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Waste warriors have a kiloton of fun at Schools Recycling Awards

More than 1 000 tonnes of waste has dodged the dump this year thanks to the Schools Recycling Programme of Coca-Cola Beverages SA – a landfill-saving 300 tonnes more than was collected by participating schools in 2016.

Along the way, learners created everything from skipping ropes, abacus counters, backpacks and stationery holders to musical instruments – all from junk.

Guests were treated to a musical performance on a violin made of tin, while a living plant wall made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) adorned the venue.

Just under 600 schools took part, involving half a million learners in an initiative that earns revenue for the schools while instilling the values of environmental stewardship in the youngsters who, in turn, spread the message at home and in their communities.

“Our ideal is to nurture a generation of environmental champions to create a permanent shift in the way we deal with waste as a society,” said CCBSA MD Velaphi Ratshefola.

The top three primary and high schools in the country were unveiled at a festive awards ceremony on Wednesday at The Sheds in Alexander Street, Johannesburg, where guests were treated to performances by SA’s Got Talent finalists Paint Addiction, among others.

In the primary school competition, the first prize of R50 000 went to Ekuthuleni Primary School, Kwa-Mashu in Durban, the 2ndprize of R30 000 to Siphosethu Primary School, also from Kwa-Mashu, Durban and third prize of R20 000 to Motjibosane Primary School from Hammanskraal.

In the high school competition, the first prize of R50 000 went to Motherwell High School in Port Elizabeth, the 2nd prize of R30 000 to V.M. Kwinana Secondary School, Port Elizabeth and third prize of R20 000 to Tlhatlogang Secondary School in Mofolo, Soweto.

All the prize money will be used to upgrade the schools’ infrastructure, meaning the schools recycling class of 2017 have left a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Director for General Waste Minimisation in the Department of Environmental Affairs, Mr Dumisani Buthelezi, said: “We need big corporates to take responsibility for the collection of their post-consumer waste and that’s exactly what Coca-Cola Beverages SA is doing with its Schools Recycling Programme.

“At the same time, these learners are developing their critical thinking skills in a practical exercise that challenges them to combine development objectives with environmental stewardship. It’s wonderful to see such commitment from these youngsters.”

The winning schools were selected from those that collected more than 2 tonnes of waste a month for the duration of the competition, and were judged not only on the volume of waste collected, but also their involvement of parents and communities in the process.

The programme exceeded its target of 820 tonnes of waste collected by 40%, with the total haul for the year of 1 146 tonnes breaking all previous records.

Close to R15 million has been invested in the Schools Recycling Programme since its inception six years ago, more than 60 young people have been employed as Recycling Representatives and 134 collectors have been trained and supported.

This year’s awards and prizes, which included the 8 Tonne Challenge, were valued at over R1 million in total.

For the first time, Waste Collector Recognition Awards were formalised in 2017 to call attention to the loyalty and service of partner collectors and businesses.

As part of CCBSA’s Enterprise Development Programme, collectors were given professional help to develop their businesses and become more sustainable in the long run.

Pilot project to curb illegal dumping

Uitenhage and Despatch will be focused on during the implementation of a pilot project, attempting to curb illegal dumping. This crucial project is themed Love Where You Live.

Launched by Executive Mayor Dr Danny Jordaan, intensive cleaning of illegal dumping sites started in KwaNobuhle and will continue over the next three months in areas such as Rosedale, KwaLanga and Despatch.

Dr Jordaan highlighted the benefits of a clean city on the local economy, the tourism sector and the overall benefit of having an attractive city.

Trucks will be deployed in the targeted areas coupled with an education campaign to highlight the consequences of illegal dumping and to inform communities how they can assist the municipality to deal with this unsavoury practice.

The Love Where You Live clean-up campaign will branch out to Port Elizabeth areas next year with the Northern Areas, Motherwell, Walmer/Gqebera, KwaZakhele, Soweto-on-Sea and Zwide identified as potential focus areas.

Municipal leadership encourages residents to report illegal dumping as fines of up to R2 000 can be issued when offenders are identified when reported.

  • For further information regarding anti-littering specifically in Uitenhage and Despatch the public is welcome to contact Waste Management at 041 994 1137 or Environmental Health at 041 994 1296 during office hours.

Source: news24


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R900m upgrade of N2 highway in E Cape begins

Kicking off the initial leg of the three-phase, R900-million Southern Region construction project, the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has started upgrading a 47 km stretch of the N2 highway between Grahamstown and the Fish River pass, in the Eastern Cape.

The project, which would take place over a period of six to seven years and which formed part of a long-term strategy to improve roads around and between Grahamstown and King Williams Town, entailed geometric improvements to portions of the national road that traversed mountainous terrain and would see the addition of climbing lanes to steep sections of the road to improve the level of surface.

The roads agency outlined in a statement that the project would also see improvements made to portions of the national road network that provided the economic link between Port Elizabeth and East London, and which also served as the west-east link between the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

“The existing road was built in the 1960s and currently does not meet Sanral’s desired alignment and safety standards . . . [and] an increase in traffic volumes, particularly heavy vehicles, over the past ten years has prompted the need for this road upgrade.

“Sanral aims to improve sight distance for drivers in order to reduce road accidents and also reduce vehicle operating costs. The new road will also ensure travel time-savings for vehicle operators, once completed,” commented Sanral Southern region project manager Steven Robertson.

He added that the project would improve and prepare the N2 to support increasing volumes of motorists on the national road over the next 25 years, while enabling lower fuel consumption on the upgraded road, which would also reduce carbon emissions.

According to Robertson, the terrain and geological formations presented challenges in the design of the upgrade of the road.

“In particular, large quantities of rocky materials have to be blasted and removed. At the Fish River pass, a special bypass is being constructed to allow the existing road to be widened,” he explained.

The presence of rare vegetation, meanwhile, provided the agency with an opportunity to innovate through environmental stewardship, he asserted.

“Oldenburgia Grandis only grows on quartzite outcrops. Sanral collaborated with the Rhodes University, in Grahamstown, and funded a study and transplant programme for these plants. The project is being overseen by a postgraduate botany student,” he said.

According to Sanral, the project would provide employment to 360 individuals, while the agency had committed to implementing a training and employment programme for rural communities along the route.

Source: engineeringnews


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Bay eco-development makes waves abroad

A LANDMARK eco-development on the outskirts of Nelson Mandela Bay pioneered by Dr Chris Mulder, as well as its self-sustaining and Eskom-free showcase home House Rhino, has drawn interest and praise from academics at a leading university in the US.

Mulder, returned this past weekend from a trip to his alma mater, Texas Aandamp;M University – one of the largest universities in the US – after being invited to give a guest lecture to students and academics titled “De-urbanisation: creating sustainable rural new towns”.

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Mulder, who is the credited with transforming Knysna’s Thesen Island from an industrial wasteland into an eco- friendly tourism destination and Blue Flag marina, is also behind the Bay’s Crossways Farm Village development near Van Stadens, a pioneering project involving building “rural new towns” which are partially or totally self-sustaining and energy independent.

During his lecture last week, Mulder highlighted House Rhino – the off-grid showcase development at Crossways which has been built by Bay-based water, food and energy solutions company Rhino Group.

“House Rhino was a hit,” said Mulder, adding there was immense interest in the self-sustaining nature of the house.

“It was the fact that it was off the grid and on Crossways, where we have large off-grid houses mixed in with medium sized and smaller homes, all interwoven together in a safe and walkable community environment,” Mulder said.

House Rhino, Rhino Group’s showcase of off-grid solutions, generates its own energy from solar panels; creates gas for cooking from a biodigester processing waste from the house; and harvests rainwater which is then heated by means of a water heat-pump powered by the solar energy.

“House Rhino continues to attract significant local and international attention,” said Rhino Group managing director Brian van Niekerk. “We have even housed German post-graduate students who were doing research on its self-sustainability, after their alma mater failed to find anything comparable in Europe for them to study.”

Mulder said his concept of creating “rural new towns” centred on food security, rural development, poverty alleviation and job creation.

“Rural development is a national priority and although de-urbanisation flies in the face of global trends, it is essential in South Africa,” Mulder said.

Speaking of Crossways at the university, Mulder said: “I gave an overview of what Crossways is, how it works and we will be feeding back – and already are – into the community of Thornhill by creating jobs, upskilling the community, and providing contracts .

“I also explained that we, as developers, provide all the infrastructure and thus self-manage the provision of services like sewer, water, electricity, refuse removal, and fibre-optic access for each home.”

Mulder has been named Texas Aandamp;M’s Most Outstanding International Alumnus twice – in 2002 and 2011 – for his community-minded eco-sensitive projects

Source: News 24


 

South Africa: Eastern Cape Hooks Into SA’s Ocean Economy

With its 800km of coastline, South Africa‘s Eastern Cape is set to become South Africa‘s leading hub of maritime economic activity.

The province is home to the two major port cities of Port Elizabeth and East London, both established industrial manufacturing coastal centres, giving the Eastern Cape several strategic competitive advantages, says Mfundo Piti, the economic infrastructure development manager of the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).

The South African government announced in October 2014 that it would be implementing ocean economy projects, which it expected to contribute more than R20-billion to the country’s gross domestic product by 2019.

These projects form part of the government’s National Development Plan, its economic blueprint that aims to promote economic growth and job creation.

South Africa’s oceans have the potential to contribute up to R177-billion to the GDP and create over one million jobs by 2033, two decades from now, the government said.

Unlocking the ocean economy – part of Operation Phakisa, which aims to fast track transformation – has four priority areas:

  • marine transport and manufacturing;
  • offshore oil and gas exploration:
  • aquaculture; as well as
  • marine protection services and ocean governance.

“A thriving maritime sector will shift the Eastern Cape into an era of prosperity,” Piti says. “The momentum displayed so far by the local private-state nexus shows a strong capacity and desire to further tap the potential of a sector that has largely shaped the history of these two cities.”

Ports have always been at the forefront of maritime economic organisation, catalysing economic growth through the trade of manufactured goods, commodities and raw materials. They have helped transform underdeveloped regions into important trade centres which, in turn, has created jobs.

“As both entry and exit points, the two ports have been critical in the past, present and future of the province and indeed the country,” Piti says.

Nelson Mandela Bay’s Port of Ngqura, a deep-water sea port is adjacent to the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) It is becoming the fastest growing terminal in the world, according to Drewry Maritime Research quoted by the CDC.

The South African government has partnered with South Korea to establish a national shipping company.

“World sea traffic passes by the Eastern Cape on the East-West pendulum trade routes, opening up major opportunities for ship-building and repairs in the region,” Piti says.

Ship building and repairs
The world merchant fleet in 2013 comprised 106 833 vessels responsible for shipping goods and commodities between the continents, including visits to the three ports of the Eastern Cape.

During 2013, around 5 944 container ships, vessels and tankers were commissioned for construction by various countries. This represents an opportunity for the Eastern Cape to become a marine industrial centre for shipbuilding and repairs, Piti says.

While South Africa‘s ship-building industry holds international credibility through its shipyards in Cape Town and Richards Bay, the Eastern Cape’s “world-class industrial manufacturing economy will make the province an excellent contender for future shipbuilding activities in the oceans economy“, Piti maintains.

Nelson Mandela Bay and East London dominate South Africa’s automotive industry which means the province is already home to the necessary expertise, skilled labour, logistic services, Piti says.

“But there’s more that can be done,” he says. “The expertise of the industrial base should not only be extended for the ship-building industries but need to be extended further” – augmented by aeronautical components manufacturing, for example.

Food security

Marine food resources are depleting at devastating rates,” Piti says. “Between 60 and 70% of the world’s fish species are exhausted. And, with one out of every five individuals on this planet relying on ocean food as sources of protein, we are on the brink of food security crisis.”

The CDC plans to establish a R2-billion aqua-farming facility at Coega. Marine animals and plants such as finfish, abalone and seaweed will be farmed on 300 hectares in the Coega IDZ, creating 5 000 jobs.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth will be playing a critical role in knowledge generation for maritime and marine industries, Piti says. The university formalised ties with the UN-endorsed World Maritime University (WMU) in Sweden in 2013.

“NMMU is already making critical research contributions that will enhance the competitiveness of the region in environmentally sustainable ways. Several African countries attended NMMU’s African Maritime Domain Conference [in November 2013] to develop responsible governance policies,” Piti says.

Marine tourism

Cruise vacations offers Eastern Cape Tourism many opportunities to promote the province, Piti maintains. “We – or tour operators – should consider further partnering with cruise line operators and ground handlers to build on the current tourism offerings. It is an opportunity that has not yet been fully maximised to increase the much needed tourism spend in the Eastern Cape.”

Demand for the ocean cruises increased by 77% over the past decade, Piti says. The majority of passengers are American, followed by travellers from Europe.

“Our province is one of the most diverse and spectacular tourism destinations in South Africa, including rich cultural diversity, Big Five game reserves, stunning landscapes and, of course, a beautiful coastline with blue-flag beaches.

“We are also home to one of the first-ever Big Seven game reserves – Addo Elephant National Park – which integrates the Big Five with marine life to include the Great White shark and Southern Right whale.”

Port Elizabeth is South Africa’s water sports capital, home to major water sports event – including the only international Ironman event on the African continent.

Source: All Africa


 

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