Medical waste incinerator guilty of toxic emissions

BLOEMFONTEIN – Enviroserv’s medical waste incinerator in Bloemfontein stands quiet and abandoned.

It’s been closed for months ago due to financial constraints.

In 2013, it was reportedly billowing masses of black smoke into the air.

Locals claim they were suffering from sinusitis, swollen glands and burning eyes and so approached the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

The commission has found that Enviroserv had been using a medical waste incinerator that didn’t comply with regulations.

“We came to the conclusion that the complainant’s right to a clean environment had been violated,” said Buang Jones of the SAHRC.

“We therefore requested the municipality, in compliance with our recommendations, to review their licence and to attach conditions, compliant with the legal framework in respect of environmental and waste disposal issues,” said Jones.

Even though Enviroserv had stopped using the incinerator before this ruling, environmental activists have hailed it as a significant victory.

“It means that communities that are really impacted by dirty big industries such as Eskom in the Highveld, Sasol in Sasolburg – it gives the SAHRC a mandate to go to those communities and to really document how they are experiencing pollution and how it impacts on their health,” said Rico Euripidou, of Groundwork SA.

The Mangaung municipality says it will re-evaluate Enviroserv’s operating licence if the company wants to restart its incinerators.

“They will have to communicate with our specialists, so that there is adherence to the atmospheric emissions licence, and then we’ll review and look at the locations, so that we don’t put our citizens in dangerous situations,” Qondile Khedama, Mangaung municipality spokesperson.

Enviroserv plans to appeal the ruling because the commission’s report concedes it’s highly unlikely the health symptoms can be definitively linked to the incinerator.

Source: enca

Book your seat to attend the Vision Zero Waste Seminar at Sustainability Week in June

Follow Alive2Green on Social Media

TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle +

Recently Published

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 8.56.14 AM

Cape Town Tourism will continue to build on the city’s tourism success

Cape Town Tourism’s service level agreement (SLA) has been ...

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 3.00.37 PM

Mining can be green and “sustainable”

Miners, First Nations feed fodder to government policy ...

Water and Mining - []

Water and power efficiency walk hand in hand

South African mining companies can manage water usage as part of a ...

Airport Craft Brewers barman Oscar Sentane prepares to serve one of Marali's blonde lagers at the O.R. Tambo airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Lift Off for Africa’s First Airport Brewery

There is a new addition to Africa’s busiest air transport hub, O.R. ...


African Agri Investment Indaba



12th Southern African Energy Efficiency Conference (2017SAEEC)

12th Southern African Energy Efficiency Conference (2017SAEEC) 14 ...

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 9.55.19 AM

Africa feeding Africa

While North America’s farmers pin their career hopes on the need to ...

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 9.40.05 AM

Get ready for climate impacts beyond your imagination

It’s time to start imagining the worst weather scenarios possible, ...

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 9.30.01 AM

15 African youth finalists in entrepreneurship prize

Fifteen emerging young African entrepreneurs will put their talent to ...