IWMSA strive to give back to the community

Grade 1-3 Learners from Nkone Maruping Primary School in Bram Fischerville, Soweto, were delighted to receive a surprise visit from the Institute of Waste Management (IWMSA) Central branch team recently. The IWMSA donated carry bags that learners can use to kick start their year. Included in the bags were stationery sets donated by Collect-a-Can, an information pack donated by the Rose Foundation and a pen donated by Interwaste.

“At the IWMSA it is important for us to give back to the community, and each of the IWMSA branches have been tasked to adopt a social investment project each year. We decided to start the year by helping children in a less advantaged area with carry bags for their school year,” said Suzan Oelofse, Central Branch Chairman. “This is just the start of our involvement,” Oelofse explained. “We hope to find many more opportunities to make a difference in the communities around us during the course of the year.” As part of the outreach program IWMSA office administrator, Sanki Tshabangu, engaged with the youngsters and taught them about the importance of recycling and managing their waste. Nkone Maruping Primary School is already engaged in some recycling activities and currently collects white paper as well as shoe polish tins for recycling.

CAPTION: IWMSA office administrator Sanki Tshabangu (left) and IWMSA Central Branch Chairman Suzan Oelofse (centre) prepare to hand over 300 carry bags for Grade 1-3 learners to Caretaker Principal, Mr Lucky Khumalo, at Nkone Maruping Primary School in Bram Fischerville, Soweto last week as part of a social investment project.

IWMSA is a non-profit organisation comprising a body of dedicated professionals in their respective fields, who give freely and voluntarily of their time and expertise in order to effectively educate, promote and further the science and practice of waste management.  For more information, visit: www.iwmsa.co.za

IWMSA comment regarding the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan

The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) have raised their concerns regarding the process that was followed by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) which resulted in the approval of the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan (IIWTMP) that was submitted by the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA).

Earlier this week (25 January 2012), the DEA indicated that they had withdrawn the approval of the IIWTMP which had been approved in the Government Gazette Notice (Notice No. 983 published in Gazette No. 34796) published on 28 November 2011.

Stan Jewaskiewitz, President of the IWMSA has indicated, “We at the IWMSA are very concerned about the process that was followed that resulted in the approval of the REDISA IIWTMP plan, especially in light of the fact that the South African Tyre Recycling Process Company (SATRP), had also developed and submitted such a plan.”  Jewaskiewitz added, “We welcome the decision of the Acting Minister to withdraw the approval of the REDISA plan and to open it up for further public comment.

“The IWMSA are encouraging our members to use this opportunity to engage with the DEA regarding the IIWTMP. We will gladly offer our services and expertise to the DEA to host workshops on this issue to ensure that our voice is heard.” Jewaskiewitz concluded.

The IWMSA is a non-profit organisation comprising a body of dedicated professionals in their respective fields, who give freely and voluntarily of their time and expertise in order to effectively educate, promote and further the science and practice of waste management.  For more information, visit: www.iwmsa.co.za

Mirriam’s House Safe again

Tears of sorrow have been turned into tears of joy at Mirriam’s Safe House in Mbekweni, Paarl. Last year the community in Mbekweni were devastated when their Safe House was destroyed in a horrific fire that also claimed the life of a toddler; but yesterday, Mirriam House was able to open the doors to their new building thanks to the generosity of many donors.

For the past 15 years Mirriam Toni, a single Xhosa woman, has unselfishly taken it upon herself to look after orphaned and abandoned children in her community providing food, shelter, clothing as well as schooling to them. However, her dreams were shattered when the shack in which they were living burnt down and took the life of one of the toddlers.

AdT Construction selflessly sponsored the construction of a new Safe House for Mirriam and her children.  For many of the children it will be the first time that they will experience living in their own brick building with running showers and a solid roof over their heads. The house also has an open-plan kitchen, living room area, two bathrooms, four rooms at ground level, one each for the boys, girls, babies and Mirriam.  The loft will also be used for the children to sleep in. Christo Schreuder, Administrator from The Grape Community said, “It was our dream to build a structure that would enable each child to have their own bed, a room in which to study and a sheltered playground for the younger children. We are incredibly grateful to all the donors who have made this dream a reality – there are about 95 sponsors who have made contributions!”

Denise Green, Corporate Social Investment Manager at Peninsula Beverages Company (PenBev), distributor of The Coca-Cola Company products in the Western and Northern Cape, and a donor organisation towards the rebuilding of Mirriam House, indicated, “We are encouraged by the incredible work being done by Mirriam and are very pleased to know that the new Mirriam House will indeed be a safe haven for Mirriam and her children. We thank the Newlands Rotary for bringing this project to our attention and letting us play a part in this wonderful initiative”

This is the beginning of a new chapter for Mirriam’s Safe House. For more information about the Mirriam House please visit http://www.thegrapecommunity.org.za/our-involvement/mirriam-house or contact Christo Schreuder from the Grape Community on info@thegrapecommunity.org.za

Make your voice heard at WasteCon 2012: Urgent call for papers

The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) is urging all interested and suitably qualified parties not to delay in submitting papers for consideration in respect of original content for this year’s WasteCon2012, scheduled to take place in East London from 08 – 12 October 2012. 

WasteCon, which is held bi-annually under the auspices of the IWMSA, focuses on critical issues faced by those involved in waste management in South Africa. This year’s conference is titled ‘Wrestling with Waste, Employment, Environment and Engineering’. Steve Kalule, WasteCon2012 Chairman says “The word ‘Wrestling’ was identified as a key factor in describing the feeling of difficulty and the challenges experienced when managing waste and related issues.  This is especially pronounced in situations, municipalities and communities with limited resources.”

Kalule continues, “The conference also aims to address the difficulties faced by the Eastern Cape as one of the poorest regions in South Africa, both in resources and knowledge, and how municipalities and communities are experimenting and succeeding in developing partnerships to create jobs and to use waste as a resource: in other words to view waste other than as a problem, but rather as a potential resource.”

The WasteCon2012 organising committee is hard at work to ensure that this waste conference meets and exceeds all expectations, and whilst still in the early organisation stages, is now calling for the submission of abstracts for original contribution to the conference.  All submissions will go through a peer-review process carried out by a local review panel, and each abstract will appear in full form in the abstract book which will be handed out at the conference.

Oral papers or posters should be aligned to the theme ‘Wrestling with Waste’, and encompassing the three ‘E’s’, Employment, Environment and Engineering which  includes, but is not exclusive to topics such as: waste to wages, job creation, societal benefits, recycling and reuse, the New Waste Act, licencing, groundwater monitoring, landfills, waste transfer stations and disposal. Abstracts must reach the conference secretariat by 01 February 2012 through the online abstract submission portal on the WasteCon2012 website. Those wishing to submit abstracts can find full details regarding WasteCon 2012, submissions and themes at www.wastecon.co.za.

The IWMSA focuses on providing education and training for its members, as well as facilitating interest groups who network and exchange information with like-minded individuals, as well as offering a forum to assist in having voices heard in the formulation of legislation.

The IWMSA is a non-profit organisation comprising a body of dedicated professionals in their respective fields, who give freely and voluntarily of their time and expertise in order to effectively educate, promote and further the science and practice of waste management.  For more information, visit: www.iwmsa.co.za

Landfill Gas: A Source of Renewable Energy

 Landfill gas can be converted to useful energy, such as electricity, and is a renewable resource.  Several regional Landfill Interest Groups (LIG)’s that fall under the auspices of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), enthusiastically support, educate, and encourage progress in the field of landfill management and extraction methodologies.

Methane is a colourless, odourless and non-toxic gas, but is flammable and explosive under certain conditions and is also a harmful greenhouse gas. It is generated under anaerobic (in the absence of oxygen) conditions, primarily within landfills and herds of grazing animals, such as cattle, sheep and pigs.  Ultimately, we have to take responsibility for finding effective ways to manage and destroy the large volumes of methane being continuously emitted to the atmosphere, and what better way to do this than to convert it into clean energy, such as electricity.

As waste in landfills decomposes, different gases are continuously produced in varying proportions.  Landfill gas comprises approximately 50% methane, 40% carbon dioxide, small quantities of oxygen and nitrogen, and over 100 other trace gases, including carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide. Whilst carbon dioxide is found in much greater quantities in the atmosphere, methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is a key contributor to global climate change (over 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide). In addition, typical landfill gas, if permitted to accumulate in low lying or enclosed or confined spaces (such as buildings and houses next to a landfill), may produce an atmosphere that is both explosive and hazardous to life.

Stan Jewaskiewitz, president of the IWMSA says, “Landfill gas can be readily extracted from a landfill, provided that proper engineering of the extraction and management system is carried out, and the landfill is under control and well managed. The extraction of landfill gas can take place once landfill cells reach capacity, at which point the landfill is covered, extraction equipment and collection pipe networks set in place, and the process of extracting the landfill gas can begin. In addition, the installation of landfill gas extraction systems can be incorporated in the landfilling process, enabling the extraction of landfill gas much earlier, prior to the completion of individual landfill cells.  The extracted landfill gas can be used to fuel gas engines or turbines for the generation of electricity”.

The use of methane gas from landfill to fuel electricity generation systems offers one solution to the much needed quest for the diversification of energy resources in Southern Africa, particularly renewable energy resources. Such a solution can also provide potential employment opportunities along with the undisputed benefits of a cleaner environment.

Under the guidance of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which was facilitated by the Kyoto Protocol, it is also possible, as a developing country, for South Africa to gain economically from the sale of emission reductions or “carbon credits”.

The IWMSA provides education and training for its members, as well as facilitating interest groups.  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