was to regulate waste management as a whole, but also waste disposal by landfill in South Africa, which made the use of geomembranes mandatory. This reinforced the need for an organisation like GIGSA, as geosynthetics were largely unknown construction materials at that time. Committee and Task Forces GIGSA was, furthermore, founded as the South African Chapter of the International Society of Geosynthetics (IGS). The IGS was established in 1984 with, in broad terms, the same objectives as GIGSA. The IGS became the first non-founding member of the Federation of Geo-Engineering Societies (FedIGS) in 2011.
The founding members of the FedIGS are the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, the International Society of Rock Mechanics, and the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment. The aim of the FedIGS is to facilitate collaboration and provide a means of structured and formal communication between the organisations.
Charl Cilliers, Pr Eng, president of the Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa
Designed specifically for use in chemically aggressive environments, AKS Lining Systems supplies a range of HDPE and LLDPE lining solutions, utilised extensively in infrastructure containment projects.
Peter Hardie, manager: Technical & International Sales, AKS Lining Systems
ince its inception in 2002, AKS Lining Systems has grown to become a competitive global producer of thermoplastic lining products. Its products are exported to more than 30 countries worldwide, where they are used in diverse applications such as mining, environmental conservation, water treatment, and general infrastructure. Situated in Cape Town, AKS Lining Systems naturally offers strong support to South Africa and the SADC region.
Containment and corrosionresistant solutions According to Peter Hardie, manager: Technical & International Sales, AKS Lining Systems, the company’s geomembrane range of products, Geoliner, is manufactured from HDPE or LLDPE resins that are considered chemically inert. Geoliner is supplied in 7 m wide rolls, with various surface finishes, such as smooth, textured or mega textured. “Our geoliner products are used extensively in the construction of critical facilities like landfill sites, tailings facilities, ash storage facilities, but also in straight-forward applications in aquaculture, water storage, farm dams, etc.” In addition to the Geoliner range is the flagship AKS™ Corrosion Protection Liner. AKS™ (Anchor Knob Sheet) is a liner extruded with a matrix of anchors. It is used extensively in acid-proofing
concrete structures, by being cast into the concrete. The mechanical bond into the concrete means the product can be used in a vast range of applications, including mining, sewage treatment and large outfall sewers, to name but a few. “Our AKS™ product is exported globally through a well-established network of distributors and installers who are able to offer a complete solution to their clients. By utilising this network, we have been able to supply some large projects with our 7 m wide Geoliner product range as well. A 300 000 m2 landfill project in Vietnam and an 850 000 m2 contaminated soil project in Singapore are just two recent exports. “The resins we use are all imported and comply with (and often exceed) the requirements of the internationally accepted GRI-GM13 and GRIGM17 liner standards, as well as SANS 1526 requirements,” he says. Being ISO 9001:2015 certified ensures that the internal management system and quality procedures are maintained and reviewed at the highest possible levels. These systems and procedures follow through from the resin suppliers, shipping and logistics to finished product, testing and delivery.
New, sustainable tech AKS Lining Systems uses state-of-the-art, Europeanmanufactured extrusion lines. These large extruders are designed to utilise the latest technology and operate continuously and faultlessly. “We can achieve extrusion accuracies close to 5%; the
current market trend is within a 10% range,” says Hardie. AKS Lining Systems also utilises low-carbon emission technology to power its plants. The Cape Town-based production plant has installed a 500 kW solar facility, with plans to upgrade to 1 MW over the next two years. The company also makes use of equipment cooling facilities that utilise non-potable groundwater. In 2020, AKS Lining Systems installed three additional large power generators, to ensure production remains unaffected during load-shedding. “This massive investment was done to ensure that our clients would not suffer delays in the delivery of their liner materials. Delays ultimately impact their project timeframes,” Hardie adds.
Guaranteed quality “Our logistical team ensures expert handling and loading of trucks and containers, along with all the required export documentation. For identification, tracking and traceability, all AKS™ and Geoliner rolls are individually labelled and numbered. Our quality control system ensures that we can trace each roll and its components all the way from incoming resin through to testing and final quality certification,” explains Hardie. AKS Lining Systems has an open-door policy, allowing customers to inspect and review their product during manufacturing and testing, giving them peace of mind when materials start arriving on-site. FEBRUARY 2021
Reimagining the POTENTIAL of waste
South Africa generates 108 million tonnes of waste per annum – wor th R25.2 billion. Some 90% of this is landfilled at overcapacitated sites, with only 10% being recycled. These resources could have been fed back into the economy by means of recycling, repurposing and reusing. By Kate Stubbs
ccording to recent reports, it is estimated that around R17 billion of resources is landfilled annually. We have a potential waste crisis on our hands, and one that demands urgent attention. The great news is that there is a real opportunity for South Africa to increase the scope of recycling. There are two big questions: do we have what it takes to manage waste resources effectively and what needs to be done to ensure that we don’t run into a waste crisis? The zero-waste-to-landfill goal by 2030 is an ambitious one: to divert 90% of waste from landfills using a ‘whole system’ through recycling, reuse, recovery, beneficiation technologies, and towards value-adding opportunities that have the potential to create numerous environmental, social and economic benefits for South Africa. If a zerowaste sustainable country is to be achieved, then waste management can no longer be looked at with a linear view going forward.
The introduction of the circular economy The circular economy model is a relatively new concept; however, as a reformative system, it offers significant opportunities to deliver on more inclusive economic growth, which includes job opportunities and positive environmental practices that are direly needed for sustainability. Waste is a universal issue, as it presents much broader challenges that not only affect human health and livelihoods but also the environment and, ultimately, the economy. And so, with over 90% of waste being discarded or burned, especially in low-income countries – where many valuable resources are lost – it becomes crucial for the industry to look at exploring innovative and sustainable solutions, where rapid growth and resilience are at the forefront of its decisions. Therefore, promoting circular-economy thinking – which aims to challenge the status quo and encourage a mindset change around waste and waste management – is key in encouraging the ‘nothing wasted’ mindset.
The consumer and corporate consciousness As more consumers begin to adopt the nothingwasted mindset and become concerned about
Kate Stubbs, marketing director, Interwaste
product sustainability, and as many businesses are now pushing the waste industry to innovate and effectively repurpose waste (not merely into something that is useful, but also enables costsaving opportunities for those organisations), we are seeing a strong drive of this reformative, restorative and regenerative system. Aiming to strip out all unnecessary waste materials, energy losses and related carbon emissions across supply chains and – through integration and innovation – promote closing gaps to allow materials, energy and resources to be fed back into the cycle should be a critical priority for all waste management stakeholders. The consensus is that a more sustainable eco-cycle will be achieved through long-term design and planning, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, recycling, and upcycling.
Government directive The South African government continues to make commitments to redirect waste from landfills and, in support of this, new laws have been legislated and regulations are being rolled out – all aimed at cleaning up South Africa and reducing the negative environmental as well as health impacts caused by waste. For example, the new EPR (extended producer responsibility) is being implemented, whereby producers are required to take responsibility for their products following the sale thereof.
This ensures that, from production stage, the producer is already implementing strategies to ensure their products can be reused or recycled wherever possible and that input materials used are sourced sustainably and waste is minimised throughout the value chain. This completely eliminates the ‘throw-away’ culture that is still prominent in the country, and promotes resilience and long-term sustainability for the local waste sector – encouraging global standards and tackling them with a long-term view that will take South Africa into a green and profitable future. The industry needs to shift the focus completely from landfilling and create facilities that can deal with the valuable waste in a more efficient manner. This innovative thinking is what will lead the waste management sector into promoting circular-economy thinking, building on the philosophy of reuse wherever possible. And where reuse may not be possible, it must adopt a more environmentally friendly approach to recycling and/or appropriate waste disposal. However, we need to instil a complete culture change and shift markets towards ‘giving back to the system’ in how we approach and treat resources versus waste, so as to avoid potential crises and ensure we build towards a resilient and sustainable future.
Beyond a mere buzzword, the circular economy is gaining momentum in calls to action for industr y in all sectors and among consumers. By Nick Mannie*
s far back as the Industrial Revolution, industr y and consumers followed a linear model. We must stop the â€˜take, make and disposeâ€™ model and shift towards a restorative model. The continued use and abuse of natural materials and ecosystems is placing pressure on the sustainability of the supply of these raw materials. Disparity in social and economic status, unfair practices and incentives for product development and deregulated markets are leading towards financial inequalities among consumers and regional economies. To ensure sustainability of both society and the environment, drastic measures will need to be taken in terms of the use and preservation of existing raw materials. Through the Paris Agreement and the introduction of the UNâ€™s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there has
been a commitment to tackle climate change and initiate action to redress past mismanagement of the environment. In addition, the mindset and the approach towards managing the transition towards a circular economy will have to measure for effectiveness. Just how we measure the success of the circular economy is dependent on a few key areas:
Staying ahead of the curve
Government/authorities formulating guidelines and policies to regulate circular economy through: •raw material use and consumption • waste disposal • define targets for reuse, recycling and repurposing of products and materials • embodiment of circular economy in various laws • integration of circular economy into existing and proposed law changes • encouraging innovation in design of products • measuring the progress towards a circular economy.
Collaboration and partnerships Entering into strategic partnerships and collaboration paves the way for resilience and success in creating a circular economy. Members in the value chain – which include manufacturers, retailers and authorities – will need to assess how deeply rooted they are in the linear economy. The transition requires collaboration throughout the value chain at the highest level and includes: • a commitment by all partners towardsinvesting in innovation, processes, value creating products and life cycle assessments • extended producer responsibility • schemes that can be developed to reduce waste • 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) approach through collaboration.
Companies and governments need to acknowledge that the current linear approach will be forced to change for the benefit of society and the environment. New opportunities exist to build resilient economies and create jobs, as well as for industrial development and innovation: •changing in phased approaches in the use of raw materials with alternative sustainable materials are a good starting point • changing design and manufacturing processes will encourage a shift in thinking among process design team • improving distribution flows and the use of products • collaborating with industry to create new ideas around product development with great sustainable edge • critical thinking of how the manufacturer closes the loop on a product, maximises use, recycles the product/materials and repurposes the product – the creation of additional life cycles is
Burning platforms for circular economy Some focus areas identified that need urgent intervention to pivot towards a circular economy include: •oceans plastic – the plethora of plastic into the ocean has created a significant challenge of its own, which requires drastic actions by all role players to reduce the impact and use of plastics •fashion – new business models need to be explored that maximise the use of clothes so that inputs into the manufacture of clothes are better managed • packaging and chemical use – the use of chemicals in the manufacturing process is a key point of impact for the environment and oceans; the recycling of chemicalbased packaging and packaging in general needs to be accelerated to its reduce environmental impact. The success of implementing a circular economy model is not confined to these points above but requires a wider approach through a detailed assessment of the processes, suppliers, materials and the consumer requirements. Businesses need to adopt new models and strategies that will enable them to change from within the organisation and build resilience.
important in extending the useful life of a product or components •using big data and analytics, the internet of things and AI to make decisions on product use and furthering the life of a product or components – for instance in tracking material flows, product route to market, supply chain processes and maintenance of products or the system •the introduction of technology as an enabler in the circular approach, integrate technology, process and data to make more effective decisions and build product solutions around the circular economy •adapting to new business models that will steer towards a circular economy and be the new norm of doing business • pivoting towards engaging all companies in the product value chain to ‘design out waste’ • co-creation of products will enhance the relationship with the end user and manufacturer – inputs such as product experiences, preferences, reviews and assessment of prototypes will help improve acceptance of the product into the market • the sustainability journey and the traceability of the product materials will be an indicator to the consumer of the commitment towards a circular economy.
*Nick Mannie is a specialist advisor at Mannie Inc. – firstname.lastname@example.org.
The path to net-zero
Reaching our goal of net-zero emissions requires urgent change and innovation across multiple industries, writes Eckart Zollner.
ith energy production and usage accounting for nearly three-quar ters of global emissions, it is apparent that there is no single industry on which to pin the responsibility. Here, the solution requires all sectors to be innovative with their processes and re-evaluate their energy consumption, placing climate change at the centre of economic stimulus going forward. Eskom, for example, issued an expression of interest earlier this year, which solicited feedback from various businesses and institutions on possible strategies for repurposing the ageing Camden, Komati, Grootvlei and Hendrina plants – all of which are scheduled to stop producing electricity by 2028. Opportunities such as this provide organisations with an opportunity to coinnovate alternative solutions to assist with the end goal of a net-zero carbon-emitting South Africa and great economic stimulus. In order for South Africa to be close to netzero emissions by the time these stations are decommissioned, business in general will be required to take full responsibility for its impact on the environment and emissions by monitoring, analysing and making a firm commitment to actively reduce its carbon footprint. The starting point for change and innovation? The right business tools to unlock the ability to visualise an organisation’s carbon footprint.
South Africa’s fossil-fuelled problem
Eckart Zollner, head of business development at EDS Systems
As a signatory to the Paris Accord, South Africa has committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 but, given our current trajectory, we will be hard-pressed to meet this target. South Africa is the world’s 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases and heavily dependent on fossil fuels, with an indigenous energy resource base that is
coal-dominated. Globally, coal is the most widely used primary fuel, accounting for about 36% of the total fuel consumption for the world’s electricity production. Back home, about 77% of South Africa’s primary energy needs are provided by coal. Locally, coal for electricity production is among the cheapest in the world; however, the beneficiation of coal, particularly for export, results in more than 65 megatonnes of coal discards annually. Roughly 21% of coal production is exported, 21% is used locally (not counting power-station coal), while the rest is discarded because it is not saleable. The remainder of our coal production feeds various local industries directly: 62% goes to electricity generation; 23% for petrochemical industries; 8% for general industry; 4% for the metallurgical industry; and 4% is sold locally or exported by merchants. At the present production rate, we have more than 50 years of coal supply left; however, considerable pressure is placed on the environment by our energy supply and consumption, leading to climate change through increasing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as air pollution and damage to natural ecosystems. There is a debate currently about major overhauls of the generation side of the old sites instead of a full repurpose, which would allow for technology upgrades while retaining the core purpose of the sites. All that is clear from this is that there is an urgent need for a massive policy shift toward a greener future from government – and across industries – if we have any hope of reaching our targets by 2050.
A greener future depends on innovation If we are to reverse our dependence on fossil fuel, South African industries are going to have to get innovative with energy production and consumption, which is going to require the
prioritisation of sustainability instead of focusing purely on profit. Change depends on an organisation’s ability to quantify its carbon emissions for monitoring and reporting purposes, which is where technology can help. Designed for local conditions, carbon tax calculator tools enable businesses to examine emissions across the entire operational chain. These cloud-based tools provide the visibility to identify quick wins to achieve emission reductions throughout the carbon footprint of the organisation, as well as offering the ability to see the real-time
impact of these decarbonisation efforts. Planning and achieving effective sustainable change starts with appraisal, which is where technology can make all the difference. With the right tools, saving the planet and preventing climate change doesn’t have to feel like an insurmountable goal. With the ability to manage, monitor and advance decision-making, businesses will find it much easier to innovate and commit to a carbon-neutral future, by having total visibility of the carbon consequences of their actions at all times.
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A division of the
Lekela completes fifth SA wind farm
he Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019 is a roadmap that the South African government plans to use to supports the diversification of the national energy mix. It is an electricity infrastructure development plan based on the least-cost electricity supply and demand balance. It has set out policy interventions to ensure the security of South Africa’s electricity supply. Wind power has been allocated more capacity than any other energy source in the IRP 2019, which also includes plans for new coal, gas and nuclear plants. Some 14 400 MW of new wind power capacity will be commissioned by 2030 under the IRP 2019 and it is forecast to contribute 17.8% of annual energy generation in South Africa – second only to coal, which will provide 58.8%. There are already 33 wind farms in various stages of development throughout South Africa. The countr y has more than 1 365 wind turbine generators, totalling 3 672 MW of installed capacity, with 2 020 MW being fully operational. Lekela, a renewable power generation company that delivers utility-scale projects across Africa, is not only looking for ward to seizing the oppor tunity to provide renewable power in South Africa but has recently announced that its Kangnas Wind Farm in the Northern Cape has successfully reached commercial operation. This marks the completion of all five wind farms in a Lekela-led consortium across the countr y. Together, these total over 600 MW and will provide clean, cost-effective power for up to 485 000 South African homes over the next 20 years. “Wind power in Africa has massive potential,” says Chris Antonopoulos, CEO at Lekela. “Reliable, clean energy is crucial to sustainable socio-economic development and the elimination
of poverty, inequality and unemployment. It is also vital for a just transition from fossil fuels to renewables and for averting the worst impacts of climate change.”
A leading consortium Lekela is a renewable power generation company delivering utility-scale projects. It was founded in 2015 to supply much-needed clean energy to communities across Africa. Lekela’s focus is on taking projects from mid- or latestage development into long-term operation. The company is majority-owned by shareholders: 60% by Actis, the leading growth markets energy investor, and 40% by a consortium led by Mainstream Renewable Power, which includes investors such as the IFC and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. In South Africa, Lekela has completed five wind farms, all of which are now in operation. These wind farms are owned by a consortium of local investors. Mainstream Asset Management South Africa, a subsidiar y of Mainstream Renewable Power, provides construction and operation management for these five projects on behalf of Lekela and the other shareholders involved in the projects.
The wind farms Noupoor t Wind Farm successfully reached commercial operations in July 2016, making it the first wind farm to successfully achieve operations as part of the third round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). Situated in the Umsobomvu Municipal Area located 10 km east of Noupoort in the Northern Cape, it generates around 304 800 MWh of clean renewable energy per year. The wind farm will offset around 300 000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
A large percentage of South Africa’s electricity is generated from coalfired stations and, even though coal will continue to play a significant role in the immediate future, there is growing awareness within government to upscale renewable energy projects.
Loeriesfontein 2 is situated in the Hantam Municipality of the Northern Cape and was contracted under the third round of the country’s REIPPPP. The plant has a total output of 140 MW. The Loeriesfontein 2 Wind Farm generates approximately 563 500 MWh of clean energy each year and offsets around 550 000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The project started its construction phase in February 2015 and successfully achieved commercial operations on 8 December 2017. Khobab Wind Farm, which achieved commercial operation in December 2017, is located right next to Loeriesfontein Wind Farm. Like its neighbour, the farm contributes almost 140 MW and is estimated to have cost R3.5 billion. The Khobab Wind Farm provides approximately 563 500 MWh renewable energy to the national grid annually and helps South Africa avoid approximately 550 000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. Kangnas Wind Farm is the latest to successfully reach commercial operations. The 140 MW farm is situated just over 50 km east of Springbok in the Nama Khoi Local Municipality of the Northern Cape. Construction for the project began in 2018. Some 50% of the construction content was manufactured in South Africa, including the site’s two transformers. Kangnas has also been committed to driving local job creation on top of manufacturing. Long-term operations and maintenance jobs will also be supported while the 61 Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines generate electricity for 20 years. Perdekraal East Wind Farm entered operation in October and was the first wind farm from Round 4 of the REIPPPP to do so. Situated in the Witzenberg Municipality near Matjiesfontien in the Western Cape, the 110 MW wind farm has 48 turbines generating approximately 360 GWh of energy each year. The facility will eliminate approximately 410 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually
RENEWABLE ENERGY The Khobab Wind Farm provides approximately 563 500 MWh of clean and renewable energy to the national grid each year
All Lekela projects support local employment, with Kangnas and Perdekraal East each supporting over 550 jobs at the height of construction
compared to traditional fossil-fuel power plants. The breakdown of the number of homes each wind farm provides with electricity is as follows: • Kangnas (140 MW) – 154 625 homes • Khobab (140 MW) – 170 000 homes • Loeriesfontein (140 MW) – 161 300 homes • Noupoort (80 MW) – 91 835 homes • Perdekraal East (110 MW) – 111 118 homes. They will offset a combined total of 2.36 million tonnes of carbon annually.
Job creation and strong community focus Antonopoulos asserts that all Lekela projects support local employment, with Kangnas and Perdekraal East each supporting over 550 jobs at the height of construction. “Lekela continues to drive an increase in the local content in its projects and many of the components used are manufactured in South Africa.
“The local communities will benefit from a significant shareholding in the wind farms through a community trust established at financial close. Additionally, the wind farm works actively with the local community to design and invest in meaningful socio-economic and economic development projects in the local area. We focus on maximising the local value created by the construction and operation of our wind farms,” he concludes.
Kangnas Wind Farm in the Northern Cape is the latest to successfully reach commercial operations
B I O R E M E D I AT I O N
Lessons learnt in implementing
To briefly summarise the concept of enhanced in situ bioremediation (EISB) discussed in this series, the strategy is to stimulate the existing microbial population in an aquifer, by adding substrate or other microbes. The aim of this is to enhance the ability of that microbial system to degrade chlorinated hydrocarbons or other chemicals of concern. By Michelle Roux and Sathisha Barath*
his ar ticle considers some of the key practical elements in applying bioremediation technology, which turns an aquifer – a matrix of water, rock and soil – into what is essentially a giant, underground bioreactor. A primar y step in the design of an effective inter vention is the accurate characterisation of the aquifer’s microbiology, geochemistr y and geology. This lays the groundwork for the task of physically reaching the microbes with the substrate.
plume with more than one chemical. This will determine which microbes are to be targeted for enhancement. General groupings such as the Dehalobacter species are considered effective in degrading chlorinated ethanes, for instance, while the genus Dehalococcoides is more commonly used in addressing chlorinated ethenes. However, for some sites, there may not be a specific group of microbes associated with the degradation required – which will need intensive research and trials. Microbes can also give each other the ability to adapt – rather like a flu virus.
Holistic approach In addition to the gene sequencing of the groundwater to establish which microbe groups are present, characterisation of the site demands data generated within a range of specialist fields. This holistic approach highlights the need for integrated and multidisciplinar y teams in these projects, with each discipline bringing its own crucial insights. The expertise required ideally includes microbiology, molecular biology, geology, environmental science, toxicology, isotopic chemistr y, geochemistr y, and several aspects of engineering. This makes for robust teams, where knowledge is reinforced while members can trade their strengths and weaknesses. Such a team is also better able to develop and apply a detailed understanding of exactly what processes are under way in the system. This is much more productive and rewarding than the simplistic use of a checklist to drive this intricate process.
Independent experts Understanding conditions Characterisation will describe conditions such as the depth at which the contaminant mass is located, the size of the mass, and what type of contamination exists. In the case of dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs), for example, there may be chlorinated ethanes or ethenes present – and there may exist a co-mingled
Involving a range of specialised skills, bioremediation projects can often struggle to find the right levels of experience. Such expertise, however, is a vital ingredient to success. Creating and managing these living ‘bioreactors’ needs constant review and data assessment by exper ts, even outside of the project team. Bear in mind that the
per formance of the system can only be monitored indirectly – as it cannot be physically obser ved; the accuracy and interpretation of data is therefore paramount. Not only must the project team be open to modifying and adapting its strategies based on expert advice – but the client must also be prepared to regularly rethink the project’s direction. No two projects will be identical, and each will need its own iterative strategy. Even between boreholes on the same project, the consortium of microbial populations may var y. Constant evaluation is key, followed by the necessar y adaptations of strategy.
Cultures – source or grow? A range of microbes that can be purchased to stimulate the microbial mass in a contaminated aquifer are specially cultivated in mainly American and European laboratories. There is no guarantee, however, that they will function effectively in any specific local environment. Our experience has been that existing microbes, which have already adapted to the local aquifer conditions, tend to be more robust and adapted to the in situ environment – even if this might take longer. Again, the key is detailed monitoring and regular adaptation wherever necessar y. SRK has achieved considerable success, for instance, in distributing existing microbes from stronger to weaker sections of a biobarrier. This ‘inoculation’ of the lagging parts of the biobarrier helps to create greater homogeneity across the aquifer.
Investing in local labs Bioremediation projects are not short term; they take years, if not decades, and demand that considerable expertise be developed over the duration. For this reason, it is ideal to invest in the capability and knowledge of local
B I O R E M E D I AT I O N Bioremediation of chlorinated hydrocarbons using emulsified vegetable oil substrate: Practical implementation
South Africa is seeing valuable innovations in the use of bioremediation to treat Without industrial sites impacted by chlorinated hydrocarbons. This groundbreaking work is particularly urgent as the country makes greater use of groundwater accurate data resources â€“ a receptor that is vulnerable to contamination from surface sources of pollution. from extensive In this four-part series, SRK Consulting discusses the current advances it is making locally and how these will benefit efforts to clean up legacy monitoring over time, impacts in the subsurface environment. In this, the third article in the series, the authors examine a range of issues related to the practical a bioremediation implementation of enhanced in situ bioremediation (EISB) technology. Looking back over the ground covered to date, the first article provided project is at a high an overview of why EISB is an effective option for degrading chlorinated hydrocarbons. In the second article, the focus was on the use of emulsified risk of failure vegetable oil as substrate for EISB. In the May 2021 edition of ReSource, a fourth and final article will focus on monitoring the EISB system and identifying key indicators to evaluate its success. Electron micrograph of bacteria present in groundwater at a site impacted by chlorinated hydrocarbons
B I O R E M E D I AT I O N
About Michelle Roux
Bioremediation projects are not short term; they take years, if not decades, and demand that considerable expertise be developed over the duration. For this reason, it is ideal to invest in the capability and knowledge of local laboratories
laboratories – in a way that ensures that their growing internal expertise will constantly add value to the project. There are many variables in the testing process, for example, and a close working relationship with a laborator y is really the only way to steadily build and maintain the accuracy of test results and trust in the monitoring data. Without accurate data from extensive monitoring over time, a bioremediation project is at a high risk of failure. Ser vice providers and subcontractors, even including the drilling contractors and map makers, are not just tools; they must become integral parts of the project team and buy into the project for the long haul. The same principle applies to team members; communication and learning are core to the job, as the overall project success relies on attention to detail – which changes constantly. New members must be effectively inducted and be kept informed; regular site visits and training workshops for this purpose are ver y useful and should, where possible, be included in the project budget.
Fostering practical innovation Given the complexity and dynamism of bioremediation, ever yone involved needs to be innovative. In SRK’s projects, we have even requested ideas from our subcontractors on how to address certain challenges. In one case, an automated injection system was developed
by a subcontractor in close collaboration with the SRK team to accommodate the pumping requirements for emulsified vegetable oil on certain sites. This high-tech system, based on the concept of diesel fuel injectors, allows for the injection of substrate in var ying volumes and pressures into boreholes in different sections of the biobarrier. This kind of engagement with partners, along with a willingness to experiment with their concepts, has delivered considerable efficiency in delivering the emulsified vegetable oil into the aquifer, thus resulting in financial and time savings to our projects – while advancing innovation for the sector. A chemical emulsion has also been developed in collaboration with expert suppliers in the USA, so that only the emulsifier portion of the substrate now is imported from abroad – saving the client substantial logistical costs. There was also a requirement for a fit-forpurpose mixing system on-site, which was locally designed in consultation with chemical and mechanical engineers. Implementing a bioremediation solution, therefore, is as much about relationships as it is about technology, science and engineering. Building a diverse and resourceful team – one that is close to the project and committed to collaboration – is the foundation for success over the many years that these endeavours usually demand.
Michelle is a principal hydrogeologist and contaminated land scientist in SRK Consulting’s Durban office, with more than 14 years of experience in hydrogeology, microbiology, contaminated land characterisation and management. Her specialisation includes project management, groundwater assessment and remediation, and bioremediation in situ treatment design. Her work includes conducting contaminated site assessments, developing and implementing long-term groundwater monitoring projects, and developing site conceptual models for DNAPL and LNAPL sites. Michelle holds an MSc Geohydrology, and a BSc (Hons) Microbiology.
About Sathisha Barath As a senior hydrogeologist at SRK Consulting’s Durban office, Sathisha has more than 11 years of experience in land contamination, remediation and groundwater projects. Her specialisations include EISB of chlorinated hydrocarbons, site characterisation of LNAPL and DNAPL sites, and soil and groundwater remediation of contaminated sites. She holds an MSc Hydrogeology and a BSc (Hons) Geology.
In just nine months, Reroute Waste diver ted 39 t of waste from landfill, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1 158 t and created four permanent jobs through recycling waste from Ekhaya Junction – Citiq Student Residence at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).
he success of Reroute Waste, formally known as Authentic 100, is based on an innovative materials recovery facility (MRF) model, which offers various solutions to the waste management sector. An MRF is a specialised plant that receives waste, separates it according to type, and prepares the recyclable material for distribution to end-user manufacturers. Nonrecyclable material is disposed of safely in landfill sites or certified disposal facilities.
Recycling goes BACK TO SCHOOL The recyclable materials that the company has identified at the student residence are organic waste, plastics, metals, aluminium cans, glass, paper and cardboards). Bafana Mkhawane and For tune Hadebe established Reroute Waste in 2017. The founders learnt of the waste management challenges at their student residence during their stay – while completing their National Diploma in Entrepreneurship. The residence comprised of 2 301 beds, which accommodated TUT students from the Pretoria West and Ga-Rankuwa campuses, with notable waste producers being the students, property garden waste, and two cafeterias within the residence. All the waste was disposed of in two 6 t skip bins, three times a week. Waste disposal filled the skips to capacity on each occasion and, in an event where collection was skipped, the waste posed serious environmental and health hazard for the students.
Seeing this as an opportunity to clean up the student environment, Mkhawane and Hadebe – with the support of the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) – compiled a proposal for the university residence, which included a waste evaluation study to understand the type of waste generated, the volumes, and how to go about recycling it. Once the proposal was approved, Reroute Waste then set up its project in July 2019, which helped control the waste outside the dumping site and facilitated the separation of recyclable and non-recyclable material. The project was so successful that, four months after inception, Reroute Waste was appointed to manage all waste activities for Ekhaya Junction effective from 1 Januar y 2020. The amount of waste being disposed of also dropped 50%. For more information on this or other industrial symbiosis case studies, visit www.ncpc.co.za.
Bafana Mkhawane and Fortune Hadebe, founders of Reroute Waste
NATIONAL CLEANER PRODUCTION CENTRE SOUTH AFRICA
EPR REGULATIONS AN ONGOING COMMITMENT
For many years, recovery and recycling have largely been voluntary; however, with South Africa’s new extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations, all producers are now mandated to participate in recovery schemes.
he new mandator y EPR regulations, published by the Depar tment of Environment, Forestr y and Fisheries (DEFF) in November 2020, now require producers to take financial and physical responsibility for their products and to ensure that consumers can reuse, recycle and repurpose products with greater ease. This means that producers are responsible for their products until the post-consumer stage of that product’s entire life cycle. All existing producers of EPR products are required to register with the DEFF (draft EPR Regulations, reg. 4(1)) and to develop and implement an EPR scheme or join another scheme (reg. check the relevant clause on the final notice published on 5 November (1)).
The EPR Regulations prescribe: general scheme str ucture • t he and responsibilities • t he minimum requirements and operational criteria •financial arrangements for an EPR scheme • the appropriate monitoring, repor ting and evaluation criteria for the scheme (regs 5 to 8; check latest regs). It also requires producers to report on progress made towards the collection and recycling targets specified per packaging material and format in the regulations. Shabeer Jhetam, executive director at Packaging SA, says the regulations will go a long way in calling to order those who have not been funding or running their own recover y schemes.
“The days of free-riders are over; it’s time for ever yone to take ownership.”
Much-needed amendments Although the paper and packaging industr y agrees that this is a significant step for ward in addressing the pollution crisis in South Africa, Jhetam says some amendments need to be made to current regulations in order to ensure success. “We are not only looking for ward to working with government but believe that EPR regulations are a positive development. However, there are certain requirements in the regulations that are simply impossible to comply with.” Therefore, Packaging SA, together with other industr y bodies – namely Business Unity SA, the Consumer Goods Council and the lighting and electronics waste industries – approached Minister Barbara Creecy and her team at the DEFF regarding proposed amendments to be made within the current regulations. Jhetam explains that they have identified several key issues they have discussed with the minister and her department. Some of the regulations they believe need some adjust/clarifying include: 1.Unpacking the definition of a ‘producer’ 2. O bligations of producers vs producer responsibility organisations (PROs)
Connecting Global Competence
3. Setting of EPR fees: This cannot be set by the producer but rather the PRO 4. Clear methodology and standards need to be set regarding targets. Following their consultation with Minister Creecy, a task team was formed, consisting of members from the various industries and individuals from the depar tment. The key objective is to investigate the issues raised by industr y and make necessar y amendments. Meetings are set to star t towards the end of Januar y. “We are ver y much encouraged by the response from the minister and her team. They are open to discussion and we are working together to make amendments to the regulations. We want to take ownership but need practical legislation that can be implemented,” explains Jhetam. “We are confident that we will find a workable solution.”
IFAT Africa 2021 Africa's leading trade fair for water, sewage, refuse and recycling. July 13-15, 2021 • Johannesburg Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand
Separation at source In addition to the issues Packaging SA has raised regarding the EPR regulations, Jhetam also feels there needs to be made mention of mandator y separation at source. He asserts that all the work that would be done by producers, manufacturers, brand owners, retailers and importers would be in vain if consumer responsibility is not emphasised. “In order for us to work towards landfill diversion, waste minimisation and recycling, ever yone within the entire value chain needs to play their part. The consumer also has an impor tant role to play by separating their waste.”
Long-standing commitments According to Jhetam, Packaging SA and its members have been running voluntar y ‘EPR’ schemes even prior to these mandator y conditions. These have seen a diversion rate for paper and packaging that is on par with global standards. “We knew, even then, that we needed to take responsibility and all our members have done a great job.” Jhetam emphasised that, once these key issues are addressed and consensus is reached, EPR regulations can have a positive and lasting impact. “EPR is not just simply a five-year plan – it’s an ongoing project that will need further adjustment and improvement along the way,” he concludes.
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SA PLASTICS PACT LAUNCHES ROADMAP TO 2025 The South African Plastics Pact has launched its official roadmap – a document that outlines the key activities and outcomes to be achieved by 2025.
he SA Plastics Pact, which was launched in January 2020, brings together national government, businesses, municipalities, product responsibility organisations (PROs), the informal and formal waste sectors, nongovernment organisations, and other key organisations within the plastics value chain behind a common vision of a circular economy for plastics and to address plastic waste and pollution at its source. The pact forms part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network and follows similar commitments from the UK, France, Chile and the Netherlands. Although each pact sets out its own unique goal, the global pact has collective targets that cover five key areas: • eliminating unnecessar y and problematic single-use plastic packaging • making sure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable • significantly increasing the collection and recycling of plastic packaging
• i ncreasing recycled content in plastic packaging to drive demand for recycled material • becoming members of relevant PROs. Being the first of its kind in Africa, the pact is committed to reducing plastic usage by making all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The roadmap, which was launched in October 2020, outlines key objectives in regard to what the members and supporters of the pact will do to deliver the targets, with key outcomes in two interim milestones (mid-2021 and end 2023), and finally at the end of 2025.
Actions for all targets By 2025, all members of the SA Plastics Pact commit to meeting all five targets as set out by the global pact. Through the roadmap, there are various activities and tools that can be implemented to make progress towards achieving these targets. The SA Plastics Pact sets out the following targets: 1. Act against problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (reuse) delivery models. 2. 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable. 3. 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled.
4. 3 0% average recycled content across all plastic packaging. In order to achieve these 2025 targets, the roadmap explores some key activities that need to take place at each of the stages (targets).
Identifying problematic plastic packaging The goal of the first target is to put together a list of problematic and/or unnecessary plastic packaging and items, which essentially need to be ‘designed out’. This will be done through the establishment of an action group, which will be responsible for identifying these problematic plastics and then effectively design models to address these by mid-2021. This list will not only be available to members, but the pact will also develop external guidance for members and non-members to act. Other key focus areas include setting up a strategy for those problematic materials that cannot be eliminated or replaced in the current market – e.g. some PVC formats/flexible multilayers in packaging. They will also strive to improve our understanding of the environmental impact of these material choices, including the role of plastic packaging in preventing food waste and the opportunity to innovate. This will be done through workshops and discussions.
Reusable and recyclable packaging All plastics must be designed to be reusable,
recyclable or compostable in practice and at scale, considering both the design and the afteruse side. The second target sets out to ensure that 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The pact plans to achieve this by: • developing ‘design for recycling’ and polymer choice guidance for retailers, brands, food service members, which align with existing guidance where possible • develop guidance for on-pack recycling labels that aligns with the SA Plastics Pact Guidance and national packaging guidelines • members and supporters will then implement the design guidance in their businesses and supply chains • disseminate design guidance to non-members • agree on actions needed to address any ‘unrecyclable’ items or packs • disseminate best practice in reuse/refill business models to members.
Developing sound methodology Target 3 sets out to ensure that 70% of plastic packaging is effectively recycled by 2025. Some key objectives that will be focused on include the development of methodology and
approach for the unified reporting on South African recycling rates. The pact will also focus on stimulating investment in infrastructure and systems to drive progress and on assessing the current and required recycling capacity South Africa needs to meet these targets. A mandator y extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme will be developed and formalised by government, including ambitious targets for recycling rates and recycled content in packaging. Programmes and initiatives that support the informal waste sector and lead to increased jobs, improved gender diversity and dignity will also be introduced. The pact also plans to collaborate with others on citizen engagement campaigns and messages (e.g. Plastics|SA).
Averaging out The last target is focussed on the greater use of recycled plastics in packaging (primar y, secondar y and tertiar y). The goal is to achieve 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging. Retailers and brands will be required to specify recycled content in new products where possible. The pact will also engage with government on setting
annual recycled content targets in plastic packaging in the proposed EPR regulations. Target 4 also plans to increase demand for recycled plastic in existing and new packaging applications and sectors. In addition, it will also focus on: • improved understanding of the benefits of using recycled content • compelling case studies to showcase best practice (e.g. increased use of clear aPET) • increased capacity of plastics recycling in South Africa to generate sufficient recycled material to meet the target • i nclusive (informal-formal integration) separation-at-source programmes to be developed countr ywide • more funding made available to recyclers to improve the quality of recyclate • consumer education to help them understand benefits of products and packaging made with recycled material. The roadmap states, “Achieving the targets will bring huge benefits for South Africa; however, it will require hard decisions to be made, significant investment and some compromises. The roadmap is a living document and will evolve in future versions.”
Upcoming EVENTS ENLIT AFRICA Venue: CTICC, Cape Town Date: 11 to 13 May 2021 Website: bit.ly/3fQuuQ6
AFRICA ENERGY INDABA CONFERENCE Venue: Virtual Event Date: 1 to 5 March 2021 Website: www.africaenergyindaba.com The 13th Africa Energy Indaba Conference, scheduled to take place from 1 to 5 March, is set to discuss, debate and seek solutions to enable adequate energy generation across Africa. A diverse group of experts and high-profile speakers will share their real-world insights about the changing energy landscape in Africa.
Enlit Africa, scheduled to take place from 11 to 13 May 2021, will bring together a community of world-class speakers, discussions, networking and product showcases. Enlit Africa is the new unifying brand for African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa, and continues to be Africa’s premier meeting place for the entire power, energy and water value chain.
Enlit Africa will be a blended live and digital event for three days in Cape Town. Apart from the live, regional meet-ups, Enlit Africa will also bring you cutting-edge content through webinars, exclusive one-on-one interviews with the who’s who of the energy sector, product launches, technology showcases, and much more.
AFRICAN CONSTRUCTION EXPO AND TOTALLY CONCRETE EXPO Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Gauteng Date: 29 June to 1 July 2021 Website: www.africanconstructionexpo.com
Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Gauteng Date: 1 to 3 June 2021 Website: www.aosh.co.za Commemorating the 10th edition of Africa’s premier health and safety trade show, A-OSH Expo turns 10 in 2020, and the exhibition takes place, as before, at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand. Are you serious about health and safety in the workplace? Then a visit to Africa’s foremost occupational health and safety (OHS) trade show is a must to put into your calendar in June 2021! The show will be running alongside two shows: the highly respected security and fire exhibition, Securex South Africa, and Facilities Management Expo, which showcases products and services associated with property and building management and maintenance.
With thousands of built environment professionals from over 45 countries visiting the expo every year, the African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo provides the platform for distinctive opportunities for business expansion, networking and learning. The annual African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo is Africa’s mega construction and infrastructure show, and the biggest gathering of roughly 8 500 qualified buyers and sellers for the entire built environment value chain. In 2021, the event will once again feature an exciting exhibition and robust workshop programme.
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS African Shades Trading
EnviroServ Waste Management
KSB Pumps & Valves
African Utility Week
AKS Lining Systems
LandďŹ ll costs
Use of virgin resources
Utilisation of assets
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