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Women salvage local economies and social wellbeing through recycling

South Africa annually celebrates Women’s Month in August as a reminder of the great women who helped mould South Africa and the trailblazing women who continue to lead the country forward.

This Women’s Month Collect-a-Can pays homage to the women of our nation who are investing in social good in their communities and making a sustainable contribution to our local economy and environment through waste management and recycling.

Collect-a-Can, southern African can recovery and recycling organisation, actively works within various communities, encouraging citizens from all walks of life to safeguard our environment, while uplifting their families and communities through recycling entrepreneurship initiatives and informal can recycling.

“It is up to us to make a difference,” says Nomkhosi Mashile, a female business owner of New Beginnings Home Loans, who started a second business close to her heart, Recycling Moms.

Recycling Moms’ mandate is to empower and create jobs for unemployed mothers who are waste-pickers trying to feed and provide for their families with the money generated out of selling recyclable material.

“Recycling does not only create jobs, boost the South African economy and save energy, but it keeps the environment clean and green for current and future generations,” Mashile continues.

The company was founded in September 2014 in Cowies Hill, Pinetown with big dreams to expand and start their own processing plant to process the recyclable materials; making an even bigger contribution to protecting the environment.

“We as women have the power to make a difference in communities,” says Zimasa Velaphi, public relations and marketing manager of Collect-a-Can. “It is wonderful to see so many women who understand that waste has value and that it creates an opportunity for them to start their own ventures or create an income for themselves and their families.”

Female informal can collector, Lizzie Sicwebu, from Gugulethu in the Cape Flats, is one of many women in South Africa who makes use of Collect-a-Can’s Cash for Cans initiative. Last year, after reading a newspaper article about Collect-a-Can, Sicwebu started collecting cans and banking on the Cash for Cans initiative as a substitute for a formal income to earn a living and provide for her family.

Women’s capacity to bring about economic change for themselves is increasingly viewed as the most important contributing factor to achieving equality between women and men. However, women are known to add even more value by not only building profitable business, but also protecting the environment and empowering their local communities.

With this drive, PWK Waste Management and Recycling was born in 2014 when managing director, Susan Kone conducted research on how to dispose of fluorescent globes. Her curiosity led to a discovery that there are many illegal landfill sites; inspiring Kone to start her own recycling venture in Vuwani, Limpopo, dedicated to recycling all recyclable waste.

PWK has only been operating for a few months, but has achieved great success already. This women-owned and managed recycling venture provides employment for seven permanent employees and three casual staff members.

“We intend to partner with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Makhado Municipality to educate the local community about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling,” says Kone.

Kone has high aspirational goals for PWK Waste Management and Recycling. Her one year plan is to see their venture as one of the top five waste management companies in the Vhembe District, specifically managed by women. She also strives to grow her team to ten fulltime employees in the next two years.

These women aim to encourage their communities to start recycling and leave behind a legacy of informed communities dedicated to a clean and green environment.

Source: sagoodnews


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The world’s trash problem is growing

The world has a well-documented problem with trash – and we’re rapidly running out of places to put it. But despite the fact that more and more of us are aware of the issues, our addiction to convenience and disposable living has us churning out garbage faster than ever.

We take a brief look at the problem and at what’s being done to solve it, both in South Africa and in other places around the globe.

How Big Is the Problem?

There’s no doubt that the problem is big – and getting bigger. A recent World Bank report stated that the total amount of municipal solid waste – the type produced in densely populated urban areas – is growing even faster than urbanisation is occurring. According to the report, it is likely to almost double by 2025, going from 1.3 billion tons per year to 2.2 billion.

By 2100, scientists predict that it will have tripled – and may keep rising after that. And this doesn’t just mean overflowing landfills or incinerators churning out toxic chemicals: a study published earlier this year revealed that eight million tons of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year (the equivalent of five plastic bags for every foot of coastline around the globe).

Even nations with a sophisticated trash collection system, such as the United States, are guilty of bombarding the ocean with serious amounts of plastic – with disastrous consequences for delicate marine ecosystems. What’s more, with the plethora of current concerns about climate change, the subject is rarely given any media attention, and researchers must often fight to have their voices heard.

What’s the Solution?

South Africa faces considerable challenges when it comes to tackling the waste management problem – not least the fact that only 60% of its residents enjoy the luxury of curbside waste disposal. Thanks to valuable support from the South African Climate Innovation Centre, however, pioneering firms like Holystic Approach and Eco-Match are making it easier for effective recycling to take place – at both a consumer and an industrial level.

Elsewhere, local groups of business entrepreneurs like the Hout Bay Recycling Co-op – who sort, weigh and sell reusable materials – have carved out useful roles for themselves within the government’s push for a greener economy. As well as helping to make the country greener, the Co-op scheme has enabled many of its members to lift themselves out of poverty and create better lives for their families.

South Africa isn’t the only part of the world taking action. Alinta Energy just blogged about the new electric refuse vehicles (ERVs) improving life in the City of Chicago – not only are they super quiet, they also have impressive green credentials, with each truck offsetting around 21 tons of carbon dioxide each year. And on the waters, the innovative Ocean Cleanup Project is working on the first large-scale method to clear the world’s seas and oceans of harmful plastic.

But while these major schemes and innovations are essential for changing things on a global level, let’s not forget that our personal contributions are highly important too. Why not start today – rethinkrecycling.com has some great ways to reduce your personal waste and become more trash-aware.

Source: thesouthafrican


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City combats dumping

A man has been caught red-handed during an operation focused on illegal dumping in Philippi and Mitchell’s Plain.

Mayor Patricia de Lille and members of the City of Cape Town’s task teams visited a few illegal dumping hotspots.

“I was shocked to see the vast amount of illegal dumping and the complete disregard for the law as well as the health of the public and the environment,” De Lille says. “During our inspections, our teams found a man illegally dumping building rubble at one of the illegal dumping hotspots in Philippi.”

The man was issued with a written notice to appear in court with an admission of guilt fine for R5000.

Staff from City enforcement agencies, including solid waste management and law enforcement, regularly monitor illegal dumping hotspots. Since the beginning of the

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year they have issued fines totalling about R1m.

“Earlier this morning, these enforcement teams also found illegally dumped medical waste at two sites in Philippi and Beacon Valley. The waste included expired tablets, old medicine bottles and expired baby food. As part of our efforts to improve service delivery and create a safe environment for residents, the City is committed to stamping out illegal dumping,” De Lille says.

She adds that dumping not only places a burden on the City’s finances and resources, but can also pose a threat to public health.

“In April 2013, three-year-old Jordan Lewis died after playing near illegally dumped chemical waste in Delft. To combat this problem, the City spends more than R350m annually to clear waste from open spaces, sewerage systems and toilets – money that could be much better spent on new services and infrastructure. For example, the City could have built 2065 houses or provided electricity for 31 627 homes,” says De Lille.

The City is amending its bylaws to enable the impounding and forfeiture of cars used in dumping.

“This measure is used internationally and has proven to be very effective in deterring illegal dumping. Although illegal dumping occurs across the city, there are certain hotspots where the problem is more prevalent,” she says. These areas include Mitchell’s Plain, Nyanga, Philippi and Epping Industria.

“Today we saw how, despite our monitoring and regular operations, perpetrators continue to show little regard for the law, or for public and environmental health. We have therefore shifted our focus from being reactive, to taking a more proactive approach. We simply cannot keep spending money on a problem that is 100% avoidable,” De Lille states.

In March the City announced that cash rewards of up to R1000 would be offered for information that leads to a positive outcome against criminal activity, including illegal dumping.

“There is no reason for residents to dump waste illegally. The City has 25 waste drop-off sites around the metro for the proper disposal of waste,” says De Lille.

Source: News 24


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Waste management headache

DELAYS in the re-opening of the R2-million refurbished Kragga Kamma transfer station are causing problems for residents in the area.Ward 9 DA councillor Heinrich Muller said that illegal dumping has dramatically increased, making the area a health and safety hazard.According to Muller, strikes in the steel industry, rain and bad weather were some of the reasons for the delays in construction, while delays to the opening were due to the municipality awaiting approval from the Department of Environmental Affairs.

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“It has been a headache since the closure as people need to travel much further to have access to a transfer site. Unfortunately illegal dumping has increased dramatically, not only in my ward, but also the surrounding wards,” Muller said.

 A community member who wished to remain anonymous said he had suffered financially because of the closed refuse station. “I have to travel to other areas to dispose of my rubbish every week. This is financially crippling considering the petrol price today. I’ve seen people and businesses illegally dumping trash. If the municipality doesn’t do anything soon, this area will be filthy,” he said.

In June 2012 the municipality was reprimanded by the provincial Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism for poor management of the Kragga Kamma waste site.

This led to the then public health director, Dr Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni, requesting the site be closed while it was upgraded to comply with the waste licence conditions.

The municipality (according to local news reports) was allocated only R6-million for waste management in the whole metro in the draft 2012/13 budget, while R132-million was needed.

Municipal spokesman Roland Williams said the situation had improved as the council had provided funding for the purchase of trucks to be used in increasing the frequency of collection in low-income areas over a three-year period.

The waste management operating budget for the 2014/15 financial year had drastically improved to R423-million, with R1,5-million of that set aside for the operation at the Kragga Kamma drop-off site.

“The major problem being experienced by residents is that refuse collection in low-income areas is only done once every two weeks. The frequency of collection has been increased as of March 30 to a weekly service in the Ibhayi area and other areas will follow in due course.

“There are 19 formal transfer stations in Nelson Mandela Bay, which generate about 49 000 tons of waste a year,” Wiliams said.

Although he could not specify when the Kragga Kamma site would re-open, he explained that the site would not only operate as a drop-off Centre for garden refuse and bulky waste, but would before the end of this year operate as a recycling station where members of the public could drop off their recyclable materials.

Although many challenges were experienced with illegal dumping, the metro was still seen as one of the cleanest cities in the country, he said.

“We have prepared and approved a comprehensive strategy to eliminate illegal dumping. Once the strategy has been fully implemented, visible changes will be noticed.”

Source: News 24


 

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Small Waste Collector, Now Successful Business Owner

Small efforts to recycle boxes and paper in 1997 has transformed Bisant Matsi’s life. He has gone from waste collector to a prominent and successful recycling business owner in Burgersfort, Mpumalanga, inspiring his local community by showing them the value that exists in waste.

Nineteen years ago, Matsi, now successful owner of Burgersfort Waste Management in Burgersfort, started his recycling operation with only seven employees. Two years later, he started collecting cans and working closely with Collect-a-Can, southern African recovery and recycling organisation.

Collect-a-Can works within various communities, encouraging citizens from all walks of life to assist in their can-collecting efforts. “We teach informal collectors that they can make a living or even start their own ventures by recycling cans,” says Zimasa Velaphi, public relations and marketing manager of Collect-a-Can.VZWS-Sidebar-Badge

Burgersfort Waste Management grew into a recycling operation that collects all sorts of recycling material, including paper, glass, steel, plastic and aluminium. The company currently provides employment for 36 people.

The sky is the limit for Matsi with his high aspirational dreams for Burgersfort Waste Management. “In the next five years, I would like to support an employment team of 100 people with my recycling operation, while also encouraging organisations to set up their own recycling stations where we will collect their waste to be recycled,” he shares. The local municipality and mining companies in the area already supports Matsi’s recycling operation.

Since aluminium cans were introduced into the South African market last year, Matsi experienced significant changes in the Burgersfort community. “People are now realising that aluminium is currently the highest paid recycling commodity. There are no more cans lying around in the area as all the children and women in the town collects aluminium cans to be recycled,” adds Matsi.

Burgersfort Waste Management is an agent for Collect-a-Can in the Burgersfort region to make the weighing-and-paying process easier for both Collect-a-Can and the local community. “The residents in the nearby villages and the schools that are participating in the Collect-a-Can National Schools Competition bring their cans to us for recycling where we pay them according to the weight of cans collected,” he says. The annual National Schools Competition rewards schools with prize money if they collect the most cans.

Matsi’s recycling operation makes a significant difference in the Burgersfort community. “It is amazing to see how clean the environment is since we have started with the recycling operation. The people are realising the importance of a clean and beautiful environment and that recycling waste can serve as an income stream for them,” says Matsi.

Matsi would like to challenge all South Africans, especially the unemployed, to start recycling their waste. “People should open their eyes and see that recyclable waste can be a valuable income resource, while recycling also protects our beautiful environment,” concludes Matsi. “A good recycler is the friend of all living things,” adds Barry Warren, Pretoria regional branch manager of Collect-a-Can.

For more information about Collect-a-Can www.collectacan.co.za

Source: SA – The Good News


 

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Easy steps to make every day Earth Day

‘It’s our turn to lead.’ The theme for this year’s Earth Day calls on all citizens around the globe to unite and show support for the protection of a beautiful and green environment. The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) encourages all South Africans to take this challenge of a clean environment head-on by reducing consumption at home.

Earth Day is celebrated annually on 22 April. Now in its 45th year, Earth Day is one of the largest observances in the world with one billion people participating in

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activities each year*. The IWMSA urges South Africans to take a stand all year round and join its plight for a healthy future for everyone.

“To reduce personal consumption is not always an easy task to tackle, but there are a few doable steps you can follow throughout the year to help protect our environment for future generations; you may also save money in the process,” says Dr Suzan Oelofse, President of the IWMSA.

Here are five easy steps to reduce consumption and make every day Earth Day:

  1. Sort your cupboards and closets first before hitting the shops

“With the winter months approaching, sorting your cupboards and closets will help you to focus on the things you really need,” guides Oelofse. Sort clothes that are too big, too small or is simply not you anymore and donate these items to the less-privileged. “Donations are a form of re-use which will cut your waste while helping people in need, especially during winter time,” adds Oelofse.

  1. Plan your shopping trip

Window-shopping only leads you to temptation to buy the things that you don’t necessarily need. “Impulsive purchases are often left unused and eventually ends up in the dustbin,” shares Oelofse. “Rather draw up a shopping list of the things you need beforehand. This is especially important when purchasing perishable food as it usually gets spoiled and ends up at landfill sites. The challenge to this step is to stick to the shopping list!”

  1. Set up a meal planner

When cooking food, try to use the oldest ingredients first before its shelf life expires. Oelofse advises to regularly rotate or sort cupboards according to shelf life as it will help you to access your oldest stock quicker and easier. “Prepare just enough food for the amount of people that will be enjoying the meal. If there is food left over, use it for a delicious soup or start your own home composting system. Cooking just enough food will cut your waste and even save electricity,” shares Oelofse.

  1. Challenge yourself to see how little you can get by with

“Rather than spending money on the latest and newest products, challenge yourself to see with how little you can get along with. A little really does go a long way,” suggests Oelofse. This will not only save you money, but save the environment’s valuable resources.

  1. Buy eco-products

Melissa Baird, editor of Green Home magazine, says, “We are seeing more eco-products making its way onto shopping shelves that are good for the environment and great for your home as they don’t contain harsh chemicals. Consumers should shop around and find out what works for them when making new choices.” For those who are unsure where to start, visit The Green Home Fair at Brooklyn Mall from 27 to 28 June 2015. The Fair forms part of the annual Sustainability Week and consumers will be treated to the latest in-home and décor products.

With these easy steps, everyone can make every day Earth Day. “Protecting our earth through reduced consumerism, saves you money!  It is a win-win situation,” concludes Oelofse.

 

Source: My News Room


 

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Investment in long-term approach towards waste management key to success

Plastics are one of the most used materials in today’s world because of its various properties, ranging from cost saving and light weighting to durability and longevity.

However, as we are using more plastic products, we are also creating more plastic waste. In keeping with international trends and the local legislative framework, the South African plastics industry has committed to the vision ‘Zero plastics to landfill by 2030’. In my opinion a somewhat ambitious target, but surely one that will call the industry to definitive action.

According to data from Plastics|SA, only 20%, or 280,000 tons, of all plastics manufactured in South Africa were recycled in 2013, which shows an increase of 4,1% from 2012. Of the 280,000 tons, 220,400 tons (79%) were plastics packaging products.

One of the reasons Plastics|SA states for the slow increase in the recycling rate, specifically for plastic packaging, is the economic down-turn during 2013 that had a direct impact on the quality and quantity of plastic packaging available for recycling. On the one hand the consumer purchased less, thus less packaging, and on the other hand the exchange rate favoured the export of recyclables.

Regulatory framework

However, it is not only the target of sending ‘Zero plastics to landfill by 2030’ that is driving change and the way in which we as producers view our responsibility towards an increase in plastics waste. In South Africa we have a progressive environmental regulatory framework. The right to an environment that is not harmful to one’s health or well-being is entrenched as a fundamental right in the Constitution of South Africa.

Understanding and navigating legislation can be somewhat daunting, but with reference to waste management and the impact of various pieces of legislation on our industry, we should understand the basic principles of the following Acts and Strategies:

 

  • National Environmental Management: Waste Act (59/2008)
  • National Environmental Management: Waste Amendment Act (26/2014)
  • National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS)
  • National Pricing Strategy for Waste Management (NPSWM)

The promulgation of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (59/2008), has placed great emphasis on recycling and the reduction of materials to landfill. It allows for the use of economic instruments applied to specific waste streams to serve as an incentive or disincentive to ultimately increase the diversion of material from landfill.

Six years after the Waste Act was promulgated, we saw the National Environmental Management: Waste Amendment Act (26/2014) from which the National Pricing Strategy for Waste Management (NPSWM) is a direct consequence. The Waste Act, as amended, provides for the determination of waste management charges and its review, as well as for the collection of these charges through the national fiscal system.

It also makes provision for the establishment of a Waste Management Bureau within the structures of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). The main purpose of the Waste Management Bureau will be to process, monitor and evaluate any Industry Waste Management Plan (IndWMP) submitted to the DEA. All of these aspects are prescribed in the NPSWM.

Time to get serious

It is time that we get serious about the impact that the Waste Act could have on our industry. We know that we need to increase recycling rates of our various waste streams – from rigid to flexible. But do we know what will happen if we don’t?

The Waste Act introduces us to additional principles such as the life-cycle approach to waste management, extended producer responsibility (EPR), the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle.

Within the framework of EPR, we as an industry remain financially or physically responsible for a product to its post-consumer stage. According to the Waste Act, this responsibility could include the implementation of waste minimisation practices, the funding of campaigns to increase the reduction, re-use, recycling and recovery of waste, conducting awareness programmes to inform the public of the impacts of waste emanating from the product on health and the environment.

However, should the Minister of Environmental Affairs believe that a specific waste stream either poses a threat to health or the environment, either due to the quantity or composition of this waste stream, and that current measures are insufficient in dealing with this waste stream, the Minister may declare such a waste a priority waste.

Detailed analysis

Section 28 of the Waste Act allows for the Minister to require a specific industry to submit an IndWMP or any industry may elect to voluntarily submit an IndWMP to the Minister for approval. Typically an IndWMP will provide the Minister with a detailed status quo analysis of the current waste management system, set realistic targets for waste minimisation within a particular industry, outline milestone indicators with achievable time-frames for different interventions and provide for sound record-keeping systems.

The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) is a legislative requirement of the Waste Act set out to achieve the objects of the Act. According to Michael Goldblatt one of the challenges facing waste management in South Africa is a policy or regulatory environment that does not actively promote the waste management hierarchy.

This has limited economic potential of the waste management sector, which has an estimated turn-over of approximately R10bn per annum. Both the private and public sector believes that waste collection and the recycling industry make meaningful contributions to job creation and the GDP, and will continue to do so with the right combination of industry support and legislative drivers.

To this effect government is proposing an approach that will optimally combine regulation and compliance measures with self-regulatory components, voluntary initiatives, economic incentives and fiscal mechanisms. The approach establishes baseline regulations for the waste sector as a foundation for a co-regulatory system that relies on industry initiative and voluntary compliance.

In cases where industry response proves insufficient for dealing with waste challenges or where market failure prevails, more interventionist regulatory tools may be deployed, i.e. a mandatory EPR scheme where IndWMP have been ineffective.

Purpose of NPSWM

The National Pricing Strategy for Waste Management (NPSWM) is a legislative requirement of the Waste Act and gives effect to the NWMS. It contains guiding methodologies for the setting of waste management charges, the implementation of IndWMP and the operations of the Waste Management Bureau.

The selection and use of economic instruments, as outlined in the strategy, is strongly grounded in the polluter pays principle whereby all generators of waste (including businesses and households) are responsible for the costs of managing wastes generated.

The NPSWM is furthermore based on the principles of environmentally related taxation as per Chapter 2 of the National Treasure Framework for considering market-based instruments to support environmental fiscal reform in South Africa.

One of the aspects addressed in the NPSWM is that of EPR schemes. It is suggested that amongst other advantages, these EPR schemes could be used to relieve municipalities of some of the financial burden of management, promote ‘design for recycling’ initiatives and encourage the use of more recycled content in production processes.

In essence, EPR shifts the responsibility for waste management away from government to industry and these schemes are typically funded through the implementation of various economic instruments, levied either directly by the obligated industry (e.g. product charges, advanced recycling fees, deposit refund schemes, EPR fees), or by government (e.g. through material, input or product taxes).

Evaluation criteria

It is the Minister’s prerogative to declare the application of EPR to a product, group of products or waste stream and the evaluation criteria proposed to identify possible candidates for EPR schemes include:

 

  • Risk of harm – Products with toxic constituents that may become a problem at the end of life.
  • Large products – that are not easily and conveniently thrown out as waste.
  • Complex products – Products with multiple material types that make them difficult to recover in traditional recycling systems.
  • Voluntary measures insufficient – where participation rates or waste diversion from landfill remain low for voluntary EPR schemes already in existence.
  • Current waste stream recycling/recovery low – where the diversion of specific waste streams from landfill is low, as benchmarked against developing and developed countries (e.g. % recycling).

It is important to note that if a waste stream has not been prioritised by the Minister and a voluntary EPR schemes are already in operation, the suggested course of action would be for that voluntary systems to continue operating to ensure minimal disruption to current waste management activities. These voluntary EPR schemes may however be ‘influenced’ by DEA through the approval and implementation of the relevant IndWMPs (e.g. requiring greater support of EPR schemes to municipalities, setting of recycling targets, monitoring and evaluation by government, etc.).

Free riders

But as in any industry and with any voluntary programme, there is always the question of dealing with ‘free riders’ or companies that either refuse or fail to participate. In a recent meeting with DEA, this question was posed in relation to the pricing strategy and DEA responded: “There is a proposed additional tax that will be imposed on free riders. DEA will make it compulsory that companies need to be part of an Industry Waste Management Plan and anyone not forming part of the plan will be subjected to higher tax levels. Engagement with SARS in relation to free riders will still take place.”

When we debate sustainability in the business environment we could easily divide companies into three basic categories, namely: those who only recently embarked on the journey towards greater sustainability, those who are happily using the hype around environmental sustainability as an opportunity to ‘green wash’ their products and brands and those who have gone through great lengths (and costs) to implement the principles of sustainability at every level of their businesses.

I am of the opinion that the majority of companies operating within the PVC industry in South Africa, and globally, fall into the latter group. This is certainly true for members of SAVA who voluntarily signed a Product Stewardship Programme (PSP) in 2011 and continue to work towards achieving its robust targets and deadlines!

DEA indicated in an Industry Waste Management Forum held on 13 February 2015 that they working on a Section 28 Notice to invite industries to submit IndWMPs and that they are engaging on an ongoing basis with sectors and industries that have already voluntarily submitted their IndWMPs. It is foreseen that the Section 28 Notice will be published before the end of this financial year, to also allow a 30 day commenting period, after which the process on calling for the submission of IndWMP will be finalised.

Costs of failure

The outlined legislation either holds an opportunity for the local PVC industry to pro-actively submit and bring into effect its IndWMP, or it holds a risk should the industry decide to adopt a wait-and-see approach. When it comes to legislation and regulations, companies tend to underestimate the cost of non-compliance, which, within the framework of the NPSWM, could be dealt with by the implementation of a government managed tax similar to the plastic bag levy of which we are all too familiar with. Product manufacturers need to understand the true costs of failure, assess the business implications, and adopt long-term strategies to avoid these costs.

To this effect, SAVA is in the process of conducting an extensive recycling survey that will ultimately feed into an IndWMP that we as an industry will voluntarily submit to DEA, in response to the Waste Act and EPR and give effect to in the near future.

In summary SAVA believes that the key to succeeding and avoiding costs in our current regulatory environment is to take a proactive approach and for our industry to invest in a long-term approach towards waste management. The long-term costs of being unprepared are simply too high.

Source: Bizcommunity

Understanding the waste tyre management fee

A tax is a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions. Money collected from taxes goes into the general fiscus. Comparatively, a waste management fee is paid by product producers and importers, and is used for dealing with the product when it reaches the end of its life cycle.

This money is directly and specifically applied to dealing with the product, in an audited and accountable fashion, making it far more effective than a tax-based system where funds sink into the general Treasury and are not ring fenced.

The way to get worth from waste is to turn it into something that people will pay money for, and the way to do that is to create a circular economy. Instead of making a product for consumers to throw away, we need to extend the life of the product beyond the consumer stage by recovering, recycling and reintroducing it into the economy.

Experience shows that where manufacturers are encouraged to regulate themselves, some do and some don’t. Some pay and some won’t. In Germany, 60% to 70% of tyre manufacturers at most pay an industry body to discharge their extended producer responsibility for them. Here in South Africa, the figure stands at 99.8%.

The difference is that in Germany, extended producer responsibility is voluntary; in South Africa, it is mandatory. By law, every tyre manufacturer and importer must pay a waste management fee of R2.30 per kilogram to the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA), an industry-independent body that shoulders their recovery and recycling liability for them.

However, given the lack of success following the plastic bag tax, it is reasonable to query what the difference is between that, and the REDISA waste management fee.

While the money collected from the plastic bag tax still goes directly into the fiscus, funds collected by REDISA are paid directly to the organisation and there is no government involvement. REDISA then allocates spend of the money as clearly outlined in the gazetted REDISA Plan.

One of the key challenges of the plastic bag levy is that the funds collected go directly to the government fiscus. Therefore the Department of Environment Affairs (DEA) has to apply to the Treasury to get any of that money back in order to set up the promised recycling industry. When the REDISA Plan was established, Minister Molewa emphasised that the waste management fee collected would not end up in the general fiscus. The advantage of this is that REDISA is 100% accountable for what happens with the funds. This is monitored annually by an external audit partner, KPMG.

REDISA director, Stacey Davidson, said that “Once tyre manufactures pay the waste management fee, the manufacturers will not be required to handle the recycling of the tyres themselves. Instead, REDISA has taken over this responsibility and is ultimately developing an industry whereby old tyres are being recycled into new products.”

Source: African Environment


 

South Africa is experiencing a waste explosion. Our landfills are over flowing and still we continue to produce and indeed dispose of more and more. The Vision Zero Waste Seminar, in partnership with the National Recycling Forum, will invite leading industry, government and related NGO executives, as well as fringe stakeholders, such the Pickers, to report back on actions and initiatives. The session will grapple with strategies and best practice required to achieve a stepped-up level of recycling in SA. The issues will be tackled from both a demand and supply side perspective, and will seek to deliver a set of workable recommendations to present to stakeholders going forward.
South Africa is experiencing a waste explosion. Our landfills are over flowing and still we continue to produce and indeed dispose of more and more. The Vision Zero Waste Seminar, in partnership with the National Recycling Forum, will invite leading industry, government and related NGO executives, as well as fringe stakeholders, such the Pickers, to report back on actions and initiatives. The session will grapple with strategies and best practice required to achieve a stepped-up level of recycling in SA. The issues will be tackled from both a demand and supply side perspective, and will seek to deliver a set of workable recommendations to present to stakeholders going forward.

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Behaviour change needed to tackle waste management

Currently, only 10% of waste in South Africa is recycled. As our population grows, so the increase of waste generated highlights the inadequate nature of existing waste management services – leading to an increasingly polluted environment in which South African’s are forced to live.

During the Johannesburg Waste Summit recently, Mayor of Johannesburg Parks Tau said: “By collaborating with stakeholders we are working to make Johannesburg a resilient, sustainable and liveable city. Waste management is a big problem in our city and through this summit we hope all stakeholders will come together to look at ways to transform how we deal with waste in the city.”

Johannesburg residents were also encouraged by the Mayor to generate less by reusing waste, and separating it at source to facilitate recycling. The Mayor also highlighted the necessity of looking at other waste management trends and assisting with the establishment of cooperatives to drive the collection of waste and recyclables.

REDISA (Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa), through the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan (IITWTMP) is setting the trend – having already found that there is worth in waste and is realising the value in waste tyres specifically.

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 in South Africa, and government looking for new ways to create job 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.

REDISA is making significant headway towards ensuring that South Africa is clear of all tyre waste and in the process is assisting with government’s mandate of creating jobs. Currently this is being achieved through the development of infrastructure required to collect waste tyres from across South Africa and delivering them to approved recyclers – for the first time guaranteeing a consistent supply of raw material essential for the successful development of the new formalised recycling industry.

REDISA believes that one must recognise the importance of entrepreneurship as an economic driver and poverty eradicator.  “What we need to be focusing on is pairing both entrepreneurial spirit and finding solutions to the many challenges and problems that we face as a country and a continent. We should also particularly recognise the opportunities which lie in our own industry, the green economy, for all those who are able to create and identify sustainable solutions and reduce our carbon footprint in the world, “says Davidson.

As part of contributing to the growth and development of the country, REDISA is building a viable and sustainable waste management industry, focusing on tyre recycling initially and educating communities about turning waste into worth. By changing the country’s mind set, waste will be recognised as a sustainable resource for economic development and sustainability.

In the coming months the REDISA team will continue to meet and converse with entrepreneurs to discuss solutions to the many challenges being faced in terms of developing these new small business owners.  REDISA aims to create a true balance between government requirements, environmental sustainability and industry ambition, through its waste management system by contributing to the economy and creating jobs in the process.

Source: Africa Environment


 

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SA gets Climate Innovation Centre

The Innovation Hub yesterday opened its Climate Innovation Centre (CIC), in partnership with the World Bank’s InfoDev programme for supporting entrepreneurs.

The CIC is a strategic green economy initiative founded through collaboration between the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, The Innovation Hub and InfoDev.

The centre will facilitate the development of technologies to reduce the environmental impact of the South African economy, said McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub.

It will provide environment-focused entrepreneurs with the resources they need, such as financing, technical and business advisory and information services, and facilities such as office space and connections with laboratories, Sibanda explained.

The CIC will form part of a network of locally-owned climate innovation centres in seven countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco and Vietnam.

In linking the CICs together, their benefit increases “many folds”, as countries can exchange information and link their markets, said Jonathan Cooney, programme director of InfoDev’s Climate Technology Programme.

New opportunities

While climate change is a tremendous threat to countries around the world, it also represents tremendous opportunities for the development of new markets and technologies, said Cooney.

The Climate Technology Programme is designed to help developing and middle-income countries proactively pursue new technologies and the market opportunities they present, rather than wait for technologies to be transferred to them from more developed economies, Cooney explained.

He added that each country focuses on different solutions depending on their particular needs and context.

“To go to a country and say ‘these are the technologies you need’ is not the right approach. The people who know how best to solve the problems of a country are from that country,” he said.

SA challenges

In SA, the most pressing environmental concerns are energy, water and waste management, said Sibanda.

“One cannot start to talk about modernising the economy without looking at issues of energy and water.” SA needs to develop environmentally-minded technologies to meet the economy’s increasing energy demands, he noted, adding that converting the byproducts of waste into energy is an avenue worth consideration.

The centre will also focus on improving the quality of life in Gauteng’s townships by pursuing energy and waste management solutions in these areas, said Sibanda.

The CIC hosts its inaugural conference at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria this week.

Source: IT Web


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