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The official journal of the Promoting integrated resources management

ISSN 1680-4902 • R50.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 20 No. 2 • May 2018


Clean-ups driving waste awareness

Waste Management A class-leading African waste facility


From trashcans to catwalks

Legislation Unpacking carbon tax


Waste management

is printed on 100% recycled paper

The people keeping it clean Heavy industry is a critical part of our economy. But disposing of the waste they produce in a way that’s safe for people and the environment takes years of expertise, scientific savvy and biochemistry knowledge. Not just anyone can do it. That’s why EnviroServ employs the most highly-qualified professionals for the job. Like our Onsite Supervisor, Lindelani Innocent Mbeje. He’s just as passionate about protecting the planet as you are. A professional soccer player, he played for AmaZulu and now manages his own team. Which means helping to protect the environment is in his best interest. With a qualification in Video Technology and five years’ experience at EnviroServ, he’s the right guy for this demanding job and takes pride in running a compliant operation. Because expertise is important, but so is having employees who live the EnviroServ values of passion and integrity, who are dedicated to working towards delivering environmentally responsible and effective waste solutions.

Volume 20, No. 2, May 2018

The official journal of the Promoting integrated resources management

Contents maY 2018

ISSN 1680-4902 • R50.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 20 No. 2 • March 2018


Clean-ups driving waste awareness

Waste management A class-leading African waste facility


From trashcans to catwalks


Unpacking carbon tax



On the Cover

PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 1634 Canon Crescent, Cnr Rail Road, Roodekop, 1402 POSTAL ADDRESS: P.O. Box 13091, Katlehong, 1432 TELEPHONE: 011 866 2316 FACSIMILE: 011 866 2321 EMAIL: WEBSITE:

BuhleWaste Beauty. Love. Respect

world news

ReSource magazine’s May edition focuses on integrated waste management.



is printed on 100% recycled paper

Regulars 3 Editor’s Comment 5 News Round-up 8 Fleet & Equipment 38 Events 40 President’s Comment

Solid Waste 10 The winds of change 12 The waste hierarchy 13 Working together for a cleaner future



Landfills Long-term municipal waste disposal strategies Waste management at work Geosynthetics and coal ash management Class-leading waste management

15 19 20 24

Healthcare Risk Waste 26

Healthcare risk waste 101

Hazardous Waste

waste disposal strategies

Geocycle: A key role in creating zero waste


Recycling 29 Building better systems to protect the environment 30 To synergy and beyond


recycle & upcycle


unpacking carbon tax

Energy Efficiency 32 34

Bracing for disruption Unpacking carbon tax

Waste-to-energy 36

Unlocking SA’s waste potential

in association with

infrastructure news



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president’s comment

Increasing waste awareness Over the last few months, I have been asked various waste-related questions by random members of the public, including questions on what to do with baby diapers or dog stools, or whether it’s safe to throw away unused food.


ll of a sudden, questions regarding what to throw in your waste bin have entered the realm of social discussion. Maybe this sudden increase in public awareness is because we had electricity load-shedding, followed by drought, water shortages and a looming Day Zero… or maybe because we have all been reduced to a polony-free diet. Perhaps the public is finally starting to consider what happens to their waste after they have put it out for collection and how it may affect people on its way to final disposal.

Promoting public awareness and education When the general public starts to ask these types of questions, the bigger question is: Who will provide the answers? One of the objectives of the Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008) is “to ensure that people are aware of the impact of waste on their health, well-being and the environment”. But who creates this awareness, given the fact that very few municipalities currently implement public awareness and education plans? The national and provincial Depar tments of Environmental Affairs, as the regulator y

Jan Palm President, IWMSA

The result indicated an excellent 80% repauthorities, are successfully ensuring that our environmental and waste management legis- utation score. But although the number of lation protects the constitutional right of all responses was sufficient to obtain statistical South Africans to a clean and healthy envi- confidence, it was still far from the majority of ronment; however, for the general public (and the members. sometimes industry as well), the devil is in the The national council of the IWMSA, in order to details – hence the questions mentioned above. ensure the relevance and optimum positioning of And many more such questions are being the association, has therefore decided to extend asked of landfill managers regardthe survey beyond its members – to ing whether cer tain waste include non-members and various products (mainly industriindustry and government bodAn al) may be landfilled at ies within the waste industry objective of municipal class B land– in an attempt to see how the Waste Act: fills. In most cases, the IWMSA is perceived, if Ensure awareness of even the landfill manthere are any shortcomagers do not know. ings, and if the IWMSA the impact of waste The question is being should change its busion human health, ness model. asked whether the well-being and the I humbly request those conIWMSA should be the environment tacted to participate – your port of call to provide these answers will go a long way in helpanswers, and useful snippets ing us improve. of information are already provided on our Facebook page and webpage. Another great opportunity to find answers to the waste questions you may have is to attend IWMSA in the spotlight our international waste conference – WasteCon Due to this question, a reputation survey was 2018 – on 15 to 19 October at Emperors Palace. commissioned by the IWMSA among its mem- In the meantime, please visit our webpage at bers during February 2018. or like our Facebook page.

Patron members of the IWMSA

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editor’s comment

Talking trash Publisher Elizabeth Shorten Editor Candice Landie Assistant editor Liesl Frankson Managing editor Alastair Currie Head of design Beren Bauermeister Chief sub-editor Tristan Snijders Sub-editor Morgan Carter Contributors John Clements, Kent von Maubeuge, Kobus Otto, Jan Palm, Deidre Penfold, Andy Post, Kate Stubbs, Chantal van der Watt Client services & production manager Antois-Leigh Botma Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise Financial director Andrew Lobban Distribution manager Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham Printers United Litho Johannesburg Advertising sales Jodi Haigh Tel +27 (0)11 467 6224 Cell +27 (0)83 710 9788 Publisher No.9, 3rd Avenue Rivonia, 2191 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 Annual subscription R200.00 (incl VAT) South Africa ISSN 1680-4902 Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 675 3462 Email: 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 2018. All rights reserved.


he last few months have been a whirlwind of activity that has drawn a considerable amount of attention to waste management in South Africa. The listeriosis outbreak, which dominated news headlines for the first quar ter of the year, highlighted the impor tance of proper hazardous waste disposal while news of an impending waste crisis in the Western Cape has emphasised the growing need for alternative waste treatment models and the urgent adoption of the waste hierarchy. Pretty much for the first time, South Africans are star ting to consider what happens to their waste after they leave it on the kerb. The City of Johannesburg has seized this oppor tunity through it’s A Re Sebetseng campaign and, for Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, it’s about more than cleaning up the streets. The ultimate aim of the campaign is to change citizens’ mindsets towards waste and waste generation (more on page 10). Mashaba’s view is one that is largely shared by many in the industr y. While we won’t be able to solve our waste problems overnight (because they didn’t happen overnight), we can make serious headway if we star t working on the attitudes of those generating the waste. This was the sentiment of one of the speakers at a waste-to-energy conference I attended recently and, needless to say, ever yone in the room (government officials included) agreed. What this means is that, as an industr y and a countr y, we need to learn from the recent water crisis and act before it’s too late. It means that we, as individuals and businesses, need to take responsibility for the waste we generate and not leave the problem for someone else to deal with. We need to turn to innovation (like ZuluGal Retro did on page 29) and be open to new ways of dealing with waste because we don’t have much landfill airspace left in our major cities. Now would also be a great time to get familiar with the waste hierarchy (see page 13) and make the implementation of it second nature. And since disposal should be the ver y last option, we still need to ensure that long-term

“It means that we, as individuals and businesses, need to take responsibility for the waste we generate and not wait for someone else to deal with the problem.”

Assistant editor Liesl Frankson waste disposal strategies get the attention they deser ve in landfill planning and integrated waste management plans (more about this on page 15). The bottom line is that there has never been a better time to talk about waste than right now.

ReSource is endorsed by:

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news round-up

SUSTAINABILITY NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD New Discovery head office The largest 5-Star Green Star SA building The iconic new 112 000 m2 Discover y global headquar ters in Sandton, Gauteng, recently received a 5-Star Green Star SA rating by the Green Building Council SA (GBCSA), making it the largest new build project to receive this rating to date. Global engineering and infrastructure advisor y company Aurecon is responsible for overseeing the deliver y of the developers’ and Discover y’s green intent for the building. The design features an abundance of natural light with most of the building being wrapped around a series of sunlit atria that illuminate the cores of the towers of the building. From its design to construction and operation, sustainable development has been a key priority for the developers and the tenant. Some of the green features of the building include optimally designed energy-efficient lighting, grey- and rainwater har vesting systems, water-efficient sanitar y fittings, as well as carbon monoxide monitoring in the basement. An exterior view of the new Discovery global headquarters in Sandton

Badly managed sanitary waste A risk to health and the environment Integrated waste management exper ts are calling on corporate entities to ensure their sanitar y waste is treated with the same procedures and precautions ascribed to healthcare risk waste since this waste runs the risk of carr ying infectious pathogens such as hepatitis B and HIV. “Many huge businesses – computer firms, banks, and mining houses – are large generators of sanitar y waste. As responsible corporate citizens, they are obligated to ensure their activities don’t pose a risk to public or environmental health,” says Eugene Barnard, head: Healthcare Division of Averda South


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Africa, a leading global provider of integrated waste management ser vices. The ser vice provider believes the lack of formal legislation governing sanitar y waste means that too many companies are shirking their responsibilities. “Sanitar y waste generators should be asking their ser vice providers whether their waste is being responsibly disposed of in a manner that can be traced back to origin,” he adds. To address this issue, the company is harnessing radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track waste and automate traceability.

Sanitary waste runs the risk of carrying infectious pathogens and corporate entities should ensure it is treated with the same precautions ascribed to healthcare risk waste

RFID technology uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track specific tags – in this case, tags attached to HCRW containers – resulting in a more accurate, efficient and compliant HCRW management system.

news round-up

The Green Star SA rating tools: Management, indoor environmental quality, energy, transport, water, materials, land use and ecology, and emissions

Sanitary waste: Cardboard, food wastes, glass, office waste, paper and plastics, but not solids or water dissolved material such as silt, suspended soils or sewage

C40 is focused on

tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing citizens’ well-being

Addressing consumption can aid cities in reducing emissions New research by C40 Cities has found that almost two-thirds of consumption-based emissions are generated in the supply chains of goods and services imported from regions outside cities. “By revealing the scale of emissions generated by the urban consumption of a range of everyday goods and services, including the food on supermarket shelves, air travel or online shopping and home delivery, consumers and policymakers can make better informed decisions about the impact their choices are having,” said Mark Watts, executive director, C40 Cities. The results of this study show that consumption-based GHG emissions of C40 cities are often significantly larger than those calculated under alternative methods that

focus primarily on GHG emissions taking place within the city boundary. “If you look at the emissions from ‘consumer’ cities like London, Paris or New York, they have very little from industry, because their economies and workforces are no longer reliant on manufacturing and factories,” said Watts. “Yet ‘producer’ cities in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh, for example, are generating a lot of industrial pollution in the manufacture of products that will be sold and consumed in Europe and North America. By examining consumption-based GHG emissions alongside existing inventories, policymakers can get a more complete picture of the opportunities to reduce global GHG emissions and deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Food waste In 2010, 21% of the total US food available for consumption was wasted at the household level

A new analysis shows that cities have a bigger opportunity to reduce global emissions if they address consumption

Software aims to reduce food waste by helping those in need A research team is testing a new online tool that will reduce food waste by providing food to those in need. Sugam Sharma, a computer science exper t and systems analyst in Iowa State University’s Centre for Sur vey Statistics and Methodology, along with his collaborators, has developed a software prototype called eFeed-Hungers. The programme allows restaurants, grocer y stores and individuals to post food they have to donate and similarly allows those in need to find nearby locations where food is available for pickup. The researchers designed the software so donors take the food to a public place, such as a food pantr y or church ser ving free meals,

for pickup and distribution. It allows for onetime and recurring donations, so businesses or individuals do not have to enter their information repeatedly. Sharma says the interactive map makes it easy to search. Each location is marked with a flag to indicate the type of food, and hours it is available. “We wanted to make it as simple as possible, so people will not hesitate to donate,” Sharma said. “There is no scarcity of food. We see this as a way to take some of the food we’re wasting and save it by providing a channel to get the extra food to the needy.”

A new software tool is currently being tested that can reduce food waste

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s o l i d w as t e

Under the leadership of Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, the City of Johannesburg launched the A Re Sebetseng campaign last year. The campaign is tackling the issue of solid waste head on, with the goal of turning Johannesburg into one of the cleanest cities in the world.

Working together for a cleaner future By Liesl Frankson


hen the executive mayor took office in 2016, he noticed that the inner city was plagued by a serious waste issue, which is why, when the time came for his administration to present its revised budget, Mashaba added an additional shift to clean up the city. It was at this point that the mayor realised it would take more than an additional shift or two to make a difference in the city’s waste management space. “During the process of trying to clean up the inner city and the surrounding townships, we discovered – more than anything else – that we needed to change the mindset of the people towards waste in their environment. I knew then and there that, if we were going to succeed in our mission to transform the city, we needed civil society to take responsibility for their environment,” Mashaba explains. The campaign is anchored on getting residents and other important stakeholders


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2017, the seed for the idea was planted two years prior, when the mayor visited the Rwandan capital, Kigali. During his visit, he encountered the Umuganda model. Umuganda is a practice undertaken every last Saturday of the month, where all citizens commit time to projects aimed at improving public spaces. In addition, the city also employs robust African inspiration enforcement of by-laws through community While the A Re Sebetseng campaign was policing committees and other agencies, vigorous education and awareness initiatives, and only of ficially launched in waste-to-energy programmes, as well as partner“We ship models that put citizens Partnering with Rosebank and the private sector at the want our College centre of efforts by the city to residents to start keep the environment clean. getting wise about “On 5 June 2017, the execwaste management and utive mayor and the MMC accepted an invitation to join start practising things like Pikitup and the Miss Earth separation at source.” Leadership Academy in a Executive Mayor Herman clean-up campaign in Soweto. Mashaba It was on that day that the together to take charge of the spaces in which they live, play and work. According to Nico de Jager, MMC: Environment and Infrastructure Services, City of Johannesburg, the campaign seeks to unite the residents of Johannesburg to work together with the government in keeping the city clean.

s o l i d w as t e

mayor called on me and Pikitup to visit Rwanda to duplicate the Umuganda model into a similar Joburg model,” De Jager explains. A delegation from the City of Johannesburg was sent to Kigali in August 2017, to gain firsthand insight into the functioning of a world-class waste management system. The delegation included De Jager, Pikitup and City Parks representatives, and a representative from the Miss Earth SA Foundation. “Much like all major urban centres in the world, Kigali continues to experience rapid urbanisation as large numbers of people migrate from rural areas to the city in search of economic opportunities. This means that the city had to analyse its solid waste challenges and develop approaches that effectively address these challenges. Owing to its proactive and steadfast approach, Kigali is now lauded as Africa’s cleanest city,” De Jager notes.

Partnering for change The main difference between Kigali’s Umuganda model and the City of Johannesburg’s A Re Sebetseng campaign is that the local adaptation is voluntary, which means the city needs to partner with communities to achieve the waste management goals set out by the campaign. “In Kigali, the clean-ups are mandated; so once a month, everything closes for a set number of hours and everyone around the city is out in numbers cleaning up. Since we live in a democracy, we are relying on our residents to

Rwandan delegation and Ambassador Vincent Karega

see the importance of what we are doing and come on board voluntarily,” Mashaba notes. The city has scheduled the A Re Sebetseng clean-ups for four hours every third Saturday of the month and the campaign educates

with stakeholders but also encourages the participation of multiple stakeholder groups in the planning of the various interventions aimed at promoting a clean city,” De Jager explains. “A number of targeted engagements have already taken place with a variety of mission-critical stakeholders, including ward councillors, schools, the business fraternity, residents’ associations, higher education institutions, and community-based organisations such as churches and NGOs,” he adds. De Jager notes that the city has received an overwhelming response from the business community, which continues to pledge its support for the campaign – not only with the clean-up but also by businesses availing their resources to ensure that the campaign yields the desired results of a cleaner city. Similarly, the campaign has seen an increasing number of residents coming on board. The city has also decided to live the values of the campaign by setting aside two hours every Wednesday before the A Re Sebetseng cleanups for city employees to go out and clean up the spaces where they work. While there is a prevailing view that waste management is one of the least prioritised municipal services – next to the provision of water, electricity, housing and road infrastructure – the city is working to dispel this notion. “At the City of Johannesburg, we believe all of these issues are a priority. You cannot place one above the other if you want to turn the city into an attractive investment destination and ensure that residents live and work in a healthy environment,” Mashaba notes. “Ultimately, what we hope this campaign will achieve – apart from turning the City of Johannesburg into a clean, liveable city – is to get civil society to take responsibility for the state of the country overall, and realise that nothing can be achieved without hard work,” he concludes.

Cllr Herman Mashaba participating in A Re Sebetseng in Kaalfontein

“A Re Sebetseng is about more than cleaning the city – it’s about changing the mindset of our residents and businesses to start considering what happens to the waste they generate.” Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba

and encourages residents throughout the City of Johannesburg to manage waste effectively. “This campaign is about more than cleaning the city – it’s about changing the mindset of our residents and businesses to start considering what happens to the waste they generate,” he explains. “We want people to think, when they go out into the streets, that they cannot simply litter or leave their waste behind after enjoying our parks and amenities. We want our residents to start getting wise about waste management and start practising things like separation at source,” Mashaba continues. Not only does the campaign seek to highlight the dangers of activities like illegal dumping and littering, but it aims to highlight the importance of partnering for lasting change in the city. “Engaging and working together with various stakeholders is vital to pursuing partnerships that work. It is for this reason that, conceptually, A Re Sebetseng not only promotes engagement

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s o l i d w as t e

In conversation with

Nico de Jager

The City of Johannesburg’s A Re Sebetseng campaign has received overwhelming support from residents and businesses alike, but there’s one thing everyone wants to know: How does a campaign like this fit into the greater scheme of things?


ouncillor Nico de Jager, MMC: Environment and Infrastructure Services, discusses mobilising the masses, the importance of partnerships and how the city continues to prioritise waste management.

With A Re Sebetseng being a voluntary programme, how does a city go about mobilising civil society to get involved in something like this? The City of Johannesburg’s Group Communication and Marketing Department, in consultation with Pikitup’s Communication and Stakeholder Management Unit, is implementing a comprehensive marketing and communication campaign across various media to complement the stakeholder engagement and partnerships tier of the mobilisation initiative. The marketing and communication campaign includes radio advertisements by Executive Mayor Mashaba and radio endorsements by eminent persons, newspaper advertisements, and targeted placements in select online media. It will be extended throughout the implementation cycle of the clean-up campaign.

The business community continues to pledge its support for the campaign. How can potential stakeholders get involved? The Office of the Executive Mayor can be contacted to pledge support, and its staff, as well as staff from Pikitup, will engage with the relevant people to advise on the process and how and when stakeholders can get involved. Information is also on the A Re Sebetseng website. In addition, the city continues to host targeted engagements with key stakeholders. These engagements are set to continue with the view to building a citywide stakeholder network, thus ensuring that A Re Sebetseng not only finds traction with its target audiences, but that it delivers impactful results. As a build-up to the A Re Sebetseng clean-up on 25 November 2017, Pikitup and the executive mayor hosted a pledge signing at Joburg Zoo, two days prior. This was the third signing of the pledge and, this time, involved the waste industry.


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Turning to waste management in the city – approximately how much money does the city invest in waste management annually and how are these funds directed? The revised budget 2017/18 for waste management services amounts to R2.241 billion and is allocated to the various services as follows: • street cleaning – 33% • domestic RCR – 30% • landfill management – 10% • informal settlements – 7% • garden sites – 5% • waste minimisation – 4% • illegal dumping – 4% • bulk services – 3% • business RCR – 2% • business dailies – 2% • composting – 0%.

With Johannesburg having less than 10 years of useful landfill life left, the pressure is on to find alternative waste treatment technologies. How is the city approaching this problem and does the A Re Sebetseng clean-up campaign feature in this at all? Landfill airspace depletion is a concern for most municipalities and the City of Johannesburg has done feasibility studies on alternative waste treatment that include landfill gas-to-energy, biofuel, waste-to-energy and waste by rail. We are also looking at the extension of

Cllr Nico De Jager, MMC: Environment and Infrastructure Services

current landfill airspace and finding regional space for new landfills. A Re Sebetseng is an education and awareness-creation vehicle and forms par t of the city and Pikitup’s waste management strategy.

Does the city currently work with the informal waste sector on waste management projects? A steering committee with waste pickers and their representatives has been formed and a draft framework of the relationship has been drawn up. This framework document is a culmination of a participatory process between the City of Johannesburg, represented by Pikitup and the Environment and Infrastructure Services Department, and waste pickers, represented by the Interim Joburg Reclaimers Committee and the Johannesburg Reclaimers Committee.

A Re Sebetseng contact details Website: Hotline: 087 357 1126 Email: Hashtag: #AReSebetseng

s o l i d w as t e

The winds of change Buhle Waste has adopted the notion that in order to survive and thrive, it needs to adapt to changing circumstances. Like the environment it serves, the company is on a mission to take on its most resilient characteristics and allow innovation to form a critical pillar of the business.


s the City of Johannesburg and other municipalities are stepping up their waste management programmes, Buhle Waste has had to adjust the way it operates. “In the City of Johannesburg and other municipalities, we have seen some great changes taking place. We have witnessed a greater emphasis placed on the informal waste sector and EME inclusion in the waste economy; we have seen more emphasis placed on recycling initiatives; we have additionally noticed a drive for in-sourcing of some of the waste services,” notes Dr Phetole David Sekete, founder and CEO of Buhle Waste. “These changes have had a significant impact on our business operations. Some of the changes are for the positive and some force us to change faster than what we might have wanted. Nevertheless, we have needed to adapt to the changing circumstances to ensure that we remain relevant in the waste economy,” he adds. As such, the company has continued to invest in technologies that will assist it in achieving its zero-waste-to-landfill goals while simultaneously differentiating its value proposition in the market. In the early years of the business, the company was heavily dependent on other, larger waste management companies that were involved in the treatment and disposal of waste.

Taking control of the waste hierarchy Today, Buhle Waste is one of the largest waste treatment companies in the country. “Our technologies allow us to take greater control of the

waste hierarchy. They further allow us the flexibility to provide our clients with a dynamic and tailored service. We can bring waste treatment and processing to site, minimising the transportation element – which is a huge cost and risk burden on waste generators and companies,” Sekete explains. “Our technologies enable us to engage in multiple waste stream treatment processes, allowing us to manage the different waste streams of a single waste generator on-site. Furthermore, our waste processing technology can convert the on-site waste into a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) or a compost, providing greater value to the waste our clients are generating. We are on a mission to become a zero-waste-to-landfill company, wherein the waste we manage becomes a source of value to the economy rather than a burden on our environment,” he continues.

“It is imperative that we, as a collective within our communities, collate our resources and intellect to achieve the great positive impacts on beautifying our communities and ensuring environmental sustainability. We need the help of the people if we are to achieve our zero-waste-to-landfill objectives. We need the pillars of our business to operate in a synergistic fashion if we are to continue to hold true to our values of beauty, love and respect,” Sekete concludes.

Working for an inclusive waste economy The company supports the nationwide initiatives for a more inclusive waste economy and a drive towards sustainability. “Our objective is to be a driving force in the positive changes and ensuring that the value in waste is realised by the communities and companies responsible for the waste. Buhle Waste is a second-generation family business that is 100% black owned and managed M ay 2 0 1 8




s o l i d w as t e

The Waste Hierarchy What is the waste hierarchy?

Why now?

The waste management hierarchy ranks waste management options in order of preference according to the type of waste. It is a hierarchical model that offers a holistic approach to the management of waste materials, and provides a systematic method for waste management during the waste life cycle, with the ultimate goal of reducing South Africa’s reliance on landfills.

The country’s current waste management is plagued by numerous challenges. The majority of South Africa’s waste is still disposed of in landfills. In addition, there is an increased complexity of the waste stream due to urbanisation and industrialisation. This complexity directly affects the complexity of waste management, which is

compounded when hazardous waste mixes with general waste. To address these issues, the principles of the waste management hierarchy have been entrenched in recent waste legislation. The waste management hierarchy, as per the Department of Environmental Affairs’ National Waste Management Strategy, emphasises the following key elements.

Avoidance & reduction


Recycle & compost


Mo ou fav red Avoidance & reduction

Products and materials must be designed in a manner that minimises their waste components or reduces the natural material quantities used and potential toxicity of waste generated during production, and after use.

create energy


Recycle & compost

This involves separating materials from the waste stream and processing them as products or raw materials. The first elements of the waste management hierarchy are the foundation of the cradle-to-cradle waste management approach.


Materials can be used for similar or different purposes without changing form or properties. This approach seeks to reuse a product when it reaches the end of its lifespan. In this way, it becomes input for new products and materials.


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South Africa has strived towards an improved, equitable and sustainable waste management regime. With good legislation in place, clarity in functional roles and responsibilities, international lessons and commitments, the South African approach demonstrates the country’s commitment towards an efficient world-class system for waste management.


This is a last resort within the waste hierarchy. Treatment refers to any process that is designed to minimise the environmental impact of waste by changing the physical properties of waste or separating out and destroying toxic components of waste. Disposal refers specifically to the depositing or burial of waste on to, or into, land.

Create energy

This tier involves reclaiming particular components or materials or using the waste as a fuel.

Source: DEA 2012a

for a



Making a tangible contribution Waste poses a major challenge to society that requires new thinking. By pre-processing waste and treating it through co-processing, Geocycle contributes directly to solving the global waste challenge. In 2017, it spared 85 football fields of space from becoming landfill and prevented the greenhouse gases of 250 000 cars. • 011 657 2390

For a zero-waste future


L A ND F ILLS | t e c h n i c a l pa p e r

Long-term municipal waste disposal strategies A critical shortage of landfill airspace at various municipalities throughout South Africa has highlighted the need for the development of effective long-term waste disposal strategies.

By Kobus Otto & John Clements*


igher environmental standards, increased landfill development costs, unavailability of suitable land within close proximity to waste sources and increased public resistance against landfill development are some of the most important reasons why it is becoming increasingly difficult to develop new landfills in South Africa. At the same time, various landfills that have reached the end of their lives have been closed over the last two decades, while waste generation has increased. This has resulted in even more rapid reduction in available landfill airspace.

Waste hierarchy Although waste minimisation, recycling and recovery (including energy recovery) are the preferred options in terms of the waste hierarchy, local and international data confirms the ongoing need for landfills. With countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland reportedly only recycling between 46% and 52% of their waste streams, it is important to recognise that recycling, even where combined with energy recovery/ incineration, will not deal with 100% of the waste generated. To achieve the recycling figures reported by


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developed countries, much higher Waste Management Plans (IWMP’s) South Africa. waste generator participation rates being a legal requirement, it is It can, therefore, be concluded will be required than those currently difficult to understand why so many that even though the waste hierarchy emphasises the need for experienced in South Africa. municipalities find themselves in waste minimisation, recycling and Figure 1 illustrates the three-didesperate need of landfill airspace. mensional relationship between energy recovery, the waste disposal It is possibly due to a combination recycling, incineration (energy recovoptions presented in the three-diof lack of experience on the part mensional diagram are not mutually ery) and waste disposal to landof IWMP developers and ‘wishful fill, indicating the ideal progression exclusive and there will always be thinking’ – i.e. “the problem will go from 100% disposal to landfill to a need for waste disposal to landaway when new technologies are fill – with the extent of that need 100% recycling. With these being invented or applied”. Insofar as the determined by the effectiveness the most common systems used waste generation rates and remaining landfill airspace are concerned, with which waste minimisation and for waste disposal throughout the it is often found that during the recycling programmes are undertakworld, different combinations thereen, and/or waste incineration and of are likely to account for close development of IWMPs: energy recovery becomes a finanto 100% of any country’s waste Figure 1: Threecially viable alternative. disposal operations. Incineration dimensional relationship With disposal to landfill historbetween recycling, Integrated waste ically being the starting point for incineration and waste management plans most countries, the situation in disposal to landfill, With five-yearly developmost developed countries has proindicating the ideal progression from 100% ment and implemengressed to a point where there is a disposal to landfill to tation of Integrated balance between recycling, inciner100% recycling. ation and waste disposal to landfill. (Source: Agamuthu Although increased recycling would P, Institute of theoretically reduce the contribution Biological of both remaining disposal options Sciences, (incineration and landfill), it will in University of Malaya, most instances have the biggest Malaysia) impact on waste disposal to landfill. Having said this, it is unlikely that, even for developed countries, a point will be reached where no landfills are required. This is even less likely to be the situation in developing countries like Recycling Landfill

L A ND F ILLS | t e c h n i c a l pa p e r

Figure 2. Net Present Cost analysis of waste disposal options for Midvaal Local Municipality

• the remaining landfill airspace used for long-term strategic planning is a ‘guestimate’ of the remaining capacity of the landfill based on a visual inspection • the waste deposition (disposal) rate is a ‘guestimate’ of volumes recorded by a landfill gate controller, converted to mass with a ‘guestimate’ of the average density for waste delivered in both closed and open vehicles

• r emaining landfill life is a ‘guestimate’ of the remaining disposal capacity when visually compared to the size of the existing waste body – considering the period over which waste was previously disposed of. The critical shortage of municipal landfill airspace at most municipalities throughout South Africa confirms that the current system of developing and implementing IWMPs is not successful – in turn setting municipalities up for more service delivery failures.

Developing long-term waste disposal strategies With long-term waste disposal strategies seldom required by the Terms of Reference (ToR) for IWMPs, and

such waste disposal strategies generally not forming part of IWMP’s, it is justified that this aspect be considered in more detail. Reference is often made to the need for coherence between IWMPs and Integrated Development Plans (IDPs), without long-term waste disposal strategies having received the attention they deserve when such documents were compiled. With the process of identifying candidate landfill sites, undertaking EIAs as part of the waste management licensing processes and having new landfills constructed likely to take anything from 5 to 10 years (depending on the level of public resistance and the duration of the authorisation process), it is suggested here that it is no longer viable to develop landfills with an expected life of less than 50 years. Securing waste disposal capacity for municipalities over such a long period is difficult when considering the constraints encountered in developing new landfills. However, securing waste disposal capacity over a 50-year time horizon does not necessarily require the development of new mega-landfills as it can be achieved through a combination of: • waste minimisation and recycling • the use of existing remaining landfill airspace (subject to the existing landfills with remaining airspace being legally compliant) • the use of alternative public and/ or private landfills

• the development of new landfills • and optionally: waste incineration and energy recovery (where financially viable). Each of these options will in turn result in several combinations and permutations, with waste transfer likely to become an integral part of future waste disposal strategies in densely populated areas like the metropolitan municipalities.

The importance of accurate data Before considering the process of long-term waste disposal strategy development, it is important to recognise that the quality of information ultimately generated will only be as good as the quality of the input data used. Accurate data on existing waste generation rates is therefore required, with the potential impact of increased waste minimisation and recycling considered as part of an integrated waste management system. Similarly, the remaining life of existing landfills must be determined scientifically by computing the remaining airspace between the existing waste body, determined by means of a topographical survey, and the licensed final landform, digitised for use on computer programs. In determining the remaining landfill life, cognisance must also be taken of the expected waste compaction density and the airspace to be consumed by daily cover.

Case Study: Midvaal Local Municipality Long-Term Waste Disposal Strategy


ith the imminent closure of its biggest landfill and the envisaged phased development of the new Savanna City housing project that will effectively double the population in its area of jurisdiction, the Midvaal Local Municipality (MLM) identified the need for development of a longterm waste disposal strategy. Having determined the waste disposal rate by means of existing weighbridges and a weighpad study, as well as establishing the available airspace on MLM’s remaining landfills, the following options (or combinations thereof) were identified for more detailed investigation:

Option 1: Making optimum use of the remaining MLM landfill airspace The possible use of the remaining landfills is subject to their legal compliance, not only in terms of GNR 636: National Norms and Standards for Disposal of Waste to Landfill, but also in terms of development and operation. Possible extension of the landfills was a further consideration, but with cognisance taken of the need for economies of scale required for Class B landfills (in view of the high cost of liners), it was concluded that, at best, this only offered a short-term (<10 years) solution,

and would “buy time” for the municipality to devise and implement the long-term strategy.

Option 2: Transferring waste for disposal at a privately owned Class B landfill in Mpumalanga This option required the development of transfer stations at the MLM’s Henley-on-Klip and Walkerville landfills, and long hauls of between 105 km and 125 km. The haul distance and disposal fee were significant factors here, as the landfill has sufficient disposal capacity to last for 105 years @ 20 000 t/month.

Option 3: Transferring waste for disposal at a landfill located in a neighbouring municipality This option also required the development of transfer stations at the MLM’s Henley-on-Klip and Walkerville landfills, and long hauls of between 40 km and 50 km. It was concluded that this option would only be financially comparable with Option 2 if a suitable concession disposal tariff could be secured from the neighbouring municipality in respect of disposal tariffs for waste generated outside of its boundaries. Long-term availability of landfill airspace would be

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L A ND F ILLS | t e c h n i c a l pa p e r a further primar y consideration. Added to that was also the need for the landfill to be legally compliant in all respects. (Political agreement between the respective municipalities would, of course, be required.)

Option 4: Development of a new landfill for the sole long-term use of MLM Developing a landfill with sufficient airspace to address MLM’s waste disposal needs in the long term was the next option considered. It was concluded that a site 200 ha – 250 ha in area would be required to provide the design airspace capacity of 15 million m3 (net) at a final

Conclusions The feasibility study undertaken for MLM provided the municipality with a clear understanding of the various options available, the technical feasibility of the options, the expected costs for the different options as well as the institutional

height of 30 m. (Candidate sites previously used for surface mining offer improved economies of scale while providing a means of mining rehabilitation.

Although this will require cooperation agreements with neighbouring municipalities, or a tender process for entering into a PPP agreement with a private company, it will

provide the required economies of scale to make the project financially more attractive. It is likely, in this instance, that the bulk of MLM’s waste will have to be transferred for long haul to the new landfill. A Net Present Cost (NPC) computation was performed to identify the most economical option for MLM. The results of this analysis (showing only the relative costs of the major alternatives) are shown in Figure 2. Note: The equality of the NPCs of the second and third options

was “forced”, in order to establish the maximum disposal tariff that MLM would be prepared to the neighbouring municipality.This tariff was found to be considerably lower than what the municipality would normally charge for ‘out of area’ waste. The results show that the development of a new landfill is the most economical long-term option for the municipality. Long haul and disposal at a remote landfill is nearly 75% more costly over the 50-year analysis period.

implications involved for MLM to pursue the various options. With this information available, there is a focused and clearly defined action plan to be followed by MLM to ensure access to landfill airspace for the next 50 years, with the

potential for this to also benefit some neighbouring municipalities. Even if the political landscape changes with MLM being incorporated into a metropolitan municipality, this asset will remain for the benefit of MLM residents over the next five decades.

*For the full version of this paper, including a reference list, contact John Clements BSc Eng, MBA Waste Management Economist, at or Kobus Otto, BEng (Civil) Waste Management Specialist, at

Option 5: Development of a new landfill for joint use by i) MLM and a neighbouring municipality, or ii) MLM and a private waste management company

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Coal combustion residual (CCR) disposal facilities are facing increasing regulations and recommendations to help counteract recent facility failures, which have had a huge environmental impact. By Kent von Maubeuge & Andy Post*

Geosynthetics and coal ash management


ome of the CCR recommendations for disposal sites are now following strict landfill requirements owing to the municipal solid waste industr y’s extensive knowledge and experience regarding the use of geosynthetics. Approximately 7 Mt of coal is mined and burned each year around the globe. The result of the combustion of these huge volumes of coal is the generation of power, electricity and the creation of coal ash – roughly 20% of the weight of the coal. This ash is often quite useful and is perhaps the largest (in volume) recycling success story in the world. Useful applications for coal ash include concrete, fibreboard and a host of other construction and infrastructure applications. In some parts of the world, nearly 100% of coal ash is recycled. However, approximately half of the coal ash generated in the world is not recycled but disposed of. The proper disposal of coal ash is important to the health of both humans and the planet. Coal ash leachate (water that has passed through coal ash) is high in heavy metals, such as lead, arsenic and others, and serves as a global contaminant to groundwater and potable water resources.


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Categorised coal ash sites Companies and owners that store coal ash are presented with several common situations. Some countries and companies have long stored coal ash in a ver y similar fashion to that of solid (non-hazardous) waste: geotechnically engineered facilities, composite liners, drainage systems to allow the ash to be dewatered, and in general good/best engineering practices. However, not all sites have done this and the remaining sites can be categorised as follows: • Type A: Sites with no engineering, or liner/barrier systems and problems with long-term stability. These may be levees, elevated (above grade) ponds, and/or sites with ash stored behind dams. • T ype B: Sites with higher levels of engineering and the ash mass can be generally considered to have long-term stability. However, these sites may have ongoing or potential future groundwater contamination issues, resulting from the lack of a basal liner, and also commonly are not capped, meaning that liquid, usually rainwater, continues to flow in and through the ash mass. • Type C: These sites are similar to Type B but

differ by having a basal liner system in place. While preventing groundwater contamination, this practice exacerbates stability concerns and makes the process of dewatering and capping more impor tant and a more urgent and timely requirement. • Type D: These sites are identified more by future activity than by current or past practices. Type D is one of the previous categories that the owner wishes to expand ver tically or other wise, to add additional capacity. Regardless of the existing status of the site, these expansions generally require the use of geotechnical engineering, soft soil stabilisation and reinforcement, dewatering systems and the addition of capping for sections, or possibly the entire existing site prior to construction. There are multiple applications for geosynthetics in coal ash management. While the common application of barriers for groundwater protection and sur face water management are what normally come to mind, many other options are available. Soil reinforcement – here applied to coal ash, dewatering systems and materials and the associated construction activities – can benefit

L A ND F ILLS | t e c h n i c a l pa p e r greatly and cost-effectively from the use of geosynthetics in design and construction.

Geosynthetic solutions, components and selection

The use of geosynthetics in CCR operations is growing annually, as leading consultancies focus on the technical and economic advantages of geosynthetics

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembranes feature exceptional chemical, stresscrack, and UV resistance. They have the durability and chemical compatibility to withstand aggressive solutions. Available texturing can enhance the frictional characteristics necessary for lining system slope stability. As a barrier system, geomembranes are an economical and efficient solution. Geomembranes are not all that coal ash sites require. Nonwoven geotextiles provide long-term, robust protection of and frictional stability for geomembranes on difficult terrain and in tall ore-stack scenarios. Additionally, composite lining solutions (geomembranes with geosynthetic clay liners, GCLs) provide dependable, efficient, long-term lining performance. Geogrids are used for reinforcement applications and geosynthetic drainage composites drain and reduce the pore water pressure.

Geomembranes Geomembrane liner materials belong to the group of geosynthetic polymeric barriers. In coal ash applications, such as sedimentation or

evaporation ponds, storage facilities, and where typically very high loads occur, geomembranes are more commonly used. Typical raw materials for geomembranes are: linear low-density polyethylene, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene and ethylene propylene diene terpolymer. However, due to their high chemical resistance and physical properties, HDPE geomembranes are largely used. In addition to the geomembrane properties, other design issues must be taken into account, such as the effect of high stresses, the type of foundation and placed material under and on top of the geomembrane. The foundation conditions should be firm to minimise settlements during the service life of the facility. Otherwise, stress and over-elongation of the geomembrane could occur, resulting in damage to the geomembrane. In the coal ash industry, there are no specific regulations for barrier applications, so the liner thickness is generally selected based on experience, anticipated ore loads, the grain size of the material placed on top of the geomembrane, and the material underneath. HDPE should be used where: • an exposure to ultraviolet radiation occurs • high chemical resistance is required • long-term service life is expected

Preserve and protect Groundwater contamination is a constant threat in landfill facilities and silt dams. Capping and sealing with Envirobent prevent seepage and pollution.

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L A ND F ILLS | t e c h n i c a l pa p e r

• high-stress crack resistance is important (typically important for HDPE) • good performance against thermo-oxidation is needed • high puncture resistance is required • high mechanical properties are important.

Geosynthetic clay liner GCLs and multicomponent clay geosynthetic barriers (MGCLs) are defined as: • GCL: manufactured hydraulic barrier consisting of clay bonded (needling, stitching, or a chemical adhesive) to a layer or layers of geosynthetics. • MGCL: GCL with an attached film, coating or membrane decreasing the hydraulic conductivity or protecting the clay core, or both. • Coated GCL: GCL product with at least one layer of a synthetic substance applied to the GCL as a fluid and allowed to solidify. GCLs are used in coal ash applications, in a similar fashion to, and sometimes in combination with, geomembranes. In some applications, the lining system can request a composite lining system with a geomembrane or a multicomponent GCL. Due to the benefits GCLs provide, they are increasingly seen as an alternative to compacted clay liners in coal ash applications; in some cases, a multicomponent

GCL can be an alternative to a geomembrane. However, the designer should consider site-specific conditions (soil material, slope angle, interface friction) and specify relevant characteristics to ensure a long-term and safe design.

Nonwoven geotextiles As a separation layer, geotextiles are used to prevent adjacent soil layers or fill materials from intermixing. In filtration applications, nonwoven geotextiles are used to retain soil particles while allowing the passage of liquids through the filter media. Needle-punched (mechanically bonded) nonwovens are robust geotextiles capable of withstanding harsh installation conditions and challenging construction loads. Their unique flexibility and elongation properties combine to provide high puncture resistance without sacrificing frictional or filtration properties. When properly selected, needle-punched nonwovens can provide superior long-term filtration and achieve high interface friction angles. In coal ash applications, geotextiles are widely used for the protection of geomembrane barriers against puncturing and unacceptable deformations. The aim of testing the protection behaviour of a nonwoven geotextile for a geomembrane is to help ensure long-term, effective protection.

Geosynthetic drainage systems Drainage in coal ash applications is impor tant to the reduction of pore water pressure, stability and leakage control. While most applications are covered with aggregate as drainage material (typical more than 0.5 m crushed gravel (8 mm to 64 mm)) geosynthetic drainage layers are increasingly used as an alternative to a gravel drainage system. In order for a geosynthetic drainage system to per form equivalently to a mineral drainage layer, per formance tests must be sufficient to demonstrate its long-term per formance. Engineers are more familiar with mineral materials and overlook the potential in geosynthetic drainage systems. However, the disadvantages that occur by using a mineral drainage layer are often overlooked. Placing this type of material directly on top of a geomembrane causes puncture stresses and can commonly damage the geomembrane during the placement process. Geosynthetic drainage systems, on the other hand, offer many advantages: ease and speed of installation, especially on the slopes, consistency in material proper ties, combined puncture protection and drainage layer, and, in many cases, cost savings.

Soil Reinforcing Geogrids In coal ash applications, geogrid applications include base course reinforcement and stabilisation, the reinforcement of slopes


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Drainage in coal ash applications is important to the reduction of pore water pressure, stability and leakage control

Geosynthetic materials have been used in the landfill business with great success and have been proven to be cost-effective in their use and implementation

and retaining walls, and the reinforcement of tailings ponds cover layers. Where the bearing capacity of soils is insufficient or shear characteristics too low to be stable for planned slope inclination or loadings, the geogrid reinforcement helps to bridge the gap to reach sufficient stability and safety. In structures where the geogrid is utilised to provide sufficient stability and safety, as determined by a structural analysis, the longterm behaviour of the product becomes decisive. Different raw materials and manufacturing processes influence characteristics like creep behaviour, robustness against installation damage, and chemical/biological influences. Those values directly influence the long-term design strength of the product, which is considered in the stability analysis. Products with equivalent ultimate strength will usually differ in their resulting long-term design strength.

Additional design considerations In order to ensure a safe and reliable stability analysis, dimensioning and design, it is impor tant to have detailed information on each single shear plane. Safety is, therefore, a top priority for all applications, especially on slopes. Geomembranes are, therefore, available with smooth or structured sur faces. However, it is necessar y that a projectspecific analysis be per formed, including direct shear testing, to confirm slope stability calculations. In cases where slope stability is

not ensured with an accepted safety factor, geogrids can be used to improve the stability of soil veneers or entire lining systems. Climate conditions might also be impor tant to consider, especially if exposed for a longer period. Higher elevations can increase heating by solar radiation, exposure to UV but also temperature changes. Additionally, construction considerations can include the effects of strong wind, high rainfall, snowfall and variable temperatures. The long-term per formance of the geosynthetics can be influenced by using appropriate values in the specification text together with proper design, installation and site quality control. Geosynthetic materials have been proven effective on various coal ash applications. Manufacturers do of fer suppor t for designers in questions of applicability and product choice of any geosynthetic material, with respect to the project-specific boundar y conditions. *Civil engineer Kent von Maubeuge is the Bentofix product manager at Naue; engineering geologist and industrial engineer Andy Post is the sales manager: Sub-Saharan Africa for Naue. For the full version of this paper, including a reference list, contact the authors at or M ay 2 0 1 8





waste management

The effluent treatment plant at the Nyamasoga plant

EnviroServ Uganda is using its four decades of experience to provide a variety of industries with sustainable and cost-effective waste management solutions, offering the East African region its first landfill facility built to international standards.


he Nyamasoga Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility is located in the Hoima District of Uganda and was commissioned in 2015 – only a year after construction work started on

the project. The facility, which is owned and operated by EnviroServ Uganda, is comprised of four main components: a laborator y to test incoming waste, an effluent treatment plant, a landfill engineered to international design standards, and a contaminated stormwater dam to contain run-off from the site.

Water clean enough for on-site reuse The contaminated stormwater and leachate, which is contaminated water that has leached The laboratory at EnviroServ’s Nyamasoga Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility is used to test incoming waste


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out of the waste and collected at the base of the cell, are treated in the effluent treatment plant. The recovered water, or permeate, from the plant is clean enough for reuse on-site. EnviroSer v has installed a state-of-the-ar t laboratory to conduct tests on waste samples to characterise the waste with regard to toxicity and total composition of the waste. All waste delivered to site is analysed prior to disposal to ensure that all risks are suitably identified and treated before the waste is disposed of in the landfill cell.

Curbing groundwater contamination The Hoima treatment plant has 11 boreholes around the landfill facility, which are used to monitor the groundwater quality and ensure no contamination of groundwater occurs. The latter could potentially impact neighbouring communities. The company’s countr y manager says EnviroServ is required to submit reports on the cleanliness of the groundwater to the directorate

of water resources every three months. Reports to date have given the facility the all-clear.

No future environmental impacts There is currently one active landfill cell at Hoima, but more will be built as required for waste volumes in the future. Further capacity in waste recycling, reuse, recovery and reduction will be added over time based on market requirements. The remaining land will be for future development, which will include waste minimisation and reuse processes. The design life of the facility, based on the 100 acres approved for such use, is 20 years, with a 30-year post-closure monitoring period. This regime is put in place to ensure no environmental impacts occur once the site reaches its end of life. The company’s client list, which consists of blue-chip organisations, is a testament to its expertise, its world-class facilities and equipment, and its desire to exceed customer expectations.


Waste management at work During the past couple of years, South Africa’s waste management industry has witnessed updates to the National Waste Management Act (No. 59 of 2008). Proper and professional waste management practices are advocated, and organisations dealing with waste and landfills are required to implement environmentally conscious waste management operations.

By Deidre Penfold


hile growing trends in industry and high technological progress lead to increased volumes of hazardous materials, waste and landfill management in South Africa is rapidly expanding and transforming to accommodate these rapidly growing streams. According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, the country generated approximately 108 Mt (million tonnes) of waste in 2011, of which 98 Mt was disposed of at landfill. In the order of 59 Mt is general waste, 48 Mt is currently unclassified waste and the remaining 1 Mt hazardous waste. A mere 10% of all waste generated in South Africa was recycled in 2011. As the custodian of Responsible Care® in South Africa, CAIA (the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association) undertakes the task of promoting the responsible handling of chemicals throughout their life cycle, including waste management. CAIA members, who all voluntarily subscribe to the Responsible Care initiative, are acutely aware of landfill issues and the impact on the environment. No fewer than four of our member companies – Lake Foods, Bidvest Panalpina Logistics, Safripol and EnviroServ – entered landfill-related initiatives for CAIA’s Responsible Care Initiative of the Year Award over the past two years.

Reducing mill waste to landfill Lake Foods’ Infigro plant generated mill waste that was not reused or reprocessed during the production of its Filtraflo product, resulting in the material being dumped as waste. The total waste dumped on a monthly basis ranged from 50 t to 80 t. The company’s sales

and operations team then undertook a project whereby unexpanded material was marketed to the construction and the horticultural industries. In addition, two grow mix blends were developed utilising the mill waste. Consequently, Infigro managed to reduce its mill waste disposal to landfill from 50 t a month to approximately 2 t a month.

Transforming hazardous waste into worth Bidvest Panalpina Logistics is working towards reducing its landfill waste by 10% every year at its BPL Umbilo facility. The company is looking to transform its hazardous waste at Umbilo into a viable resource and to utilise every resource to benefit the business and the environment.

and secondary schools in the Ntshongweni, KwaNdengezi and Dassenhoek areas about recycling and waste management in a fun and interactive environment. Part of EnviroServ’s long-term view is that minimising the amount of waste sent to landfill is as important as effectively managing waste that cannot be disposed of in any other facility. In any industry, using more efficient manufacturing processes and better materials will generally reduce the production of waste, while innovative thinking leads to reduced landfill.

2018 CAIA calendar CAIA%20Calendar%202018.pdf

Innovative waste management in action Quality polymer provider Safripol found that the once-off use of wooden pallets had a negative impact on the environment – specifically trees. The company decided to produce plastic pallets using its own waste. The plastic pallets are used on a returnable or rotational basis, resulting in less landfill waste and greater recycling awareness, among other things.

Empowering through education EnviroServ’s IZWE Schools Recycling Project taught more than 8 000 pupils at 17 primary

Deidre Penfold, executive director, Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association M AY ay 2 0 1 8




hazardous waste


A key role in creating a zero-waste future Recently launched in South Africa, Geocycle is the global waste treatment and management operation of the LafargeHolcim Group.


ealising that a key process for solving the problem of hazardous waste was to consume it in cement plant kilns as alternative fuel, the LafargeHolcim Group established Geocycle more than 30 years ago. The services it offers cover the management and processing of hazardous and non-hazardous waste streams such as tyres, industrial waste, municipal waste, waste oil and other sludges, biomass, pharmaceuticals and solvents. Geocycle has evolved into a leading provider of municipal, industrial and agricultural environmental management services with a presence in 61 countries and over 10 000 customers worldwide. The company today is renowned for its responsible management of more than 14 million tonnes of waste each year. It is playing a significant role in preserving natural resources, minimising the health hazards associated with waste, and reducing the carbon footprint of waste. Careful sorting, blending and pre-processing are essentialin the co-processing of waste

A massive escalating problem Globally, it is estimated that approximately 4 billion tonnes of waste are generated every year and South Africa alone produces 108 million tonnes. It is a massive and rapidly escalating environmental problem with currently 49% disposed of in landfills and with controlled dumping, while 30% is not collected and merely finds its way on to open dumps or is burnt. Only 13% is recycled and 8% is used for energy recovery or incineration. The waste problem consumes 80 km2 of land for landfills every year. “It is difficult to visualise the impact of such large numbers,” says Brent Mahoney, general manager at Geocycle South Africa. “To give an idea of the land that is being consumed through landfills and controlled dumping, one of the biggest dumpsites in the world at 136 ha is in Brazil: this equates to almost 200 football pitches!”

The co-processing solution The process that Geocycle has developed for hazardous waste is called co-processing – the careful introduction of it to a cement kiln as alternative fuel (or AFR) to replace natural fuel resources such as coal, oil and gas. The emphasis is on ‘carefully’, as the waste has to be sorted, blended and pre-processed before introduction to the kiln to ensure tight quality control. Conditions in a kiln are ideal for the safe and total destruction of the waste stream because gas in the kiln reaches 1 800˚C compared with a conventional incinerator having temperatures of 800˚C or 900˚C. Also, the waste is exposed to these conditions for a longer residence time. While co-processing as an alternative fuel is a critical solution for diverting hazardous waste from landfill sites and dumps, it is only part of the extensive service offered by Geocycle, which incorporates a full needs assessment,

The Geocycle management and processing services embrace an extensive variety of waste streams such as used tyres

waste collection and transportation, laboratory analyses and pretreatment. The waste is separated into material suitable for recycling such as certain plastics and glass, and AFRs, as well as alternative raw materials (ARMs) for cement manufacture.

Committed to addressing waste beneficiation in South Africa First and foremost, Geocycle offers a sustainable solution to the South African economy’s waste problems, in line with local legislation and as per the promulgated banning requirements (August 2013 base year), and the Waste Classification and Management Regulations and supporting Norms & Standards Disposal Requirements for waste prohibited or restricted in terms of disposal compliance for hazardous waste with a calorific value greater than 25 MJ/kg (23 August 2017). Geocycle has a Waste Management Licence issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs and is a member of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), a multidisciplinary non-profit association that is committed to supporting professional waste management practices. “Geocycle is a leader for landfill diversion procedures in South Africa and has the international experience to be a trusted partner in ensuring compliance on waste,” says Mahoney. Don’t miss Geocyle’s exhibition at WasteCon2018.

For further information, please contact: Brent Mahoney at Geocycle South Africa: +27 (0)11 657 2390 | M ay 2 0 1 8




H e a l t h c a r e R i s k Wa s t e

Healthcare Risk Waste 101

The Waste Wizard in conjunction with the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) recently concluded a very successful training event entitled: “How to start your own healthcare waste business”.


ccording to Margaret Lombaard, the trainer who led the event, the course attracted great interest from IWMSA members and non-members alike, with delegates travelling from

around the countr y to attend the two-day event. “The first day covered the legal aspects of running a healthcare waste business, while the second day was a more hands-on, practically oriented day, which included a site visit to the EnviroSer v Roodepoor t incineration facility.” Contrar y to expectations, delegates found out that there are numerous legal requirements they need to comply with in order to run a safe, compliant and successful healthcare risk business, Lombaard says.

Understanding legislation The first day of training focused on environmental legislation in South

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H e a l t h c a r e R i s k Wa s t e Africa and included an analysis of several acts that impact healthcare waste management (HCWM). Some of the acts covered included the Air Quality Act (No. 45 of 1965), which governs and sets the standards for burn and non-burn technologies, the National Water Act (No. 36 of 1998), which governs water control in the country, and the Medicines and Related Substances Bill that details pharmaceuticals disposal control. “The following principles were also discussed relative to the management of healthcare risk waste (HCRW): duty of care, precaution, proximity, cradle-to-grave, polluter pays and informed consent,” she explains. The training then looked at the international classification and categories of HCRW according to the WHO. All South African standards as well as national and provincial legislation are based on the Safe Management of Waste from Healthcare Facilities issued by WHO. “This book sets

international standards for the correct processes in managing HCRW,” Lombaard continues.

Packaging, handling and health risks Following on from the classification of healthcare waste streams, the training then turned the delegates’ attention to the appropriate containers used for packaging and handling HCRW prior to transportation. This was also the perfect time to discuss the health risks associated with biohazardous waste in detail. “This is one of the most important issues as most of the hazards of incorrect management cannot be seen,” Lombaard notes. “Recent research has indicated that poor healthcare waste management increases drug-resistant infections in healthcare facilities, which is why we took the time to highlight the risks to healthcare workers, the public and the environment in this course.”

The business of HCRW The course also addressed the

DELEGATE FEEDBACK “Learnt a lot from fellow delegates, especially those that deal with HCRW on a daily basis.” “It was eye-opening.” “Thank you for the course; it was really informative and educational. Your knowledge and sharing of past experiences really motivated me.” practical issues of running a new HCRW business in detail. “Matters surrounding the correct paperwork – like the Waste Manifest Document – personal protective equipment, logistical issues, sales and marketing, and guidance on costing and price strategy were all discussed to give delegates a full view of what it takes to start a healthcare waste business,” Lombaard says. Lombaard believes the IWMSA and the Waste Wizard have been able to highlight the compliant

“Group activities were wonderful and challenging.” “Excellent course – could be a day longer.” “The learning material was on point and easily understood.” “Provided key things we need to implement.” and safe management of HCRW through this course as well as raise awareness in the healthcare waste environment. “It is ironic that the act of healing creates the most hazardous type of waste to humans and the environment,” she notes. “We are confident that the 37 delegates who completed the course left armed with sufficient information to commence the process of starting their own business,” Lombaard concludes.

Specialist Waste Management Consultants • • • • • •

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

Contact Numbers

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

• • • • • •

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

Physical Address

60 Bracken Street, Protea Heights South Africa, 7560

Postal Address

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


To synergy and beyond ZuluGal Retro, a Durban-based social enterprise producing recycled and upcycled wallets and other fashion accessories, is on the verge of distributing its products globally.


uluGal Retro’s participation in the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa’s (NCPC-SA’s) KwaZulu-Natal Industrial Symbiosis Programme (KISP) resulted in a worthwhile synergy with Afripack. Nozipho Zulu, founder and creative director, ZuluGal Retro, couldn’t be happier. “I didn’t know that there are industries and companies around that are willing to give waste materials,” she reveals. Zulu recalls what it was like before attending the KISP workshop held in November 2017, “We struggled to source waste material to create our bags and accessories; as a result, we slowed down production. We, therefore, couldn’t take our products beyond Durban or sell them to retailers.” Subsequently, ZuluGal Retro has started discussions with retailers because the company is now able to reliably produce its products in bulk. Most promising are discussions with Tourvest Destinations – a recognised global leader of destination retail at airports – which has indicated that it will submit a test order for


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distributing ZuluGal Retro products across its airport retail outlets. Zulu is confident that with the waste material received from Afripack, her company will be able to meet the demand from Tourvest Destinations.

Positive knock-on effects Successful finalisation of discussions with retailers will positively impact the 18 differently abled crafters trained by Zulu to produce ZuluGal Retro bags and accessories. To counter socio-economic challenges faced by people who are differently abled and marginalised, Zulu predominately employs elderly women and people with special needs such as Down syndrome and aggressive epilepsy. Zulu asserts that differently abled people can thrive if they are empowered and have the right skills to produce. Zulu looks to the Tourvest Destinations and other similar discussions as a beacon not just for ZuluGal Retro, “It means I can train more people and improve other people’s lives,” she says. Through KISP, the NCPC-SA aims to find sustainable solutions for waste materials and divert

waste from landfills, while simultaneously creating real financial benefits for companies participating in the programme. “What we aim to achieve is that nothing must go to landfill,” says Pearl Thusi, project leader: KISP, NCPC-SA.

Industrial symbiosis in numbers Through KISP, the NCPC-SA matched 33 companies represented at the November 2017 workshop. There are currently 264 KZN companies that have joined the KISP database, not counting the 33 that participated at the recent workshop. Ten synergies under KISP have been realised with quantifiable data amounting to 246 t of waste diverted from landfill and 631 t of GHG reduction (CO2e).


Building better systems to protect the environment By Bubele Nyiba, CEO, ROSE Foundation


he three industries must submit industry waste management plans by 6 September 2018. In addition, all producers in these industries must register with the Department of Energy within two months of the publication of the gazette. All this is happening against a backdrop of the dismal history of failures in the plastic bag and tyre waste sector systems. The plastic bag initiative was government-driven, while the tyre initiative was industry-driven. One hopes that lessons have been learnt and future plans will mitigate against another unsuccessful implementation of a sector plan.

Levies and job creation The latest call for industry waste management plans is a step in the right direction to achieve governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal of zero waste to landfill. The government must be lauded for enforcing responsibility for the full product life cycle with manufacturers and importers. This is a worldwide practice, and South Africa should be no exception. It is a huge opportunity to create jobs in the collection, transportation, storage and processing of waste. Industry waste management plans reduce the the chances of fence-sitting. They eliminate free riders and convoluted conspiracy theories, which are the Achilles heel of voluntary schemes. Hopefully, they will also kill off the unfortunate

In December 2017, the government issued a gazette requiring the paper and packaging, electric and electronic, and lighting industries to prepare and submit industry waste management plans within nine months of the publication of the gazette. levies increase, the more expensive notion that industr y fuel becomes. Customers have to should pay to have pay for whatever levy is agreed waste collected in upon and implemented. voluntar y schemes. The latest call Both public and for industry waste Waste collection private sector role management plans is a EPR models players regrettastep in the right direction bly subscribe to The government envisages this view that is two models or schemes to achieve governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not supported by for the management of goal of zero waste to evidence, but conproducer responsibility landfill tinues to influence organisations and the related behaviour and practice. collection of levies, namely On the other hand, the government- versus industr ycall for industry waste manmanaged schemes. In the industr yagement plans could have a negative managed scheme, an industr y association impact on those who will ultimately bear the effectively coordinates and facilitates all the brunt of regulated levies for waste collection recycling activities of that industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waste and disposal. The negative comes only if it is not stream, and also collects its own levies directly foreseen that the cost of recycling will be borne from producers (indirectly from consumers). by the ultimate consumers of the products. Naturally, but not always obviously, the customer Whenever the government or industry imposes is still the ultimate the payer of the levy. a levy on a product, the producers merely add Alternatively, there would be a government-managed scheme run directly by governthe levy to the cost of production. To illustrate this point, consider the price of a litre of petrol. ment or more likely by an organisation directAll the levies are tabulated separately and form ly under government supervision. Under the part of the cost structure for the litre the con- government-managed scheme, the government sumer buys at a service station. The more the collects the levies via Treasury. There are three

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Pricing strategy models for

Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes EPR ‘fee’ (industry managed)

EPR ‘tax’ (government managed) SARS

DEA / Bureau Payment

Producers / Importers



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Producers / Importers




DEA / Bureau



very significant downsides to a levy collected via central government. The first is that the government will impose an administrative fee of up to a quarter of the collected levies. So from the get-go, the recycling kitty reduces by 25% as a function of who collects the funds. Second, and most worrisome, there is no guarantee that the funds for recycling will be ring-fenced towards the purpose for which they were collected. Lastly, the consumer will ultimately pay more per kilogram for the recycling of waste. To achieve the same goals as the industry-managed schemes, the customer must shoulder the burden of an administered price from which there is no escape. No matter how much we may try, incorrect strategies implemented correctly can never achieve the best results. If it is true that all solutions somehow have winners and losers, then it is fair to say that in the government-managed scheme, the customer is the loser and the national fiscus is the winner. In the industry-managed scheme, the opposite is true, if the scheme is efficiently managed. It is not difficult to understand why industry- or government-managed schemes should work in collaboration with the Waste Bureau from the Department of Environmental Affairs. The government needs to have sight of what




is happening within each waste stream, and that can be achieved easily and without much fanfare.

Producer responsibility and planning The development and implementation of industry waste management plans has to be the responsibility of producer industr y associations. Industry has to be responsible for the collection and disbursement of levies under tight governance controls. Generally, industry


Downsides to a levy collected via central government


Government will impose an administrative fee of up to a quarter of the collected levies


There is no guarantee that the funds for recycling will be ring-fenced towards the purpose for which they were collected


The consumer will ultimately pay more per kilogram for the recycling of waste

associations have a long history of robust corporate government without any one player allowed to exercise dominance. The place for creativity, craftsmanship and business skills should be exercised somewhere else down the value chain. The collection, transpor tation, storage and processing of waste is a large enough space to allow for entrepreneurs to apply their skills and experience to earn a living and to create employment. The anomaly in the tyre industry should be considered a misstep that should not be repeated. Placing producer responsibility organisations in self-interested companies or private hands, however disguised, is a recipe for disaster. Similarly, independent non-profit organisations that are removed from the producers are an opportunity to manufacture malfeasance and news-grabbing practices that are not related to reducing waste to landfill and protecting the environment. The inter face with the Waste Bureau is a good step, ensuring that government is always in the loop regarding the activities of each waste stream. Otherwise, the government will have a complete outsider view of what is happening and base its decisions on assumptions rather than the real situation. We have to view these latest developments as an opportunity to create the right systems and architecture for the waste industry. We have an opportunity to do it right and minimise any unintended consequences of our actions. We have the hindsight of having implemented two unsuitable approaches incorrectly and, not surprisingly, neither was a resounding success. Now is a per fect opportunity to implement the suitable processes correctly. We owe it to the future of our environment and future generations.

energy efficiency

Bracing for disruption PwC UK

According to PwC’s 2017 Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI), the global average decarbonisation rate is less than half of what is needed to limit global warming to below 2°C.

By Chantal van der Watt*


outh Africa’s results in the PwC LCEI over the last eight years show evidence of progress in transitioning to a less carbon-intensive economy as a result of a decrease in intensity since 2009. However, this progress stalled after an increase in carbon intensity, coupled with limited economic growth from 2015 to 2016. As a result, South Africa placed last for performance in changing its carbon intensity for 2016. South Africa also has the highest carbon intensity per GDP. It is likely that the country will experience a combination of physical (e.g. extreme weather events), policy (e.g. for a low-carbon transition), market and technology (e.g. emerging technologies and new business models) risks.

sources (Figure 2). A change to a less carbon-intensive energy mix requires significant buy-in from all role players and a large amount of capital investment – something that is extremely challenging in South Africa’s current economic climate. In the last few years, advances in the renewable energy space have seen an increase in the amount of energy derived from solar and wind power, indicating that renewable energy policies and strategies are starting to take form. The amount of energy derived from coal

has also been decreasing since it reached a peak in 2009. South Africa has, however, in the last year, experienced a decrease in the number of approvals received for renewable energy projects that feed energy into the grid. A CSIR study1 (2017) found that in 2016, wind, solar and concentrated solar power (CSP) supplied 2.9% of the total South African system load. In 2016, a total of 385 MW of wind and 509 MW of solar power were added to the South African energy mix.

South Africa’s Depar tment of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has drafted a National Adaptation Strategy2. The strategy identifies drought, flash floods and veld fires as the climate scenarios that will worst affect South Africa due to increased global warming. As per the remarks of the Minister of Environmental Affairs at the informal International Climate Change Meeting in Montreal, it appears that South Africa has a few new policies and strategies it will be implementing: these include a

Low Carbon Economy Index 2017: Transition pathways

South Africa’s carbonbased economy South Africa’s heavy reliance on cheap coal within a resource-based economy (where energy-intensive sectors such as mining and processing drive the economy) mean that it starts from a difficult position in improving its carbon intensity. These sectors tend to be less flexible and slow to adapt due to investments from a longer-term infrastructure and technology plan. Coal and oil make up 91% of South Africa’s energy mix, and less than 3% of South Africa’s energy originates from renewable 1 2

Figure 1 (Source: PwC. 2017. Is Paris Possible? Low Carbon Economy Index 2017. sustainability-climate-change/insights/low-carbon-economy-index.html)

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Energy Center. 2017. Statistics of utility-scale solar PV, wind and CSP in South Africa in 2016. Speech available at: M ay 2 0 1 8




energy efficiency South Africa’s energy mix

Figure 2 (Source: BP. 2017. Annual statistical review of world energy)

national mitigation system, improving the country’s greenhouse gas accounting and inventory system, development of a national Green Fund, drafting a Climate Change Act and a large-scale renewable energy programme. The question now is whether South Africa can keep the good momentum rolling despite facing challenges. It is evident that South Africa is thinking in the correct direction; however, there is a now a need to move from policymaking, to implementation and action-taking.

Resilience is our common goal Resilience is a concept that is now used in many disciplines. However, given its origins in ecology – which is a science studying the systematic interactions of organisms and their environment – resilience

fundamentally refers to the ability of a system to continue to maintain its function and structure in the event of a shock. Resilience is thereby a characteristic of a system. Business and society form part of the interconnected systems of humans and the environment, referred to as social-ecological systems. From our growing understanding of the interconnectedness of social and ecological variables and the complexity of these interactions, the concept of resilience has evolved to include the ability of a social-ecological system to withstand, recover and reorganise in response to a shock. In other words, it needs to have an

adaptive capacity that will keep it from crossing critical thresholds. This adaptive capacity is dependent on the system having sufficient social and ecological resources, and a limited number of vulnerable relationships or feedback loops between them. Since human-induced climate change is already well under way and mitigation levels are still too low to achieve the global goals of less than 2°C average global warming, South Africa needs to shift more attention to implementation of adaptation measures that aid in building resilience. To be resilient, some fundamentals that South Africa needs to have in place are an energy mix with a substantial

Figure 3 (Source: Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). 2017. The local business case for climate action: A practical framework for climate action in cities)


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quantity of energy derived from different renewable sources, a plan to ensure sustainable water supply during times of drought, the necessary firebreaks in place, and adequate emergency services and disaster funds in place to react when natural disasters strike. A resilient country will also need to have the necessary measures in place to support sectors that are sensitive to climate change (e.g. agriculture) to adapt effectively. According to the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) (2017), there are five levers of effective climate action in cities, which are pertinent for developing resilience, and are thus important to support more effective climate action in cities and beyond: see Figure 3. Resilience requires more from the different role players within South Africa. From a business perspective, this sector plays a vital role in moving towards a low-carbon economy. Business will be expected to lead change by shifting to circular economy models and adapting their production processes and perhaps even products/services to cater for a resilient society. In the process, partnerships with government can be made to successfully address various interlinked Sustainable Development Goals – the goals focused on being fundamental elements of building a resilient world. Many oppor tunities exist in South Africa to adapt to climate change. These arise through embracing technology and fostering innovation required to solve per vasive problems. Areas that require immediate attention include diversified energy sources, alternative water treatment technologies, alternative transpor t, waste reduction and reuse, all of which will need to feed into smar t, efficient urban/rural areas. Associated with all areas is the need to develop green jobs and to re-skill society to prepare communities for a different world. Considerable work is already ongoing globally in such fields, and South Africa could make significant advancements in a shor t time period if these can be leveraged locally.

energy efficiency Climate risks can be broadly split into physical risks and transition risks Physical risks • Acute – risk of increasing severity of weather events • Chronic – risk of longer-term changes in weather patterns and other climate impacts Transition risks • Policy and legal – risk from emerging regulation aimed at addressing climate change or from litigation • Technology – risk from emerging technologies aimed at supporting the low-carbon transition or adapting to climate impacts • Market – risk from shifting supply and demand curves as economies react to climate change • Reputation – risk of damage to brand value and loss of customer base from shifting public sentiment on climate change.

The Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosure The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is an advisor y body set up by the G20 to address concerns around insufficient disclosure of climaterelated risks and oppor tunities for businesses. Investors have never been more active in demanding that companies, par ticularly those

heavily involved with fossil fuels, disclose the impacts of climate change on the resilience of their business strategies. The G20 finance ministers and central bank governors recognised that without sufficient information, financial market par ticipants are unable to analyse and price climate risks. At a systemic level, mispricing of assets could lead to financial instability and capital allocation

that is not aligned with the lowcarbon transition. According to the TCFD’s release (22 March 2018), suppor t for the recommendations includes four governments and 23 financial regulators. In addition, 252 companies and 37 other organisations expressed their suppor t – these have a combined market capitalisation of over US$6.6 trillion. This includes over 160 financial firms, responsible for assets of over $86.2 trillion. Disclosure on climate-related risks and oppor tunities has historically evolved through a sustainability lens whereby companies repor t primarily on their impact on the environment and society. In PwC’s view, the Task Force’s recommendations shift the landscape on disclosure in three crucial ways: • moving away from the traditional backward-looking sustainability-focused lens and towards a for ward-looking financially-focused view

•b  roadening the perspective from a company’s impact on climate change to climate change’s impacts to the company through physical and transition risks • m oving climate-related disclosures into mainstream repor ting and away from standalone sustainability repor ts, thereby elevating such disclosures to require the same rigorous governance processes as financial repor ting.

Embracing resilience South Africa’s progress in transitioning to a less carbon-intensive economy has slowed during the last year. Collectively, we need to focus efforts on long-term resilience planning to ensure that, as a country, we will be ready to adapt to future climate change impacts. *Chantal van der Watt is the senior manager: Risk Assurance at PWC. For a full reference list, contact the author at

energy efficiency

Following the Budget Speech delivered on 21 February 2018, the Carbon Tax Bill is expected to be enacted by the end of the year with the proposal to implement carbon tax with effect from 1 January 2019.


carbon tax C andice Gibson, senior associate in Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s Tax and Exchange Control practice, unpacks the bill that has been 12 years in the making.

What is the true intention of implementing carbon tax?

CG Carbon tax aims to collectively address the threat of climate change within the context of sustainable development, and enables South Africa to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as required by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (the Agreement). The overall goal is to reduce the countr y’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to ensure that the globe does not exceed temperature increases of 2˚C.

Can you comment on how the Agreement will be implemented to work in tandem with carbon tax? The Depar tment of Environmental Af fairs signed the Agreement, which comes into effect in 2020, on behalf of the South African government during November 2016. Ar ticle 4 requires that par ties to the Agreement communicate their NDCs ever y five years. In terms of South


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Africa’s NDC commitments, South Africa’s GHG emissions are required to peak from the period of 2020 to 2025 and plateau from 2025 to 2035, whereafter we should see a substantial decrease in GHG emissions from South Africa. Without the implementation of the Carbon Tax Bill, or any alternative legislation, we would not be able to meet these commitments, and that is how the two will work in tandem.

How much will carbon tax cost? Since 2013, the proposed rate for carbon tax has been R120 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalents of the GHG emissions of a taxpayer above the tax-free thresholds. Schedule 2 of the 2017 Draft Carbon Tax Bill was amended to include a column referring to the tax-free thresholds that apply to cer tain activities.

Will this tax actually change behaviour? What are the chances of organisations changing their behaviour? One of the objectives of carbon tax is to change society’s behaviour in respect of the way in which society understands how pollution (in this instance, atmospheric emissions) affect climate change, as well as the promotion of

environmental awareness, in addition to promoting investigations into more energy-efficient technology going for ward. In an economy such as South Africa’s, where finances are tight and companies are already feeling financially burdened, by attaching a monetary value on carbon tax resulting in an additional financial burden for certain companies, I am hopeful that the implementation of a carbon tax will change companies’ behaviour by trying to reduce their current GHG emissions in order to pay less carbon tax.

Will those being taxed become ‘tax stressed’? As indicated earlier, many South African companies are already financially stressed, so any additional financial burden in the form of a carbon tax will likely lead to them becoming tax stressed. With that said, carbon tax will force companies to look at other alternative measures, such as technological changes, to decrease their emissions.

What are the possibilities of tax avoidance or even a tax revolt? Tax avoidance is always an issue with any form of tax; however, I am of the view that it may be more difficult for companies to engage in

energy efficiency

avoidance tactics as far as carbon tax is concerned because of the processes and systems that are being implemented. These systems, such as the National Atmospheric Emissions Information System, which will hold both air pollutants and GHG emissions inventories in South Africa, require that emissions are repor ted as required by the National Environmental Management Air Quality Act (No. 39 of 2004). This means that companies are required to put all the necessar y information on to this system, which SARS has direct access to. This places fur ther pressure on companies to ensure compliance as they may face the possibility of an audit by SARS in the future. From an environmental compliance perspective, companies are required to comply with the provisions contained in environmental legislation, as well as their licensing requirements in order to continue to operate and, therefore, the information per taining to carbon tax should be readily available.

How will the phased implementation of carbon tax affect corporate taxpayers? National Treasur y made the decision to implement carbon tax in two phases to allow companies the oppor tunity to look at alternative technologies that will help reduce their emissions, while still remaining competitive in several key industries.

Can you unpack the tax incentives and revenue recycling measures that are put in place to minimise the impact of the first phase of the policy? The first phase, which is expected to last between four and five years from implementation date, will see the roll-out of a number of tax incentives and revenue recycling measures. These will allow for the implementation of carbon tax, without there being a knock-on effect regarding the electricity prices and other related costs. Essentially, the government aims to make carbon tax revenue neutral, which means that any revenue that it gets from the implementation of carbon tax during the first phase will be recycled to fund measures to assist with the transition to lower carbon economy emissions going for ward.

One example of a tax incentive is the energy-efficiency savings tax incentive, which was implemented in 2013 and is applicable until 2020. This incentive allows taxpayers a deduction if they can prove that they are implementing energy-efficient measures during a particular year of assessment. There are certain restrictions in respect of the energy-efficiency savings tax incentive – for example, a deduction cannot be claimed if the taxpayer receives any concurrent benefit. A fur ther incentive would be a decrease in the current electricity levy in tandem with the imposition of carbon taxes, as well as a credit for Eskom’s carbon tax liability for the renewable energy premium built into the electricity tariffs to ensure a minimal impact on the price of electricity in the first phase.

What is the suggested tax period for carbon tax? A taxpayer will have to pay tax ever y single tax period. The 2017 Carbon Tax Bill suggests that carbon tax be treated almost like an environmental levy in terms of the Customs and Excise Act (No. 91 of 1964). This requires that environmental levy accounts and payments be submitted biannually. So, this would mean the tax period commencing on 1 January and ending on 30 June, as well as the tax period commencing on 1 July and ending on 31 December.

•a  fugitive emissions allowance of 10% • a per formance allowance not exceeding 5% of the total general GHG emissions of the taxpayer • a carbon budget allowance of 5% • a carbon offset allowance of between 5% and 10%. The overall maximum tax-free allowance a taxpayer is entitled to is 95%; however, not ever y business would fall into all of those categories so you would have to look at the schedules and see which allowances apply to your business.

How will the carbon tax liability be calculated? To be able to calculate a company’s carbon tax liability, the amount of GHG emissions must be determined by taking into account the fuel combusted or product processed in terms of an approved methodology. The calculation of the tax base is closely linked to the Depar tment of Environmental Affairs’ mandator y repor ting requirements. The carbon tax liability is calculated by taking the tax base, which has been adjusted in accordance with the allowable tax-free thresholds, and multiplying the amount with the carbon tax rate.

What were some of the taxfree allowances that were extensively considered following the publication of the First Draft Carbon Tax Bill 2015? The trade exposure allowance, the carbon offset allowance and the per formance allowance were considered in detail following the 2015 Draft Carbon Tax Bill. The 2017 Draft Carbon Tax Bill currently allows for cer tain allowances taking into account potential international competitiveness and carbon leakage concerns. In the first phase, there is a basic tax-free threshold of 60% for fuel combustion emissions and 70% for process emissions; thereafter, additional allowances may find application depending on the activity or industr y you fall under. These include: • an industrial process emissions allowance of 10%

Candice Gibson, senior associate, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr M ay 2 0 1 8




Wa s t e - t o - E n e r g y

Unlocking SA’s waste potential According to Stats SA, the country has an estimated population of 56.5 million, up by 1.61% from 2016, and this number is expected to increase to 65.55 million by 2050. That means more waste, and more waste we should be utilising.

By Kate Stubbs*


hen looking at this forecasted growth, it’s critically important that we consider the direct correlation between an increasing population and waste generation surges. This correlation not only exists but will have a long-lasting impact if not managed effectively. This is particularly crucial given that South Africans are already repor ted to generate 108 Mt (million tonnes) of waste per annum, with 90% of this waste heading to landfill sites, which are fast approaching full capacity. In fact, according to the South African Waste Information System, only 10% of this waste is being recycled. These statistics indicate that we have a potential waste crisis on our hands, and one that demands urgent attention. The good news is that there are many untapped opportunities to repurpose and reuse waste, creating sustainable products, and while South Africa is lagging in this regard, compared to some of the waste management done by our global counterparts, we have certainly made huge strides.


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If we look back into the journey of waste, it’s reassuring to see that perceptions around it have evolved. In fact, waste is no longer just waste – many businesses are seeing it as a commodity and are pushing the waste industry to innovate around effectively repurposing waste into something useful and that enables costsaving opportunities. The waste-to-energy agenda in South Africa – and Africa, for that matter – is one of the most prominent aspects guiding waste management leadership. It goes far beyond traditional recycling, catapulted by research and innovation. Putting this into a global perspective, the waste-to-energy capacity is reported to have increased by approximately 4 Mt per year between 2001 and 2007, with countries like Japan, Germany and Sweden at the forefront in this regard. South Africa has followed suit and is developing some of the most advanced technology to ensure waste-to-energy can be realised locally.

Refuse-derived fuel The exploration of alternative energy has been all the rage of late, particularly in response to the countr y’s energy challenges. Take Interwaste, for example. In 2016, we launched South Africa’s first refuse-derived fuel (RDF) plant to reduce waste to landfill and directly contribute towards government’s efforts to reduce the countr y’s carbon footprint. The plant pioneers turning general, industrial and municipal waste into alternative fuels, while ensuring less reliance on carbon-intensive fossil fuels that are carbon intensive, such as coal. Taking on an average of 100 t of general, industrial and municipal waste per month, the

company converts this waste into an alternative fuel – used in the cement industry and developed according to EU standards. However, the plant has the capacity to process 300 t each month and is aiming towards driving these types of numbers – upon the growth of this type of waste product. This plant offers a more substantial and economic alternative to traditional fuel. In fact, RDF is equivalent to A-grade coal and, therefore, forms a very sustainable and robust alternative to fossil fuel use. Such fuels can be used within sole- or co-feeding plants and replaces conventional fuels, such as coal, in production plants for power, steam and heat generation, as well as cement kilns and other suitable combustion installations. Following on this local waste management industry first, Interwaste is also the only net exporter of RDF into the international cement industr y, thereby contributing to innovative waste management practices in other countries and driving best practice around one of the most advanced waste-to-energy models in the industry.

Waste-derived fuel Liquid waste, and the disposal thereof, is also currently dominating the industry, particularly as we move closer to the August 2018 deadline, set by the Department of Environmental Affairs, to ban all forms of liquid waste from landfill sites. This follows on a previous set of regulations implemented in 2013, where hazardous waste with a calorific value greater than 25 MJ/kg was banned from landfills. Such a move only challenges the waste management sector to become more forward-thinking in how we can manage the

Wa s t e - t o - E n e r g y

Benefits of refuse-derived fuel 1

Waste is diverted from landfill – saving landfill space and reducing waste to landfill


Energy value is derived from waste through creating alternative use


Reduced greenhouse gas emissions


RDF energy is considered green energy that yields carbon credits


Minimal to no modifications needed on existing combustion installations

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Reduced excess air requirements during combustion


Provides flexibility, as fuel can be supplied in densified or fluff form


Employment creation through resource recovery


Lower ash content than conventional fuels (e.g. coal), reducing particulate emissions



Due to stringent regulations applied for Interwaste RDF, there is a low concentration of toxic chemicals

disposal of this type of waste, to the benefit of the environment, while delivering value to clients that are generating such waste. In response to this, and following our previous relationship with a leading cement manufacturer to develop a blending platform (the first of its kind in Southern Africa), Interwaste recently built a new blending platform at its Germiston head office to repurpose certain liquid wastes for alternative industrial means. The facility receives, stores and blends hazardous waste sludge (liquids and solids) with an inherent calorific value, to be used in the pre-calcining process, as a waste-derived fuel (WDF). This WDF product has been used to replace fossil fuels destined for cement kilns – setting a global standard where waste management practices are concerned. The product is currently on trial with another leading cement manufacturer and, with the August deadline looming, we are optimistic that we will see an increased uptake from the industry at large.

The future While advancements in the waste-to-energy sector have traditionally been focused on pioneering general, industrial and municipal waste, we are exploring the use of woodchips and wood offcuts, sourced from companies that manufacture

wood products or use them in their production. We are particularly focused on companies that are looking for alternative disposal methods for such wood waste, such as sawmills and timber facilities. These woodchips are converted into an alternative energy source in our RDF plant. We have already seen how this type of innovation has taken off in countries like the USA, where businesses, electric power producers and industry are using wood and wood waste to produce steam and electricity. We certainly believe that this will gain solid traction in the local market – especially if we consider the pressure on businesses to reduce their waste to landfill, as well as optimise material usage. Today, we can no longer approach waste management with a linear view – we need to be thinking ahead, adopting best practice from global leaders, and adapting this to meet the growing demands of the African market. Waste management is a complex issue, but great opportunities lie within such complexity – giving us the ability to grow and innovate in how we use such waste, to address some of our country’s challenges with environmental preservation at the core.  *Kate Stubbs is the Group Marketing and Sales Director at Interwaste. M ay 2 0 1 8




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fleet & equipment

50 years of energyefficient innovation Johnson Controls, a global diversified technology and multi-industrial leader, is celebrating 50 years in South Africa. It specialises in creating intelligent buildings, integrated infrastructure and next-generation cooling systems.


ith a history rooted in innovation, the company continues to champion this cause through an expanded offering that seeks to make the world safer, smarter and more sustainable through energy management. “We realise that the industry we operate in and the solutions we provide are traditionally known for excessive consumption. So, when we think about a safer, sustainable world, everything goes back to research and development, as well as investing in technology that is energy efficient and allows our customers to lower costs,” says Jeff Williams, president: EMELA, Johnson Controls. “Our constant drive for innovation means that we keep leapfrogging on efficiency with our products, such that we can be a greener company and offer our customers the opportunity to be greener organisations themselves,” he explains.

Smarter building solutions The company is on a mission to offer a full suite of services that address every need within the

South African buildings sector. It continues to strengthen its position in the intelligent buildings space through significant partnerships and investments in technology and solutions that will offer customers more from one supplier. “We want to create a single point of contact for our customers. What this means is one point of contact for customers for everything their building may need, including security systems, energy management, fire protection and HVAC,” says Neil Cameron, Africa area general manager: Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls.

Early adopters of new tech Cameron notes that the South African market presents a big opportunity for the company, despite the challenging climate. “The South African market is somewhat challenging because buildings are seen as cheap commodities that are to be leased in the short term, rather than long-term investments. This has, on occasion, created an environment where people install basic or inferior technology in the buildings,

“We want to work with government, municipalities and other authorities to find out how we can make a positive social impact and grow the next generation of innovators.” Neil Cameron, Africa area general manager: Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls


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“Our constant drive for innovation means that we keep leapfrogging on efficiency with our products.” Jeff Williams, president: EMELA, Johnson Controls

which results in higher operational costs and a higher total cost of ownership,” he explains. “The bright side is that South Africans are early adopters of new technology and, more and more, people love being able to demonstrate how they’re saving and making a difference in terms of energy management and greening the planet. This presents an opportunity for us to help them achieve their goals.”

The next generation of innovators Looking ahead, Williams would like the company to double its growth in five years. For the company to achieve and sustain this growth, Williams believes the company will have to make a significant investment into products and technology, market and channel expansion, and establish a talent strategy to recruit and train a new generation of innovators within the space. “This is a very technical industry and we have found that there is a gap in the market for people sufficiently educated in the skills we seek. This is why we want to work with government, municipalities and other authorities to find out how we can make a positive social impact and grow the next generation of innovators dedicated to creating a smarter, safer world.” Cameron explains.

fleet & equipment

The evolution of processing equipment A new range of small, mobile crushers and screens is about to represent a big opportunity for businesses looking to explore new avenues in the areas of recycling and waste management.


istributed by ELB Equipment, the EvoQuip range is part of the Terex brand and extends from 3 t to 19 t screens, complemented by crushers that range from 3.5 t to 29 t. With an emphasis on mobility, the concept is to bring efficient crushing and screening operations to wherever they are needed.

Smaller operations Martin Conway, international sales manager: EvoQuip, Terex, says the trend in the existing processing market is for crushing operations to become smaller and operate on a just-in-time principle, where just enough is produced for immediate needs rather than stockpiling materials for future use. “All too often, big crushers and screens stand idle, waiting for materials, with obvious negative cost implications,” he notes. “By comparison, these small EvoQuip machines are less expensive to buy and operate, making many lower-yield types of operations feasible by considerably bringing down operating costs,” he continues. “That means they can give old operations a new lease on life or may even be feasible to be brought on to quarries to produce saleable products from by-products,” Conway adds.

On-site processing Perhaps the most exciting opportunity the new machines present is the ability to take processing plants to customers’ sites. In addition, the relatively low overall cost of the equipment significantly lowers the entry level into a host of new industries and makes these more

E  voQuip crushers and screens represent a modern evolution of processing equipment

feasible for start-ups to process smaller quantities of materials profitably. Here, examples could include waste concrete recycling at precast and readymix concrete yards, the processing of illegally dumped building materials on behalf of municipalities, supporting construction operations in remote areas using available resources, and more. Typically, in Europe and elsewhere abroad, EvoQuip’s innovative machines are being used in just this type of application. They have established a foothold among small-scale aggregate producers, recyclers of materials at dumpsites, demolition experts, agricultural co-ops and building contractors who make use of on-site spoils to produce building materials.

Plant hire Conway says the EvoQuip brand is particularly useful in shared-type applications where a co-op of farmers or rural municipalities may purchase a machine and share it. This also makes the machines ideal for the plant hire industry, where they can be used to open new avenues of business for hire companies. “The EvoQuip crushers and screens are designed to be rugged and durable enough for overland transportation and tough remote-site operations. In addition, the company and its machines were developed within the space of the last decade, making them compliant with emerging trends in numerous industries,” Conway concludes. The EvoQuip range will be introduced by ELB Equipment at the Nampo Harvest Day tradeshow between 15 and 18 May 2018 at stands G15/16. M ay 2 0 1 8






WasteCon 2018 Venue Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni Date 16 – 18 October 2018 Contact Ann Oosthuizen at The countdown has begun to the next WasteCon event. Every alternate year, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa hosts the biggest waste management conference on the local industry calendar.

With the last event in 2016 having been notable for the high quality of its technical papers and knowledgeable speakers from the local and international waste management industry, this year’s event promises the same high levels of input and engagement that have become a trademark of the event.

Power-Gen & DistribuTECH Africa

Power and Electricity World Africa

Venue Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg

Venue Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg Date 27 – 28 March 2018 Contact Cecilia Braxton at

Date 17 – 19 July, 2018 Contact Nigel Blackaby at Power-Gen & DistribuTECH Africa is an event targeting the electricity and power generation industry. The forum brings together international business leaders and technical experts committed to powering up a continent. Featuring a comprehensive conference programme and extensive exhibit floor, the event spans all aspects of centralised and distributed power generation, along with leading technologies in power transmission and distribution. According to the organisers, it’s where the industry meets to do business.

Power & Electricity World Africa is an annual conference aimed at Africa’s power and electricity industry. The conference brings together likeminded individuals who are committed to meeting the growing demand for energy on the African continent.

The conference serves as a platform where delegates can hear about the latest developments, innovations and investment opportunities that will help them succeed in the energy industry. It is colocated with Energy Efficiency World, Clean Technology World and a host of other associated events.

African Utility Week

SAEEC Conference Venue Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni Date 13 – 14 November 2018 The Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation’s (SAEEC’s) 13th Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation Conference is an important energy event of national scope for end-users and energy professionals in all areas of the energy field. It is the one truly comprehensive forum

where visitors can fully assess the big picture – and see exactly how all the economic and market forces, new technologies, regulatory developments and industry trends merge to shape the critical decisions on an organisation’s energy and economic future. The 2018 SAEEC Conference features a convention agenda with seminars and exhibitions on a variety of current topics.

Venue Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town Date 15 – 17 May 2018 Contact Warda Jakoet at African Utility Week offers attendees the opportunity to discuss real commercial propositions and streamline their purchasing processes by connecting African utility, municipal and commercial decision-makers with technology and service providers. In 2018, the event will showcase the latest technologies and services in energy generation (incorporating fossil fuels, off-grid, nuclear and renewables), transmission and distribution (including metering), and new technologies (including storage, mini-grids, micro-grids, IOT and ICT systems).

Index to Advertisers Amandus Kahl


Averda 24 Buhle Waste




ELB Equipment


Envitech Solutions



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National Cleaner Production Centre SA



Power Gen



Rose Foundation

Lafarge Industries



GW Mineral Resources



4 37 IBC



Support brands that care for the environment Use ROSE approved collectors and recyclers to dispose of your used oil. 021 448 7492 • •


BuhleWaste Beauty. Love. Respect

ReSource May 2018  

Monitor latest developments in waste management and cleaner production through the official magazine of the Institute of Waste Management of...

ReSource May 2018  

Monitor latest developments in waste management and cleaner production through the official magazine of the Institute of Waste Management of...