The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) can confirm that the Green Scorpions executed a search warrant at the Solid Waste Technologies’ City Deep, Johannesburg, processing facility on 31 August 2015.
The company has been prosecuted in the past for failure to comply with conditions of its permits as well as contraventions of the Waste Act. These contraventions took place in 2012 and the court convicted and sentenced the company to a fine of R200 000 on 30 April 2015.
The execution of the search warrant this week follows an inspection conducted by waste specialists from the DEA last week. The waste specialists noted serious concerns in relation to the manner in which anatomical and infectious waste was being stored. It was found that tonnes of healthcare risk waste (medical waste) was not being treated and/or stored properly, which is in contravention of the conditions of the waste management licence that was issued to Solid Waste Technologies.
The investigation and execution of the search warrant has also uncovered serious violations of the Waste Act by some of the major healthcare groups whose waste is being stored at the facility. Criminal charges against these healthcare groups are also being investigated, as the ultimate legal responsibility lies with the waste generators to ensure that the waste is treated and disposed of correctly.
Spokesperson for the Department Albi Modise said: “This criminal investigation further emphasises the Green Scorpions’ zero tolerance approach to unlawful activities as far as health care risk waste is concerned”.
Members of the public are also urged to report any environmental incidents and tip offs to the 24 hour toll free anonymous number 0800 205 005.