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The official journal of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa

Promoting integrated resources management

Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa

FASSI celebrates its

50 year th

of crane excellence

Recycling Stabilising green cooperatives

Energy Management Establishing renewablepowered SEZs

Landfills Setting a new standard in hazardous facilities

IN THE HOT SEAT ISSN 1680-4902 R50.00 (incl VAT) • Vol 17, No 4, November 2015 Through the circular economy, we have enabled the is creation of 216 independently owned SMME businesses and printed on 100% recycled paper 2 920 new jobs.” Stacey Davison Director, REDISA P12

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contents www.3smedia.co.za ISSN 1680-4902, Volume 17, No.4, November 2015

The ReSource team stands firmly behind environmental preservation. As such, ReSource is printed on 100% recycled paper and uses no dyes or varnishes. The magazine is saddle stitched to ensure that no glues are required in the binding process.

Machinery, Vehicles & Equipment

Cover Story

Marking 50 years of crane excellence This year’s Bauma Conexpo marked 50 years of Fassi cranes worldwide. Product supplier, local company EQSTRA 600SA shares its experiences of a winning partnership. P6

ReSource offers advertisers an ideal platform to ensure maximum exposure of their brand. Companies are afforded the opportunity of publishing a cover story and a cover picture to promote their products and services to an appropriate audience. Please call Tazz Porter on +27 (0)11 465 5452 or +27 (0)82 318 9308 to secure your booking.



Energy Management

President’s Comment


Editor’s Comment


M  achinery, Vehicles & Equipment Body building for buff trucks


Cutting out waste in waste management


Hot Seat


REDISA's Stacey Davidson on promoting circular economic growth

Leading industrial energy efficiency


Renewable hotspot research under way


Geared for business


Landfills Partnering for better landfills


Engineering excellence


Leading landfill construction


Lining for success


Manufacturing material distinction 39

Recycling Soft drink giant shares hard facts 14 Getting in touch with waste pickers 16 Stabilising green cooperatives


Best Coastal Cleanup in 19 years


Optimising efficiencies


Innovation and networking at Landfills 2015


Rehabilitation for future generations


Achieving sustainable landfills


Pretreatment enhances gas performance


in association with infrastructure news

Energy Management




landfills ReSource November 2015 1

Funded by: RFRESDDO2015

President’s Comment

Job creation in waste sector The Department of Science and Technology commissioned a waste sector survey in 2012, which found that the formal waste sector in South Africa employs about 30 000 people. There is also a large informal sector supporting the formal sector in achieving its targets for recycling. It is estimated that 70% to 90% of the packaging waste that is recycled in South Africa is sourced from the informal sector.


LTHOUGH THE informal sector has been active in many towns and cities throughout South Africa for more than two decades, it is still marginalised and operates at the fringe of municipal solid waste management systems. Waste and recycling cooperatives, and small and medium-sized enterprises are strongly promoted by government, as clearly illustrated in Goal 3 of the National Waste Management Strategy, to create 69 000 new jobs and 2 600 additional SMEs and cooperatives participating in waste service delivery and recycling. However, small businesses face numerous challenges and are failing to create sustainable jobs and income opportunities.

Together for change This situation created an oppor tunity for industr y, academia, and government to join hands and address this issue through a structured dialogue in order to provide clear recommendations

on how to integrate the informal sector and SMEs into the South African waste economy. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – in par tnership with Amalgamated Beverage Industries, Green Cape, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), the National Research Foundation, and Depar tment of Environmental Affairs – facilitated two workshops, one in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town, to come up with concise briefing notes, summarising the outcomes and recommendations of both workshops. In addition, Green Cape will use the outcomes of the Cape Town workshop to: • link like-minded people in the space to collaborate • develop a resource bank of good models • initiate and suppor t a project or model that can be tracked to illustrate improvement of the informal sector. IWMSA is proud to be associated with this initiative to guide the integration

We continue to build capacity in the sector by providing training based on both IWMSA-approved and accredited training programmes.” Suzan Oelofse, president, IWMSA  of the ver y impor tant informal sector into the waste sector in South Africa. In addition, we continue to build capacity in the sector by providing training based on both IWMSA-approved and accredited training programmes. We also continue to ser ve our members through the events arranged by the branch committees and our flagship biannual conference. Book the dates 17 to 21 October 2016 in your diar y for WasteCon 2016, which is to be held at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg. The theme for this not-tobe-missed conference is ‘The Changing Face of Waste Management’. Suzan Oelofse

Patron members of the IWMSA

ReSource November 2015 3

environmentally responsible


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

safe thermal treatment

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

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Editor‘s Comment Publisher: Elizabeth Shorten Associate publisher: Nicholas McDiarmid Editor: Frances Ringwood Head of design: Beren Bauermeister Design consultant: Frédérick Danton Chief sub-editor: Tristan Snijders Sub-editor: Morgan Carter Contributors: Linda Godfrey, Tracy McNeil, Peter Novella, Suzan Oelofse Client services & production manager: Antois-Leigh Botma Production coordinator: Jacqueline Modise Financial manager: Andrew Lobban Digital & marketing manager: Philip Rosenberg Distribution manager: Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator: Asha Pursotham Administrator: Tonya Hebenton Printers: United Litho Johannesburg Tel: +27 (0)11 402 0571 Advertising sales: Tazz Porter Tel: +27 (0)11 465 5452 Cell: +27 (0)82 318 3908 tazz@connect.co.za

Publisher: No.9, 3rd Avenue Rivonia, 2191 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 Fax: +27 (0)11 234 7274/5 www.3smedia.co.za Annual subscription: subs@3smedia.co.za R200.00 (incl. VAT) South Africa ISSN 1680-4902 The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 675 3462 Email: iwmsa@telkomsa.net 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 expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa, but those of the author or other contributors under whose name contributions may appear, unless a contributor expresses a viewpoint or opinion in his or her capacity as an elected office bearer of a company, group or association. © Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Resourcing all sectors N

O INDUSTRIES show as much growth potential in the new year as those of waste and energy. With that in mind, ReSource looks back at some of these industries’ stellar achievements over the past year. In recent months, several readers from a wide variety of sectors have congratulated the ReSource team on the quality of the magazine’s content. We’d like to take this as an opportunity to encourage even more participation from the waste and energy management professionals and to promise more great things in the future. In one instance, a woman involved in chemicals manufacturing approached me at the annual South African Plastic Pipes Manufacturing Association Conference and said how much she enjoyed reading the articles and that her children in primary school had also referred to the magazine for their school projects. Another time, a gentleman who owns an enterprise development company drove to the magazine’s business premises to say how much value he’d gained from articles that promote the idea of waste as an asset. Other members of the team tell me they regularly receive similarly positive feedback.

Industry bodies

Crucial to the promotion of better recycling practices in South Africa have been the oversight bodies, which challenge the industry and South Africa to be more aware of the impact of wastage

Crucial to the promotion of better recycling practices in South Africa have been the oversight bodies, which challenge the industry and South Africa to be more aware of the impact of wastage. Just one example – which has gone above and beyond this year – is the Rose Foundation, which regulates the oil recycling industry. Through its efforts, about 70% of recoverable used oil and lubricants are recycled. This rate compares favourably with world leaders in oil recovery and is particularly impressive, considering that South Africa is a waterscarce country (the 33rd driest in the world) and how important it is to protect this irreplaceable resource. Other important partners in the plastics, tyres, paper, and glass recycling industries are all enormously appreciated, and we look forward to a new year of continued value enhancement and job creation from all of these organisations in 2016.

Sharing success

RéSource is endorsed by:

Tell us about your success, because turning waste into worth is a concept that invites new readers and brings the industry together. The waste and energy industries’ successes are South Africa’s success, and the ReSource team feels a tremendous sense of pride in sharing your journeys towards a more sustainable future.

Frances Ringwood APOLOGY in the last issue of ReSource, the article “Wrapping

up food waste” on pages 31 to 33 claimed that the IWMSA is in negotiations with WRAP. This is untrue as it is the CSIR that is undertaking these negotiations. ReSource apologises unreservedly for any confusion caused. ReSource November 2015 5

Cover Story


Eqstra 600SA, with its business relationship with Italian crane manufacturer Fassi dating back as far as the 1970s, marked 50 years of Fassi cranes worldwide at Bauma Conexpo Africa, which took place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre from 15 to 18 September 2015.

Marking 50 years of crane


HE LONGEVITY of our relationship with Fassi is an expression of Eqstra Industrial Equipment’s (EIE) commitment to forming partnerships for life, both with our principals and our clients – partnerships that go beyond just business associations, stepping into the realm of sound friendships,” says Brendan Londt, managing director of Eqstra 600SA. “A best-in-class brand, Fassi’s values fit in perfectly with

Eqstra’s, including the shared commitment to ongoing innovation.” A division of EIE, Eqstra 600SA is one of Fassi’s most successful distributors worldwide, marketing a comprehensive range of Fassi loader cranes, global leaders in the lifting industry, throughout Southern Africa.

New premises Eqstra 600SA will shortly be moving into ultramodern premises – state-of-the ar t facilities that are in line with the high-quality and technologically advanced

products it markets. Developing its first truck-mounted crane in 1965, Fassi, which is headquar tered in Bergamo, Italy, has continued its ongoing search for improvement and a high level of innovation that has always distinguished its brand on the world market. “We are honoured to be celebrating Fassi’s 50th anniversar y as one of its distributors around the globe and to have contributed to the company’s success with our extensive track record of locally supplying Fassi cranes,” says Londt. “It speaks volumes about the quality and durability of these machines that over 70% of the cranes ever produced by Fassi are still in full-time operation.” The histor y of Fassi has been not so much one of building a company, but rather one of living out a passion. As Franco Fassi, the company’s visionar y founder, says: “Fassi’s 50th anniversar y doesn’t

Fassi’s 50th anniversary doesn’t actually celebrate the birth of the company, but the birth of our love for cranes.” Franco Fassi, company founder

6 ReSource November 2015

Cover Story

Then and now: Eqstra and 600SA's relationship has spanned 45 years

excellence actually celebrate the bir th of the company, but the bir th of our love for cranes.” With the solid foundations laid in the 1960s, the company saw remarkable growth and development, as well as the second generation, through Giovanni Fassi, taking the lead. Taking stock of his father’s valuable insight and philosophy, and applying this to a newly evolving global economy, Giovanni explains: “The principles that my father followed, in order to give life to his entrepreneurial adventure in the world of cranes in 1965, remain the same ones on which the global enterprise rests today. “As a company, we operate in the new millennium with the same values that we had at the outset: quality, innovation, consistency, safety, and internationalism. We have never settled for second best and we have always forged ahead with the courage of pioneers and the eyes of explorers.”

Leading the crane market Today, Fassi manufactures over 5 000 ar ticulating hydraulic truck-mounted cranes per year and expor ts over 80% of them all over the world. Fassi offers a complete range

The Fassi team celebrates the company's 50th birthday at Bauma Conexpo 2015

of cranes for ever y need, and which can be mounted on many types of commercial trucks and carriers. Eqstra 600SA distributes Fassi’s lightduty 1 tm to 12 tm, medium-duty 13 tm to 38 tm, and heavy-duty 41 tm to 127 tm truck-mounted, knuckle-boom cranes (tm indicates how many tonnes a crane can lift at a height of one metre). These cranes are characterised by advanced technological features that not only facilitate optimal productivity, but also ensure high levels of safety. Features include the innovative Fassi double-linkage system, which ensures per fectly constant lifting at all times, while the original ProLink system allows the working angle to be increased above the horizontal line by up to 20 degrees. The man-machine inter face is also a

design priority, with advanced communication systems and userfriendly control consoles. Fassi was also one of the first crane companies to develop remote control systems to allow the operator to work from positions of greater safety and with better visibility of the load. The digital radio remote control, compatible with the Fassi product, continuously monitors and ensures the ideal crane working conditions versus the vehicle/crane stability. Eqstra 600SA fully suppor ts its Fassi crane users over the complete product life cyle, including maintenance contracts, operator and maintenance staff training, and spares and aftermarket suppor t.

t +27 (0)11 458 7555 • www.efm.co.za

ReSource November 2015 7

Machinery, Vehicles & Equipment

Body building for


trucks In South Africa, waste management experts buying trucks for specialist fleets have long been faced with the challenge of having to source chassis cab companies and body builders separately. However, collaboration between these two players results in new, satisfying synergies and should be encouraged where possible. BY FRANCES RINGWOOD


ASTE MANAGEMENT, whether carried out by private companies or municipalities, usually requires a fleet of trucks – more often than not, several different types – for carr ying out a variety of ever yday tasks. These tasks might include the collection of household refuse or different recyclates, the transportation of heavy materials from industrial sites, loading and unloading skips, and street sweeping.

Chassis cabs for the waste industry The waste industry makes highly specific demands of its chassis cab combinations. First off, a slight overhang can better facilitate the attachment of a small, rear-end compactor – perfect for navigating around rural areas or housing estates. The length of the wheelbase is also important for achieving the right balance of manoeuvrability versus stability. High-end chassis cab combinations with a long wheel base boast enhanced stability, which translates to an improved driver experience – ideal for long-haul applications. Vehicles with shorter wheel bases are better for manoeuvring in tight confines, so 8 ReSource November 2015

this configuration is more responsive and ‘twitchy’. These could be ideal characteristics for skip loaders moving in the tight confines of an industrial park or on a busy mine. Crew cabs are also an important aspect to look at. Air conditioning, driver tracking and assistance technology, and slightly larger spaces can make the cab space more comfortable for crews who find themselves working long hours. Other factors that enhance chassis cab performance include fuel efficiency, the intended duty cycle of the truck, the weight of the vehicle, and the power of the engine. There are numerous well-respected truck companies in South Africa capable of assisting truck buyers to find the ideal vehicle. What can be slightly more challenging is to ensure that truck bodies are built to the same standards as their trucks. Local conditions demand local solutions, but knowledge of the local market alone is not enough, and buyers wanting peace of mind.

Seeing the future Sipho Sandla is a mechanical engineer and the general manager leading the Kanu/ACT

ABOVE When trucks and bodies are approached holistically, design stresses can be tested and vehicles pushed to new boundaries in service and innovation

body building facility in Port Elizabeth – a unique facility in that it is owned by a truck manufacturer: Isuzu Truck South Africa. “Here at Kanu/ACT, we have built a number of customised vehicles for municipal entities, using sophisticated AutoCAD software, and we look forward to future opportunities to create vehicles that perfectly suit the needs of all our buyers,” says Sandla. One of the particularly interesting vehicles they designed for a municipal waste management client incorporated a body with divisions, making it possible to separate household waste at the collection stage. Partnerships such as the one between Kanu/ACT and Isuzu Truck South Africa have the incredible potential to foster a greater understanding between chassis cab manufacturers and their vertical markets. The upshot of this shared understanding will be more versatile vehicles, designed to meet the changing needs of the waste management industry as they happen.



ROM OPERATOR skills to maintenance schemes and fuel efficiency, choosing the right machines helps companies realise substantial savings in every area. The total owning and operating costs in waste-handling applications can be significantly impacted by fuel costs. Fuel economy can make a difference in operating costs at the end of the year. It is not uncommon for fuel costs to represent 30% to 40%

of the total owning and operating costs of a wheel loader or of a material handler working in waste-handling applications.

Operator influence Just as a skilled motorist can travel further on less fuel than an average driver, a skilled machine operator can impact fuel consumption and the operating costs of a waste treatment plant.

Machinery, Vehicles & Equipment

That’s why popular machinery, vehicles, and equipment supplier Caterpillar and the Cat dealer network developed the Eco-Drive operator training programme designed to highlight best practice operating techniques that influence and contribute to a more fuelefficient machine operation. In addition, fleet managers can remotely monitor and review machine and operator per formance. This way, training can be targeted at operator needs and the appropriate equipment needed to optimise fuel consumption

Cutting out waste in waste management

Profitability in waste management means controlling the operational costs of human, land, and mechanical resources. This holds true for collection and hauling, as well as landfill planning and management.

ReSource November 2015 9

Machinery, Vehicles & Equipment

and usage can be identified. Caterpillar equips its machines with the trademarked Product Link system – a remote telemetric system that gathers machine data such as fuel consumption, machine use, and component condition. The data is sent via satellite or a proprietary web-based interface (GSM) to fleet managers who can make timely, cost-effective, and informed decisions that have a positive effect on the operation’s bottom line.

(pre-cleaner, filtration, and pressuriser) systems normally rely on air passing through multiple layers of filters to remove particulate matter. In the case of Cat equipment, however, the cyclonic pre-cleaning system uses centrifugal airflow to eject 90% to 95% of airborne par ticles before they reach the filtration stage and only one filter is required where, previously, three were needed, and the useful life of that single filter is much longer. An analysis made over 10 000 hours (or about five years of real-world of operation), has indicated that the use of a Cat precyclonic cab filtration system saves about $20 305 compared with a conventional PFP filtration system.

As bad as what is on the ground, what’s in the air – such as dust, or even sometimes asbestos – can be equally hazardous. Airborne dust and dirt make pressurising and filtering cabin air crucial

The right machine Using the right machine for the application is a key element to drive lower costs per tonne. For example, if a waste machine is loading trucks with a 4 m height, a 2.55 m width, and a 12.5 m length, at about 0.2 kg per cubic meter, the density of the material is not an issue, but maximising the volume of each truck load is, if transport costs are to be minimised. So, what is the optimal  set-up?

operator comfort. Plus, they can cost about $1 128 more per tyre. Solid tyres, though more costly initially, are often the optimal choice. In the past, solid pneumatic tyres made the ride hard for operators and rough on the machine frames and axles. Cat’s Flexport tyres are an excellent solution. These solid tyres are engineered with holes for flexibility and cushioning to give a better ride and stability. After more than 10 000 hours of operation, a cost per hour analysis has showed a reduced cost of $3.29 per hour, compared to heavy duty, foam-filled pneumatic L5 tyres, and a $6.67 saving over heavy-duty pneumatic L5 tyres. That’s a total saving of $32 938 and $67 000, respectively, over 5 years or 10 000 hours.

The bottom line Every waste management operation has its own unique set of challenges and waste management applications can vary greatly. There is no single, standard ‘most productive’ or ‘most economical’ solution. Depending on the opera-


OPTION B OPTION A 20.5 tonne material handler Versatile for working at different heights, a material handler such as the M318D MH is quite fuel-efficient in many applications. The grapple, however, may not be the most productive tool to consistently load large volumes.

OPTION B 20 tonne wheel loader A large wheel loader with a high lift arm will reach the 4 m height with enough clearance to optimise capacity. With a higher loading capacity than an excavator or a material handler, it is better suited to a loading production.

Choosing tyres

Cab filtration

Selecting the right type of tyres for the application is essential. Pneumatic tyres are suited to longer travel cycles. They offer handling and operator comfort but can cut or puncture – increasing downtime as well as maintenance and repair costs. Foam-filled pneumatic tyres decrease the risk of punctures, but reduce handling and

As bad as what is on the ground, what’s in the air – such as dust, or even sometimes asbestos – can be equally hazardous. Airborne dust and dirt make pressurising and filtering cabin air crucial. We can compare the effectiveness – and the impact on operational costs – of two popular solutions. Standard PFP

OPTION C 16 tonne wheel loader In this case, a loading deck should be used to lower the dump height. A smaller wheel loader, with the same size loading tool, becomes more efficient. The equipment cost is less, the cycle times are improved, and the fuel consumption is naturally lower. The time saved is estimated at about 11 minutes per truck and, if, say, five trucks per day are used, this represents nearly an hour of saved time per day.

tion, using  the right equipment for each application, providing operator training, and focusing on the right attachment will lower fuel and overall operating costs as much as the purchase price of the machine.

ReSource November 2015 11

Hot Seat


Promoting circular Climate change, slow economic growth, and a disproportionate reliance on mineral resources pose significant threats to sustainability. Stacey Davidson (pictured left) explains how adopting the principles of a circular economy could hold a powerful solution.


HE BASIC FACT of dwindling natural resources is inescapable: it is only a matter of time – in some cases measured in just decades – before certain resources will no longer be available as virgin commodities,” explains Stacey Davidson, director of the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA). “For too long, we’ve relied on a linear economy, where goods are produced and ABOVE Stacey Davidson, director, Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA) BELOW By preventing tyre stockpiling and preventing tyres from going to landfill, precious landfill space is saved and jobs are created; recycled tyres add to the circular economy

12 – ReSource November 2015

then thrown away. This approach leaves our future generations with a deficit – having no new raw materials to work with and a damaged environment,” she adds. An estimated 108 million tonnes of waste are sent to landfill each year in South Africa, and, with only 10% of the country’s waste being recycled, useful raw materials – worth R17 billion – are being wasted. By burying that value underground, low-skilled jobs in recycling collection, refurbishment, and repair sectors are being denied at a time when they’re sorely needed. “This is where REDISA differentiates itself. We are not an environmental organisation focusing on the feel-good factor; we focus on economic growth and the creation of more jobs and SMMEs, while fostering a mindset that sees the value of waste. We

call this concept ‘Waste into Worth’. There also happens to be a positive environmental spin-off from our activities as a not-for-profit company. Through our Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan, we have grown tyre recycling rates from 4%, when we entered the market, to 35%, as at August this year. This is as a result of our waste tyre collection rate, which has reached 102% of the 2015 target,” says Davidson.

Global success As a result of the implementation of the ‘Waste into Worth’ concept for tyre waste, REDISA was appointed to serve on the advisory board to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation/SUN/McKinsey circular economy report to the EU. This is a huge milestone for South Africa and has been cited by

Hot Seat

economic growth the South African Minister of Environmental affairs as a success story to be told. “We have already realised a circular economy within the tyre industry – leading to an internationally recognised case study as to how successful this approach can be. South Africa has something to teach its Northern Hemisphere counterparts, since both Europe and South Africa face similar problems regarding limited land availability for landfilling, the need to increase recycling rates, and the need to change mindsets to move away from wastage,” says Davidson. “By positioning ourselves as an independent player in the market, we are able to serve all stakeholders more effectively. Government provides us with our policy and socioeconomic objectors, but it is not responsible for implementation or the allocation of funds. By the same token, the private sector is responsible for funding, with a waste management fee of R2.30/kg of tyres. Our strategy has been to support the development of businesses that will drive the recycling industry in South Africa through investment in infrastructure, business support, and research into new applications for waste tyres – this is so that the tyre manufacturers and importers can continue with their core business. “To ensure a sustainable recycling industry, one needs to ensure that products are recyclable and the ease at which a product can be recycled is key. Most products can be recycled; some products, however, are very costly and laborious to recycle, as the ease of recycling is not factored into product design,” explains Davidson. In the recycling industry, it’s well known that the security of quality feedstock is a challenge and that equipment is also very costly. REDISA’s interventions ensure the sustainability of small and medium businesses so

that jobs created are secure and greater resource efficiencies are achieved.

Employment increase “According to the Green Jobs Report from the Industrial Development Corporation, South Africa’s green economy could create 460 000 new jobs by 2025. With the unemployment rate at an all-time high and government looking for new ways to create job

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS *stats are as at end July 2015

tyres, it’s also assisting government with its job creation mandate. This is being achieved through the development of infrastructure required to collect waste tyres from across the country and delivering them to approved recyclers – guaranteeing a consistent supply of raw material essential for the successful development of a formalised recycling industry. “Through the circular economy, we have enabled the creation of 216 independently owned SMME businesses and 2 920 new jobs. REDISA also has a number of technical staff who do site visits across the supply chain to provide support to these business owners ensuring compliance to the legislative environments, providing advice in terms of day-to-day operations as well technical support. The various videos posted on our website allow participants to detail their experiences to date,” adds Davidson.

The way forward In South Africa, there are a total of 38 waste streams. REDISA selected tyres for the initial pilot of its circular economy model because tyres stood out as being particularly troublesome prior to the company beginning its work. “We have created a general waste stream plan to address the 44% of South African households not being adequately serviced, by complementing the existing work done by municipalities. Our plan is to ensure that the environment is remediated and, at the same time, use the waste to stimulate local economic development through SMME development and job creation. We are not in talks with govenment about funding this but rather about the implemention in terms of the National Environmental Waste Management Act,” concludes Davidson.

“Through our Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan (IITWTMP), we have grown tyre recycling rates from 4%, when we entered the market, to 38%, this year. This doesn’t even take into account our tyre collection rates, which have reached 70%.” opportunities, it’s vitally important that private enterprise creates a new breed of entrepreneurs. While the informal sector has managed to put bread on the table for many South Africans, there is a clear demand for more innovation and skills in the entrepreneurship sphere,” says Davidson. Not only is REDISA leading the way in implementing a circular economy for waste

t +27 (0)87 357 3873 www.redisa.org.za

ReSource November 2015 13


Facing facts, creating jobs development suppor t with the objective of increasing the scale of SMMEs suppor ted, as they were the main execution par tners in the development of the 11 SMMEs.

A well-known soft drink company recently released a study that aims to contribute towards recycling and diverting waste to landfill through the support and development of waste pickers.


N 29 SEPTEMBER this year, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), The Coca-Cola Company and its bottler, Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), as well as the CSIR held a Waste Management Dialogue in Olifantsfontein, Gauteng. The theme for the dialogue was ‘Integrating the informal sector and small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) into municipal solid waste management in South Africa’. At the event, government, the scientific community, and the private sector came together to take a closer look at the informal waste sector and its vital role in the South African waste economy, especially with regard to diver ting recyclables from landfill. Members of the DEA, CSIR, and ABI each delivered presentations on ongoing research into these areas, focusing on job creation through the promotion and suppor t of recycling. ABI’s presentation was delivered by sustainable development manager Gaopaleloe Mothoagae.

and cans introduced globally by the end of this year and to recover and recycle 75% of bottles and cans it introduces into developed markets by 2020. In pursuit of these goals and more general sustainability objectives, ABI launched a research study aiming to share learnings around SMME development in the solid waste removal industr y and discover how they can be deployed into the economy for a wider impact, while at the same time creating sustainable jobs.

Key challenges and recommendations The study found that the recycling process begins with the waste pickers (WPs), making them an integral par t of the recycling operating model. “WPs provide a constant supply of secondar y raw material to the buyback centres (BBCs), who supply the material to recyclers as feedstock to manufacture new products,” said Mothoagae. “However, WPs can only be successful in communities that are in need of their ser vices; therefore, only communities that have high economic and collection activities are seen as thriving communities for the WPs,” she added. Unfortunately, it was also found that community members and the local authorities may not be aware of recycling and the significant role that WPs play in the communities – they often sit on the fringes of communities and are feared or marginalised. “Therefore, a favourable image of WPs needs to be created as they remove waste that is a nuisance to the community, and turn it into a valuable resource that contributes positively towards job creation and the advancement of SMMEs that are dependent on the collection of the waste,” said Mothoagae.

“WPs provide a constant supply of secondary raw material to the buyback centres, who supply the material to recyclers as feedstock to manufacture new products.”

Private sector goals Coca-Cola’s stated goals are: to recover and recycle 50% of the equivalent bottles

In partnership with consumers, industry and governments, CocaCola aims to work together to recover and recycle 50% of the equivalent bottles and cans it introduces globally each year by 2015



The study is based on information gathered from 11 SMMEs within their respective programmes and was targeted at increasing volumes of waste (polyethylene terephthalate – PET and cans) recovered, while at the same time developing rural communities and emerging SMMEs. As par t of the initiative, ABI contracted research firm Edge Growth to conduct a study to establish best practice business

Working with its partners, Coca- Cola aims to recover and recycle the equivalent of 75% of the bottles and cans which it introduces into developed markets by  2020



Other findings were: • collection regions need to be selected carefully for the programme to be successful • sponsor organisations need to develop value propositions to engage key stakeholders, including WPs and BBCs • BBC owners must be hands-on and not only par ticipate par t time FIGURE 1 Coca-Cola's goals

14 ReSource November 2015

Recycling Suppliers of Industrial Shredding and Waste Reduction Equipment

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FIGURE 2 Study and programme results

• cash on-site was found to be a problem. “Cash, in itself, represents a huge risk for any small business, namely the risk of theft, both internally and from outside parties. When WPs are organised, payment does not need to take place on a daily basis but can be paid out into accounts; however, where resistance exists, the frequency of payment can be weekly to create a visible value take-out,” said Mothoagae.

Business management The study also found that community involvement in the selection of WPs and BBCs eliminates bias and ensures community buy-in. Equally impor tant is that binding written agreements with implementation stakeholders need to be in place. “Upon selection of implementation stakeholders (WPs, BBCs, business development ser vices providers, and project managers), binding contracts – enforceable under all contractual conditions – need to be in place. “These binding agreements confirm the professional relationship to be established between the par ties and each stakeholder’s role and responsibility within the par tnership. Par ticipants noted the importance of written contracts drafted for WPs

to be as reader-friendly as possible, as WPs need to understand the conditions stipulated in the agreement and their obligations thereto,” said Mothoagae. She added that par ticipants in any programmes of this nature need to understand that they are running a business for profit gain – it is not an NGO and they should not expect grants. They need to operate with a business plan and accurate record keeping, as these are key to sustained success. Reinvestment of profits into the business must take place to realise growth oppor tunities.

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Developing partnerships Finally, the study determined that it is of utmost impor tance for organisations to embrace a collaborative spirit by engaging in par tnerships that can contribute to the success of such initiatives. This was found to be vital in achieving successful programme outcomes. “Par ticipants noted that par tnerships were found to assist in reducing costs such as running knowledge sharing events, awareness campaigns, employing expertise, and raising funds and other related costs of implementing such initiatives. But, costs associated with implementing such an initiative will differ from region to region and as per stakeholders needs,” concluded Mothoagae.

ReSource November 2015 15

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Getting in touch with Additionally, municipalities from Cape Town to Polokwane have been self-reporting backlogs in waste removal services, with some of the highest percentages coming from Limpopo. Add to this relatively high unemployment figures and increasing environmental pressures, and the challenges and opportunities arising from the waste sector are apparent. “These have resulted in the widely known and acceptable waste hierarchy, which promotes waste minimisation, reuse, recycling, and recovery of waste as preferred waste management options over landfilling. The waste hierarchy is, thus, the basis for South African waste legislation. This offers a unique opportunity to address the environmental issues while also contributing towards the socio-economic concerns of the country,” said Afrika. Moreover, South Africa’s recycling sector has been driven mostly by the private sector, with waste pickers playing a key role in building impressive recycling rates for certain waste streams. Although it is difficult to fully understand the extent to which waste

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) recently undertook a study on the waste picker sector, with a view of determining the best way to incorporate it into the waste management sector. FRANCES RINGWOOD reports on the preliminary results.


OUTH AFRICA’S informal waste recycling sector provides thousands of jobs to unskilled labourers and assists to reduce waste to landfill while stimulating the local economy. The positives of having waste pickers living on or near national landfills is undeniable; however, since the sector is unregulated, government has been compelled to conduct research into how it can assist in creating safer working conditions for theses valuable community members. On 29 September this year, the DEA released the preliminary results of its wastepicker study at a breakfast dialogue on integrating the informal sector and small, medium, and micro enterprises into South Africa’s solid waste management sector. The aims of the study were to: • establish the extent of waste picking in South Africa • establish the different modes of operation of waste pickers in South Africa • determine waste pickers’ impact on, or contribution to, waste management in South Africa • propose how waste pickers can be formally included in waste management in South Africa in view of the current and future waste management systems (based on the current policy direction).

Background Mamosa Afrika, director: General Waste and Special Projects at the DEA, was on hand to explain the rationale behind the study. “Unemployment has drastically dropped from well above the 30% mark between 2001 and 2003, to slightly below 25% from 2008, according to the most recent figures gathered in 2011. However, it remains one of the key challenges government has to deal with. From 2010 to 2011, there has been a 3.1% increase in the unemployment figures.

16 ReSource November 2015

In addressing this problem, the president – in his State of the Nation Address – declared 2011 as “a year of job creation through meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth”, hence all government departments are required to align their programmes with this goal. Coupled with high unemployment rates, South Africa is faced with basic service backlogs, including the provision of basic waste services. There has been an increase of 4.2% and 4.7% in the weekly removal of waste from 1996 to 2001 and 2002 to 2007, respectively. The 2007 community survey, undertaken by Statistics South Africa, further shows a parallel decrease of 3.5% and 2.4%, between 1996 and 2007, in the numbers of households who own their own dumps as well as those who do not have any disposal system respectively,” she explained.

TABLE 1 Representation of waste pickers across the country

Province Sites GP KZN WC EC LP MP NW FS NC Total

10 6 9 8 5 7 5 6 6 62

Waste Pickers

Districts/Metros Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, West Rand uThukela, uMgungundlovu, uThungulu, uMzinyathi, Amajuba Cape Town, Eden, Overberg, Cape Winelands, West Coast Nelson Mandela, Buffalo City, O.R. Tambo, Amathole Capricorn, Greater Tzaneen, Vhembe, Sekhukhune Ehlanzeni, Gert Sibande, Nkangala Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Bojanala Platinum Mangaung, Fezile Dabi, Lejweleputswa Frances Baard, Pixley Ka Seme, Namakwa, John Taole Gaetsewe

TABLE 2 Waste picker experience analysis My health is affected negatively by the unhygienic or toxic environment Compactors make it unsafe for me on-site There are no municipal laws to protect me as an informal waste collector My trolley and I are not safe while using public roads Crime Larger private waste collection companies are taking away my business Fighting, lack of storage, lack of transport

169 155 41 90 84 101 75 60 50 825



36.4 5.0

63.6 95.0

15.1 5.0 9.6 2.5 1.1

84.9 95.0 90.4 97.5 98.9


waste pickers pickers contribute to the economy and greater stability across numerous sectors, the general feeling is that it is significant. For this reason, it’s crucial that waste pickers be included in national strategies to eradicate waste backlogs and improve the green economy.

Study findings A total of 825 pickers from 62 landfill sites across the country were interviewed for the DEA study. Municipal officials, recyclers, members of non-government organisations, and research groups doing work within this sector were also interviewed. The majority of the inter viewees came from 10 sites across Gauteng in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, and the West Rand (169 respondents). The second highest number came from six sites in KwaZulu-Natal (155 respondents). The rest of the provinces were represented across multiple sites as indicated in Table 1.

“Preliminary findings indicate that there are about 37 000 waste pickers working on landfill sites across the country, with an additional 5 000 estimated to be working as trolley pushers along the streets. Of these, 9.3% are non-South African, coming from countries such as Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Botswana. There seems to be an equal split between female and male participants. The participation starts from an early age of 15, to as old as 85 years old,” said Afrika. One of the major advantages of the survey is that it also measures waste pickers’ attitudes towards their work and workplace safety. This provides a clear picture of how labourers on the ground experience their environments and assists government in formulating targeted health interventions. For example, as much as 36.4% of those surveyed believed that their health had been negatively affected by unhygienic or toxic working conditions. Of the pickers, 5% felt that compactors affected their safety on-site and, likewise, 5% felt their safety and that of their trolleys was at risk

“There are about 37 000 waste pickers working on landfill sites across the country, with an additional 5 000 estimated to be working as trolley pushers along the streets. Of these, 9.3% are nonSouth African.”

on public roads. A whopping 84.9% felt that municipal laws to protect those in the informal waste sector were adequate and 9.6% reported having been the victim of crime in the course of their work. “Additionally, while the South African Waste Picker Association exists, it does not seem like the majority of waste pickers are aware of it, as the majority of pickers were of the view that there is no organisation for them. The majority of the concerns that municipal officials, as well as the recyclers and the other groups, had raised were not shared by the waste pickers,” she concludes.

Sentiments of Waste Pickers

TABLE 3 Representation of waste pickers across the country 70 60

Responses %

50 40 30 20 10 0 Waste picking is my preferred way of making a living

Waste WPs have a If I could picking Waste WPs should Waste Waste good Waste Waste Waste Waste make a provides me picking Waste Organisation be included picking pickers have relationship picking is picking pickers pickers get a living not with a contributes pickers are of waste in the formal should be a good with another form contributes should be fair/good collecting source of towards the organised in pickers is WP recognised relationship recyclers/ of towards the organised in price for waste, I income to recycling South Africa important managemen as formal with the buy-back employment economy South Africa their waste would meet my economy t process employment municipality centre needs owners 57,5 27,1 31 46,4 37,9 23,4 38,3 48,4 35,7 40,8 23,9 24,9 10,7

Strongly Agree















































Strongly Disagree















ReSource November 2015 17


Stabilising green cooperatives Research shows that waste and recycling cooperatives face numerous challenges relating to infrastructure, operations, and capability. Cooperatives still operate largely on the fringe of municipal solid waste management; yet, there are reasons to be hopeful if cooperatives receive the right support from industry and government. BY LINDA GODFREY*


ESEARCH UNDERTAKEN by the CSIR for the Green Fund aims to evaluate waste and recycling cooperatives in order to understand the opportunities and constraints facing waste cooperative implementation, and to assess the potential that this developmental mechanism provides in creating jobs and stimulating small and medium enterprise development in the waste sector. The aims of the research were to: build an evidence base of the uptake, success, and failure of waste cooperatives within municipalities that will support future cooperative implementation; understand the potential that these cooperatives have in extending and enhancing waste service delivery in under-serviced areas, in stimulating job creation and enterprise development, and ultimately in growing the waste sector, which could advance South Africa’s transition to a green economy.

Study results The majority of the waste cooperatives interviewed operate in the collection and sorting of recyclables from municipal waste, which typically has low barriers to entry. But, given the constitutional responsibilities of local government, this typically requires some kind of relationship between the cooperative and the municipality, particularly if the cooperative wants to increase volumes of recyclables collected and processed.

18 ReSource November 2015

Those cooperatives working in the collection and sorting of recyclables are active only in the mainline recyclables (plastic, paper, glass, and metal beverage cans), although opportunities do exist in waste electric and electronic equipment, waste tyres, organic waste, and construction and demolition waste. Some cooperatives have ventured into city cleansing (street cleaning, litter collection, and illegal dumping clearing) with support from the municipality, operating buy-back centres; to a lesser extent, cooperatives have also ventured into downstream recycling and manufacturing. There are very few examples, among the interviewed cooperatives, where the municipality has formally contracted cooperatives, thereby integrating them into the municipal waste management system. Many waste and recycling cooperatives in South Africa are operating with more of a traditional (proprietary limited) business model, intent on creating income for a minimum number of members rather than as a cooperative aimed at providing employment, services, and income for a community. This is evident in a number of cooperatives that have registered with the minimum of five members, all playing a ‘management role’ and employing people to do the work, through either written or verbal agreements, or – in some cases – through no agreement at all. Nearly half of the interviewed cooperatives (46.8%) indicated member association of a

year or less prior to the registration of the cooperative (i.e. they began association with the start of the cooperative), suggesting that a large number of cooperatives were established by members who had not previously had any working relationship or association. In these cases, registration may have been in response to an external opportunity or pressure, rather than a natural progression of community members who had already been working together. It was suggested by participants that the current drive by government to register large numbers of new cooperatives goes against the principles and values of cooperatives, and this has unintended consequences. Described as a “top-down approach to fast-track job creation”, this approach has not created sustainable cooperatives nor sustainable jobs, but has rather resulted in opportunistic registrations in order to access funding; exploitation of cooperative members by corrupt individuals who are more informed of the current systems; and conflict between cooperative members who have no previous association. Fast-tracking the establishment of waste and recycling cooperatives, without providing ongoing business development support post registration, is causing cooperatives to grow at a rate that outstrips their ability, leading to high turnover of members and failure of cooperatives.

Cooperative challenges Major challenges currently experienced by waste cooperatives include a lack of infra-

Major challenges currently experienced by waste cooperatives include a lack of infrastructure, operational challenges, and weak capability structure, operational challenges, and weak capability. The lack of infrastructure was found to be constraining the growth of cooperatives, particularly those involved in the collection and sorting of recyclables, where volume is key to growth. Cooperatives continue to face threats



Co-operatives are a development vehicle strongly promoted by Government as a means of creating decent, sustainable jobs, reducing poverty, and improving social and economic well-being (strong policy support)

in terms of access to recyclables, from informal collectors at kerbside and landfill who have no interest in being formalised or integrated to large, established businesses contracted by municipalities to render waste and recycling ser vices as a lower-risk solution to the municipality. Since municipal solid waste falls under the constitutional responsibility of local and metropolitan municiAll registered co-operatives, including waste and recycling co-operatives dti, 2015) palities, developing waste and recycling of(thethe cooperative. However, similar to cooperatives needs the integration of the registration of cooperatives, mentoring cooperatives into municipal solid waste has also, in instances, led to the exploitation of cooperatives. management systems. However, it hasn’t all been failure for coopThis will allow cooperatives access to the waste and recyclables required to sustain eratives. There are a number of waste and their operations. Further, extending munici- recycling cooperatives who have achieved pal solid waste management to include excellent results and are making a positive mandatory source separation by residents contribution to the waste sector. These and businesses will provide cooperatives cooperatives cited passion, pride, deterwith the quantities of recyclables necessary mination, patience, endurance, and hard work; cooperative attributes such as memto grow their businesses. In terms of capability, a lack of training ber selection, leadership, and vision were was identified as a challenge. The main highlighted as important factors in the sucareas of training required included: basic cess of a cooperative. Stakeholders also business management skills, including indicated that knowing the value chain, the record-keeping, tenders and contracts, and market, the price of recyclables, and netfinancial management; operational aspects working were important. Opportunities for significant growth in of waste management, markets, prices, sorting, separation, and waste types; and cooperatives were said to lie with improving governance issues, such as relationship operational efficiencies in the cooperative management both within the cooperative as – e.g. improving the quantity and quality of well as with stakeholders, decision-making, recyclate harvested through the provision of basic infrastructure. member selection, and conflict resolution. While training was valued by cooperatives and stakeholders, it was considered to be Additional considerations insufficient in supporting cooperatives in Opportunities extend beyond the collection and sorting of recyclables, to also the long term. Given the current high mortality rates of include city cleansing, and higher value-add cooperatives, there is a need for a pro- opportunities in recycling and manufacturgramme where cooperatives are partnered ing (moving up the value chain), expanding with developmental organisations to directly geographic collection areas, and negotiating support them over a period of time in new contracts. The latter two could easthe business and technical management ily be facilitated through interventions by

local government. Stakeholders indicated that local government could contribute to significant job creation through mandatory separation at source.

Conclusion Ultimately, the research highlights the three criteria considered crucial to creating a viable and sustainable cooperative movement in the municipal solid waste management management sector in South Africa: • Access to materials Whether through integration with municipal solid waste management systems or with material organisations responsible for the management of the waste • Access to markets – linking cooperatives with markets for all materials collected • Business development support – ongoing mentorship or incubation on the business of running a cooperative. These work best when combined with the right team of cooperative members, who have a passion and pride for the work they do, determination (patience and endurance), motivation, drive, and a willingness for hard work, and the appropriate skills. *Linda Godfrey is the manager of the Waste Roadmap Implementation Unit at the Department of Science and Technology, principal scientist for waste for development at the CSIR, and an extraordinary associate professor at North-West University. ReSource November 2015 19

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ACH YEAR since 1986, when the event started, the internal environmental protection organisation Ocean Conser vancy has encouraged people living in over 100 countries around the world to give up their free time to reduce ocean pollution. This year, South African recycling agencies and private organisations joined hands to encourage all South Africans to preser ve their environment, regardless of where they  live. Douw Steyn, director: Sustainability for Plastics|SA, has explained previously how the event was star ted in South Africa in 2006 and how, for the last two years, his organisation has sought to promote a “berg to beach” approach, taking into account that most oceanic pollution comes from land-based  sources.

Cape success

More than 15 000 volunteers participated in the Cape portion of this year’s International Coastal Cleanup Day

Government support Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs Barbara Thompson led the event in East London, where she used the oppor tunity to remind all South Africans of the value of the coastal and marine environments, and the need to take care of them. She also spread the word that those who litter do not create jobs, adding that littering, instead, damages the environment. “International Coastal Cleanup Day is significant not only because it promotes awareness of the problem of litter, it also reminds us of the need to better manage waste generated on land. From the households that generate domestic waste to the private businesses generating industrial waste, waste is everybody’s problem. I would like to encourage the continuation of the voluntary efforts to increase recycling rates that have been exhibited by the plastics, glass, and metals industries. Further, all South Africans are encouraged to be more concerned about recycling and make the effort to buy material produced from recycled material,” urged the Thompson.

Best Coastal


in 19 years

On18 September, environmentalists and private citizens the world over joined hands to clean up rivers, coastlines, and inland pollution. South Africa’s Cape Town beachgoers were particularly successful, clearing more waste than ever, since the event started in this country.

Although the event was originally star ted in Durban, it was the Cape volunteers, this year, who exceedhigh turnout and interest to sunny weather. ed all expectations. About 47 000 kg He also pointed out that it was good to of litter was removed along 380 km of see a larger amount of small and micro coastline, of which 17 km consisted of waste being collected (see Micropar ticles rivers and water ways, and 5 km2 were in under water areas. info box). More than 15 000 volunteers were recorded, MICROPARTICLES While little is yet known about the effects of microparticles of including school chilplastic waste, it’s believed that the effects could be as, if not more, severe than dren, corporates, and other whole plastics, which is why it is important to target these pollutants during interested community coastal and other clean-ups. A Unesco special workshop found that, while larger members. John Kieser, plastic objects tended to cause the death of marine life through entanglement, manager: Sustainability asphyxiation, drowning, and blocked organs, microparticles are more likely to accumulate in animals’ bloodstreams. These particles include toxic contaminants such at Plastics|SA, who was as PCBs, DDT, and PBDEs. Also, microplastics have larger surface areas as they break in charge of coordinatdown into tiny pieces, creating a greater scope for distribution. The extended and longing the event in the term effects of this type of pollution are not yet understood and more research is being undertaken. Cape, attributed the ReSource November 2015 21


RECYCLING IS NOT MY JOB In the last year, POLYCO and other plastic EPR organisations successfully diverted 31 560 ten-tonne trucks of plastic packaging from landfill which created 6 037 formal jobs and 47 420 informal jobs.





Working together we can achieve more POLYCO represents a group of extraordinary companies that understands its extended responsibility within the SA plastics industry. POLYCO supports the complete recycling industry value chain and to achieve our commitment of sending zero plastic packaging to landfill by 2030, we’re all going to need to work together. For more information please contact: lisl@polyco.co.za or call: 021 531 0647



Optimising efficiencies In September this year, 12 small-to-medium recycling collectors received interest-free loans amounting to millions of rands for the improvement of their businesses and overall efficiencies. FRANCES RINGWOOD finds out more.


O THE LAYMAN, plastic is plastic. But to the collectors of plastic waste that is to be sold to recyclers, the amount of materials they are able to collect, bale, shred, and sell, this material is literally worth its weight in gold. Fulfilling an impor tant role in the recycling value chain One of the biggest challenges faced by recyclers the world over, is finding enough material for recycling. In an environment where demand most often outweighs the supply, collectors fulfil an impor tant role in the value chain. They are also impor tant providers of formal and informal employment oppor tunities in the communities where they operate, as waste collectors (frequently referred to as the “trolley brigade”) would sell the materials they have collected from neighbourhoods to these buy-back centres.

Polyco’s financial support to collectors As is required in terms of the packaging industr y's obligations to the South African government under extended producer

responsibility, POLYCO has been given the mandate to promote and grow the collection and recycling of post-consumer polypropylene, high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene and linear lowdensity polyethylene (the polyolefin family of plastics). To this end, the non-profit company issued a call for proposals in April 2015 to collectors who were interested in par tnering with them. 38 applications were received from all over South Africa, of which 16 were shor tlisted and finally 12 successful applicants were approved by the POLYCO board.

Recycler growth The latest tranche of funding from POLYCO to collectors amounted to R4.6 million and will allow for an additional 27 500 tonnes of polyolefin plastics to be recycled over the next three years. Most of the recipients used the money to purchase balers, used to compact bulkier materials and reduce the need for costly storage space. Upon hearing that he’d received funding, Mark Novuza, owner and manager of

A2 Recycling, exclaimed, “I can’t explain the way it is going to change my life. I’ve been struggling for a long time tr ying to save money to buy a baler. The business is small and [there are so many] other responsibilities. “[This is a] huge oppor tunity that will change my life and the life of the employees and collectors.” He added that recyclers who don’t have the right equipment aren’t taken seriously in the marketplace and are more at risk of being taken advantage of. Crizaan Jacobs from Innovative Mouldings also said that they will be using the money to purchase a baler, in order to grow their recyclate volumes. “We purchase plastic waste material on a daily basis from all over South Africa. A new baling machine will aid with housekeeping and our influx of waste plastic; it will to allow us to continue purchasing waste plastic to grow our business.” Other uses for the funds include improving logistics and purchasing TOP With targeted funding injections, collection companies of all sizes become more sustainable, creating more permanent jobs

ReSource November 2015 23

Recycling One of the most necessary pieces of equipment for recycling is a baler; balers compact product to save storage space

granulators, which also lower storage costs. “We have mapped out a growth plan and can now envisage a whole new scenario for our future. We cannot do this on our own and need par tners such as POLYCO. The grant will be spent on granulators, trailers, and balers, thereby building capacity in Westdene and Rosslyn, to help us roll out our vision,” said Steven Levitt from Polymer Waste Management Centre.

“I’ve been struggling to save money for a baler. This is a huge opportunity that will change my life.”

Other funding recipients were AntiWaste in Polokwane, Aspigon 218 in Lenasia, Mar y Recycling Works in

Meadowlands, Mavesa Scrap Metals in Germiston, Neo Recycling in Thabazimbi, Nondaba Recycling in Secunda, Pick Up Waste Recycling in Potchefstroom, Remade in Germiston, and Trashback in Sandton.

24 ReSource November 2015

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The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa

NCPC-SA Creating jobs, lowering energy consumption, and supporting the growth and development of local business


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Energy Management


Leading industrial energy Until recently, energy use minimisation, water footprint management, and optimised materials management – including recycling and waste minimisations – weren’t high on industries’ list of priorities. But, as cost and profit drivers change, more and more businesses are coming to see the financial sense of efficient resource use and cleaner production.


STABLISHED BY the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and hosted by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) has launched a number of programmes that have boosted local companies’ triple bottom line (social, environmental, and financial performance indicators) and supported thousands of green jobs. Alf Hartzenburg, project manager of NCPC’s National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP), shares how the organisation is promoting business sustainability, recycling and resource efficiency through industrial symbiosis. He also contextualises success achieved through the NCPC’s Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) drive and its Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) project.

NISP progress The NISP seeks to create business partnerships that benefit both parties, usually with a resource-use reduction or cost benefit for both, or either. These synergies yield numerous benefits for the economy, including job creation. However, the idea was slow to take off at first. The NCPC first attempted to launch the NISP in 2008 and it was well supported by

26 ReSource November 2015

a similar programme in Britain called the International Symbiosis Programme (ISP). In the course of the programme, NCPC decision-makers, including Hartzenburg, spent time learning from the way the ISP had structured its support systems and databases. “At that time, we lacked enough support from the local industry to take the idea forward because the issues of energy and resource efficiency did not yet register as a key concern. Energy was still inexpensive, landfill costs were low, and the effect of regulations had not yet stimulated much action,” says Hartzenburg. Then, in late 2013, the Western Cape government-funded organisation Green Cape applied for provincial funding to launch the Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP). “Green Cape then approached the NCPC to share some of the knowledge we had gained from our history with such programmes. We worked with them and it was amazing how, with limited resources and a limited budget, they started to attract great interest from industries through hosting business matchmaking sessions and recording the gains arising from these matches. “From there, the programme’s funding was extended through a donation from the British

High Commission and the concept started to expand. It went beyond looking at wasted resources and spread to wasted time, wasted property, and wasted knowledge to find how these could be leveraged for still greater efficiencies,” explains Hartzenburg. Today, successful symbiosis matchmaking events have taken place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, with new partnerships being achieved and gains being measured. “As we make this work in the major cities, our next move will be to look at further opportunities presented by business in rural areas and outlying towns,” Hartzenburg adds.

RECP jobs and skills Cleaner production was first prioritised in the industrial sphere in 1991 by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). NCPCs were launched in different countries around the world by both UNEP and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisations (Unido) in 1994. South Africa’s NCPC was launched at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg. Seven years later, UNEP and Unido came together and revised the cleaner production model, expanding it to ‘resource efficient cleaner production’ (RECP). The NCPC’s

Energy Management

efficiency RECP programmes assess companies’ resource use, materials management, and overall efficiency to improve environmental performance. In the course of the programme, much has been learned and the NCPC now conducts specialist courses to transfer knowledge and skills to graduates and other professionals. “Since the inception of the NCPC, South Africa has seen RECP assessments conducted to raise awareness in industry about the level of energy and materials being wasted. We’ve identified extensive opportunities to reduce wastage across all sectors, in businesses of any size. “We’ve also seen Unido and other international agencies come into South Africa and do some of their own studies and projects, which started to give rise to some confusion in the local environmental sector about what an RECP assessment really is. For this reason, we launched the first locally developed RECP training course earlier this year. The course aims to create uniformity and clear responses to local condition across the country,” explains Hartzenburg.

International energy-saving success In 2010, the NCPC’s IEE project set out to conduct energy audits on selected companies, train individuals to be able to perform these audits, and gear its Marketing and Communications Department for the new challenge. Five years on, some of the IEE’s achievements include qualifying 101 South Africans as experts in energy-efficiency auditing, 43 national trainers, and more than 2 600 people through the IEE’s expert training courses. Energy savings achieved through the

programme amount to 1 343 GWh, which is Phase II will follow on the amount of energy consumed by 186 000 from a lot of the good work middle-income South African homes over 12 achieved in Phase I and years. In rand value, that equates to more will expand, and than R1 billion worth of savings and a million change the focus tonnes of carbon emissions saved. to, implementa“When we started the IEE project, we tion. One of the had little idea that it would achieve what it has in such a short time. The project has created at least 1 744 jobs in industries Alf Hartzenburg, project manager, that were in stress NCPC National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (some of which were, in fact, facing closure). Working with the project, they were challenges the NCPC hopes to overcome able to reduce their debt, purchase more is the lack of credible industry information machines, and employ more people. Others regarding baseline energy data. “We’re going to be providing a lot of were able to turn their fortunes around and start to grow where they had been in dire support and database mapping for governstraits. So, indirectly, we estimate that the ment to support the DoE in establishing project has supported in excess of 3 000 relevant data for major industries in South Africa. There is also legislation being promlivelihoods,” says Hartzenburg. The five years from 2010 until now con- ulgated that will force companies consumstituted Phase I of the IEE project. Phase ing large amounts of energy to report their I was funded by the South African govern- annual energy consumption to the DoE,” ment through the dti and the Department of explains  Hartzenburg. Energy (DoE), as well as the British governPhase II has ambitious overall targets, ment. Unido also played a crucial implemen- including the reduction of 3.2 million tation role. tonnes of CO2 over the project’s four-year period, targeting further carbon emission IEE Phase II launch reductions until the end of the project and Phase II of the IEE project was launched spares and aftermarket support. on 2 October 2015. “The support from the DoE, the Department of Environmental Affairs, the dti, and the Department of Higher Education and Training has been phenomenal and the funds they have provided indicate their confidence in the project,” says Hartzenburg.

We’ve identified extensive opportunities to reduce wastage across all sectors, in businesses of any size.”

t +27 (0)12 841 3772 • www.ncpc.co.za

ReSource November 2015 27

Energy Management

Renewable hotspot research under way

South Africa’s economic development and job creation policies have made provision for special industrial hubs in parts of the country where jobs are most needed. Could this stimulate the green economy and green jobs? BY FRANCES RINGWOOD


N APRIL 2013, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) minister, Rob Davies, announced that 10 special economic zones (SEZs) had been proposed, subject to feasibility studies. Of these 10, two were proposed as industrial hubs for the manufacture and use of technology for renewable energy. The first of these was Atlantis, in Cape Town, and the second would be in the Northern Cape, focusing on solar power – particularly concentrated solar power (CSP). Two and a half years on and the prospects for these two hubs are looking rosier than ever, with projects already complete and state rubber stamps soon to follow.

Finding Atlantis The reasons for Atlantis’s selection as a “GreenTech” manufacturing hub are its central location between major trading centres, including the City of Cape Town CBD, Cape Town International Airport, and the Port of Saldhana. “GreenTech” refers to low-carbon and resource-efficient technologies. Atlantis is also a prime area for development, exhibiting the key characteristics of areas tabled for development, including low employment rates, stagnant economic growth, and challenges relating to crime. At this year’s African Utility Week, held in Cape Town at Cape Town International Convention Centre, Evan Rice, CEO of GreenCape South Africa, took the podium to discuss his organisation’s finding on the feasibility of transforming Atlantis into a green technology TOP Concentrated solar power relies on many mirrors, called heliostats, which follow the Sun’s course and concentrate reflected energy on a single tower LEFT The GRI wind turbine factory in Atlantis was the first anchor investor in Atlantis’s SEZ status

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haven. “The choice of Atlantis as a new SEZ that is to be centred around green technology makes sense, since the Western Cape is already South Africa’s emerging renewable energy hub. Some reasons for my saying this include the fact that 60% of successful REIPPPP (Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme) projects were developed by Cape-based developers, and the province already boasts major foreign manufacturing investments in wind, solar photovoltaic technology, and inverters.” GreenCape was established in 2010, by the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town, to support the development of the renewable energy sector. The organisation has taken on a project management role on behalf of the dti, the Western Cape Government, and the City of Cape Town in the application for the designation of a GreenTech SEZ in Atlantis. The benefits of doing business inside an SEZ include: • a 15% corporate tax rate, compared to the usual 28% • tax relief in the form of a building allowance • the 12I Tax Incentive, which supports greenfield (new industrial projects) and brownfield (expansions of existing industrial projects) investments • an employment tax incentive subject to requirements of the Employment Tax Incentive Act (No. 26 of 2013) • further tax reliefs, as a result of being classified a customs-controlled area. “Feasibility studies for Atlantis are complete and the application for SEZ status is in the process of being drafted,” said Rice. He added that companies wishing to invest before then can get a letter from dti ensuring that they will not be excluded from the benefits after designation. The Atlantis SEZ has the potential to create an estimated 2 500 direct jobs.

Local CSP advances CSP has been hailed internationally for its potential to save much more space than solar farms and it’s also reported to be more cost-effective. By using mirrors or lenses directed at a central point, energy is

Energy Management captured and fed into the grid in the same way it is from a coal-fired power station – except that the sun’s rays are used instead of coal and the whole process is vastly more environmentally friendly. Khi Solar One, outside Upington, is the first of three CSP projects being developed in the Northern Cape and will produce 50 MW. The second CSP project, KaXu Solar One, was opened near Pofadder in March this year and produces 100 MW. Last on the list is the Bokpoort CSP power station, near Groblershoop, which has a capacity of 50 MW. These were simply the initial CSP projects and already dozens more have been tabled. As of last year, a CSP corridor between ZF Mgcawu and Pixley ka Seme was already in the works, according to the premier of the Northern Cape, Silvia Lucas, in her State of the Province Address. Further, at the opening of the KaXu plant, Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Economic Development, announced, “It is one of 33 renewable energy plants that have opened over the past 15 months, which, together with

Atlantis is strategically located to become the biggest green technology hub in Africa

planned plant openings during March 2015, would bring 1 865 MW of installed energy to the grid by the end of the month.”

Spurring the green economy The idea behind the SEZ strategy is excellent; the SEZ Bill states its aims are “to attract direct investment, alleviate large-scale unemployment, develop and diversify the economy”. However, not all of South Africa’s existing SEZs have been unqualified success stories from start to finish. Where renewable SEZs differ is that they assist South Africa in keeping up with the global trend of moving away from fossil fuel dependency, towards a greater reliance on renewables. Added to that, South African scientists have recently had

breakthroughs in CSP and other renewable energy technologies. Just recently, Paul Gauché, founding director of Stellenbosch’s Solar Thermal Research Group, developed the Helio 100 CSP system, which saves more space and is more portable than past precedents. By taking advantage of South Africa’s abundant sunshine, these renewable SEZs may yet prove the key to unlocking the country’s SEZ potential.

ReSource05+1115-Tyres-Kahl_ReSource-Tyres 05.01.15 10:17 Seite 1

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Geared for business E The City of Ekurhuleni KURHURefurbishment prioritised L E N I oversees Gauteng’s The key characterishas albusiest hub of economic ways tics of good municipal energy manbeen the inproduction. Keeping the dustrial heartrequire lights on is critical for business agement land of the that the lights sustainability and job creation. stay on, that revcountry, and enue is collected, all industries Mark Wilson explains to and that planning is are powered by FRANCES RINGWOOD how his regularly undertaken energy. Energy is one of the highest department stays ahead and reviewed to facilitate future growth. input costs for busiof the curve. nesses and, the bottom Wilson explains how the city line is, without reliable and affordable energy, industry would  disappear. “For these reasons, the city has to ensure that electricity supply continues to be as reliable, affordable, and consistent as possible. Traditionally, it was the local mining industry that needed our support most. Since mining has been under pressure, automotive parts production has grown to become one of the city’s biggest energy users. These plants supply car factories all over the country and, so, they have to stay productive to reduce downtimes and contribute positively towards national employment,” explains Wilson, head: Energy Department, City of Ekurhuleni.

30 ReSource November 2015

embodies these principles, “About eight years ago, the National Regulator conducted an audit on the top 10 energy distributors, including Eskom, and top cities, of which Ekurhuleni is one. As is the case with most utilities the world over, a lack of maintenance and refurbishment spending across the board proved to be a pressing concern. We were already aware of the problem and, so, we used the audit results as a means to secure more funding for refurbishment. “As a result, the city agreed to give us dedicated funding. Now, 4% of our revenue is spent directly on refurbishment, amounting to about R500 million a year. This has

reduced our backlogs for refurbishment by about 70% in the last seven years. These funds are used to continually renew networks, starting from the oldest, in order to improve their average age to about 20 years,” says Wilson. Apart from good planning, having the right technology operated by skilled staff also makes a difference. “All of our maintenance is logged on a software-based, computerised, planned maintenance system run by a dedicated asset care centre. Every single nut and bolt that makes up our assets is on the system, and the system uses this information to generate data based on age, informing us when it needs to be repaired or replaced,” he adds. Computerised asset management systems such as this are still relatively rare in South Africa but have been shown to have enormous benefits for those municipalities where they are successfully implemented and run. “The system was initially contracted out but is now completely managed internally,” says Wilson.

Expansion spend “As far as capex is concerned, we are one of very few departments in the country

Energy Management that can boast consistently spending about 95% about our capex on an annual basis. Just last financial year, the city’s Energy Department spent 96.26% of its capex and the department has consistently reached almost 100% in previous years. This is on the order of another R500 million being spent each year on new infrastructure to carry on expanding the network and catering for growth,” says Wilson. The city’s capex spending is based on a 20-year master plan, which incorporates geographical and system information. “The plan is updated annually and takes into account economic trends, human settlement development plans, developers’ plans, and general trends. The rest of the plan is based on community independent development plan needs,” adds Wilson.

Revenue collection Revenue is important because electricity sales are still the number one income generator for the majority of municipalities. “We have a large and highly successful Revenue Division. We often lend our people out to other metros and they also send people to us to learn more about our revenue collection best practices,” says Wilson The city has achieved upwards of 99% collection of its industrial and business customer revenues. “Even though we don’t do the collection ourselves, we make sure the billing is in place and the meters aren’t tampered with. Also, we continually run blitzes against illegal connections. “For prepayment meters, we have a 90-day exception list, where we check why prepaid users haven’t used electricity for that period. We audit every month – it’s a massive process that includes contractors, consultants, and our own staff just to ensure the value chain of revenue from the meter to the money in the bank remains intact,” explains Wilson.

Cable theft Equipment and cable theft is a massive problem across the countr y. “Not long ago, we were experiencing over R100 million worth of equipment and cable theft per year. That was just

the cost of replacing the equipment and materials, and it does not include the cost of power lost to the economy. So, we’ve initiated a cable theft task team, which includes our own Ekurhuleni Metro Police Depar tment, the South African Police Services, a private service provider, as well as our own staff,” says Wilson. Part of the programming includes fitting substations with security devices. These have led to a number of successful arrests and convictions, dropping power outages occurring as a result of theft by about 60%. Additionally, new legislation is set to come into effect that will extend jail terms to up to 30 years for syndicated infrastructure  vandalism.

Load-shedding When load-shedding started happening on a regular basis, the city made the decision to prioritise business sustainability, in order to protect jobs. “We decided we would not load-shed business or commercial entities at all, and that set us apart from other municipalities. “We felt that, as a major driver of the economy, it would be more prudent to load-shed only domestic users. Daytime load-shedding on households has a lower impact than it does on businesses, as it is more of an inconvenience than the threat it becomes when applied regularly to, say, factories,” says Wilson. The city was largely successful in its plans, although it applied only to Stage 1 and Stage 2 load-shedding. Stage 3 was managed by Eskom. “However, we are in talks for the city to take over Stage 3 loadshedding from the national utility so we can continue our prioritisation of business sustainability,” says Wilson. The city also load-sheds on a three-hour basis, as opposed to the more common fourhour time period, in order to reduce impacts. Communication was also critical; a high importance was placed on maintaining the accuracy of the city’s load-shedding

schedules. “We managed to be about 99% accurate, and this gave residents confidence to plan around the times we published,” Wilson adds.

Embracing innovation The first smart electricity meters in the country were rolled out in Ekurhuleni about 20 years ago, in Tembisa. The city receives in excess of 99% payment rates from Tembisa residents to date. After this success, the city decided to roll out smart meter technology to businesses. “A smart meter is better suited to a large customer, due to the fact that loads are switchable and can be managed in real time. We installed 8 000 meters, which account for 60% of all the Energy Department’s income. That’s all online, so customers can login, review half-hourly consumption rates, and make plans in terms of shifting loads and adopting time-use tariffs. “That’s been up and running for a number of years. The software for those meters is now being developed further, in order to track outages, and the system will be fully operational in the next two years,” says Wilson.

Future outlook Wilson believes that one of the biggest challenges to electricity production in the future will be maintaining Eskom’s baseload capacity. “Ekurhuleni’s economy cannot grow without sufficient energy, and business needs a sense of stability of supply in order to thrive,” he says. As for future opportunities, smart grids are the way of the future. “A smart grid is critical to a smart city, and one of our big flagship projects is to turn the City of Ekurhuleni into a smart city; last year, we developed a plan to develop a smart grid roadmap. That plan tells us our status quo and defines an end state,” concludes Wilson. In the future, the city’s Energy Department will be able to track all power disruptions, including thefts, in real time. For large energy consumers, there is already a system being piloted that alerts a repair team before an incident is even called in.

“We decided we would not load-shed business or commercial entities at all, and that set us apart from other municipalities.” Mark Wilson, head: Energy Department, City of  Ekurhuleni

ReSource November 2015 31

Integrated resource management| Waste | Waste water management

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Partnering for better National and international companies are working together to improve landfill solutions and work towards improving end-to-end solutions. For South African waste management leader, Wasteman Holdings, partnering with international development market giant averda is already yielding new opportunities and successes.


URING APRIL this year, averda announced its majority acquisition of Wasteman and the two are moving forward together, securing one of Wasteman’s most successful years yet while simultaneously furthering averda’s growing footprint in Africa, which already extends across the Middle East. Following the announcement, averda CEO Malek Sukkar had this to say, “In line with our global growth ambitions, the acquisition of Wasteman significantly enhances averda’s position in Africa, by providing specialised solutions for waste management. “We are excited about the opportunities ahead and look forward to bringing our vast international experience – from city cleaning to waste recovery and disposal – into Wasteman’s operations.” Wasteman Holdings CEO Jan Labuschagne added, “The Wasteman Group will reap immense benefit from the entr y of

averda into the South African market. In addition to the injection of foreign direct investment, averda will contribute a wealth of waste industry expertise and technology. We are already seeing the benefits of partnering with our new majority shareholder as we head along a path of accelerated growth.

Wasteman capacity and expertise Wasteman has operated in all major economic hubs across South Africa over the course of its 35-year history and is well positioned to meet the requirements of a large customer base, with its existing, extensive geographical coverage in South Africa, servicing all nine provinces. “Strategically located throughout South Africa, Wasteman operates a network of 12 operations – comprising landfill sites, depots, and offices – with a proven

track record in various key industries, such as the industrial, municipal, automotive, mining, and petrochemicals sectors,” explains Labuschagne.

averda capacity and expertise averda specialises in integrated resources management, servicing both the private and public sectors. The company’s ser vices range from waste management to street cleaning and sweeping, waste collection, treatment, disposal and recycling, in addition to the development of sustainable solutions for water and wastewater purification and treatment for residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. “While most companies in the sector are trying to change and save the world, or provide waste management solutions, we’re doing both, because, for us, they’re both a common goal. No waste challenge is too big or small. If it requires our assistance, we’ll get it done TOP Landfill management is best when supported by outstanding fleet services LEFT Vlakfontein H:H landfill is particularly well positioned to attract hazardous volumes from waste producers in the Vaal area

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Landfills together, with no excuses,” says Sukkar. According to Sukkar, industrial waste can be largely divided into two categories, namely hazardous and nonhazardous waste. Within the hazardous waste category, the waste can be either organic or inorganic. In the case of the former, the selection and application of the most appropriate technology is critical to the success of any organic hazardous waste treatment, par ticularly with respect to petroleum hydrocarbon waste generated within the oil and gas industrial sector. As a logical

No waste challenge is too big or small. If it requires our assistance, we’ll get it done together, with no excuses.” Malek Sukkar, CEO, averda

extension of averda’s ser vices of hazardous waste collection, transfer handling, and storage, it is averda’s objective to offer all possible avenues of both traditional and state-of-the-art cleanup technologies to its clients including, the following: • physical remedial treatment of upstream exploration, production drill cuttings, and oily sludge waste streams entailing thermal, centrifugation, and gravimetric separation technologies for hydrocarbon decontamination • chemical remedial fixation and stabilisation of legacy oily wastes via the application SUPPORTING SUSTAINABILITY or injection of pozzalanic In August this year, Wasteman Holdings announced its status as and cementitious a proud sponsor of the Eco-Logic Awards 2015. These awards identify individuals, organisations, and communities that chemical agents positively impact the creation of a sustainable world. Enviropaedia • biological remediation of established the Eco-Logic Awards in 2011 and, since then, the oil-based contaminated event has grown into South Africa’s most glamourous green event. soils (<5% total “ To maintain our fully integrated waste petroleum hydrocarbon) management partnerships and showcase our commitment to providing sustainable through the application technological solutions for a greener of carbonoclastic tomorrow, we have partnered with bacteria, nutrient Enviropaedia and will be sponsoring the addition, and enhanced Recycling and Waste Management Award at oxygenation of the soil the 2015 Eco-Logic Awards. Good luck to all entrants,” says Wasteman CEO Jan Labuschagne. matrix in enhanced land Award winners will be announced in April next year. farming or construction of biopiles or soil banks. It is averda’s intention, within the next three years, to position itself as a premier player as one of the top five hazardous waste service providers for the petroleum and petrochemical industrial sectors within the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Angola, Gabon, and South Africa. averda currently recognises a discontinuity in service provision in


the hazardous waste industry for oil and gas insofar as the market is delineated according to waste stream composition almost exclusively. By this, it is meant that hazardous waste management companies apply their own vested-interest technology – be it physical, chemical, or microbiological – to any given waste stream rather than providing a broadstrokes approach to solving clients’ petroleum hazardous waste problems in their entirety. “It is our intention that averda’s hazardous waste management business model is significantly different and that averda provides pragmatic and, above all else, costeffective total service solutions to resolve complex petroleum hydrocarbon waste issues on behalf of all our clients,” says Sukkar.

Environmental and technical benchmarks The averda and Wasteman partnership will enable Wasteman to improve South Africa’s capacity to deliver at high environmental standards in hazardous and non-hazardous landfill management. For example, the environmental and technical qualities each company brings to the partnership are set to enhance the development of the new Vlakfontein highhazard (H:H) landfill site near Vereeniging. The site represents a unique opportunity for Wasteman to expand into the demanding H:H waste management streams from industrial South Africa. Vlakfontein will be the second commercially available H:H waste landfill in the region. With an expected useful life of 35 years and a central location relative to the substantial industrial and mining operations in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, the North West, and the Free State, Vlakfontein is particularly well positioned to attract hazardous volumes from waste producers in the Vaal area, Sasolburg, and the Vanderbijlpark precinct in particular. Planned future additions for the site include an incinerator and waste-to-energy, gas collection, and disposal  plants. t +27 (0)86 117 4448 www.wasteman.co.za

ReSource November 2015 35



Engineering excellence


NVITECH SOLUTIONS was appointed to provide civil engineering expertise, as part of the Vlakfontein high-hazard (H:H) landfill project in Gauteng. Stan Jewaskiewitz, technical director at Envitech, discusses some of the technical considerations for the site. The Vlakfontein landfill is located within an old brick quarr y and initial bulk ear thworks construction was carried out from November 2013 to May 2014. “Due to the steep sides of the old quarr y excavations, extensive ear thworks were

under taken to create stable side slopes at 3:1 (18.4 degrees),” says Jewaskiewitz. “Geotechnical investigations showed that there was still a significant depth of naturally available clay materials beneath the proposed landfill. “This was impor tant in terms of a) the availability of natural clay materials suitable for the construction of the lining system and b) the underlying, naturally occurring clay materials for a natural barrier between the landfill and the underlying groundwater. The landfill was designed in

Since this is an H:H landfill, a Class A barrier system has been designed in accordance with the regulations, comprising multiple composite liners with leachate collection and leak detection systems

such a manner that there would be a minimum barrier of 4 m between the underside of the lining system and the groundwater,” he adds. At the site, stormwater is being handled via a management system that diver ts external stormwater run-off away from the site using a large concrete lined drain. Leachate is being managed by way of a leachate collection system (stone drainage layer) beneath the waste body and the pumping of the leachate to a lined leachate dam.

36 ReSource November 2015

Services Environmental Engineering Integrated Waste Management Recycling, Compos ng, Anaerobic Diges on & Thermal Treatment Waste-to-Energy Landfill Engineering, Liner Design and CQA Landfill Gas Management & Power Genera on Leachate Management & Treatment Mine Waste Management, Closure & Rehabilita on info@envitech.co.za www.envitech.co.za Gauteng 22 Seventh Avenue, Northmead Benoni 1501 Stan Jewaskiewitz +27 82 808 0586 stan@envitech.co.za +27 11 425 2810

Kwa-Zulu Natal 68 Old Main Road Kloof 3610 Brendon Jewaskiewitz +27 82 927 3071 brendon@envitech.co.za +27 31 832 4545




OUNTAIN CIVIL Engineering (FCE) is a full-service civil construction company with over 20 years’ experience, offering clients expertise in

challenging when double liner systems are required. Weather is also a significant contributor to the unique challenges in landfill construction,” he adds.

Leading landfill construction roadworks, earthworks, landfill gas extraction, pipelines, township infrastructure, concrete, and landfills. FCE is a leader in the construction and closure of landfills and containment facilities and has constructed many landfill facilities around the countr y. According to managing director Ted Fountain, common hurdles associated with landfill construction often var y from site to site, although there are some factors that remain constant. “Each landfill has unique challenges, but the biggest challenges are always dealing with the layer work designs and, in particular, working on long, steep slopes. The new minimum requirements have also made the layer works installation processes more

Problem-solving procedure

Since FCE has been in the business for more than 20 years, with many more years of combined experience coming from the company’s expert engineering and construction corps, the company’s team knows how to turn challenges into opportunities. “Through our extensive landfill construction experience, we have developed unique skill sets and equipment to deal with all these challenges. Having the right people and equipment for the job is invaluable,” explains Fountain. FCE also recently served as the construction contractor at the Vlakfontein high-hazard landfill site. As well as performing work on the landfill itself, FCE was involved in the supporting infrastructure. Excavators,

Construction at Vlakfontein H:H landfill

graders, articulated dump trucks, and tractor loader backhoes were used for a number of duties.

Conclusion Fountain points out that the Vlakfontein contract was unique, in that it required reshaping an existing quarry to accommodate the new cell. “As a company, we pride ourselves on working together with the client and engineer and this contract has been particularly satisfying from that perspective,” concludes Fountain. ReSource November 2015 37

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SSENTIAL TO the proper long-term management of a landfill is that the right liner be installed at the outset. South African company Gundle GeoSynthetics was subcontracted to provide a high standard of lining and installation services at the Vlakfontein high-hazard facility – in compliance with local norms and standards.

New Class A barrier Colin de Bruyn, general manager and technical manager at Gundle GeoSynthetics, explains what type of lining was chosen for the site and why, “The first of seven planned cells for the site was lined with a New Class A barrier system. This system consists of

GUNDLE two layers of SANS1526:2015 grade flat high-density polyethylene (HDPE; this particularly HDPE consists of smooth and textured materials in 1.5 mm and 2.0 mm) with specific friction values and asperity heights and two layers of compacted clay. “Geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) were used to speed up the construction process of the leachate pond; these are also a more environmentally friendly option when compared to natural clay, because the trucking and compacting processes have a smaller environmental footprint. There is also a leak detecting system built in and various layers of geotextiles for protection, separation, and filtration purposes.”

Lining for success

Installation The liner was installed using spreader bars and slings together with specialist equipment supplied by the earthworks contractors on-site, who ensured materials were handled and deployed with care. “Installation was done in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements on overlaps and deployment. With a great deal of wind on-site during the lining installation process, a large number of sandbags needed to be used as ballasts.

Testing The main testing method used to secure the correct joining/sealing of the liners, and long-term effectiveness was ‘peel’ testing, as well as air pressure testing on the double hot wedge welds and vacuum box. Spark testing was carried out on the extrusion fillet welds. “GCL’s and geotextiles don’t require testing on-site after installation, and proper overlaps heat-tacked to the rolls’ edges ensure materials will be secure over the long run,” concludes De Bruyn. New Class A barrier system layers

38 ReSource November 2015





Geosynthetic product being installed at Vlakfontein

OR THE Vlakfontein landfill project, Fibertex Geotextiles Africa initially acted in an advisory role to the design engineers on the use of suitable geosynthetic products, which later extended to the manufacture and supply of materials to the project. “Products supplied included 58 000 m2 of our non-woven Fibertex F-34 separation/filtration geotextile, 116 000 m2 of our nonwoven Fibertex F-1200 protection geotextile, 57 000 m2 of our woven Polytex PT515 separation geotextile, and 8 550 m2 of our Greencell geocells,” says Darr yn Meisel, national sales director for Fibertex.

environment to confirm product suitability. “We were also able to increase production of the materials to suit an accelerated construction programme,” adds Meisel.

Developing role

Manufacturing process

During the project, Fibertex has added value by providing ongoing advice on the suitability of geosynthetic products throughout the design stages. This later extended to the performance testing of the proposed products in a simulated laboratory

Fibertex’s range of geotextiles is manufactured using state-of-the-art polypropylene staple fibre needle-punched non-woven technology at its factory in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal. The Polytex range of geotextile is locally manufactured using

woven polypropylene slit-film tapes. “Our 5.2 m wide Fibertex rolls and 5.0 m wide Polytex rolls allow for easy road transport, container freight, and manoeuvrability on-site. The company’s 100 mm high Greencell geocell product is being used to line the clean stormwater collection trench running along the perimeter of the site. “The Greencells, when filled with concrete, provide effective erosion protection from the stormwater flow volumes,” he says.

Manufacturing material distinction

Proud partnership “This partnership has demonstrated and confirmed our comprehensive value-add offering to the industry, not only as a reliable supplier but as a first choice design partner,” he concludes. ReSource November 2015 39

Proudly associated with the Vlakfontein Landfill project Fibertex ® Non-Woven Protection Geotextile Polytex® Woven and Fibertex® Non-Woven Separation Geotextile Greencell® Geocells

www. geotextilesafrica .co.za


Innovation and networking at Landfill 2015 The Landfill 2015 Conference and Exhibition took place on 15 and 16 September this year at the Waterval Country Lodge in Tulbagh. It was, by all accounts, a highly successful event, where industry experts shared knowledge and ideas on this important topic.


RGANISED BY IWMSA, the Landfill and Waste Treatment Interest Group (LAWTIG), and the Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa, Landfill 2015 highlighted the local industry’s vast expertise on information, statistics, case studies, opinions, debates, innovations, and ideas, underpinned by the conference theme: ‘Advances in waste treatment and the engineered landfill environment’. According to IWMSA president professor Suzan Oelofse, Landfill 2015 drew high levels of interest and expertise: “We had a large number of international attendees this year, as well as speakers from Australia, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, making this a truly world-class event. The programme was also widely diverse, covering every aspect of waste management.”

Relou, who presented a case study on the feasibility of composting food waste at a fresh produce market; Chris Liebenberg, who deliberated public-private partnership procurement and opportuni-

Events like these are vital to finding the solutions so desperately needed for waste management issues around the world

Discussion topics The 110 conference delegates spent two days fully immersed in issues related to waste management techniques and developments, with many thought-provoking topics discussed. Topics included, among others: landfill construction and operations; waste transportation; climate change mitigation monitoring and evaluation; and waste-toenergy and refuse-derived fuels. 25 local and international speakers presented over six stimulating sessions. They included Bob Leeftink, who reviewed the Dutch and European change from landfilling to more than 80% recycling; Robert

40 ReSource November 2015

ties; Lloyd Wallace, who talked about the role of the informal waste sector in affecting alternative waste treatment; and Andy Post, who spoke about the advantages of geosynthetics in landfill design.

Keynotes The keynote speakers at Landfill 2015 were civil engineer Warren Hornsey and Dr Andrew Taylor, managing director of Cape Advanced Engineering (CAE). Hornsey discussed Australian landfill regulations and how they compare to South African regulations. He took the attendees through the successful implementation of best practice environmental management in the state of Victoria – including the design, construction, general requirements, and challenges and lessons taken from the project.   Taylor presented riveting ideas around bio-gas power generation in the South African context. He compared South Africa

to the European and, specifically, German bio-gas contexts, and discussed the 2003 Renewable Energy White Paper, as well as the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff programme. He looked at various projects, including the Durban landfill project; Johannesburg Water’s bio-gas from sewerage project; and the CAE Darling Energy from bovine waste project; before discussing, indepth, the Gammams Water Care Works project in Windhoek, Namibia.

Working together “Events like these are vital to finding the solutions so desperately needed for waste management issues around the world,” said Peter Kriel, chairman of LAWTIG. “We were lucky to have exceptional speakers; the conference was a great success and we are excited about what’s happening in the waste management sector, both locally and abroad.” Oelofse said there are many more IWMSA events in the pipeline. “The IWMSA is proud to have played host (along with our partners) to such an informative, stimulating event,” she said. “We are always looking for ways to bring information, innovation, and solution-driven thinking to the waste management industry.” Submitted by the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA).



Rehabilitation for future generations The closure and rehabilitation of landfills is a developing field in South Africa, with new experience and tools being created regularly to assist municipalities to manage these facilities better – financially and environmentally – over the long run. BY TRACY MCNEIL*


HEN A WASTE disposal facility (WDF) has reached its full capacity, in terms of the licence for the site, it needs to be closed and rehabilitated. Recent legislation, which regulates the rehabilitation of such landfill sites, has made this a capital-intensive procedure for the licence holder – usually a municipality. In financial terms, a WDF is an asset to a landfill owner or licence holder, and generates the capital required to maintain the facility during its active life (i.e. while the site can offer “airspace”). Municipalities are required to include a valuation estimate of their landfill sites in their financial yearend statements, thereby demonstrating that they have sufficient budget to execute site closures when required.

Consulting accuracy Licence holders often employ civil engineering consultants to assess how much it would cost to close the landfill at its anticipated closure date. The present value of the estimated future cost to rehabilitate the site at the end of its life must be calculated (using amortisation tables) and it is this present value that

is reflected in the client’s financial statements. These assessments, although small in scale in comparison to typical civil engineering projects, present their own unique challenges in the form of data deficits, a lack of defined methodologies, and the difficulties in combining engineering principles with accounting philosophies. Jeffares & Green, the long-established engineering and environmental consultancy, has undertaken many such assessments and has developed a systematic methodology and approach.

Closure cost assessment challenges As is the case with most engineering projects, every project or site presents its own unique challenges. Jeffares & Green engineers cite recurring omissions or discrepancies that force them to make assumptions instead of accurate assessments. For example, some clients do not have enduse plans, integrated waste management plans, records of disposed waste volumes, airspace surveys, engineering designs (for closure or development), and even, in some cases, waste licences for review. Further exacerbating the problem is the lack of a standardised methodology for use by consultants, often leading to significant

variances in the total cost estimate from one year to the next. This poses a problem for the municipal accountants who have to justify the sudden fluctuation in year-onyear provision. Although most consultants with expertise in solid waste management will apply the same basic principles, there is room for interpretation in the legislative requirements and the views on what is required versus what is nice to have often differ. As the number of assumptions escalate, so the difference from one costing estimate to another will fluctuate proportionally. Another challenge can be the difficulty, for the client, to fully understand the engineering and technical principles, assumptions, or design principles applied within the engineer’s report and, conversely, the engineer’s failure to fully grasp the amortisation tables, inflation figures, discount rate, and net present value being applied by the client. This language barrier between accountants and engineers can sometimes distort the calculation of the ultimate cost outcome.

On the positive side The whole idea of budget planning for the rehabilitation, capping, and remediation of a landfill site is relatively new to the South African engineering industry. But, with each completed cost assessment, processes become more familiar to both professionals and clients. This shared experience allows clients and auditors to review reports TOP After the embankment was capped before planting (2013) LEFT Experimental planting to Southern Slope (August 2015)

ReSource November 2015 41

Landfills effectively and to offer constructive criticism – and encourages engineers and auditors to refine their processes, and consider any shortfalls noted in previous assessments, so that the process becomes increasingly refined with each passing year. Jeffares & Green has developed an in-house technical costing model, together with a financial assessment model, to allow GRAP 19 accounting principles to be adopted and modelled. Models such as these could be adopted to allow more effective costing and accounting, resulting in more minor year-on-year fluctuations (over and above changes in industry and the market). One other such model is the Municipal Landfill Closure Costing Model, developed by Environmental & Sustainability Solutions in collaboration with Jones & Wagner. This model provides a framework for determining the financial provisions to

be disclosed in the annual financial statements. Without a doubt, the reports are a catalyst for prioritising waste management within local municipalities and are focusing

Budget planning for the rehabilitation, capping, and remediation of a landfill site is relatively new in South Africa. But, with each completed cost assessment, processes become more familiar to all involved the attention of government officials on the need for upgrades at various landfill sites, particularly those in poorer rural areas. In places where Jeffares & Green engineers have done site assessments in consecutive years, there have been examples of noticeable improvements directly attributable to recommendations made in the previous reports.

Success story – Western Cape landfill One element that can cause great variances in costing analysis is the final closure and revegetation, landscaping, or greening of a site. Jeffares & Green undertook the closure costing for a hazardous landfill site in the Western Cape, together with the implementation of the progressive closure of a portion of the site. The civil engineering works were constructed concurrently with the landscaping and rehabilitation contract, covering over seven hectares of lined airspace. A scientific experiment, known as LFA (landscape functional analysis) was undertaken on the landfill to determine the best mix of planting ratios for future rehabilitation work. Such investigatory work will yield valuable information regarding the future closure of sites. *Tracy McNeil is a candidate engineer at Jeffares & Green’s Municipal and Sustainable Engineering  Division.

42 ReSource November 2015

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Achieving sustainable landfills There are a number of environmental threats associated with landfills. One is leachate, while another is uncontrolled biogas release. Even dry landfills, with relatively little leachate or biogas, may take decades to stabilise â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and stabilisation is an essential ingredient for creating sustainable landfills. BY PETER NOVELLA*


TABILISATION OF landfills is crucial for managing landfills sustainably. The theory relating to landfill stabilisation is not new. There are five distinct phases of degradation, these being: aerobic, acid, transition, methanogenic, and maturation. The processes that occur during these different phases include the biological fermentation of carbohydrate, lipid, and protein substrates (commonly grouped together and referred to as organics). The rate at which all these phases occur, as well as the time span of the overall stabilisation process, depends entirely on landfill conditions. These conditions include other types of bacteria present, the type

and biodegradability of the waste substrate (organics), the presence of nutrients and toxic substances, pH, temperature, and moisture content.

Sustainable landfills What is a sustainable landfill? Landfills can be regarded as sustainable if air space, processes, the use of products and residues are at an optimum, and where no negative effects on the environment are detected. Landfills can only be sustainable once they achieve full stabilisation in the shortest possible time. This time can be regarded as complete stabilisation occurring within one generation.

Leachate recirculation is a process that can be used to enhance landfill stabilisation. A 1997 study has shown that flushing out excess acids from the landfill can decrease the time needed to achieve methanogenesis, while the acid leachate derived from this process can be recirculated into methanogenic waste and be treated in this process with the methanogens generating additional methane-rich biogas. Similarly, when methanogenic leachate is recirculated on to fresh waste, it has been shown to stimulate the onset of methanogenesis in acid refuse. Liquid manipulation strategies can, therefore, be highly effective landfill management options to achieve enhanced stabilisation and reduce the time needed to completely stabilise a landfill. The principles outlined above are those that need to be applied in bioreactor landfills. This is because the underlying principles of the bioreactor landfill is that, by optimising operational control and the environmental conditions within the waste body (especially the moisture content), more ReSource November 2015 43

We want to say

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to all our loyal customers. www.eiegroup.co.za

Landfills is a process whereby developing countries can be encouraged to develop systems to enhance CH4 and other GHG destruction in order to earn money in the form of carbon credits from developed countries that are able to pay to achieve their own GHG reduction targets.

Leachate management

Fossil-fuel burning and livestock farming are the only anthropogenic causes of methane higher than that of landfills and waste

rapid and complete degradation of the waste can be achieved in the shortest possible time. The general objective is to produce a stable waste body within a reasonable time scale, thus ensuring that the risk to the environment will be at an acceptable level if a liner failure occurs. In spite of enhanced stabilisation techniques, the potential to pollute may remain in landfills. By using a combination of processes, such as the pretreatment, semiaerobic and flushing model, the advantage of all the proposed advanced strategies in achieving a sustainable landfill could be significantly optimised.

Biogas management The most important greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted from landfills as part of the biogas formed during waste stabilisation is methane (CH4). Landfill gas will continue to be emitted during the entire stabilisation phase and, for dry landfills, this could last for many decades. In the past, landfill gas was managed because of its CH4 content, which is explosive when in contact with certain concentrations of air, as well as to control odours. This changed in 1997, when the Kyoto protocol was adopted, by mainly European countries, to work together to reduce GHG emissions. This has changed dramatically and, by June 2013, there were 192 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change. Methane gas is some 21 times worse for

44 ReSource November 2015

the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. The concentration of CH4 in landfill gas does vary but, during the methanogenic process, concentrations of around 50% are commonplace. In 2002, there were only five flaring systems in place in South Africa. Since then, even though there has been a slow pace, there have been many more installations completed. However, lead times are slow and landfill gas yields can turn out to be lower than expected. CO2 makes up most of the other 50% of landfill biogas. This presents a massive opportunity for using CO2 from landfills, and that produced by the combustion of CH4, in the electricity or heat generation processes. However, it is first necessary to understand the impact of GHG from waste management activities. Researchers have developed GHG emission factors for the collection, transport, and landfilling of municipal waste in South African municipalities. Landfill sites without biogas collection and CH4 destruction are shown to have of the highest GHG emission factors. Therefore, to ensure that a landfill is sustainable, landfill gas extraction and destruction with possible added beneficiation must be an integral part of the planning process. The Clean Development Mechanism

Once collected, leachate must be managed and disposed of. Disposal can be off-site to domestic wastewater treatment works or through on-site treatment at the landfill. Treatment on-site is often considered the preferred option, as the problem is contained and solved at the source. Moreover, treatment on a landfill site is considered to be a closedloop process, through which contaminants arising from the waste disposal operations and degradation process are contained and treated at the landfill, within the permitted area, under a controlled environment. Treated effluent can be used for irrigation or dust suppression. Any selected treatment process must be capable of treating leachate reliably and consistently to meet predetermined standards of effluent quality. It is the usual practice to ascertain what the effluent requirements will be for the specific leachate treatment plant before embarking on pilot studies and design processes.

Rehabilitation In order for a landfill to be sustainable, it needs to be rehabilitated in a manner that allows its contents to become fully stabilised in the shortest possible time, while preventing pollution. Apart from the poor siting and bad operations of landfills in the past, it used to be common practice to close landfills by just locking the gate and walking away. The legacy of poorly managed historic landfills remains a monument to waste managers of the past throughout South Africa. The Environmental Conser vation Act of 1989 made it a requirement to rehabilitate closed landfills, and guidelines for this were developed in the Minimum Requirements Series of 1998 (first edition in 1994; second edition in 1998).

Landfills Mechanical biological treatment plants are designed to process mixed household waste, as well as commercial and industrial wastes

Licensing of closed landfills is now commonplace and there is a thrust in South Africa today to accept the legacy of the past and work towards the licensing, rehabilitation, and monitoring of historic landfills. In addition, landfills that are shown to be an environmental threat must be prioritised for rehabilitation. The provision of money to do this is also a problem as, in the past, no provision was made for rehabilitation. Taking another step towards sustainable landfills, the National Environmental Waste Act includes provisions for the licensing and rehabilitation of contaminated land. Internationally, the rehabilitation of old landfills has long been a priority.

The Clean Development Mechanism is a process whereby developing countries can be encouraged to develop systems to enhance CH4 and other GHG destruction in order to earn money in the form of carbon credits from developed countries

Mechanical biological treatment The use of mechanical biological treatment (MBT) processes is well documented and is widely used as a waste disposal technology, especially in countries where there is a ban on the disposal by landfill of unstabilised organics. MBT plants are widespread in Europe, where a landfill ban on unstabilised organics exists. Therefore, in developing countries, the use of MBT prior to the landfilling of treated residues can be a method to achieve landfill stabilisation in a much shorter time frame than would be the case with

landfilling untreated wastes. In the mechanical process, recyclables can be removed from the waste stream for beneficiation as recycling material into new products and the use of non-recyclable wastes with high calorific values as a fuel to generate electricity or heat. The remaining residue – mainly biodegradable organic matter – can be sent to a bioreactor. Via anaerobic digestion, energy can be captured as biogas, which can be used as a fuel to generate electricity or heat. The treated residue can then either be landfilled or treated fur ther by aerobic means in order to achieve a product that is fairly well stabilised. This can then be landfilled in a controlled manner. It has been shown, however, that after treatment in a MBT process, there is a fraction of the waste that will still need to degrade and this could pollute the environment. Engineered landfills will still be required, but it follows that, with the risks of pollution greatly reduced, landfill designs can be less stringent and, thus, cheaper.

Conclusion It is quite clear that, in the South African context, sustainable landfills for the vast majority of areas will remain a far-off dream. But, we must continue to strive for sustainable waste management systems, taking into account the cradle-to-grave approach and treating an individual’s own waste in their own lifetime. Having said this, I believe the sustainable landfill is achievable in South Africa. Just by looking at the advances made in certain municipalities and in landfills run by private contractors, best practices and pickets of excellence reveal themselves. The challenge remains and there is a lot of hard work needed. In addition, investment is necessary to make sure that every citizen has access to a sustainable, environmentally friendly landfill, where their waste can be disposed of and be of no threat to the environment for future generations. *Acknowledgement and disclaimer: Peter Novella is the manager: Disposal for the City of Cape Town. The City of Cape Town is acknowledged for allowing this article to be published. The views expressed are those of the author alone and not those of the City of Cape Town. For a full list of references, please contact the editor at frances@3smedia.co.za. ReSource November 2015 45

Mills & Otten cc Johannesburg Tel: (011) 486 0062 Fax: (086) 554 6573 Contact: Charles Mills / Kirstin Otten • • •

Environmental Consultants 1998/46338/23 info@millsandotten.co.za www.millsandotten.co.za

Cape Town Tel: (021) 671 7107 Fax: (021) 671 7107 Contact: Stephanie de Beer

Independent Environmental Consultants specialising in: Environmental Management Plans • Contaminated Land Management Audits – Environmental and Green Building • Training Environmental Authorisations (NEMA,NEMWA,NEMAQA,NWA)


Pretreatment enhances gas performance

LEFT Activated carbon filter FAKA 3000 K1 INSETS White-greyish encrustation mainly from silicon. Burned outlet valve of gas engine cylinder head

supplier for biogas, sewage gas, landfill gas, and mining gas treatment systems. “Sewage and landfill gas generally carry a contaminant load from the wastewater or the landfilled solid waste, respectively, consisting of volatile organic silicon, sulfur, and halogen compounds. These compounds have a degrading effect on gas utilisation applications and lead to serious wear, affecting engines and turbines. This equally applies to vehicle engines in an even more sensitive matter when biogas is upgraded to CNG quality. If the aim is feeding it into a natural gas pipeline, these aspects are also critical to get permission from the gas grid operator,” he explains.

Increased silicon presence

investigates how to pretreat gas for the reduction of operational costs at landfill facilities. FRANCES RINGWOOD


HE MAIN reason for frequent servicing is impurities and trace contaminants in fermentation gas (e.g. sewage gas and landfill gas), which cause massive problems in modern gas engines. In particular, organic silicon compounds (siloxanes) in the gas cause compounded wear in the combustion chamber. Long downtimes and cases where engines are damaged beyond repair reduce efficiencies and jeopardise CHP and cogeneration cost-efficiency. Knock-on effects include: • logistics costs for repair work • increased oil and spares consumption • motivation loss of operating staff due to troubleshooting outside regular business hours • increasing insurance premiums for machinery breakdown • loss of production time. These factors have driven the adoption of cutting-edge engine cleaning technologies. In particular, a combination of gas drying

46 ReSource November 2015

and gas cleaning with activated carbon, or in combination with further cleaning processes, achieves results that generate a sustainable decrease in operating costs for the overall operation.

Sewage gas components “In wastewater sludge digester systems, biogas is generated during anaerobic stabilisation of sewage sludge in digestion tanks or towers. The biogas (sewage gas), which is usually used for internal energy purposes of the fermentation process and the wastewater treatment works, contains approximately 6 kWh thermal energy per cubic metre of sewage gas. One cubic metre of sewage gas can typically be converted to approximately 2.4 kWh of electricity and approximately 3 kWh of usuable heating energy,” explains Tarik Höppener, managing director of re-energise Africa, the local agent for Siloxa Engineering – a leading German tech manufacturer and

Silicons and siloxanes are largely non-hazardous with regard to their toxicity and environmental damage potential. Over the past two decades, the use of organosilicon substances has risen sharply due to their chemical and physical properties, which make them suitable for a wide range of applications. Siloxanes are water-resistant and, therefore, suitable as water-repellent agents for fabrics, paper, inks, coatings, and as additives for construction materials. They are also extremely temperature-resistant, so long-chain compounds can be used as engine lubricants. Short-chain siloxanes are gentle on the skin, so they are used instead of petroleum jelly in cosmetics. Silicones have the greatest insulating properties of all synthetic materials and are largely temperature-independent. This also makes them ideal for high-voltage current insulation. “The daily and widespread use of polysiloxanes leads to their presence in the waste cycle – in landfill sites, sewage plants and, occasionally, in biogas plants. Here, the siloxanes are transformed into a gaseous state during the microbiologic degradation process,” explains Höppener. “During the thermal utilisation of these gases in combustion applications, organosilicon compounds are oxidised into

Landfills microcrystalline silicon dioxide (quartz). This acts as an abrasive, causing abrasion to cylinder bore surfaces and engines,” he adds. The past two decades have seen a huge increase in the worldwide production of a wide range of different types of silicon. The industry reports annual growth of 7%; as a result, this problem is evolving further, triggered by the continually increasing commercial use of siloxane and its associated introduction into the environment.



Requirements for CHP engine manufacturers The prevention of damage to gas engines and lasting improvements in machine availability and efficiency can only be addressed by using upstream gas cleaning systems. Today, effective and efficient gas treatment technology is always integrated in international state-of-the-art sewage gas, landfill gas, and biogas operations, demonstrating technical and economic benefits. “In the international biogas industry, a process technique for the separation of organic silicon compounds and the removal of hydrogen sulfide – based on activated carbon adsorption combined with upstream gas drying – has become a highly successful, established method. For the use of gas cleaning systems to be worthwhile, the process and system must be cost-effective and must solve the actual problem reliably. The operating costs for gas cleaning must be lower than the additional costs for maintenance, servicing, machinery breakdown, or loss of production caused by the silicon or the hydrogen sulfides,” says Höppener.

“The daily and widespread use of polysiloxanes leads to their presence in the waste cycle – in landfill sites, sewage plants and, occasionally, in biogas plants. Tarik Höppener, MD, re-energise Africa

Activated carbon adsorption for gas cleaning “One of the properties of activated carbon is that it adsorbs organic compounds. With plants run according to the activated carbon adsorption principle, gas qualities of <1 mg siloxanes/m³ sewage gas and of <1 ppm hydrogen sulfide/m3 sewage gas are achieved,” explains Höppener. Adsorption in a packed bed with activated carbon replacement is a straightforward, effective, and safe process. With optimal gas conditioning and suitable plant design, the specific costs of activated carbon replacement can be reduced. Hence, investigating and understanding the overall system process is critical. “When the filter material reaches its maximum uptake capacity, the activated carbon bed gets replaced by new material and the old material can be regenerated by the manufacturer; it is, however, usually safely disposed of by the service provider. The consumption of operating resources and, therefore, the costs are largely determined by the gas quality and volume, which determines the contaminant load,” says Höppener. The adsorption properties of activated carbon can also be optimised by various physical parameters, including humidity and moisture. To find out more about optimising CHP and cogeneration plants for maximum cost recovery, talk to an experienced and trusted fermentation gas technology specialist.

ReSource November 2015 47

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Event Watch


Manufacturing Indaba Western Cape 6 November 2015 Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa Liz Hart: info@manufacturingindaba.co.za

African Utility Week

17 to 19 May 2016 Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa Loudon Cito: Loudon.Cito@spintelligent.com

Nineteenth Power & Electricity World Africa: Investment and Development for Power Producers, Intensive Energy Users and Partners

Nineteenth Annual Solar Show Africa

WasteCon 2016 The Changing Face of Waste Management

15 to 16 March 2016 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa Brian Shabangu: brian.shabangu@terrapinn.com

15 to 16 March 2016 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa Brian Shabangu: brian.shabangu@terrapinn.com

17 to 21 October 2016 Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, South Africa Gail Smit: iwmsa@telkomsa.net Ann Oosthuizen: iwmsa1@telkomsa.net

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS A-Thermal Retort Technologies Amandus Kahl Hamburg

4 29


Otto Waste

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Caterpillar Industrial & Waste Group


Jan Palm Consulting Engineers




Jeffares & Green


Duncanmec Envitech Solutions EQSTRA 600 SA

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

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