IWMSA MEDIA ALERT: Privatisation of waste management as a better option for service delivery

Eastern CapeWaste management and the lack of service delivery by municipalities is going from bad to worse. It’s been a talking point for way too long and action needs to be taken.

Although the government is making inroads, albeit slowly regarding the implementation of the new Waste Act – not enough is being done. The reasons why municipalities continue to struggle in service delivery is the lack of qualified and experienced staff to fulfil the various roles in waste management. The other setback identified regarding the questionable service delivery and waste management is due to the lack of adequate funds to carry out these services.

Does the solution perhaps lie in the privatization of the waste management sector? This was a question that was raised at a recent workshop hosted by the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) in the Eastern Cape. One of the solutions proposed was to contract out the various services directly to private contractors over a three to five year period which would help the contractors to plan and allocate resources accordingly. Another option for consideration is that of a concession wherein a private sector company is granted a long-term concession to implement and operate a waste management system. Waste management services could also be provided through a public private partnership (PPP) wherein the municipality partners with the private sector who could provide the necessary financing and operational services.

The South African government and municipalities need to be role models and provide an enabling environment for waste problems to be fixed and allow the private sector with ideas to participate. Every problem is embedded with a solution within itself as long as there is enough support and commitment from all critical players such as government, private sector and the community.

The IWMSA embraces and supports any actions that will lead to waste minimisation and the effective management of waste in order to protect our environment. For any ideas and suggestions, please contact the IWMSA on iwmsa@telkomsa.net  or 011 753 462

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 www.iwmsa.co.za

Giraffe House reaches out to Ruyterwacht Primary

Photo caption – Teachers at Ruyterwacht Primary School put on their brave faces in front of their learners on Friday, (09 September) when Werner Fourie and his arachnid and reptilian-friends from the Giraffe House visited their school. Giraffe House visits schools across the Peninsula to teach them about the wonders of South Africa’s wildlife and even a chance to interact with them. Fourie, Director of Giraffe House, is passionate about conservation and about educating our youth about the importance of our wildlife. The talks are entertaining and fun, which Fourie believes is essential for the learners to retain information. Spiders and reptiles form an important element when learning about South Africa’s wildlife. Fourie explains that there are good and bad snakes, and that one shouldn’t fear and randomly kill any spiders and reptiles as they all play an important role in our delicate eco-system. PenBev and the Giraffe House have formed a collaboration to take the Giraffe House’s mobile unit to less fortunate schools across Cape Town. For many learners, this is the first time that they get to learn about and interact with South Africa’s wildlife.

Giraffe House is open seven days a week from 09:00 to 17:00 and can be contacted on 021 884 4506 or e-mail giraffehouse@gmail.com. For more information visit www.giraffehouse.co.za

PenBev is committed to supporting educational outings of this nature which contribute towards a more thorough understanding of our environment as a whole.  PenBev is an independent bottling company that holds the rights to manufacture and distribute the products of The Coca-Cola Company within the Western and Northern Cape. For more information, contact PenBev on: 021 936 5500 or visit www.penbev.co.za

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High resolution photos available on request

PenBev supports International Coastal Clean-up

Photo Caption -

Enthusiastic learners from Mfuleni Secondary School willingly gave up their Saturday morning (17 September) to participate in this year’s International Coastal Clean-up (ICC). The 72 learners collected 110 bags of waste including odd items such as the remains of a plastic table. Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev) specifically targeted the Woodbridge Island Milnerton beach for this year’s ICC. PenBev supported the clean-up campaign by sponsoring the learners’ transport, health and safety equipment and thanked the learner’s for their hard work with a refreshing Coca-Cola and Boerewors roll afterwards.

The ICC project forms part of PenBev’s “Live for a Difference” campaign, where caring for the environment is one of the many initiatives they support. The Coca-Cola system globally has a 16-year history of supporting the ICC. As part of this commitment, litter prevention and community beautification initiatives to protect waterways, ocean shores and other areas like this beach clean-up continue throughout the year. Coca-Cola has taken a leading role in recycling in South Africa. Working together with Collect-a-Can, the nation has achieved a 70 percent recycling rate for cans. In addition, through the leadership within PETCO, South Africa reached a 40% recycling rate for PET plastic bottles in 2010.

The Coca-Cola system actively creates solutions by advancing global sustainable packaging strategies aimed at preventing waste over the life of the Company’s packaging. Approximately 85 percent of the global beverage volume is delivered in recyclable bottles and cans. In 2009, The Coca-Cola system contributed hundreds of millions of dollars toward initiatives that collected or recovered more than 35 percent of the equivalent bottles and cans sold worldwide. The recovery of these containers and materials for reuse is critical. Our goal is to increase this recovery to 50 percent by 2015. This global effort provides an opportunity for PenBev to raise awareness about the importance of preventing litter and to keep our oceans free of debris.

For more information on PenBev’s Live for a Difference initiatives visit www.penbev.co.za.

More information on International Coastal Clean-up is available on www.capetown.gov.za or www.oceanconservancy.org

Photographer: Craig Wilson

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High-resolution photos are available.

Caution is crucial when disposing of CFL’s

Have you ever wondered what to do with your old Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s)  The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) encourages all South Africans to make use of proper disposal facilities to dispose of CFL’s as they contain small quantities of mercury as vapour inside the glass tubing and are therefore classified as hazardous waste.

The use of CFL’s as opposed to incandescent light bulbs is very much on the increase, especially as we all attempt to conserve energy and minimise our electricity bills.  Stan Jewaskiewitz, President of IWMSA says “Along with this fairly new and more energy efficient product, comes a new set of waste management challenges.”  He continues, “The IWMSA supports the City of Cape Town’s initiative to create an awareness of the proper disposal of CFLs.  The City wants people to be aware that CFL’s contain small amounts of mercury, which is poisonous, and as such should not be thrown away with one’s regular domestic waste, NOR should they be included in recycling bins or bags.  Thoughtlessly throwing CFL’s out with everyday garbage poses a serious hazardous waste problem at landfills and waste incinerators, where the mercury from these lamps could be released if they are broken, resulting in air and water pollution.”

Where can you take your used CFL’s?  Fortunately many citizens have easy access to drop-off points at their local PicknPay and Woolworths retail outlets, where specifically marked bins are situated for this purpose.  CFL’s need to be kept separate from other refuse, safely stored, preferably in their original packaging, and correctly disposed of at a drop-off/collection point or approved hazardous waste facility.   It is VERY IMPORTANT not to break or damage CFL’s at all.  As an indication of how careful one should be, in the recycling process, CFL’s need to be crushed in an especially designed machine that uses negative pressure ventilation and a mercury-absorbing filter to contain mercury vapor.

Another everyday item to remember is the household battery which is also accepted by PicknPay in the same manner – a marked bin from where they are collected for safe disposal and recycling.  Batteries should most certainly not be thrown out with your domestic refuse since they contain equally hazardous elements.  It is essential that everyone takes responsibility for disposing of these relatively small domestic items in the proper way.

In the event of breakage of a CFL, special care must be taken to clean up and contain mercury and glass shards after which they should be contained in a plastic bag for correct disposal.  If transporting a quantity of these lamps, as with any other hazardous waste materials, please contact an approved hazardous waste management company for advice.

Eskom has developed a comprehensive brochure regarding CFL’s, including correct disposal and advice on cleaning up broken fluorescent lamps.  This brochure can be downloaded from their website or viewed via the IWMSA’s website, www.iwmsa.co.za.

The IWMSA provides education and training for its members, you can network and exchange information with like-minded individuals, and even have your voice heard in the formulation of legislation.

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

Carbon Tax – a viable option for the transport sector?

We will face an average temperature increase of more than 2°C this century if greenhouse-gas emissions continue to rise at its current pace, stated an International Panel on Climate Change. The transport sector as the second largest greenhouse gas emitter is responsible for 13.1% of all global emissions.

Ways need to be found to curb the high greenhouse gas emitted within the transport sector. According to Brent Cloete, Head of Climate Change Practice at DNA Economic, one of the measures to be considered to meet ambitious national targets for greenhouse gas reductions from this sector, is carbon tax.

The likely impact of a carbon tax on the transport sector in South Africa needs to be examined and will be explored by Cloete at the upcoming Sustainable Transport and Mobility Conference, which will be taking place on 20 and 21 September 2011 in Gauteng.

The Conference will provide a dynamic platform for education and discussion regarding sustainable transport practices, pressing issues as well as providing a platform to discuss the latest technologies and designs. The two day conference will bring together delegates, speakers and exhibitors who recognise the need to incorporate sustainable transport practices and who have identified the economic benefits of such a move. Other issues that will be discussed at the conference will be ways of greening the transport system, international case studies of increasing mobility and access, as well as reducing the impact of freight.

This premier event, organised by Alive2green, is part of the official build-up to the 17th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP17) taking place in Durban later this year.

For more information contact:

Cara-Dee Carlstein at 021 447 4733 or email info@transportandmobility.co.za and visit www.transportandmobility.co.za