Youth learn about waste management at WasteCon2010

Grade 8 to 10 learners from Hoërskool Marais Viljoen and Fourways High School made creative use of waste products when visiting the waste management conference WasteCon2010 in Johannesburg recently. In an attempt to get the youth more involved and interested in the field of waste management the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) invited the learners from these two schools to attend the exhibition area at the conference and charged them “an article made out of waste materials” each to enter.

The resulting articles, which made innovative use of all types of waste materials from an old pair of denim jeans to the rubber ring of a creepy-crawly, were displayed in the exhibition area where passersby marvelled at their creativity. Recycling organisation Collect-a-Can later judged the items and awarded gift hampers to the four most creative articles from each school.  Collect-a-Can are experienced at judging such competitions as they have been running their own schools competitions since 2003 and have just recently wrapped up their CAN Craze Competition which encouraged learners to build creative structures out of 300 or more used cans. They will be announcing the winners shortly.

The young visitors were shown around the exhibition area where they learned from key waste management organisations and local municipalities what waste management is all about and what future career opportunities could lie in store for them in the field. 

“I think it’s a great idea to introduce waste management concepts to young people at this age as they are still impressionable and grasp the importance of waste management more easily than the older generation,” said Theresa Hurter, Waste Management Consultant at Interwaste. “We’d love the opportunity to show these learners around our material recovery facility (MRF) in Weltevreden Park so that they can see firsthand how the waste separation process works,” Hurter concluded.

“The youth play such an important role in the future of waste management and following the success of this visit we will definitely endeavour to continue the trend of inviting schools to attend our conferences in the future,” said Kobus de Meyer, Chairman of WasteCon2010.

The IWMSA is a professional, multi disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information contact the IWMSA visit: www.iwmsa.co.za

WasteCon2010 is here

The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) kicked off their 20th biennial waste management conference, WasteCon2010, at Emperors Palace yesterday. With the focus on the theme, “What is your Waste Footprint?” the opening ceremony audience were inspired by the famous words of Michael Jackson, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change,” aptly expressing the importance of personal accountability when it comes to waste management. The conference, which will run until this Thursday, sees the coming together of industry players from across the board to discuss topics covering the
technical, policy and recycling aspects of waste management.

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality’s mayoral committee member for environmentaldevelopment Clr Louis Sibeko when welcoming delegates said, “It is important that stakeholders in the waste management field communicate and work together and WasteCon presents the ideal forum for doing this.” Gauteng portfolio committee for agriculture and rural development chairperson Nokuthula Sikhakhane, in her keynote address, highlighted the progress that is being made towards their 2-year target in the implementation of the National Environmental Waste Act of 2009.

“While the new legislation presents significant improvements in the waste management arena there are still significant challenges which we are facing as an industry, particularly when it comes to the provision of sufficient funding and the availability of experienced and qualified staff,” said Stan Jewaskiewitz, President of the IWMSA

“WasteCon makes it possible for stakeholders to share their challenges and ideas for the resolution of these and other industry issues,” Jewaskiewitz stated. The exhibition areas, which are open free of charge to the general public for the first time this year, drew interested crowds who wandered through the impressive display of waste disposal vehicles and machinery displayed outside the venue as well as the multitude of exhibition stands inside. A record number of exhibitors have registered to participate in the exhibition this year and it is hoped that with the public’s inclusion, the conference will engage more people’s interest and encourage a greater awareness of waste management within South Africa.

A glittering Gala Dinner sponsored by Ekurhuleni Metro tied up the first day. “We see this conference as a milestone for the protection of the environment,” said Clr Zacharia Mpongose. “We want to ensure that we educate the community we represent to understand and respect the environment and at the same time we are working hard to build partnerships with consultants and experts in the field of waste management to assist in developing our region,” he concluded.

The IWMSA is a professional, multi disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information contact the IWMSA visit: www.iwmsa.co.za