Keeping e-Waste out of landfills in Cape Town

The e-Waste Alliance (eWA), together with the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) is delighted to announce its third public e-Waste Collection Drive that will be taking place on Saturday 24 September 2011.  In a bid to substantially reduce hazardous e-Waste getting landfilled, the public is encouraged to bring any type of e-Waste to the offices of Engineering and Environmental Consulting firm “Jeffares & Green” (J&G), at 14 Central Square in Pinelands between 09h00 and 16h00.

What is e-Waste?  e-Waste is any unwanted equipment such as computers, printers, fax machines, cell phones, toasters, microwaves, ink and toner cartridges, or any other electrical or electronic goods or direct parts thereof.  Everything in the home or at the workplace that is driven by electricity, including battery operated toys, falls into this category.

Susanne Dittke, IWMSA Western Cape committee member says, “As a result of the ever-increasing desire for newer, smaller, and faster technology, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is now one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world”.

Toxic or hazardous substances in electronic waste are typically found to be heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium, amongst others.  Electronics also contain small amounts of gold, silver, copper, platinum – all precious metals that are in finite supply, along with plastic, lead containing monitor glass and other metals.  Dittke continues, “Apart from being essential to keep as much hazardous waste as possible out of landfills, reuse of materials reduces the need to deplete precious resources.”  Dittke went on to assure us that “All the e-waste collected, will be re-furbished and repaired if possible (recovery of function), otherwise dismantled for re-use or recycling (recovery of materials), and all items will be handled according to integrated waste management principles, in the most environmentally safe manner.”

eWA is calling on households and businesses to drop off any type of e-waste for free, while enjoying demonstrations about the services, products and projects offered by eWA and its members.  The collection will be overseen and organized by the eWA members, ECYCLE and eR e-Waste Rescue, with support from the IWMSA and J&G.  There will be the showcasing of some Waste2 Art products and the opportunity for curious children and adults to learn how to dismantle a PC hard-drive.  Additionally, a raffle will be held with the great prize of a refurbished PC (HP with Dual Core & HD graphics), sponsored by Just PC’s and e-Waste2Art products for the second and third prizes.

Dittke is passionate about the role of the eWA and the IWMSA in creating awareness around e-Waste and says, “eWA provides a constructive solution to the problems associated with the disposal of electronic waste. It can often be given a second lease life for use elsewhere, or through the recovery of materials and unique components, and can lead to the creation of entrepreneurship opportunities through the development of new skills.”

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:

PenBev recognised as a Top Employer

Parow, Western Cape – Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev), an independent local bottler licenced by The Coca-Cola Company to manufacture and distribute The Coca-Cola range of products in the Western and Northern Cape have been rated as one of the top 10 Best Employers in South Africa for 2011/12 by the CRF Institute in its annual Best Employers Certification Index.

The ranking, which was released in Johannesburg earlier this week, is a unique international Human Resources (HR) policy and practice benchmarking project conducted by the CRF Institute South Africa and is the culmination of months of rigorous research with findings independently audited by Grant Thornton South Africa. This year, a total of 69 organisations were listed

PenBev constantly strives to ensure that its 1090 employees have the right skills to respond and overcome the complexity introduced by an expanding beverage market. “Longevity and sustainability feature highly on the company’s agenda; PenBev’s long-term view focuses on growth,” reveals HR Director Bryn Morse. One of the benefits of this strategy is that there is a huge amount of reinvestment into the organisation.

PenBev goes to great lengths to ensure that new recruits ‘fit’ into the organisation; this is reflected in the fact that the average length of service at PenBev in excess of ten years. The company spends more than 4% of its payroll on developing people.

In order to maintain PenBev’s unique culture, the company has a huge focus on management development and utilises Western Cape Business Schools for specialised programs. PenBev is acutely aware of the shortage of leaders in the South African economy. It has therefore started its own ‘internal MBA’, a one-year programme to develop leaders within the organisation and give them ‘context and the mental framework to make decisions’. The aim is to develop competent, caring leaders able to lead and manage with integrity.

When it comes to remuneration and other benefits, Morse says the company is ’way ahead of the market’ particularly at the shop-floor level. Bursaries are offered to all staff members while their children are offered bursaries for secondary and tertiary education.

‘Walk the Talk’ is central to PenBev’s culture – whether it is treating employees and customers as number one.

Regarding BBBEE, PenBev is a Level 4 contributor. It supports owner-drivers, retailers and traders and gives Spaza shops advice on making their businesses more profitable. Every year the company invests in community projects with their view to longevity and sustainability. Each of PenBev’s five centres and individual department also adopt CSI projects. PenBev is part of Coca-Cola’s global campaign to make a positive difference in the world to ensure sustainability. In Africa the campaign slogan is ‘Live for a Difference.’

Managing Director, Stuart McLeod concludes, “From the start, our mantra has been to ‘treat people as number one’, believing that if we do that, they in turn will provide the best service to our customers and consumers.”

Congratulations to Microsoft SA (Pty) Ltd for being the overall winner in the Best Employer 2011/12. The other top ten winners in descending order were: Accenture SA (Pty) Ltd, SAP South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Unilever SA, Ernst & Young, Vodacom Group Limited, Netcare Limited, Peninsula Beverage Company, Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc. and Procter & Gamble SA (Pty) Ltd.

For more information on Best Employers 2011, organisations can contact, 021 425 0320 or visit For more information on PenBev contact 021 936 5500 or visit

Waste Recycling Facts and Tips

Recycling is an important component of protecting the environment and helping conserve resources and energy, preserves valuable landfill space and supports a healthy environment.

As recycling is becoming second nature to most, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) shares a few lessons when it comes to recycling. Steve Kalule, IWMSA Eastern Cape Branch Chairman says, “As a partner in the community, the IWMSA is committed to helping the communities we serve to keep their environment clean through promoting innovative recycling programs. Recycling is an easy way to protect our environment and ensure the well-being of our community for generations to come.  However, the success of recycling depends on the active participation of every member of the community. By participating, people will be reducing the amount of trash that is disposed in the landfill, encouraging the reuse of materials made from recycled products and continuing the recycling circle.”

The IWMSA have prepared a few facts and tips when it comes to recycling:

Aluminium and Steel cans – South Africa has a 70% recycling rate when it comes to steel and aluminium cans (source: Collect-a-Can). For every one ton of aluminium cans recycled, 14,000 kWh of energy is saved, 6295 litres of oil is saved and 14.5265 cubic meters of landfill space is saved (which is equivalent to the size of a minibus taxi). When recycling steel cans, make sure that they are washed; clean cans fetch a better price at buy-back centres than dirty cans.

Cardboard can be recycled by removing all other materials in the box such as plastic wrap, polystyrene peanuts and other packing materials. Cardboard boxes need to be broken down to save storage space and if possible cardboard should be kept dry and free from food waste. However, cardboard can get wet and still be recycled but is more difficult to carry due to the added weight of the water. For every ton of cardboard that is recycled it helps save about 174.12 litres of oil.

Glass can be recycled by rinsing the containers with water and keeping them clean. Labels on glass containers do not have to be removed because they are removed during the crushing process and burned off during the melting process. It is important not to break the glass and mixing broken colours as this will make the glass unacceptable for recycling. Space wise, 1.52 cubic meters of landfill space (this is the size of an average refrigerator) is saved for every ton of glass that would be recycled.

Examples of paper that can be recycled include magazines and catalogues, telephone books, direct mail, brochures, pamphlets and booklets in addition to cereal, cake, chip and cracker boxes. It is important to remove the liner and all food from the box, flatten the box and place flattened box in a paper sack with your junk mail, mixed paper, magazines and catalogues. Although most paper can be recycled there is also non-recyclable paper such as tissue, waxed and carbon paper. An estimated 17 trees are saved and 26497.8 liters of water for each ton of paper that is recycled.

Plastic containers that can be recycled include cold drink bottles, cooking-oil bottles and peanut-butter jars, milk, water and juice bottles, bleach and detergent bottles, margarine tubs and some grocery bags. All food packaging, cling-wrap, carryout bags and heavy-duty bags can also be recycled. For containers one needs to remove plastic tops from the plastic containers being recycled and containers should be rinsed with water. Crushing the containers will help save space while storing them and recycling a ton of plastic helps save 5,774 kWh of energy.

For more helpful hints, contact the IWMSA.

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 visit

Waste Management Facilities – The New Order

The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA)’s Landfill Interest Group (LIG) in KwaZulu-Natal, proudly announces its Ninth Biennial Seminar on Landfills, Landfill 2011, to be held from 18 – 20 October 2011 at Docklands Hotel, Durban.  The LIG is dedicated to capacity building and technology transfer in the science and practice of waste disposal by landfill.

The prime focus of modern waste management lies in reducing the amount of waste going into landfill sites however, the application of this strategy is slow in coming about. Existing landfills, of which there are approximately 1,200 in South Africa at present, are being scrutinised ever more closely and the development of new facilities is becoming increasingly challenging as the old ones are filled up.  Stan Jewaskiewitz, President of IWMSA says “Reducing waste to landfill is essential, however, landfilling and landfill treatment facilities are set to remain an important waste management option into the foreseeable future.”

Landfill facilities, now more appropriately known as ‘waste management facilities’, remain plagued by many problems related to technology, including leachate and biogas emissions.  The LIG Landfill Seminar series is designed to create a low-cost forum where a high standard of knowledge transfer may be experienced – with the focus firmly on landfill issues and new technologies rather than on waste management in general.

The themes for Landfill 2011 will include design, construction, and operation of landfills on challenging environments including landfill barrier design and performance. Landfill policy and legislation, is a key topic that will be discussed and guidelines for both National and Provincial regulation and planning requirements will form part of the discussions. Sustainable landfill concepts for municipal and hazardous waste; landfill processes and emissions including leachate and gas management and waste mechanics will also be discussed during the Seminar. Other important themes include landfill remediation, aftercare and reuse as well as investigating alternative technologies.

Delegates attending Landfill 2011 can look forward to a keynote address by Kelvin Legge, Chief Engineer, Integrated Environmental Engineering of the South African Department of Water Affairs.  Legge is an international authority on fluid migration through soils and geosynthetic materials, and appropriate contaminant containment standards for the new national revised waste classification system. Legge’s focus at the Seminar will be on the new landfill classification system which will have a direct impact on all stakeholders that are involved with landfills.

Also on offer is a half-day workshop on lining design and landfill stability which will be facilitated by an international expert on the subject, Richard Thiel of Thiel Engineering, California. The cost of bringing Thiel to South Africa has been sponsored by the LIG’s partners, the Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa (GIGSA), thus assisting the LIG to adhere to its mandate of providing affordable specialist landfill seminars.

Landfill 2011 aims to continue the highly successful seminar series as run over the last 18 years by the IWMSA LIG and in 2011 this event has been made possible by a generous grant from Messrs Barloworld Equipment.

For further information regarding Landfill 2011 and for registration and bookings, please contact Megan Nortjé on 031 767 1903 or 082 448 5961, or email

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