ReSource May 2022

Page 1

is printed on 100% recycled paper

Promoting integrated resources management


Taking baling to new heights

Mine Waste Management Mining’s future lies in circular thinking

The official journal of the

Hazardous Waste Used oil pioneer extends green footprint

Green Building

Proactive approach to managing construction waste


The public and private sector can never create enough jobs to absorb everyone but, through the EPR regulations, we’ll be able to provide support for the creation and development of small- to medium-sized businesses." Edith Leeuta CEO, Fibre Circle ISSN 1680-4902 • R55.00 (incl. VAT) • Vol. 24 No. 02 • May 2022


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Vol. 24, No. 02, May 2022

ON THE COVER Built to bale a wide variety of bulk or chopped materials, the newly launched Orkel Hi-X evo compactor is set to rival all other balers currently on the market. P6





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


Taking baling to new heights


A proud new Patron Member Specialist lining contractor becomes new Patron Member

3 5 10 48 48 6 12 13


The circular economy – moving beyond landfill diversion



The future for sustainable mining lies in circular thinking





Unlocking a sustainable future


EPR legislation: A benefit, not a burden


Turning the wheels on waste


Used oil pioneer extends green footprint

16 18 20 22 24


Proactive approach to managing construction waste 26





IN THE HOT SEAT As the Producer Responsibility Organisation for the paper and paper packaging sector, Fibre Circle has been at the forefront of implementing the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations. Newly appointed CEO Edith Leeuta talks to ReSource about how accurate data, enforcement and compliance are essential for the success of EPR. P18

Coffee goes green South Africa’s commitment to reducing food waste


South Africa’s road to a circular economy How a plastic bottle is recycled


Making e-waste recycling easy Gauteng launches E-waste recycling project Solutions to the growing problem of e-waste


Best practices for transitioning to a green economy

28 30 33 34 36 38 39 40


Finding new waste beneficiation opportunities through science, technology and innovation


Increasing investments in the resource sector Industrialisation of the renewable energy sector

42 45 46


Editor Nombulelo Manyana Managing editor Alastair Currie Features Ziyanda Majodina Head of design Beren Bauermeister Chief sub-editor Tristan Snijders Contributors Linda Godfrey, Brendon Jewaskiewitz, Anton Nahman, Suzan Oelofse, Henry Roman, Mark Venables Production & client liaison manager Antois-Leigh Nepgen Production coordinator Jacqueline Modise Group sales manager Chilomia Van Wijk Distribution manager Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham Printers Novus Print Montague Gardens Tel +27 (0)21 550 2300 Advertising sales Joanne Lawrie Cell +27 (0)82 346 5338

Publisher Jacques Breytenbach 3S Media 46 Milkyway Avenue, Frankenwald, 2090 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 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 2022. All rights reserved. Novus Holdings is a Level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Contributor, with 125% recognised procurement recognition. View our BBBEE scorecard here: transformation The ABC logo is a valued stamp of measurement and trust, providing accurate and comparable circulation figures that protect the way advertising is traded. ReSource is ABC audited and certified.


Although there is a lack of formal statistics on the available landfill airspace, waste management industry experts have issued a stern warning that South Africa is quickly running out of landfill airspace. Simply put, we are on the brink of a major waste crisis.


andfill airspace is the volume of space on a landfill site permitted for disposal of municipal solid waste. Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town all have less than 10 years of useful landfill life left. Presenting at the Parliamentar y Committee meeting on the state of waste management in South Africa, Rustim Keraan, director: Solid Waste Management, City of Cape Town, said figures showed that airspace availability would reach capacity between 2032 and 2033. Presentations from the other national, provincial and metropolitan governments highlighted the challenges they are facing in maintaining their landfills, providing new landfill sites, and in funding and integrating waste management plans. Most landfill sites are currently in a terrible state, arguably the worst they have been in in decades. While there are many contributing factors, it is encouraging to know that legislation is not one of them. South Africa has some of the most progressive waste management legislation in the world, star ting with the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS). The strategy incorporates a waste management hierarchy and circular economy principles in accordance with the three major themes, namely: • waste minimisation • sustainable waste ser vices • compliance, enforcement and awareness. All these factors point to a solid framework that can help to alleviate our current crisis; however, the problem is a lack of law enforcement against illegal waste practices.

Compliance and enforcement Municipalities and government alike need to be more proactive about enforcing the law and encouraging compliance. Support structures need to be put in place to ensure that people are obeying the legislature. Experts interviewed in this issue assert that we need to implement the principles of the NWMS, measure output, and manage the waste management process more effectively.

Exciting news In more uplifting news, WasteCon is back and its 25th iteration will be taking place on 18 to 20 October 2022 at Emperors Palace in Gauteng, South Africa. WasteCon, organised by the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), is the premier showcase of best practices and sustainable waste and resource management solutions. The Institute has some exciting announcements contained in this issue – starting with the introduction of its WasteCon sponsors. This is definitely an event you don’t want to miss!


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Brendon Jewaskiewitz, President, IWMSA

For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.” – HL Mencken

•S ignature of MoU with the DFFE – 2019 • IWMSA rebranding and launch – 2020 • Award of bid for 2024 ISWA World Congress, Cape Town – 2020 • Appointment of new IWMSA head office management team – 2021 • Appointment of new IT and financial ser vice providers – 2021 • Launch of new IWMSA website and member por tal – 2021 • A ppointment of new marketing and communications ser vice providers – 2021 • Eastern Cape Journey to Zero Waste Vir tual Conference – 2021 • KwaZulu-Natal LaWTIG Vir tual Conference & Exhibition – 2021 • Joining of new Patron Members – ELB, HYVA, Waste Carriers, Gundle Geosynthetics – 2022 • A ppointment of new IWMSA Technical Coordinator to head office – 2022. The planning of WasteCon 2022 for 18-20 October is now proceeding at a rapid pace, and we are all looking for ward to seeing ever yone again, in person, for what promises to be a blockbuster event.

The task ahead

Dear Members,


s my term as IWMSA president draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on our journey over the last four years and how the IWMSA has grown from strength to strength, despite the upheaval the Covid pandemic brought to our shores in 2020. Some of the notable milestones have included: • WasteCon, Emperor’s Palace, Gauteng – 2018 • Becoming a National Member of ISWA – 2018 • Finalisation of new IWMSA strategic plan – 2019

It is also impossible to ignore the fact that, despite our progress as an organisation, there is still much to do if we are to make headway in the ongoing war on waste. The new IWMSA branch committees and council will take the reins in July – and we all need to pull together and get involved in improving our waste management practices, and bridging the divide between the public and private sector, if we are to realise our vision of a clean and healthy environment. The recent terrible events in KwaZulu-Natal provided an illustration of the magnitude of the task ahead of us. Just before the Easter weekend, the province’s coastal region experienced one of the most extreme weather events in decades, with torrential rain and landslides resulting in significant destruction and loss of life.

Recognising that this resulted in an extraordinar y environmental and humanitarian crisis, many shor tcomings were also exposed. The sheer quantity of waste materials of all types and sizes that continues to be washed up on regional beaches is astounding, much of which ends up in the food we consume when it breaks down, along with other toxins that we think have been ‘flushed away’. While it is the constitutional responsibility of local authorities to ensure that infrastructure is maintained and ser vices provided, including ef ficient and equitable municipal waste collection and management, privately owned businesses and the general public also have critically impor tant roles to play. The degree of illegal dumping and littering that takes place on a daily basis is simply out of hand, unacceptable, and directly contributes to the problem we collectively face. We have to do more in terms of educating and raising awareness, as well as severely penalising regulator y non-compliance and illegal behaviour. We also cannot afford to allow waste management to continue being relegated to the lower tiers of priority in terms of municipal budgets and ser vice deliver y. This is a crisis we risk ignoring at our peril – the time to act is now.



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COVER STORY The Orkel compactors can turn more than 30 different materials into high-density bales

Whether it is going to a landfill or a recycling facility, waste should be compacted for easy handling and efficient transportation.


outh Africa is quickly running out of landfill airspace, and industr y exper ts have warned that the countr y is on the verge of a waste crisis. Government – through the revised National Waste Management Strategy 2020 – is actively developing legislature that fur thers the concept of a circular economy and encourages the collection and recycling of waste materials. Applying this strategy, it is expected that 45% of waste will be diver ted from landfills by 2025. However, with an increasing amount of waste being diver ted, there is a need to consider how this waste will be transpor ted, stored and utilised. Baling recyclable materials will assist not only in creating clean recycling goods but also in reducing the carbon footprint and minimising material volume. Built to bale a wide variety of bulk or chopped materials, the newly launched Orkel Hi-X evo compactor is set to rival all other balers currently on the market. Nor way’s Orkel – a developer of high-quality heavy machiner y for agriculture and industr y – together with its local

TAKING BALING TO NEW HEIGHTS distributor, Agriman, launched the first industrial Orkel machine, the Hi-X evo compactor, in Cape Town earlier this year. “The Hi-X evo compactor is an improvement on our best compactors. The unique design of the technical details, like the auto-greasing of bushings and auto-oiling of chains, makes the compactor exceptionally durable – resulting in low maintenance and life-cycle costs,” says Miriam Gjønnes Kar terud, global industr y sales manager at Orkel.

Baling your waste According to Francois Burger, managing director at Agriman, there are numerous benefits to baling your waste, whether your waste goes to landfill or for recycling. “On a landfill site, you will be able to save on airspace because baling will reduce the need for cover material, which usually takes up to 30% of airspace. Additionally, it will reduce windblown litter, especially in windy cities, like in the Western Cape.”

For baling fine materials like RDF and SRF, as well as compost and sawdust, the Hi-X evo compactor is ideal due to innovative technology and robust components


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COVER STORY The Hi-X control system offers a new generation of electronics and control units. Together with a new hydraulic system with proportional valves, it provides major advantages for users

Leachate formed by rainwater penetration into conventional landfills is drastically reduced as the plastic-wrapped bales prevent any water ingress into the waste. Burger adds that storing waste in bales, instead of in open containers, ensures that no waste is lost during prolonged storage and removes the possibility of toxic run-off and hazardous gases leaking into the soil. Moreover, baling your waste at a high density reduces the total volume of waste, lowering the required storage space. “That is why we are so excited about what this machine can offer the South African waste management industr y. From the uniformity of the bales to the quality of the product it produces, we anticipate that it will help develop a more efficient waste stream cycle,” says Burger.

From bicycles to bales What began in 1949 as a modest producer of small toys and tricycles for local customers has now become a global supplier of highquality machiner y. Today, the Orkel Group is an established, resilient and pioneering supplier of compactors and transpor t equipment represented in over 60 countries across the globe. Additionally, the company is one of the largest manufacturers in its segment in Nor way and has a unique position within the domestic market.

Revolutionary partnerships Orkel has earned critical acclaim and has a reputation for high quality through experience and innovative design. Quality, innovation, and sustainability are ideals they work towards – ideals which attracted the local waste management company Agriman. Agriman, with 34 years’ experience in the beneficiation of organic waste streams, is a market leader in developing value chains for waste products in circular economies. On introduction to Orkel, Agriman immediately saw the potential for the Orkel industrial balers in the South African waste market, not only as a solution to logistical challenges associated with waste recycling, but as a means to reinvent landfills. GreenCape’s 2021 Waste Market Intelligence Repor t states, “Most of the Western Cape

province is experiencing landfill airspace pressures. Of the 25 municipalities, 22 have less than five years of airspace left. The lack of available airspace in neighbouring municipalities will likely result in cross-border movement of waste between municipalities.” This is most probably the norm for South Africa and in what better way than utilising intermodal transpor t systems with wrapped bales from an Orkel to address this logistical and airspace challenge? When it comes to medical waste with limited landfill options, resulting in longer transpor t legs, there is definitely no better way to compact and contain this specific waste stream than to bale and wrap it with an Orkel. This allows for longer retention time on-site and improves density for transpor t optimisation. Today, Agriman is proud to offer the Orkel industrial compactors to the South African waste industr y.

Tailor-made to meet your needs Orkel offers two different industrial compactors with different abilities depending on capacity demand and material conditions. The Hi-X compactor is suitable for fine materials such as SRF (solid recovered fuel) and RDF (refusederived fuel). For maximum capacity combined with rougher materials such as MSW (municipal solid waste), household waste, or shredded landfill waste, the Hi-X evo is the ideal pick. The feed hopper is specially designed for larger fragments and the chamber opening is bigger to avoid blockages

Efficient logistics “Baling is the most ef ficient way to

handle bulk material. The Hi-X will help to reduce the volume of almost any bulk material by up to 70%, which gives you the ability to store more material in less space, in terms of both transpor t and storage,” asser ts Gjønnes Kar terud. The Orkel bale size is optimised for the loading of bales into lorries, containers (44 units in one 40 ft container), ships and more. The closed bale also offers transpor t without odour or losses. “Orkel bales offer a high-quality and stable conser vation. This is due to the tight wrapping, together with the fact that oxygen is removed from the material during the compaction process. By limiting oxygen in the bale there will also be reduced odour and prevention of fire,” Gjønnes Kar terud explains.

Simplified operation The Orkel compactors are operated using hydraulics, with power being supplied by either a tractor or an electric motor. The Hi-X control system is the new generation of electronics and control units, which – together with the hydraulic system with propor tional valves – provides major advantages. The Orkel touch control system offers the following benefits: • Easy to use: Intuitive pictures and a touchscreen make it easy to understand and run the machine. The symbols and pictures overcome language barriers and remove potential operator errors. Wide viewing angles and high brightness offer good readability, even in direct sunlight. • Provides improved control: In cases where the machine runs automatically, you will always track the number of bales made. You may choose to control and adjust it for your specific needs, as all functions may be controlled from the display. • Optimises the process: The machine comes with several programs as factor y presets for different materials. In addition, you can make your own adjustments and save them as different baling programs for efficient baling initiation. • Robust and reliable: The electronics

COVER STORY Orkel takes great pride in offering highly customised machines, tailormade to meet every need

resources, while also providing top-quality conser vation,” says Gjønnes Kar terud. The benefits of baling waste are numerous: it prevents toxic run-off and hazardous gasses, reduce volumes in both transpor t and storage, enables the storing of bales in a greater variety of locations, and simplifies logistics while assuring cost-efficient transpor t.

The process The high-density baling process consists of four steps: Transport to chamber: Bulk material is loaded either from a factor y conveyor belt, front-end loader or directly offloaded from a lorr y. The material is transpor ted from the feeding table by an elevator into a compression chamber using a robust chained conveyor system with steel carriers. Compression: Two specially designed belts inside the chamber prevent s pillage while the material is compressed. Hardox steel plates on both sides of the chamber prevent wear and tear. High-quality, automatically lubricated bushings prevent dust and moisture damage, positioned for easy maintenance and replacement. Wide film wrapping: The bale is wrapped in wide film to allow it to maintain its shape and density. An air pressure cleaning system ensures consistent, highquality operation. Wrapping: An adjustable number of film layers seals the material in a compact bale on the wrapping table, maximising the storage and handling potential.

1 2 hardware is developed for heavy industries like mining and forestr y, and is reliable in any conditions. Contained in a close-fitting aluminium housing, the screen is waterproof, dust-tight and endures cold, heat, vibration, moisture and other impacts. Additionally, Orkel compactors come with a weighing system and Orkel Telematics. This gives the ultimate over view of what material has been baled, where it’s been baled, tonnes baled per hour and the overall status of the compactor.

Easy handling The Orkel Hi-X compactor transforms bulk material into easy-to-handle round bales, using nothing but compaction and polyethylene film wrapping. This makes removing the wrap both easy and problem-free, as there are no metal bands or net to get stuck in machiner y components. “Additionally, together with the acknowledged packaging company, Aspla, we are offering a wrapping film made of up to 35% recycled plastic. This product better utilises waste




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3 4

A case for baling More than 10 years ago, the Taiwanese


COVER STORY to the landfill ever y day, and now they can handle it efficiently by storing it in clean, single-unit packages without harming the environment. Baling waste in Orkel round bales provides them time to sor t out the waste challenges without having the waste and the odour all over,” says Peder Kvendset, sales director of Orkel.

Conclusion “Essentially, with our high-density and highquality compaction, you’ll be able to reduce waste volume by up to 70% and minimise your environmental pollution by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, our compactors are also used to bale more than 25 different materials, where we are still expanding to new areas of use. Wherever there is material, Orkel will figure out a way to bale it,” concludes Gjønnes Kar terud.

RECYCLED FILM BENEFITS Some advantages of using the Orkel recycled film: • Premium seven-layer silage wrap for all applications • Enhanced oxygen barrier for better fermentation and preservation • UV protected for all climates to keep bales secure • Requires less film per bale compared to other brands • Part of an innovative recycling process assuring optimal product capabilities • 100% recyclable The Taiwanese landfill baling operation, organised by the company Feng Hong

government decided that national landfills were to be eliminated due to the environmental damage they caused. The waste should instead be sent to incinerator facilities for energy production; however, it was quickly found that waste would pile up from the increasing amount of waste and due to regular maintenance of the incinerators. After considering several solutions, the decision was made to purchase an Orkel Hi-X evo compactor. The government purchased its first Hi-X evo compactor back in 2017, which has expanded into three machines over the later years. Since then, more than 50 000 tonnes of waste have been baled and Taiwan boasts an efficient daily operation system due to the Orkel compactor technology. “They experienced great suppor t from the Orkel team in Nor way. Waste keeps going

For more information about the Orkel Hi-X evo compactor, visit or contact the local agent at

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SUSTAINABILITY NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD South African plastics industry signs treaty The local plastics industry has signed an international, legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution by 2024. The resolution – titled ‘End Plastic Pollution: Towards an internationally legally binding instrument’ – is described as a landmark agreement that is the most important international multilateral environmental deal since the Paris Climate Accords. The signing took place at the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) alongside heads of state, ministers of environment and other representatives from 175 nations. Its purpose is to drastically reduce the impact of plastic pollution on the marine environment by exploring the full life cycle of plastic from source to sea – which includes methods of plastic production, recycling, processing, use and collection.

SANDF takes green leap with biogas project The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is taking its ‘green soldiering’ environmental concept a step fur ther by installing biogas plants at two of its militar y bases. With the suppor t of the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi), the SANDF has had the biogas stoves set to be in full operation in 2023. This will enable the militar y to use gas to cook meals for about 220 people daily at its bases in Limpopo, instead of using fossil fuels, as was previously the case. The biogas project is one of several waste recycling and energysaving programmes under taken by the SANDF in par tnership with Sanedi. Sanedi asser ts that, by finding a more responsible way of disposing of its kitchen biological waste, the SANDF has taken the first step towards implementing renewable energy while also removing a waste challenge – with the added benefit that the biodigesters produce a liquid fer tiliser that can be used in fer tilising gardens for food or ornamental production. The militar y implemented this technology as a pilot project to prove the concept could help it with waste removal and energy generation.

Woolworths and Standard Bank’s R600 million sustainability funding deal Standard Bank has partnered with Woolworths Holdings Limited to conclude the first sustainability-linked working capital facility in South Africa to the value of R600 million. This partnership is a testament to Woolworths’ commitment to achieving bold sustainability targets and realising its vision to be one of the world’s most responsible retailers. As sustainability-linked funding ties the terms of funding to ESG outcomes, it supports and incentivises responsible corporate behaviour and the creation of shared value. The financing structure is also very strongly aligned to Standard Bank’s own Social, Economic and Environmental impact framework. In this second sustainability-linked deal concluded with Standard Bank, the bank stepped in as the lender and sustainability coordinator to support Woolworths’ drive to ensure responsible environmental resource management of key agreed-on sustainability performance indicators. These included Woolworths food, private-label fashion, beauty and home goods, as well as electricity consumption in corporate stores.

Municipal-focused strategy to enhance recycling rates Producer responsibility organisation (PRO) Polyco is set to launch a municipalfocused recycling strategy, for the purpose of significantly enhancing South Africa’s recycling rates. In a par tnership with Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, the Border-Kei Chamber of Business, and the Buffalo City Development Agency, Polyco will

be working with municipalities to invest in recycling infrastructure, innovation, and the implementation of a consumer education and awareness campaign in East London. Polyco is a registered PRO in South Africa, which has decided to expand its focus to all plastic types under extended producer responsibility regulations. This

is in response to the recently introduced waste management regulations. Patricia Pillay, CEO at Polyco, says that there is a growing demand for recyclate across industries in South Africa and – by improving collection facilities, recycling infrastructure and influencing consumer behaviour towards recycling – they can ensure they start meeting the demand for recyclate.

RECYCLING GATHERS MOMENTUM IN AFRICA More and more plastic waste is being diverted from landfills and into a circular economy that grows employment and entrepreneurship in African countries. Food and beverage packaging is an important part of modern life, helping to ensure food safety and reduce food waste. However, the world has a packaging problem that requires an immediate response. As part of its responsibility to help address this challenge, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), together with The Coca-Cola Company, has set the following ambitious goals: • to collect a bottle or can for everyone it produces by 2030 • to use 50% recycled content in all packaging • to make 25% of its packaging reusable by 2030, while making all its packaging 100% recyclable by 2025. The initiative, called World Without Waste, relies on partnerships with customers, consumers, communities, industry and governments to succeed.

Paper grocery and takeaway food bags can be collected for recycling There is good news for households and waste collectors – paper grocery and takeaway food bags can now be collected for recycling. Under a new campaign name, ‘Recycling in the Bag’, Fibre Circle – the producer responsibility organisation for the paper sector – has teamed up with food service and packaging producer Detpak and Remade Recycling to show 200 recycling collectors that paper grocery bags and brown takeaway food bags can be collected from households and sold with their wastepaper collections. Every year, more than 1.1 million tonnes of paper and paper packaging are recovered in South Africa and recycled into new products that we use every day. These products can then be recycled again, in many cases up to 25 times. Samantha Choles, communications manager, Fibre Circle, explains that old cardboard boxes and paper bags will be repulped into other paper types, which will become new cardboard boxes and paper bags – and so the cycle continues. Used white paper is recycled into tissue products such as toilet paper, while several paper grades are recycled into common household packaging such as matchboxes, toothpaste boxes and cereal boxes.

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A proud new Patron Member A global supplier of waste management solutions, Hyva Southern Africa, has joined the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa with an eagerness to start sharing experiences and building relationships.


s a subsidiar y of Hyva Group, Hyva Southern Africa (Hyva SA) has the suppor t of a parent company that was established more than 40 years ago in the Netherlands and is now a successful international business supplying hydraulicsbased solutions in waste management, tipping, container handling and cranes. The Hyva Group encompasses more than 30 fully owned subsidiaries globally, with extraordinar y sales and ser vice coverage and a manufacturing base that includes 14 production facilities across Brazil, China, India and Europe. The company is committed to the development, production, marketing and distribution of solutions used in hydraulic loading and

unloading systems on trucks and trailers. Its products are used worldwide across a range of sectors, including transpor t, construction, mining, materials handling and environmental ser vices providers.

Waste handling solutions Hyva’s range of waste handling solutions includes static compactors, mobile compactors, refuse compactor/collection vehicles (in several body sizes), as well as specialist bin cleaning vehicles and underground bin systems. Mobile compactors are ver y popular due to their per formance and operator efficiency in urban environments. Hyva’s mobile compactors have reduced energy consumption, lower noise, no leakage, easier ser viceability, and generally lower operating and ser vice costs. “We are serious about recycling and keeping our towns and cities clean. Our advanced Mobile Compactor range offers a unique advantage over conventional rear-end loader refuse trucks, which saves costs and reduces environmental impact,” says Pearce Vorster, managing director, Hyva SA. And, these collection and compaction products can be complemented by other products from the Hyva por tfolio – such as hookloaders, skiploaders and cranes – as par t of a more comprehensive waste management solution. “As a Patron Member of the IWMSA, Hyva suppor ts improving waste management standards and legislation. Compliance with

standards is par ticularly impor tant in the environmental sector. And that’s where our experience counts. With an extensive track record in the global waste, scrap and recycling industr y, we know how to design and build solutions that meet the strict requirements of the environmental ser vice industr y,” explains Vorster.

Tender success Typical of Hyva’s impact in the waste handling sector in Southern Africa is its successful threeyear tender to supply compactors for waste collection ser vices in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The first batch of 29 Usimeca ribbed body 12 m3 compactors – installed on Fuso FJ16-230 trucks and customised with bin lifters – was delivered and handed over in late 2021. “Hyva SA is a powerhouse in sales and technical suppor t, offering a ‘one-stop shop’ to our customers – a cost-effective range of products, ser vices and after-sales suppor t, tailored to meet specific customer needs. Some local assembly and component manufacturing, together with Hyva’s exper tise in application engineering, deliver the most efficient product solutions,” says Vorster. The company is ver y proud to be par t of the unique platform the IWMSA offers, which includes waste exper ts from all over the world. “We look for ward to connecting, sharing our experience and building more relationships with other IWMSA Members,” Vorster concludes.


Specialist lining contractor becomes new Patron Member

Gundle’s Tri-K project in Guinea, which comprises 1 million m2 x 1.5 mm of smooth and textured geomembrane


undle Geosynthetics is proud to be a Patron Member of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa and play a role in providing solutions for the industr y. Gundle needs no introduction to the industr y as one of the major lining contractors in Africa – having lined over 23 million m2 of HDPE geomembrane and 16 million m2 of other geosynthetics liners (geotextile, leakdrain composites, geosynthetic clay liners, geocells, etc.) and completing over 3 500 projects, we are covering new ground. Gundle supplies and install to various applications, such as: landfills (including H:H facilities), tailing dams, process ponds, pollution control dams, ash dams, canals, bund areas, wastewater treatment ponds, evaporation and regulation ponds, and agriculture dams, to name a few.

Gundle Geosynthetics has a strong footprint in Southern Africa, as well as in Central, Eastern and Western Africa. It is impor tant to consider a reputable lining contractor, as there are so many businesses out there today that do not operate according to standards. Gundle Geosynthetics is an ISO 9001:2015 company with a quality-driven approach. We have launched our electronic QA/QC, which we have been developing over the past year and gives the client, engineers and our regulator peace of mind and confidence that facilities have been lined in accordance with SANS 10409:2020 specifications, with project-specific CQA. We are excited to play our par t in building a better future for society and protecting our environment for generations to come. HDPE is HOPE to our environment, as it is the barrier that keeps waste, leachate and chemicals out of our soil and water. M AY 2 0 2 2





The circular economy –

moving beyond landfill diversion It is now quite well known that many South African cities and towns face a landfill airspace crisis. With population growth, increasing urbanisation, and a growing middle class, waste generation is expected to place an ever-increasing strain on the countr y’s landfill infrastructure. By Linda Godfrey, Anton Nahman & Suzan Oelofse*


any of our disposal sites are also not designed or operated as engineered landfills, but are merely uncontrolled or controlled dumpsites, resulting in unnecessary environmental, social and economic impacts. Further, it is also well known that the three biggest municipal waste streams – paper and packaging, organic waste, and construction and demolition waste – are easily recyclable, technically. Yet, the majority of these waste streams continue to be disposed of to landfill.

Suzan Oelofse

Anton Nahman

Linda Godfrey

LANDFILL Policy interventions South Africa’s policy environment has supported the waste hierarchy and the diversion of waste away from landfill for the past two decades. Recent policy interventions such as the National Waste Management Strategy (2020) and mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for paper and packaging, electrical and electronic equipment, and lighting – and pending EPR for a number of other waste streams including portable batteries, lubricant oils and pesticides (Government Gazettes, March 2022) – have provided further support for waste diversion. The Chemicals and Waste Phakisa (2017), an initiative of national government, provided a detailed strategy for unlocking opportunities in the waste sector, through the diversion of waste away from landfill. This included, in particular, opportunities for the development of new businesses and the creation of much needed new jobs. One of the key objectives of the Phakisa was to “increase commercialisation of the circular economy and create value from resources currently discarded as waste”.

Local transition The circular economy, as a concept, has found a lot of traction globally in the last decade. It appeared in the South African landscape around 2013, largely in reference to industrial symbiosis and resource efficiency. The Department of Science and Technology stated in 2014, as part of the development of the Waste Research, Development and Innovation Roadmap, that “South Africa is still largely at the periphery of this global transition towards a circular economy”. The concept did not find strong political traction in South Africa until 2017. The then Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, noted at a side event of the World Economic Forum on Africa, held in Durban in May 2017, that “South Africa has adopted circular economy as one of our sustainable development models”. In November 2017, at COP23 in Bonn, Germany, Minister Molewa launched the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA), reconfirming that “South Africa is committed to its 2030 vision through the National Development Plan of a ‘transition to an environmentally sustainable, climate change resilient, lowcarbon economy and just society’; and from this, to enhance South Africa’s implementation of the circular economy”. Government’s commitment to transitioning to a more circular economy has continued under the current Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, who, at a World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) + Climate event in 2021, stressed the importance of the

Illustration from Network for Business Sustainability, 2021: What is a Circular Economy and How Does it Work

circular economy as part of South Africa’s postCovid-19 economic recovery plan.

Defining a circular economy There are many definitions of the circular economy in use. The definition adopted by the CSIR in its recent circular economy publications is that of Chatham House, who considers a circular economy to be one that “entails keeping materials and products in circulation for as long as possible through practices such as reuse of products, sharing of underused assets, repairing, recycling and remanufacturing”. The circular economy principles of ‘designing out waste and pollution’, and ‘keeping products and materials in use’ through reuse, repair, remanufacture and recycle, should create significant oppor tunities to diver t products at end-of-life from landfill. The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment’s ‘A Circular Economy Guide for the Waste Sector’ (2020) provides insights into circular economy opportunities associated with waste beneficiation. In particular, it looks at opportunities associated with electronic waste, waste plastic, construction and demolition waste, textile waste, organic waste, and various industrial waste streams through industrial symbiosis. However, one of the greatest misconceptions about the circular economy is that it is primarily about waste recycling or, at best, an alternative term for the implementation of the waste hierarchy. The circular economy is about so much more than waste management. At the heart of it, the circular economy is about sustainable resource management. It asks us to consider how we use resources in support of socio-economic development. It calls for disruption and innovation in how we

design, manufacture and deliver products and services to consumers. It challenges us to change the way we think about product ownership, with a greater emphasis on product sharing, renting, repair, refurbishment and reuse. It calls for a complete paradigm shift, creating opportunities for entirely new business models based on productas-service and access-over-ownership – facilitated through advances in digital technology. In addition to the first two circular economy principles mentioned above, a third principle entails ‘regenerating natural systems’, through, among others, nature-based solutions. This includes inter ventions such as regenerative agriculture, biobased materials, green energy, passive water treatment systems, green urban spaces, and restored mining landscapes.

Sustainable development path The three principles of a circular economy provide a framework against which to reimagine how we use energy, water and materials in various sectors of the economy, including mining, agriculture, manufacturing, human settlements and mobility. In its simplest form, the circular economy provides us with a means to reduce the tonnages of waste going to landfill, by designing products for longevity and implementing solutions that keep resources circulating within the economy at their highest value. However, when fully realised, a circular economy provides a development path for South Africa that is less resource- and carbon-intensive and more sustainable, with the potential to create innovative new business models. The circular economy is therefore about more than simply reducing waste to landfill. Rather, it provides an oppor tunity to reframe economic development and unlock new oppor tunities for growth and employment; while achieving global commitments relating to climate change and sustainable development. *Linda Godfrey, Anton Nahman and Suzan Oelofse are principal scientists at the CSIR. M AY 2 0 2 2





The future for sustainable mining

lies in circular thinking The circular economy (CE) is not a new concept, but has been growing in impor tance, recently promoted by influential organisations such as the Ellen MacAr thur Foundation and the World Economic Forum. In our current economy, we take materials from the ear th, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear. In a circular economy, by contrast, we stop waste being produced in the first place. The circular economy is based on three principles, driven by design. First eliminate waste and pollution, then circulate products and materials at their highest value, and finally regenerate nature. It is underpinned by a transition to renewable energy and materials. A circular economy decouples economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. It is a resilient system that is good for business, people and the environment. Africa is endowed with abundant mineral resources, including gold, silver, copper, uranium, cobalt, and many other metals that are key inputs to manufacturing processes around the world. However, extracting those precious resources from the ground comes at an environmental cost that is increasingly

A more for ward-looking and less accessible solution to reducing resource consumption and recycling waste is designing smar t mines with the environment in mind. By Mark Venables*


ining and the circular economy are not phrases that traditionally fit in the same sentence but in a decarbonised world more minerals and metals will be required, not less. Mining is not typically associated with visions of a circular economy. But if the world is to transition to a lowcarbon future, more minerals and metals will be required, not less. This shift will require vast volumes of copper, lithium, cobalt, platinum, chrome and manganese.


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coming under scrutiny and that is where circular thinking can play a huge par t.

The benefits of a circular economy The African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA) is a government-led coalition of African nations with a mission to spur Africa’s transformation into a circular economy that delivers economic growth, jobs and positive environmental outcomes. By adopting CE principles, Africa’s mining industr y can seize oppor tunities to reduce costs while also mitigating risks associated with shifting consumer and investor preferences, and new regulations and standards. According to a repor t, Increasing Circularity in Africa’s Mining Sector, produced by the ACEA, given the economic contribution of mining to African countries, CE would significantly contribute to creating a sustainable mining industr y. For countries that depend on mining as the primar y economic activity, it contributes considerably to their foreign earnings. For example, mining in Botswana has accounted for roughly 85% of national foreign exchange earnings, 33% of government revenue, and 25% of GDP for the past four decades. Given the economic contribution of mining to African countries, the mining industr y has a critical role to play in suppor ting the transition to a circular economy. As we move along the energy transition and the demand for Africa’s mineral wealth increases, adopting a CE strategy can assist

MINE WASTE MANAGEMENT the mining industr y to adapt to increased pressure on limited resources. There are, however, challenges that need to be overcome in this circular journey, including deficient infrastructure. The lack of clean energy resources for the mining sector will impede the drive to reduce carbon emissions in the industr y. One of the benefits of CE is its ability to decrease operating costs by increasing operational efficiency. Par t of a CE strategy is to optimise the use of resources, therefore designing efficient systems that use the CE principles will reduce consumption intensity and the cost of sourcing resources. An example of this can be witnessed in Mali, with Syama Gold Mine’s shift to renewable energy from its existing source of power, a 28 MW diesel generator. The mine signed a 16-year contract for a hybrid power plant with Aggreko. In 2020, Syama Gold Mine’s cost of electricity decreased by 40% and CO2 emissions by 20%.

Three steps to a circular future The ACEA identified three crucial CE principles for the African mining industr y to engage with: first, to recycle, reduce, and reuse resources and waste; second, to regenerate natural resources; and finally, to design out waste. One of the chief areas for reuse comes in the use of water by the mining sector. Water is used to process minerals, transpor t slurr y and control dust, and a large mine can use as much as 30 418 megalitres each year – enough to feed more than half of Africa’s population for a day. According to the ACEA, the mining industr y is the second largest water user right behind agriculture in South Africa. Effective management of clean water and wastewater is key to maintaining supplies of this resource.

The use of water can be decreased if the mines’ wastewater is recycled, reused, concentrated and reclaimed. Mining companies can improve wastewater management in three ways: lining waste and tailing dams to avoid water seepage, putting wastewater in tanks to prevent evaporation, and filtering water from slurr y/sludge/tailings before storing the waste in dams. Anglo American is developing a technology that will close the loop by creating a sealed system that increases efficiency and directs water recycling and reuse. Other areas of the CE that fall into this categor y include: recycling and reusing vehicle par ts; repurposing waste rock; recycling and reprocessing tailings; recycling and reusing construction materials; rehabilitating mines for economic development; and recycling food waste for energy generation.

Use renewable energy and reduce energy consumption Mining uses a lot of energy – there is no escaping that. It is crucial throughout the life cycle of a mine from exploration to processing the final product. Traditionally, the sector has relied on diesel and electricity from the grid to meet these needs. For example, figures from Glencore show that it uses up to 210 petajoules of energy annually – equivalent

to the energy consumption of ~12.7 million people in Africa. This high energy use comes with an elevated level of carbon emissions. By switching to renewable energy resources such as solar and wind energy to power mining operations can help to regenerate natural systems. When compared to traditional dieselpowered generators, renewable energy is cheaper and produces less CO2 emissions. One mine that has benefited from a transition to renewables is the Syama Gold Mine.

The need to design circular mines A more for wardlooking and less accessible solution to reducing resource consumption and recycling waste is designing smar t mines with the environment in mind. This entails building sustainability into the design process from the outset, looking to invest in renewable energy such as solar and wind, and employing technologies to eliminate water usage in mines. This would be most feasible for upcoming mining projects in the continent. Some companies are already putting redesigning mining operations into consideration. Anglo American is currently investing in exploring a FutureSmar t Mine that will be circular, save costs, increase efficiency, and ease mines’ operations. *Mark Venables is a consultant at African Mining Indaba.

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Unlocking a sustainable future As the Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) for the paper and paper packaging sector, Fibre Circle has been at the forefront of implementing the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations. Newly appointed CEO Edith Leeuta talks to ReSource about how accurate data, enforcement and compliance are essential for the success of EPR.

Why are EPR regulations important? EL These regulations are exactly what our countr y needs right now. According to the latest statistics, South Africans generate roughly 122 million tonnes of waste per year. Of this waste, only 10% is recycled or recovered – with the rest going to landfill. It’s also common knowledge that we don’t have enough land to use for landfilling, with most municipalities set to run out of landfill space in the next five years. This means South Africa is on the verge of a waste crisis. The implementation of the EPR regulations offers us the opportunity to create a framework


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to diver t waste from landfills, create a secondar y economy, and beneficiate our waste by increasing material recover y, recycling and reuse rates. We need these regulations if we are going to move away from our linear take-make-waste mindset towards a more circular economy. Simply put, the EPR regulations will help us to put our money where our mouths are.

Why does Fibre Circle, as a PRO, aim to encourage partnership and collaboration? The EPR regulations bring together the producers, distributors, collectors and consumers of a par ticular product into one space, allowing them to take shared responsibility and accountability for the end-oflife of that product. To leave waste collection and beneficiation ef for ts solely in the hands of the public sector is not feasible. We all have a role to play here, which is why Fibre Circle aims to provide support for the development of sustainable, end-of-life programmes with a strong emphasis on collaboration – not just with our paper and paper packaging producers but also the consumers and collectors of our waste products.

Tell us more about the ‘inclusive circular economy’ concept Fibre Circle promotes. There is an individual responsibility; then there is also the communal responsibility. Although we are all individually responsible for the environment, the responsible disposal of waste must not be an individual venture. We need to adopt a collaborative approach. Through the implementation of the EPR regulations, producers are required to manage their products’ end-of-life by developing initiatives for the reuse and recycling of their materials. The consumer is then required to make use of these programmes by implementing separation at source and by being more conscious about recycling their waste. Municipalities will also need to come on board to improve collection. We cannot ask consumers to separate at source if the separated waste will simply go into the same compactor truck, to be dumped at landfill – it defeats the purpose. That’s why our aim is to improve paper collection and recycling programmes across South Africa by working with different stakeholders to enable practical solutions through innovation, research and consumer education – creating an inclusive circular economy.

What are your plans as the newly appointed CEO of Fibre Circle? Although I am still learning about this diverse sector, familiarising myself with the industr y role players and wrapping my head around how dynamic the paper and paper packaging


What are some of Fibre Circle’s key focuses going into 2022? Our aim is to improve paper and paper packaging collection and recycling programmes across South Africa by managing the EPR fees entrusted to us. Fibre Circle works with paper and paper packaging stakeholders to enable practical solutions, innovation, research and development, thereby enhancing the circular nature of paper fibre and process waste. We also aim to empower the informal recycling sector and develop markets for recycled paper fibre through research, innovation and enterprise development. Fibre Circle aims to assist our registered producers to keep in step with EPR legislation and support the broader value chain on the journey to an inclusive economy.

What are your plans to provide support to SMMEs? I am personally passionate about SMMEs because my grandfather sold vegetables in Kliptown when I was growing up. Doing that, he was able to feed his family. The public and private sector can never

create enough jobs to absorb everyone but through the EPR regulations, we’ll be able to provide support for the creation and development of small- to medium-sized businesses, with waste beneficiation and job creation as major objectives, particularly in rural areas. We can help with the development of SMMEs by creating an environment that is conducive to fair compensation and prosperity.

Any final comments? South Africa is a beautiful country and has some of the most diverse fauna and flora – we need to guard it jealously. The EPR scheme is not just some inert campaign that doesn’t affect us. Paper and paper packaging are part of our everyday lives – from your toothpaste box to the wrapping on your sandwich – all of that is paper and we need to be more conscious of this. Kudos to the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, for making sure that the EPR regulations and many other schemes have been gazetted. The producers of these products really do want to do the right thing – the willingness and passion are there. And as consumers, we really can do better. The EPR regulations seek to ensure a sustainable future, founded on the right infrastructure, knowledge and research.


Photo credit: Sappi

industr y is, I am really excited about the legacy work I am going to create with my team and partners. I believe that I have the energy as well as a bit of youth to be able to focus on areas that are really going to change lives and change how the public consumes our products. My ultimate goal is to have zero paper and paper packaging going to landfill. Second, it’s to beneficiate our waste so that we can redirect our products into programmes that will utilise it, thus forming an economically sustainable industr y around what we create. Waste reclaimers are ver y valuable to our waste management industr y, and they play an important role in South Africa’s recycling efforts. I also want to focus my efforts on improving how reclaimers are treated and compensated for their work. Another focus area will be to bring research back into the space. The EPR scheme is going to assist with a lot of research, the collection of accurate data, knowledge sharing and monitoring, which will help us develop the right solutions for an environmentally progressive society. +27 (0)11 803 5063 M AY 2 0 2 2






A benefit, not a burden As companies navigate the new mandatory extended producer responsibility (EPR) landscape, a leading recycler in the plastics value chain has revealed the unexpected ease in managing its new reporting and compliance requirements as a producer.


ne of the biggest recyclers of PET plastic bottles on the African continent, Extrupet, has been guided in its journey by longstanding producer responsibility organisation PETCO. At the same time – and in a first for South Africa – Extrupet is helping its long-time par tner to develop an additional end-use market for recycled PET (rPET) in the manufacture of rPET industrial strapping. Plastic strapping is used extensively to secure unstable goods during transit. From a circular economy perspective, both PET bottles and PET strapping can be diver ted from landfill, and


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economically recovered and recycled into new products, without compromising the quality of the end product. As a manufacturer of strapping, Extrupet, like other packaging producers, is now obligated to either join an existing producer responsibility organisation (PRO), star t a new PRO or run an individual compliance scheme, as par t of the

National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008) Section 18 mandator y EPR regulations, which came into effect on November 5 last year. Extrupet is currently the only strapping producer registered to meet its mandator y EPR obligations with the Depar tment of Forestr y, Fisheries and the Environment.


I would like to encourage companies to support homegrown circular initiatives. The more end-use markets we develop for rPET, the more the benefits will be felt along the entire value chain – right down to the waste pickers.” Closing the loop In terms of the regulations, producers must take practical and financial responsibility for the full life cycle of their products – this means designing packaging with recyclability and circularity in mind, while also including more recycled content in their products. “Many companies are still importing rPET strapping, so closing the loop locally provides another high-value end-use for rPET, aside from bottle-to-bottle recycling, or turning it into polyester staple fibre,” says Chandru Wadhwani, joint MD, Extrupet. While clear PET plastic bottles have had the highest commercial value for bottle-to-bottle recycling, Wadhwani explains that green and brown PET bottles have had limited end-use products associated with them, because they discoloured the recyclate and could not be used for bottle-to-bottle recycling. “In the past, plastic strapping has provided a viable end-use market for coloured rPET. As producers begin to move away from coloured to clear bottles for maximum recyclability, the clear bottles can now also serve as feedstock for strapping,” he says. “I would like to encourage companies to support home-grown circular initiatives. The more end-use markets we develop for rPET, the more the benefits will be felt along the entire value chain – right down to the waste pickers.” Cheri Scholtz, CEO, PETCO, says the Section 18 regulations essentially compel all organisations

and companies involved along the plastics value chain to work as a team to ensure that less waste ends up in landfill. In terms of the regulations, every brand owner, converter or retailer that places over 10 tonnes per annum of identified plastic packaging into the consumer market is deemed a producer and is required to pay an EPR fee per tonne. “It’s a welcome step forward in creating a circular economy and ensuring a transparent system,” says Scholtz.

Knock-on effects The knock-on effect of mandatory EPR is set to be heightened investment in infrastructure to support the sustainability of the recycling sector – from the waste pickers who collect recyclables, to the buy-back centres that purchase and resell the materials, and the large-scale recyclers who turn these into recyclate that can be made into new products. “Without EPR, we wouldn’t be able to scale collection and recycling rates sufficiently to make a meaningful difference to the amount of packaging waste that ends up in the environment each year,” Scholtz says. Wadhwani believes there is a delicate balance between collection, recycling capacity and demand for rPET in the recycling value chain. “As the only Section 18-registered strapping producer in South Africa, our strapping helps to maintain that balance by providing another enduse market for rPET. Growth in rPET production

and consumption is ultimately key to ensuring the sustainability of both the PET and recycling industry,” he says.

Registration made easy Describing the process of registering as a producer member of an experienced PRO like PETCO as “smooth and easy”, Wadhwani states: “PETCO onboarded us seamlessly, guiding us through the process of setting and measuring targets, and making a potentially complex compliance process seem like plain sailing.” Scholtz attributes this ease to the knowledge and experience born of 17 years’ operating as a voluntar y EPR body. “We’ve always had audited collection and recycling figures, which has allowed us to demonstrate a direct link between waste collection and recycling targets,” she explains. “Although PETCO will have to adapt slightly to meet mandator y EPR requirements and suppor t new members in new ways, we do have the advantage of experience over other PROs who may just be getting star ted.” Strapping falls into the PET flexibles categor y, where legislated targets state that 50% of the product must comprise rPET, 10% must be collected, and 9% recycled. PETCO and Extrupet will be working together to achieve these mandated targets. “Mandator y EPR has created a space for us to expand our ser vices, star ting with a natural extension of the post-consumer PET bottles by including the bottle caps and labels,” Scholtz says. “Extrupet’s inclusion as a strapping producer also broadens PETCO’s por tfolio of products for which we offer an EPR scheme.” Ar ticle written by Extrupet and PETCO.

The eastern embankment earthworks, road layerworks, culvert construction, and concrete-lined canals

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on waste Mpact Plastics is leading the way in developing a circular economy within the manufacturing industr y in South Africa – through implementing sustainable products and manufacturing processes.


uring 2019, Mpact Plastics designed a recyclable plastic wheel for municipal wheelie bins, meaning that the traditional rubber wheel was replaced with a new and improved 100% recyclable wheel. The project commenced with commercial production in 2020. This new development forms par t of Mpact Plastic Containers’ diversion of an estimated 24 000 tonnes of plastic from going to landfill over the past five years, by conver ting waste into new or reusable products.


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The recyclable wheelie bin project emerged from the global concept of having a circular approach to products, components and materials in the economy. The circular economy concept promotes the use of recycled materials to manufacture new products. “Rubber from the old endof-life rubber wheels went to our already over flowing landfill sites. Millions of end-oflife tyres are currently either being disposed of or illegally dumped, with only small amounts being recycled. It was therefore impor tant to create an alternative to the rubber wheel to overcome this challenge,” says Lance Kallis, environmental manager of Mpact Plastic Containers (MPC).

Towards circularity A circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative by intention and design. It is a model of production and consumption, which involves the sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling of existing materials and products for as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended.

This signals a departure from the traditional, linear economic model, which is based on a take-make-consume-discard pattern and relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy. Evidence has shown this model to be unsustainable. For Mpact’s products and manufacturing processes, this means that what cannot be reused should be collected, recycled and made into new products. This is not only good business, but benefits the environment, communities and the economy.

History of sustainability MPC forms part of Mpact Operations and is the leading supplier of plastic containers in the Southern African market. MPC also supplies a range of industries across Europe and the African continent. The company’s primary competency is the manufacturing of wheelie bins, including municipal bins, jumbo bulk bins for the agricultural industr y, agricultural crates, composters, and various containers and crates for the materials handling sector. MPC offers a fresh, modern approach to plastic packaging, moving away from outdated, single-trip disposable packaging and is instead developing an array of reusable containers that constitute the largest range of

RECYCLING returnable transit packaging (RTP) systems in South Africa.

Innovation There was a time when rubber waste was collected and recycled in South Africa; however, this is no longer economically viable. Rubber takes between 50 to 80 years to decompose. As the population increases, and we use more products, there is a need to ask ourselves whether the planet is equipped to handle the increasing amount of rubber waste. Municipalities are large consumers of goods and are therefore well placed to drive circularity at scale. They can procure in a responsible manner, thereby meeting their constitutional mandate by purchasing products made of recycled materials. By procuring recyclable products, these metros are able to diver t waste from landfills, develop end-markets for plastic recyclers, secure offtakes to their own bin waste, and create sustainable employment. Many municipalities have adopted these new 100% recyclable wheels and have received positive feedback. The circular process begins with new plastic wheels being manufactured locally at MPC. Once complete, the bins are then assessed by the Quality Department and delivered to the

customer for use. When the bin reaches its end-of-life, it can also be returned and recycled into new products. In this way, both the bins and wheels are turned into new products. MPC has succeeded in creating a closedloop system through this innovative solution.

The business collects damaged and condemned bins, then exchanges these for new bins. The condemned bins must be identifiable as locally manufactured from HDPE and free of oil and waste. The 240-litre wheelie bin is designed for industrial, household and hospitality use. It features a specially designed rim flange for mechanical lifting and decanting; and can withstand the rigours of this handling. The bin is designed to be shockabsorbent, resistant to chemical attack, and will withstand the extreme and frequent temperature variations experienced in South Africa. “In the past few years, South Africa has seen huge growth in the circular economy,” advises Kallis. “Continuous engagement and ongoing extended producer responsibility regulation conversations are essential, as it allows engagement between producers and end-users, who are predominantly linear in their approach.” By closing resource loops, and working towards reducing waste, cities can significantly contribute to the circular economy. This model serves as a catalyst for innovation, entrepreneurial opportunities and sustainable job creation.

Specialist Waste Management Consultants • Waste Collection Optimisation • Transfer Station Design • Material Recovery Facility Design • General Waste Landfill Design • Hazardous Waste Landfill Design • Landfill Closure and Rehabilitation Design • External Auditing of Waste Facilities

• Regional Waste Studies • PPP Involvement in Waste Management • Alternative Technologies for Waste Diversion • Integrated Waste Management Plans • Closure/Rehabilitation Cost Provisions

T: +27 (0)21 982 6570 F: +27 (0)21 981 0868 60 Bracken Street, Protea Heights Brackenfell, South Africa, 7560

P O Box 931, Brackenfell, 7561


An estimated 350 million litres of new lubricant oil are used by businesses in South Africa every year. Of this oil, roughly 150 million litres are recycled, thanks to key role players such as BME.

Used oil pioneer extends

green footprint


he increased use of lubricating oil has created a need to recycle the used product, which contains many contaminants considered dangerous to the environment. This has necessitated the establishment of initiatives to ensure the responsible recycling of used oil. A leading recycler of used oil in South Africa is Omnia Group company BME, which accounts for around 20% of the countr y’s total volume of available used oil. For over three decades, BME has led the industr y in incorporating used oil into its world-class emulsion explosives, ensuring greener blasts and reducing environmental risk. The waste product is used as a fuel agent in the company’s high-quality emulsions.


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BME is one of 21 companies in the ROSE (Recycling Oil Saves the Environment) Foundation, which supports a renewed drive to protect the environment – through managing the collection, storage and processing of used lubricating oil in South Africa.

Green footprint “BME offers cutting-edge products and ser vices at ever y stage in the explosives supply chain. As a leading, global manufacturer and supplier of explosives, we provide ever ything from basic commercial explosives to fully integrated ser vices – including detailed blast design and optimisation – depending on the client’s needs,” asser ts Dirk Voogt, GM: Production and Logistics, BME.

This commitment has seen BME receive many accolades. In 2021, it was recognised by the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) for its contribution to a cleaner environment – winning the CAIA Responsible Care initiative of the year award, in the company projects: Categor y A segment. The award was for BME’s incorporation of used oil as a base product for its emulsion explosives, removing the risk that it could contaminate water or soil. According to Ramesh Dhoorgapersadh, GM: Safety, Health, Environment and Quality, BME, the initiative is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the company’s ongoing environmental, social and governance commitment.


One litre of oil is capable of contaminating at least a million litres of water “As par t of the Omnia Group, we pursue initiatives in direct and indirect alignment with the SDGs,” says Dhoorgapersadh. “Our used oil initiative speaks to the environmental stewardship goals of Clean Water & Sanitation, Life Below Water, Life On Land, and Par tnerships for the Goals.” It even addresses the SDG on Zero Hunger, as the preser vation of clean water resources is essential to food security. Indeed, the benefits of this collection network go beyond just protecting the environment by ensuring used oil is collected, recycled and reused. “The responsible disposal of the oil in our emulsion adds another dimension to our par tnership with mining customers – suppor ting their sustainability ef for ts while reducing their logistical load and environmental risk,” he says.

plant near Delmas, Mpumalanga, to remove undesirable contaminants. Only after stringent testing can the processed oil be used as a fuel source in BME’s range of emulsions, ensuring the products’ customar y high levels of safety, stability and per formance. Dhoorgapersadh adds that advantages can be seen in the quality of the end product. “From a safety, quality and consistency point of view, having our own screening and cleaning facility is essential, but from an explosives safety management point of view, the chemistr y of the product needs to be consistent,” he says. “If you don’t keep the input consistent, you will not get a consistent product. When using recycled oil, it is impor tant that we are ver y strict with regard to the quality of oil we get, as it impacts how hard or soft rock reacts in the blasting process.”

Growing network In order to secure the volume of used oil required for its own use, BME developed a used oil collection network and processing facilities. Currently, the company consumes almost 25 million litres of used oil annually in South Africa and is now extending the benefits of its used oil initiative to its mining customers and approved par tners globally. “Through this collection network, we are able to ensure that used oil from our customers and other sources does not find its way into our valuable water resources or soil,” says Voogt. He explains that the company’s oil collection network star ted almost 30 years ago, when BME brought cold emulsion technology to South Africa. Initially, BME collected used oil directly from mine sites; however, due to increasing demand for large volumes and stringent quality requirements, the company star ted to develop its own bulk used oil collection network in 2016. BME currently has 11 approved suppliers of used oil throughout most provinces in South Africa. “This reflects our close collaboration with our customers and beyond,” says Doorgapersadh. These approved suppliers, known as bulking points, collect used oil from various contracted generators and store the used oil in large volumes. The used oil is sampled at the bulking points and tested by the BME Laborator y in Losberg, Gauteng. The used oil is only collected by BME for processing once its quality is approved. Upon collection, it is carefully treated in BME’s treatment

Numerous benefits

a solid platform for these small businesses to develop their exper tise and standards, so they can fulfil this need into the future,” adds Govender. This growing network benefits BME’s mining clients, not only in South Africa, but as far afield as West Africa and Indonesia. “Wherever there are sufficient sources of used oil, we can put the technology, equipment and processes in place to suppor t the principles of a more circular economy,” says Govender.

The future Government is in the process of finalising legislation to mandate producers and manufacturers of oil to develop sustainable recycling and collection schemes. BME suppor ts the proposed legislation and is excited about par ticipating and playing a suppor ting role with all the relevant par tners. The company’s well established oil collection network has evolved over the years and aligns with the ISO 9000 quality cer tification. And as a registered approved collector and processor with the ROSE Foundation, BME is excited about fur ther expanding its business internationally.

According to Sachin Govender, manager: Used Oil, BME, small businesses are among the most impor tant Dirk Voogt, contributors to the success GM: Production and of the company’s used oil Logistics, BME collection network, and through the initiative, they have been able to create long-term business oppor tunities in the local economy, stimulating entrepreneurial activity and generating jobs. “Our infrastructure relies on small and micro-businesses to collect oil in a compliant manner from a range of sectors outside Ramesh Dhoorgapersadh, mining, such as GM: Safety, Health, Environment and Quality, BME vehicle maintenance workshops,” says Govender. “This has led to a bulking point network that already provides employment for over 120 people in South Africa.” BME also runs an online lead generation forum where micro-entrepreneurs and the broader community can organise drop-off or collection of their waste oil. “We are collaborating with Sachin Govender, dif ferent communities to manager: Used Oil, BME remove the environmental risk associated with used oil and utilise it responsibly. As BME, we are dedicated to collaborating with small – even informal – businesses to collect used oil, thus creating demand in the local economy. The company’s regular and growing demand for used oil provides M AY 2 0 2 2





Proactive approach to managing

CONSTRUCTION WASTE The construction industry is a key player in helping South Africa achieve net zero gas emissions by 2050. But while green building design and the use of sustainable materials are integral to achieving this objective, the issue of construction waste must not be overlooked.


aste is an inevitable by-product of any construction project and, if not managed effectively, could seriously hamper South Africa’s ability to conserve our natural resources, says Morag Evans, CEO, Databuild. Globally, the construction industry generates an enormous amount of waste each year; according to Transparency Market Research, it could be as much as 2.2 billion tonnes by 2025. In South Africa, a report by the CSIR reveals that our construction industry is responsible for around five to eight million tonnes of construction and demolition waste each year. And with 90% of all the general waste produced in South Africa going to landfills, the country is rapidly running out of space to dispose of its waste.


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While it is impossible for a construction site not to produce any waste during its operations, Evans says construction companies need to closely examine their construction practices and identify areas where they can reduce the amount of materials discarded during a project. “Most of South Africa’s construction waste goes to landfills – which is not a sustainable solution. Construction companies need to reduce the amount of waste generated during a project. One of the best ways to divert waste from landfills is through repurposing or recycling. “The good news is that the majority of excess, damaged or scrap building materials can be recycled or repurposed and thus diverted from landfills. For example, coarse and fine aggregate such as new concrete, mortar and floor tiles can be produced from unused bricks and stones or waste concrete, while damaged wood can be used to make paper or recyclable slab. Additionally, dirt and muck are ideal materials for laying foundations, and metals such as steel can be melted down and reprocessed,” asserts Evans. Inaccurate estimates in materials orders are another major contributor to construction waste, he continues. “If these excess materials are in good condition,

however, construction companies could consider selling them or reusing them in another project.”

A proactive approach Of course, the management of construction waste is most effective when it is done proactively. This entails the development of a comprehensive waste management plan early in the design phase of the project that clearly indicates which materials can be recycled, reused or resold. In this way, project waste becomes an integral part of materials management from the outset. In a nutshell, the plan should: • identify the types of waste that will be generated during the project, and which of these can be recycled, reused or resold with a view to reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfills • indicate who will be responsible for managing the plan and ensuring that it is carried out effectively on-site • identify companies/contractors to be used to dispose of the waste generated on-site in accordance with the plan • include training and regular information sessions to ensure the project team is adhering to the plan. Communication with project stakeholders should also form a key component of the plan, Evans adds.


Where possible, construction materials made from recycled content should be used. Construction companies can further reduce their environmental impact by reducing water waste during a project’s life cycle.”

“Requirements and expectations should be clearly formulated and regular discussions held with the project team to ensure they are fully informed of the plan requirements and deliverables for the duration of the project.”

Local examples Evans urges all construction role players to embrace a culture of eco-friendly waste management practices as a matter of priority. “Companies that demonstrate good waste management practices will not only achieve considerable savings over the long term, but also enjoy an enhanced brand reputation that will ultimately bring in new clients. After all, who wouldn’t want to work with a company that is serious about keeping our environment healthy and protecting our planet?” Evans highlights Concor – a diversified infrastructure and construction services company

– which applies a waste hierarchy system in all its projects to ensure that construction waste is effectively managed. “Rubble Cycle upcycles building rubble to produce products such as filling sand, stone, kerb mix and others. Shisalanga Construction (part of the Raubex Group) used recycled plastic to pave a road in KwaZulu-Natal.

Achieving net zero Evans asserts that construction companies should minimise harmful practices that negatively impact the carbon footprint of buildings. When it comes to building design, Evans advises that professionals should incorporate features that enhance energy efficiency and specify sustainable materials that lower carbon levels over the long term. “Where possible, construction materials made from recycled content should be used.

Construction companies can further reduce their environmental impact by reducing water waste during a project’s life cycle. Harmful pollutants in surface run-off, for example, can contaminate local water supplies and damage the environment.” Additionally, waste generated from construction activities, as well as any stock left over at the end of a project should be recycled.

Economic viability South Africa’s landfills are rapidly filling up, so alternative, more sustainable ways of managing waste are urgently needed. Effective waste management practices can go a long way towards saving costs on a construction site and enhance a company’s brand reputation. “Cost savings can be made through enhancing the accuracy of estimates in materials orders, which reduces the purchase of excess materials. Where this cannot be avoided, however, excess materials can be resold to recoup these costs. Additional cost savings can be made by repurposing or recycling damaged and/or scrap building materials for future projects. “Effective waste management practices also help to stimulate job creation by creating business opportunities for the recycling industry as well as local communities,” concludes Evans. M AY 2 0 2 2






GREEN South African coffee house Bootlegger Coffee has par tnered with food waste management specialist company Ywaste to turn its waste into compost.


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ootlegger Cof fee Company’s customers can now buy gardening essentials along with their cappuccino, as the company has par tnered with a food waste management specialist to turn its waste into compost. South Africa’s municipal landfills are rapidly running out of airspace, and the solution is recycling, says Pieter Bloem, co-founder and director, Bootlegger Coffee Company. “We want to play our par t to help the countr y avoid reaching day zero for landfill airspace. So, now our customers can up their ecofriendly street credibility by buying bags of Bootlegger topsoil, potting soil and compost made with their used coffee grounds and organic food waste, for just R40 a bag,” Bloem says.

Bootlegger has engaged the ser vices of Ywaste, which provides an eco-friendly methodology for the management of food waste through off-site composting. Ywaste has diver ted 5 600 tonnes of waste from landfill in the past 11 years. Healthy soils are fundamental to sur vival, seeing as they are essential for healthy plant growth, nutrition, water filtration, and also help to regulate the climate and store carbon.

Solutions I Consulting I Projects “At the same time that we are focused on improving soil quality, we are helping government with their zero waste-to-landfill goals. The benefit of using coffee grounds as a fer tiliser is that it adds organic material to the soil, which improves drainage, water retention and aeration in the soil,” says Emile Fourie, owner of Ywaste. Bootlegger has always had a communitycentric focus, using beans that are 100% sustainably sourced and roasted at its micro-roaster y in Woodstock, and is proudly 100% Rainforest Alliance Cer tified – meaning all products and ingredients have been produced using methods that suppor t the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental. “We would like to encourage other restaurants to also avoid landfilling, make the switch, and make a difference in their communities, with similar sustainable and eco-friendly approaches,” Bloem says. Currently, 80% of Bootlegger franchisees are par ticipating in the initiative, with more envisioned to come on board before year-end. Additionally, the coffee house has pledged that for ever y 10 bags of compost bought, Bootlegger will donate a bag of compost to a community food garden.

environment. It is one of the first restaurants to be fully Ocean Pledge Cer tified adhering to a strict set of environmental rules regarding material use in-store and for takeaways, food options and alternatives, as well as being water-wise. The chain’s takeaway coffee cups are locally sourced, made from paper, and are 100% biodegradable and compostable. Unlike other takeaway coffee cups that use plastic, their inside liner is made from corn starch and is thus 100% plant based. The lids are made from recycled plastic. The company implemented a #refusethelid initiative in 2017, which caused a drastic decline in lid procurement amounts. In 2016, it launched a branded dash cup to promote and incentivise the use of reusable mugs. The company also encourages clients to return all of the used Bootleggers pods to any of its stores, which it then has recycled. No plastic bags are offered for takeaways and no expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam (aka Styrofoam) is used in-store or for takeaways. Only reusable tableware is used in-house, and takeaway containers are made of paper, while takeaway cutler y is made of corn starch. Additionally, only biodegradable paper straws are used in stores to reduce the impact plastic has on the environment.

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reducing food waste According to recent studies, 45% of the available food supply in South Africa is wasted, meaning an estimated 10.3 million tonnes of edible food does not reach people’s stomachs.


ddressing delegates at the closing event of the Food and Packaging Waste Prevention and Reduction Initiative, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment – Barbara Creecy – said it is vital to ensure food security through the implementation of the extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme for packaging goods. The EPR is a policy approach, originally published in November 2020, under which producers are given significant responsibility – financial and/or physical – for the treatment or disposal of their post-consumer products.

Food waste Reflecting on South Africa’s progress regarding achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3 of reducing food loss and


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waste by 50% by 2030, Creecy pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated the existing challenges facing food production and consumption. However, it also provided oppor tunities to rethink practices as consumer buying habits changed and global supply chains had been disrupted. In 2018, South Africa generated 55.6 million tonnes of general waste, of which 19 million tonnes was organic waste. The Food and Packaging Waste Prevention and Reduction Initiative aims to address food security from the perspective of avoiding food waste. Food loss and waste is a recognised global issue that is also affecting South Africa. According to the Department of Science of Innovation and the CSIR, approximately 10.3 million tonnes of food and beverages that make up 34.3% locally produced products are wasted per year. The food waste amounts to R61.5 billion annually. “While the country has these shocking food waste statistics, we also have a problem of acute food security. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification is a common global scale for classifying the severity and

magnitude of food insecurity and malnutrition; 9.34 million people reportedly live without food security. Urgent action is required to reduce food gaps and protect livelihoods,” Creecy said.

Solution The minister emphasised the need for urgent intervention directed at identified areas and populations with food deprivation that threatens livelihoods, despite the causes, context or duration. South Africa’s deteriorating food security was mainly driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, high food prices, drought and economic decline in recent years.


55.6 MILLION TONNES In 2018, South Africa generated 55.6 million tonnes of general waste, 19 million tonnes was organic waste, of which 65.2% ended up in landfill

Statistics South Africa indicates that almost 20% of South African households have inadequate access to food. “As the government, we are working hard in reviewing existing legislation and developing new policy instruments for better management of our waste, and to encourage and inspire innovation in the waste management and food production. “2022 is a vital year in the implementation of the [EPR] schemes for packaging products. We have seen that a large number of producers have come forward to register and there are a

20% Statistics South Africa reported that 20% of South African households have insufficient access to food

number of producer responsibility organisations that have been registered to manage packaging products. The department is working with stakeholders in support of the EPR schemes and their implementation,” Creecy said. In March, government – as well as various member states at UNEA-5.2 – reached a resolution to curb plastic pollution. The department said it realises the need to ensure that there is a phased transition for plastic packaging, which also addresses the concerns of the domestic plastic industry, given its connection to the food industry. The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) forms part of government’s strategic priority to minimise waste that goes to landfill by 45% by 2025. As a response to the NWMS, a Draft Food Loss and Waste Strategy is under development and set to: • increase awareness of the impact of food waste

• align with chemicals and waste economy initiatives • strongly integrate different disciplinary perspectives and best practices • map out the determinants of food waste generation to deepen the understanding of household practices and help design food waste prevention strategies. Creecy urged all key stakeholders in the food value chain to engage in the development of the strategy for the reduction of food losses and waste – which in turn will inform effective and efficient food waste management solutions. It will also contribute to addressing the country’s challenges related to unemployment, food security, economic recovery and growth. Meanwhile, food and beverage waste also has a significant impact on the environment, as methane – a greenhouse gas – is produced when food spoils. Creecy emphasised that South Africa remains committed to achieving the SDGs, especially around food waste. Globally, food loss and waste represent 8% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (4.4 gigatons CO2e annually), which offers an opportunity for meaningful reductions. “Importantly, due to climate change and increasing temperatures and water scarcity, reducing food waste has a significant role to play in South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon society,” Creecy concluded.

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HOW A PLASTIC Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are the second most recycled material in South Africa. Beverage manufacturers and bottlers are working alongside waste management companies to improve the recycling rate of plastic bottles. Recycling a plastic bottle uses much less energy and natural resources than making one from new (virgin) materials. So, how does a plastic bottle get recycled?

USED BOTTLE Discarded PET bottle is collected by waste management companies or informal waste pickers working at landfills. They source and collect the PET plastic before bailing them into dense packs for transport.

STEP 1 REFORM These pellets of plastic are sold to manufacturers, who can use the recycled PET (rPET) to create new beverage bottles. These rPET fibres are also used to manufacture a variety of products, such as polyester clothing, carpeting, underbody shields for vehicles, and rPET packaging products.


These bails of recyclate are sent to a granulator to be turned into small flakes – which are sent to a heater that dries them – before being fed to a high-temperature oven to melt. This melted PET resin is extruded (stretched into long strands), cooled and chopped into small pellets.


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BOTTLE IS RECYCLED RECYCLING FACILITY These bundles of plastic waste are then taken to recycling facilities where the process begins. The bails are fed on to a production line that first passes under strong magnets to remove any metal contaminants.

STEP 2 CLEANING The PET plastic is fed to a hot washer that removes sand, dirt and oils. The labels on beverage bottles are also removed in this washer. These labels are collected and sent to another recycling production line.

STEP 3 STEP 4 SORTING Cleaned PET packaging is fed along a conveyor and scanned using high-speed optical sensors and infrared cameras to sort the waste. These sensors detect the type and colour of the PET waste, sorting it into batches of clear, green, brown and mixed colours.

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Making e-waste recycling easy

To help battle the rising tide of e-waste in South Africa, AST Recycling developed an e-waste recycling bin, which accepts electronic items such as cell phones and laptops.

Illustration of AST Recycling’s electronic waste recycling process


ccording to the e-Waste Association of South Africa, South Africa generates about 6.2 kg of e-waste per inhabitant annually and only 12% of that is recycled. The circumstances are further aggravated by the fact that, as of 23 August 2021, it is illegal to dispose of any types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) to landfill in South Africa. This means that companies must partner with a licensed recycler of WEEE, ensuring that they take responsibility for the life cycle of the products they put into the market, right through to post-consumer waste disposal. To help curb the surge of e-waste and promote the effective recycling of electronics in South Africa, AST Recycling has partnered with Leroy Merlin to roll out the installation of e-waste recycling bins at all four of the DIY retailer’s stores. The AST e-waste bin is custom designed to securely contain the waste until the bin is full, then the recycling company will send a truck to collect the contents. Rodney Peters, head: IT Asset Disposal Recycling at AST Recycling, asserts that there’s an urgent need to prioritise the recycling of e-waste, considering that South Africa is quickly running out of landfill airspace. “There’s a huge gap in the market for recycling e-waste,” he says. “People know and understand that it’s important to recycle and properly dispose of potentially harmful electronic components but finding a recycling point has always been nearly impossible.


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That’s why we launched this exciting initiative and are working on making sure these bins are accessible to the wider public.”

360° solutions Established in 2013, AST Recycling is the only ISO 9001, 14001, 27001 and 45001 certified e-waste and spent automotive catalytic converter recycling company in South Africa. Its services also include a full turnkey solution of IT asset management, IT refurbishment and IT asset disposal. “As recyclers, we are dedicated to working towards a circular electronic waste economy. Moving away from the linear take-make-waste system, AST Recycling is committed to the circular economy, and we are active at every step to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle,” says Peters.

The company’s service offering includes: E-Waste Collection: AST Recycling team collects electronic waste from the organisation and transports it to a recycling facility – where it will be repurposed, repaired or recycled. Data Sanitisation: The data sanitisation solution offered by AST is compliant with the US Department of Defense standard for data sanitisation, DOD 5220.22-M. Free Certificates: Free Data Destruction and E-Waste Disposal certificates are issued on request. Sustainable Recycling: The AST recycling solutions help to conserve natural resources and reduce the amount of e-waste accumulating in landfills. “Our team will not only recycle your electronics in an environmentally sound

1 2 3 4


AST e-waste recycling bin outside a Leroy Merlin store

way but will also sanitise your device to European (global best practice) data management standards,” emphasises Peters.

The greener and cleaner choice The first AST e-waste recycling bin was placed at the Jackal Creek golf estate, in Roodepoort, in March 2021. And although it has seen huge success, Peters asserts that the initial dropoff point proved not to be as convenient and accessible for the general public, as it’s in a restricted access area. “In late 2020, Jackal Creek was launching different recycling drop-off zones for waste such as paper and plastics. We approached the estate to also secure a space where people can drop off their electronic waste. The launch of the bin was a huge success and we saw a lot of people start recycling their electronics. “However, from there, we found that it was useful for the residents inside the estate, but very difficult for the public to access it. That is how we progressed from there into the second phase of our initiative.”

This phase entailed working with a partner that was not only strategically located around Gauteng but whose premises also guarantee the safety of the bins. That is when AST Recycling approached Leroy Merlin – who has stores in Little Falls, Fourways, Greenstone and Boksburg. This meant that its neighbouring communities would also be able to make use of these convenient bins at the stores. “We then designed new specialised bins to be placed at those locations, which can take bigger items such as microwaves and smaller TV sets. We wanted to provide a service where we can assist a larger portion of the population with their e-waste recycling needs.” All four stores have the bins on the premises, which were officially launched in March 2022. The e-waste recycling bins accept: • power tools • printers • TVs • desktop monitors • mobiles and tablets • computers and cables • small electronics • audio and video devices • media players.

Safe and secure Being cognisant of issues around data security,

AST Recycling has also ensured that its e-waste bins are completely secure. Once the electronic devices or components are brought in for recycling, they are subjected to full data sanitisation, so that no information contained on them can fall into the wrong hands. All hard drives are destroyed – never to be reused. “Another aspect that usually holds people back from recycling their e-waste is that they have concerns about data security, even when the machine is defunct or has been erased. These concerns are valid but if you use an AST recycling bin, you can be confident that we will sanitise your device to US data management standards,” says Peters. Peters believes that providing a countrywide e-waste recycling solution will contribute to reducing waste in landfills and reducing environmental harm. “We are extremely passionate about helping the public to be more responsible about recycling e-waste. By making it easy to recycle electronics, we believe that the environmental damage from this waste stream will be mitigated,” Peters concludes. M AY 2 0 2 2






The Gauteng province accounts for over 50% of e-waste in the countr y, which is growing at a rate three times faster than any other form of waste.


bout 360 000 t of e-waste is generated each year across South Africa, with Gauteng responsible for about 55% of that. As the pressure of e-waste mounts on the country, the Gauteng government says this situation cannot continue and has launched a groundbreaking e-Waste Management Strategy in partnership with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The aim is to tackle the global e-waste problem. The Gauteng Premier, David Makhura; MEC for Finance and e-Government, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko; Deputy Vice Chancellor of UJ: Research and Innovation, Professor Saurabh Sinha; and Themba Ndlovu from the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC) – and other business leaders – launched the e-waste management solution in March 2022. Premier Makhura said it was a proud moment to witness the launch of the e-waste strategy, which responds directly to the ever-increasing volumes of e-waste. “This launch is aimed at addressing both the mounting e-waste and the stubborn unemployment crisis. The e-waste management


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strategy and par tnership with UJ creates of electronic gadgets and electrical equipment an ecosystem to discard, recycle or donate – has become a worldwide environmental e-Waste products in a manner that creates concern that requires a coordinated response small businesses and job opportunities among and productive partnerships,” he added. the youth,” said Makhura. There will be training programmes for The Premier further added that this was collectors, separators and entrepreneurs a paradox, as cities and urban regions – star ting with training 200 young are experiencing the benefits of people immediately. By 2024, technology but are also facing they expect to have over a mounting problem of 2 800 young people who waste management and have been trained waste disposal as a and employed in critical dimension this e-waste of the broad management pilot environmental and programme. climate crisis. The strategy “Millions of will bring together tonnes of waste government, the 360 000 t of e-waste is generated are filling landfill private sector each year across South Africa, sites and municipal and universities ef for ts at turning to train the youth, with Gauteng responsible for waste into energy are not SMMEs and waste about 55% of that moving at an acceptable pickers and empower pace in our municipalities. them to take full advantage As a result of the rapid pace of of the economic oppor tunities technological change, the management of of the e-waste subsector of the waste and e-waste – that is, the disposal and recycling circular economy.

360 000 t


E-waste is problematic largely due to the toxicity of some of the substances that make up the components of various devices, which, if handled and discarded improperly, can cause significant pollution and environmental degradation.


eople have always preferred to live in clean conditions; as far back as 500 BC, we have evidence of laws from Greece concerning where garbage can be disposed of. They realised that dumping waste and improper incineration of solid waste were putting public health at risk and increasing pollution. “Fast-for ward to the modern day, and our disposal needs are no longer ash from people’s cooking fires and horse manure, but rather ever-increasing numbers of new kinds of hazardous wastes, including e-waste, which is considered by the World Economic Forum to be the fastest growing waste stream in the world, with an estimate of 48.5 million tonnes of waste in 2018,” says Ryan van Heerden, national manager: On-site Ser vices, EnviroSer v Waste Management. According to the e-Waste Association of South Africa, South Africa generates about

Solutions to the growing problem of e-waste 6.2 kg of e-waste per inhabitant annually and only 12% of that is recycled, despite the fact that e-waste can be a valuable source of secondar y raw materials. According to Van Heerden, examples of electronic waste include batteries, solar panels, TVs, Wi-Fi routers, computer monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, calculators, cellphones, radios and media players, as well as appliances like kettles, microwaves, toasters and fridges. “The incorrect disposal of e-waste has negative and permanent impacts on the health of human beings and the environment, which is why experienced recycling par tners should be used.” Chemicals contained in e-waste – such as lead, barium and lithium – can contaminate water sources with carcinogens, leading to serious health complications. Research

into the reasons why South Africans do not recycle has cited a lack of awareness or knowledge about recycling, a lack of facilities and disinterest. Initiatives such as the Tokyo Olympics organisers using recycled electronics to make the 2020 Olympic medals are useful to raise awareness of the need for recycling. “EnviroSer v manages complex logistics on behalf of our clients, offering waste and e-waste ser vices to assist South African companies with compliant asset disposal of all end-of-term IT and electronic equipment. We provide the necessar y regulation compliance while recovering value for the goods. These ser vices are aligned to EnviroSer v’s values of looking after the environment and contributing to the circular economy by reusing and refurbishing where possible, while helping corporate South Africa reduce their risks and environmental cost,” Van Heerden says. While South Africa has come a long way with recycling initiatives, there is still much work to be done. He concludes, “This is why we have increasingly sought out implementation-driven solutions to accommodate all types of waste streams, focusing efforts on supporting a move to a circular economy.”

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Best practices for transitioning to a

green economy

The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa is hosting the fifth biennial Industrial Efficiency Conference in Pretoria and online on 25 and 26 May 2022.


he National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) is hosting its Industrial Efficiency Conference at no cost to delegates. The conference, which is held every two years, is aimed at sharing best practices and building capacity in the industry to transition to a green economy. What sets the conference apart is a twoday programme educating and equipping businesses to adopt a cleaner, more efficient model of doing business and offering government representatives better solutions for the implementation of a green economy. The NCPC-SA also makes use of workshops to share tools and case studies during the conference. The biennial event has become a tangible indicator of the impact of and need for the subsidised services of the NCPC-SA. “Since the first conference in 2013, industry representatives, government officials, consultants, researchers and academics have met to share the latest tools and methodologies, as well as successful case studies on how to transform production and business practices to be more efficient, resulting in not only resource use efficiency, but financial savings as well,” says Ndivhuho Raphulu, director, NCPC-SA.


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The NCPC-SA is a national industry support programme managed by the CSIR on behalf of the dtic. Its mandate is to support the transition of South African industrial and selected commercial sectors to a low-carbon, green economy The 2022 conference will continue in this tradition and will be the first in-person conference or workshop held by the body since March 2020. The event will be hosted at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria, and the two-day programme will include the below.

Two-day programme summary On Wednesday, 25 May 2022, the programme will begin with a plenary session, which will be addressed by representatives of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), focusing on national and international policy and project development to support industry’s green economy transition. This will be followed by three breakaway sessions: • Industrial Energy Efficiency and the South African IEE Project will include industry case studies, results of sector energy surveys, and the opportunities for industry and renewable

alternatives, including biogas and the importance of power quality. • The Eco-Industrial Parks session will share developments by UNIDO, the dtic and selected Industrial Development Zone and industrial park management on the opportunities around industrial parks and the transition to ecoindustrial parks. • Sustainability in the Metals Casting Sector will be a session focused on the foundries and related industries, and will share work on energy opportunities, environmental compliance and 4IR opportunities to support this sector in distress. The second day, Thursday, 26 May 2022, will also begin with a short plenary. This session will look at 20 years of the NCPC-SA and the evolution of the green economy in South Africa. Four breakaway sessions will then be held: • Circular Economy and Life Cycle Management will be a session focusing on innovation and approaches to ensure more than just resource

efficiency. The issues of extended producer responsibility and product life-cycle assessments and their importance in global markets will be explored, along with projects by the NCPC-SA, CSIR and UN to assist industry in these areas. • Industrial Symbiosis and Waste Minimisation will focus specifically on the opportunities in the waste economy for industry. The NCPC-SA managed industrial symbiosis programmes in five provinces and will provide practical tools and case studies on how to reduce waste and divert it from landfill to become a business opportunity for others. • The Industrial Water Efficiency session will share tools and guides that industry can use to adopt better water management, including a focus on metering, and will include sector interventions and research findings by both the NCPC-SA and the CSIR. • The Skills Development session will share opportunities and developments in new skill sets and learning platforms that can assist industry to transition to more efficient ways of doing business. This will include a presentation by and tour of the CSIR 4IR Learning Factory. This year’s conference will mark the official end of the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Project, implemented since 2010 by the NCPC-SA and UNIDO. The IEE Project was launched to assist industrial companies around the country to save energy and money, improve effectiveness, and demonstrate the positive impact of energy management on greenhouse gas emissions. The project won the highest international accolade for an energy programme – the International Energy Project of the Year – awarded by the global Association of Energy Engineers. This was in recognition of its efforts to transform energy use patterns in South African industry and to mainstream energy management systems across economic sectors. The IEE Project in South Africa was the first of its kind and served as an international pilot project. UNIDO will share the platform with the NCPC-SA to present industry and government stakeholders with feedback on the impact made by the project, lessons learned and the way forward, including new energy projects and integration of the IEE Project services into the NCPC-SA.

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Finding new waste beneficiation opportunities through science, technology and innovation South African businesses and households still send around 80% of all waste generated to landfill, despite having a policy environment that strongly promotes the waste hierarchy and the diversion of waste towards reuse, recycling and recover y. By Linda Godfrey & Henry Roman*


hether it be for technical or economic reasons, the private sector has been slow to adopt alternative waste treatment technologies that reduce waste disposal and keep resources circulating within the South African economy. The Department of Science and Innovation


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(DSI) established the Waste Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap in 2015 to maximise the diversion of waste from landfill towards value-adding oppor tunities, including the prevention of waste and optimised extraction of value from reuse, recycling and recover y, so as to create local social, economic and environmental benefit.

The Roadmap guides South Africa’s portfolio investment in waste R&D and innovation, in order to suppor t effective decision-making; faster inser tion of context-appropriate technology; export of know-how and technology (where appropriate); and strengthened RDI capability and capacity. By focusing research on high-value product recover y, it is hoped that

WASTE MANAGEMENT attractive technology solutions can be found that overcome the current skewed economics around waste beneficiation in South Africa – given the current low cost of landfilling, which makes alternative solutions relatively more expensive. As such, there is an expectation that publicly funded waste research, undertaken by South African universities and science councils, will find uptake and application by local businesses, or will create opportunities for the establishment of new businesses with a focus on waste beneficiation. Over the past seven years, the DSI has invested in innovative technology development in the valorisation of municipal waste, organic waste, waste plastic, electronic waste and waste tyres. Many of these research projects have been completed, and the findings of the research have been made publicly available on the Waste RDI Roadmap website: The private sector is encouraged to utilise this online resource to find innovative new technologies and approaches for high-value product recover y from waste streams. It is through alternative waste technologies that diversion of waste from landfill can take place in a manner that contributes to both economic growth and job creation.

Technology development The outcomes from just four of these research projects are highlighted here, but the reader is encouraged to visit the website, review available research, engage with the relevant research leads, and explore oppor tunities for implementation of the research within local businesses. High value-added bioproducts from wheat straw, bran and mango seed waste Dr Chimphango, Stellenbosch University The hemicellulose extract from mango seed husk formed self-supporting thermally

stable biocomposite films, with potential application in food packaging. Biocomposite films produced using mango seed husk hemicellulose with var ying xyloglucan and xylan presented higher thermal degradation temperatures than commercial xylan. It was obser ved that xyloglucan in any ratio during the production of xylan composite films could improve the overall thermal stability of the film. For more information, see Recycling of Li-ion batteries Ms Gericke, Mintek The results of this business case analysis indicated that ver y low volumes of Li-ion batter y waste are currently collected in South Africa. A techno-economic study, comparing pyrometallurgical, hydrometallurgical and physical processes, showed that the most profitable recycling option would be the production and sale of black mass, followed by the hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical routes. In all cases, recycling becomes economical at a Li-ion batter y feed rate of round 500 tpa for high-value batteries. For more information, see Waste plastics in roads Mr Mturi, CSIR Smart Mobility This laborator y and in-field research showed potential in using currently non-recyclable waste plastic materials to design rut-resistant asphalt mixes for road construction, without compromising other asphalt per formance requirements. The approach requires the adoption of necessar y criteria to establish a consistent source of waste plastic. The research also highlighted the need to understand the mechanism that improves rut resistance to ensure this benefit is realised through controlling per formance criteria and handling of the asphalt mix. Furthermore, the research identified requirements for

measuring additional asphalt properties that would quantify the contribution of the asphalt layer to safety, health and environmental sustainability. For more information, see Recovery of valuable metals from waste electrical and electronic equipment Dr Kotsiopoulos, University of Cape Town Techno-economically, this hybrid approach minimises fresh feed requirements and the quantity of discharge effluent that must be treated, thereby reducing the energy footprint needed for the additional treatment of waste streams. It is clear from experimental outcomes, reaction modelling and literature-based analyses that a staged microbially facilitated process is the route with the greatest potential to reduce overall costs and to achieve the greatest financial return with reduced environmental burden when recovering metals from printed circuit boards. For more information, see

Building skills for the sector Many of these Roadmap-funded research projects have also suppor ted master’s, doctorate or postdoctorate students. Businesses are encouraged to engage with the respective research leads to source highly qualified graduates for uptake into local waste businesses, whether through internships or fulltime employment. This creates a wonder ful oppor tunity to support technology transfer from postgraduate studies and associated research, into the private sector. *Professor Linda Godfrey is a principal scientist in waste and the circular economy at the CSIR and manages the Waste RDI Roadmap on behalf of government. Dr Henry Roman is the director: Environmental Services and Technologies at the Department of Science and Innovation.





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Increasing investments in the resource sector THE EVENTS Resources 4 Africa is a small business specialising in conferences on mineral resources, energy and mining.


aunched just a decade ago, Resources 4 Africa (R4A) has gone from strength to strength, steadily increasing its annual offerings – from hosting the ver y first Joburg Indaba conceived out of a need to increase investment in the resource and mining sectors, to now offering several highly specialised industr y days as well as the hugely popular Joburg and Junior Indabas. The R4A team creates fresh, inspiring, thought-provoking events that allow for and encourage often-controversial, no-holds-barred conversations that make a real difference. The challenges of Covid-19 didn’t prevent the events from taking place; they simply moved online for two years. This year, the events use a hybrid model, allowing speakers and delegates to attend in person or join in from wherever they are in the world – which has opened up new global opportunities for R4A.

The Joburg Indaba ( will celebrate its 10th year in 2022. It is renowned as a leading industry gathering that attracts an unparalleled line-up of CEOs, government, investors and industry experts who come together in a series of constructive discussions around the critical issues facing the mining sector in South Africa – macroeconomic and political factors, how different commodities and sectors are performing, current energy challenges, the investment landscape, ESG, modernisation, health and safety, and more.

The PGMs Industry Day ( has established itself as a highly influential platform where major PGMs producers, investors, analysts and end-users discuss how the PGMs industry is changing, what the international trends are, and what the future might hold.

The Coal & Energy Industry Day ( brings together all the key stakeholders involved in the coal and energy supply chain – government, miners, alternative energy producers, traders, logistics providers, investors, as well as environmental and legal experts – to discuss how the industry is changing, what current international trends indicate, and what the future might hold, including the transition away from coal-fired power stations.

The Junior Indaba ( is known for its straight-talking and frank discussions, and provides an annual update on the status of the exploration and junior mining sector in Africa. The Junior Indaba takes a critical view of both the state of play in South Africa and the exploration and junior mining ‘hot spots’ in the rest of Africa. Local and international experts give their views on the latest political, economic and regulatory developments, and why certain regions are succeeding in achieving a thriving exploration and junior mining sector.

The Hydrogen Economy Discussion ( brings mining companies, OEMs, investors, industry associations, hydrogen equipment suppliers, infrastructure providers and independent advisers together to discuss the potential for hydrogen energy globally, as well as how South Africa can take advantage of its own potential for producing and exporting hydrogen to create a completely new industry with

significant contributions to GDP and employment.

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of the renewable energy sector ABOUT SAWEA The association represents the interests of its members, who are invested in the South African wind power value chain. Sawea was started in 1998 and has operated on a voluntary basis with limited funds until mid-2010. The body’s purpose is to perform the unique role of a member-driven association. Sawea activities are focused on advocating for the implementation of ambitious, consistent South African energy policy that harnesses the country’s immense wind resource and results in the streamlined growth of a wind power asset base. They also facilitate and promote excellent practice in the associated localisation, socio-economic and economic development and transformational areas of wind power. Sawea activities are focused on: • a dvocacy for investment in wind power • p romotion of socio-economic development and transformation through wind power

• e xcellent operational practice in the generation of wind power The SA Wind • p rovision of pertinent information on the local wind power market Energy Association • p romotion of renewable power in large- and small-scale applications is advocating for the • p romotion of wind and renewable power investment in Africa. industrialisation of the renewable energy sector to further unlock the economic potential of the sector, multiplying the associated benefits for South Africa.


he South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) and its sector stakeholders are advocating for the industrialisation of the renewable energy sector to extend the potential across the value chain. This will help unlock both the economic power of the renewable energy industr y and deliver broader benefits to the people of South Africa. The association has stressed the importance of managing the industrialisation of its sector responsibly, by ensuring that components are localised on the basis of their competitiveness and value-addition. To this end, Sawea stresses that predictable and continued procurement underpins any industrialisation policy and incentives to build more and better local capabilities, in order for


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the wind industr y to compete with international markets, while supporting local manufacturers to become competitive for export markets. “Transformation goes hand in hand with the industrialisation of the wind power sector. And market certainty is the most important aspect to building a local manufacturing industr y. Hence, we require the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to provide consistency, in line with the IRP 2019, to kickstart industrialisation by upfront certainty on a number of REIPPPP (Renewable Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme) rounds and their primar y local content framework,” explains Niveshen Govender, CEO of Sawea.

Policy shifts The countr y’s power sector procurement model started evolving over a decade ago, with major policy shifts. This has accelerated over the last 18 months, with the raising of the cap on the new generation capacity requirement for a generation licence to 100 MW and government’s continued commitment to rolling procurement. This is in line with the global uptake of renewable energy to increase energy security and achieve climate goals. South Africa’s energy roadmap, IRP 2019, requires 3 600 wind turbines, underpinning the

industrialisation plan and demonstrating a notewor thy oppor tunity for local employment and GDP contribution thr ough annual production across the value chain. By maximising the use of the current industrial capacity to supply materials and components into the sector’s demand ar eas, additional investments in capacity and capability will be stimulated. “We continue to suppor t the various stakeholders – including government, labour, civil society, researchers, industr y contributors and other advisor y groups – which are currently drafting the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan that addresses exactly how we can industrialise the renewable energy value chain in our electricity sector to enable inclusive participation in the energy transition, ser ving the needs of society and contributing to economic revival,” says Govender. South Africa has been relatively successful

in establishing local manufacturing to ser ve the utility-scale wind market in the past, through the diverse representation of OEMs. However, while the renewable ener gy market is no longer nascent, the renewable energy manufacturing component can still be considered as emerging. This was exacerbated by the hiatus in procurement in REIPPPP around the signing of Bid Window 4, which resulted in the loss of local civil engineering capacity, which now requires some ramping up to fully capacitate the sector again, in line with government’s resumption of the renewable procurement programme. “Our industr y needs to understand, harness, accelerate and maximise localisation to move toward industrialising renewable energy in South Africa. To do this, we will work alongside, and within, the framework and mechanisms to ensure that this transition is managed responsibly and can deliver true value and benefit for our industr y, South Africa and its people,” concludes Govender.

Our industry needs to understand, harness, accelerate and maximise localisation to move toward industrialising renewable energy in South Africa. To do this, we will work alongside, and within, the framework and mechanisms to ensure that this transition is managed responsibly and can deliver true value and benefit for our industry, South Africa and its people.”

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Upcoming EVENTS


Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Gauteng Date: 7 to 9 June 2022 Website: Africa’s only all-things-concrete expo! The eighth annual Totally Concrete Expo offers contractors, engineers, quantity surveyors, architects, designers and property owners a one-stop shop to identify viable project tenders and the materials that will help them complete their projects on budget and on time. Manufacturers, transporters and processors of concrete will be provided with access to South Africa’s and Africa’s most influential project owners to build relationships, evaluate new technologies, overcome industry challenges, and identify new and future commercial partners. To excel in a changing industry, you need the latest trends, bulletproof best practices and a crystal-clear picture of where the industry is headed. Readymix and precast concrete producers, specifiers, contractors, engineers, architects – if you manufacture, sell, specify or work with concrete in any capacity, then this is your show. Totally Concrete Expo will take place alongside the African Construction Expo, African Smart Cities Summit and WoodEX for Africa.


Venue: Emperors Palace, Gauteng Date: 18 to 20 October 2022 Website: The theme of the biennial conference and exhibition, currently planned to be held as a face-to-face event at Emperors Palace in Gauteng from 18 to 20 October 2022, will be ‘Back on Track? Perspectives on Waste and Circularity’. The theme essentially encompasses a reality check on where we are now in respect of the state of waste management and circular economy, what we have done well or badly in the past, what we should continue doing well, and what we should be doing better or differently in the future. WasteCon is hosted by the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa, a multidisciplinary non-profit association committed to supporting professional waste management practices.

ENLIT AFRICA Venue: CTICC, Cape Town Date: 7 to 9 June 2022 Website:

Enlit Africa is an energy event unlike any other – because it is more than just an energy event. Enlit Africa is the leading platform that gathers Africa’s power, energy and water community for 365 days a year to meet and inspire each other via world-class content and valuable connections. That community will come together for three days in a digital format on an AI-powered digital platform, Enlit Africa-Connect, on 26 to 28 October 2021 and live in Cape Town on 7 to 9 June 2022. Apart from the live and digital events, cutting-edge information is delivered through webinars, exclusive one-on-one interviews with the who’s who of the energy sector, compelling content from host publication ESI Africa, product launches, technology showcases and much more.



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Resources for Africa

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EnviroServ Waste Management


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WasteCon 2022


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