Green Buildings are Healthier, Happier Places

The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) wants to encourage South Africans to pay more attention to ‘green buildings’, or erecting structures with both the environment, and the occupants of the building in mind.

Our urban areas are growing at a steady pace and our skylines ever-changing.  The IWMSA is calling for more mindfulness in the building arena.  Whether for office accommodation, sports arenas, shopping malls, or dwellings, the principles of building green can be applied to any built environment.  Popular opinion is that not only does the environment benefit from such carefully considered construction, but that people are generally happier and more contented working or living in such buildings. Dr Suzan Oelofse, IWMSA Central Branch Chairman adds, “The environmental benefits derived from green buildings can further be enhanced by including waste minimisation and recycling principles in this type of environment.”

What defines a green building?  It is primarily an energy and resource efficient construction which is also environmentally responsible in terms of its design, construction and subsequent day-to-day operations.

As one may imagine, there are many facets to be taken into account: building materials and other products should, wherever possible, be made from recycled materials and manufactured from renewable resources.  The use of products with ‘low embodied’ energy is called for, meaning products in which less energy is consumed during the manufacturing process.  Water conservation constitutes a vital element in the whole plan, and grey water systems, as well as low flow taps should be installations of choice.  Then there is the use of non-toxic finishing materials (such as paint) and applying solar technology for heating.  Not least, a building should be orientated correctly in order to reduce the heat load and to optimise shade and screening thereby enabling the use of more energy efficient lighting systems and air conditioning.

These protocols, amongst a myriad other considerations, if used effectively, can substantially minimise environmental impact.

Another benefit of great significance is that green buildings are usually specifically designed to provide healthier and more productive environments for those who live and work in them, which in turn, may lead to a happier, healthier population.

Oelofse, continued “While there is not yet any particular legislation in place in South Africa in respect of green building requirements, as responsible custodians of the earth, we must become increasingly aware of our use of its resources.”  Oelofse added, “The IWMSA is supportive of green building initiatives, and we believe that in the foreseeable future there will be specific requirements regarding the built environment, especially in view of other recent legislation, such as the New Waste Act.  We also have increasing electricity costs to be implemented shortly, for example, and it makes sound economic and environmental sense to use renewable resources and to become as energy efficient as possible.”

As IWMSA members, both organisations and individuals have access to a wealth of information and resources, not only in the management of waste but in a number of related fields.  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.  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it The IWMSA also provides their members with the latest industry news.

The IWMSA supports professional waste management practices and best environmental practices and are pleased about conferences such as the upcoming Green Building Conference and Exhibition that will be taking place in Sandton from 13 – 14 July 2011, where a powerful mix of international and local content for built-environment professionals and stakeholders are anticipated.

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 or call Tel: 011 675 3462

For more information on the Green Building Conference and Exhibition visit www.greenbuilding.co.za or e-mail: info@greenbuilding.co.za / Tel: 021 447 4733


IWMSA supports early waste learning

Education and training especially when it comes to teaching the youth about waste management solutions has always been close to the heart of what the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) stands for.

Recently the IWMSA in conjunction with DNF Waste and Environmental Services visited Nobuntu Primary School in Dimbaza in the Eastern Cape to teach Grade Five learners about effective waste management solutions.

Deidre Nxumalo–Freeman, Director of DNF Waste and Environmental Services and Vice President of the IWMSA said, “It is important for us to teach communities to understand the importance of a clean environment. We are targeting the youth so that we can empower them to gain life time lessons and also convey the message to their parents about waste management when they get home.”

During the course of the morning learners were taught about the hierarchy of waste management which includes: Avoid, Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Compost, Treatment and Dispose.

Learners are encouraged to avoid purchasing products that have excess packaging, and to be mindful when printing documents - double sided copies should be made where possible. Things like newspapers can be re-used and used to wrap or store goods. Glass bottles and jars can be re-used as storage containers; and can also be returned to retailers to receive a deposit. Plastic bags should be re-used when shopping instead of buying a new plastic bag each time. Organic waste (egg shells, vegetable peels, leftover food etc.) should be used to make a compost heap.

During the talk the presenters turned the tables on the learners by asking them questions about effective waste management and handed out spot prizes to those who answered correctly.

The IWMSA sponsored garden equipment that will be used by the learners to create their own vegetable garden.

For more information on projects that the IWMSA are involved with, visit www.iwmsa.co.za or call 043 721 0003


Phishing – Don’t get caught

Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev), local bottler of The Coca-Cola Company’s products are warning that Coca-Cola South Africa has recently had the Coca-Cola name fraudulently incorporated in a number of phishing scams and are urging all their customers and consumers not to get caught.

The public is being warned to be vigilant when it comes to receiving a short message service (SMS) or e-mail messages from individuals claiming they are from Coca-Cola and that they have won money in lotteries.

Spokesperson for PenBev, Denise Green has confirmed that, “Coca-Cola South Africa is a recent target, where Coca-Cola’s different brands and trademarks are being used without permission.” Green reiterated, “Coca-Cola South Africa is in no way associated with any SMSes or emails requesting sensitive information in order to redeem a prize. Coca-Cola will never ask for confidential information such as your identification number or banking account details. We urge the public not to give out any of these details.”

Phishing fraudsters attempt to develop relationships with victims to obtain personal and financial information. Common signs that a message may be a part of an email, SMS or phishing scam include the following:

•       Improper or unauthorized use of company trademarks; e.g. "World Coca-Cola Award Winner", "The Coca-Cola Company Official Prize Notification",  "The Coca-Cola Mobile Draw,” “2011 Coca-Cola Promotion" or other similar titles;

•       Spelling and grammatical errors in the email;

•       Sender's use of free, non-corporate email accounts (such as Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL and Hotmail);

•       Requests for personal information such as identification numbers or banking account numbers;

•       Promise of quick financial gain if such personal data is provided;

•       Official appearance including letterhead from a financial institution or the Company; and

•       Photos of Company executives, secret pin codes or reference ticket number with contact information for a Coca-Cola representative

If you think you have fallen prey to a phishing scam the first step is to immediately discontinue all communication with the source and report it to the authorities.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Coca-Cola South Africa’s consumer affairs at ccsainfo@afr.ko.com or contact Denise Green at PenBev on Tel: 021 936 5585 or e-mail: deniseg@penbev.co.za


By design, rather than by default, recycled tyres can now be used to build houses

With recycling increasingly top of mind, especially since the new Waste Act came into play, people are becoming much more conscious of their waste. More questions are being raised as to how to recycle specific items and to be environmentally attuned, for example, how should tyres be recycled?

Non-profit organisation, The South African Tyre Recycling Process Company (SATRP Company), was established in 2002 specifically with the vision in mind as to how to solve the waste (scrap) tyre problem in South Africa and support a sustainable waste tyre producer industry .

According to Dr Etienne Human, CEO of SATRP Company, “Four major pollution problems can be virtually eliminated with the proper disposal of tyres.” He explains, “Waste tyres are burned to recover the steel. Water is used to try to extinguish burning tyres, which is both a waste of water and costly. Burning tyres can cause cancer and asphyxiation and massive air pollution and is even a hazard to aircraft landing at major airports. Rain water forms pools of stagnant water within the tyres that attract mosquitoes which may then breed and add to the spread of malaria.” Human concludes “Large stockpiles of burning tyres are a serious fire hazard and, as well as being unsightly, can pose a threat to property.” Human warns that something else to take into consideration, “often waste tyres, being defective, are sold as part worn tyres (second hand) to unsuspecting vehicle owners with resultant accidents and death on the roads.”

There are many benefits to be realized through recycling tyres. Individuals can earn an income and also maintain a clean environment. Statistically, only about 4% of waste tyres are processed in South Africa due to financial constraints as waste tyres have little commercial value.

However, Nick Ralphs, Managing Member of Tierra Construction Projects has identified an alternative way of using used tyres. Tierra’s methods of recycling tyres will not only preserve a clean and safe environment, but also create employment for unskilled labour in the Western Cape and help to build low income houses for people.

Tierra has been constructing buildings from recyclable material for the past three years. Tyres, bottles, tins, cardboard boxes, earth and roof tiles are all used in the construction of these enviro-buildings. The Thina Recycling centre in Cape Town was recently completed using Tierra’s construction methodology. Tierra provides hands-on training for unskilled workers providing them with the opportunity to gain experience in the building industry. A building of approximately 18 m³ takes about three months to complete using 420 tyres, 1 800 glass bottles, 2 500 tins, 800 cardboard boxes, 40m³ earth, 1 000 roof tiles and a workforce of around four unskilled workers. The construction of such a house is based on the concept of turning old tyres into bricks by filling them with earth and compacting the filling. The tyre bricks are dry-stacked in alternating courses, much like brickwork in stretcher bond.

Ralphs commented, “I am very excited about the huge potential that exists in South Africa to build with waste. It is a great opportunity for unskilled labourers to learn a trade and soon we hope that used tyres will be in demand, just like new tyres.”

Stan Jewaskiewitz, President of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) has commended the work being done by both the South African Tyre Recycling Process Company and Tierra Construction Projects and has said that they are setting examples in exemplary waste management which is supported by the IWMSA.

On 30 March 2011, the IWMSA Eastern Cape branch will be hosting a workshop specifically focusing on the recycling of tyres and the role of the Waste Act in Port Elizabeth. For more information on the session please contact Karen du Plessis on 043‐7210003 / 0721117917 or Email: easterncape@iwmsa.co.za

For more information on the South African Tyre Recycling Process Company visit, www.rubbersa.com, more information on Tierra Construction Project are available on www.tierraprojects.co.za and more information on the IWMSA and events that they host can be found on www.iwmsa.co.za


Leading SA in Waste Management

Stand up for your future – respect the environment.  That’s one of the calls to action by the Lead SA campaign that was launched in 2010.  It calls on each and every one of us to think about the kind of future we want for ourselves, our children and our communities.  Taking responsibility for the few square metres we regularly inhabit can make a huge difference to the quality of our lives in the future, the health of the planet in general and it will definitely affect whether we end up living in a mound of squalor or in pleasant surroundings.

Small actions DO make a difference. Paying attention to the little things and working our way up from there, we can bring about a positive change in our environment.  It all rests on us really noticing and altering our everyday habits.

It is essential that we stop waiting around for directions and take ownership of our piece of earth.  Thanks to the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), we are increasingly seeing more co-ordination and cohesion amongst the various stakeholders in waste management. In some provinces, we now have recyclables collected from our homes – we don’t even have to sort them.  For those of us that aren’t yet part of that system, we need to stop complaining and find a way of disposing of these things ourselves.  Take your cans, bottles and paper to your local school.  Most schools look for extra funding and they can earn substantial amounts of money from the recyclables they collect.  What better way to present an example to the children, who really are our future.

The issue is not to wait and wonder whether someone else will do it, but to step up, make a call, talk to someone and actually DO something.  That’s what this initiative is all about – not sitting back and waiting for something to happen or someone to tell you what to do, but to just to do it yourself.

The president of IWMSA, Mr Stan Jewaskiewitz takes the challenge of leading the way very seriously.  He says “The IMWSA is greatly encouraged by the steady growth in membership of both organisations and individuals. This seems to indicate that there is an expanding consciousness of the importance of maintaining certain protocols in waste management.”  He continues, “The IWMSA is proud to be associated with such positive, creative change which can only be brought about if people become interested and involved in working together towards a common goal.  Now is the time to step up and lead the way.”

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


South Africa skills up on new global classification system for chemicals and chemical mixtures

South Africa is in the early stages of rolling out the UN Globally Harmonised System (GHS) for the classification and labelling of chemicals and chemical mixtures as part of their National Regulations and Standards. The GHS classification builds on the well established UN Model Transport Regulations, which classify purely on physical safety risks, by also taking into consideration health and environmental hazards, and applies not just to chemicals in transit but also to chemicals in the workplace and at home. The system, which has already been implemented New Zealand and Japan, is currently being rolled out in a number of countries across the globe including the EU Countries and Uruguay. It allows industries to classify chemicals according to a unified set of building blocks to determine the health hazards and environmental hazard levels of the chemicals and mixtures of chemicals in addition to the transport safety standards that should be applied when transporting, or working with them. Prior to the development of the GHS chemical classification regulation for health and environmental hazards existed only in the EU (since 1967). In other countries and regions classification was based on the nine physical safety risk classes specified in the UN Transport Regulations which require chemicals to be packaged and labelled for transport in line with their hazardous nature, i.e. explosive, flammable, corrosive, toxic etc. These were taken up into global air (IATA) and sea (IMDG) regulations, and adopted by many countries in their National road regulations.

“This is still a relatively new system which is evolving through discussions in the UN Committee of Experts and there is a great deal that South Africa still needs to learn about it in terms of application and implementation,” says Liz Anderson, President of the Responsible Packaging Management Association of South Africa (RPMASA). “We have identified a pressing need to educate members of both the public and private sectors on the GHS and as such, through our participation in the UN Committee of Experts for Transport of dangerous goods and the GHS we have been able to arrange for Orange House Partnership (OHP), supported by UNITAR (UN Institute for Training and Research), to come to South Africa to assist with raising awareness of the implementation of the GHS as an essential risk management tool through a series of practical training workshops,” Anderson explained. OHP is a non-profit partnership association of international senior experts in risk assessment and risk management with governmental, academic and private sector backgrounds who volunteer their time to provide scientific expertise, assistance, advice, training and interim management to governmental authorities and the public and private sector, in particular in developing countries and emerging economies.

OHP ran two GHS Training workshops, one in Durban from 10 to 11 March and one in Midrand, Johannesburg from 14 to 15 March where around 140 delegates from both the public and private sectors were given the opportunity to learn about the GHS and to practice classification using the system in practical group sessions. The workshops were provided free of charge to the public sector whilst members of the private sector were charged a marginal fee to offset costs of venue, refreshments, training materials etc.

Included in the panel of trainers was Dr. Herman Koëter, founder and Managing Director of the Brussels based Orange House Partnership. “The aim of the training,” Koëter explains, “is to raise awareness and build capacity in South Africa whilst providing for a common understanding by the public and private sectors of the principles and practical issues for GHS implementation in terms of new legislation that is being phased in.” Dr Steve Vaughan, one of the OHP experts who was also actively involved in drafting policy, regulations and implementation in New Zealand shared that a key factor of their success was through forming a single high level body to co-ordinate and lead the process.

The phasing in of the GHS will affect, amongst others, technical experts responsible for chemical classification, labelling, compiling safety data sheets and registration of certain hazardous and toxic products as well as occupational health officers and officials responsible for risk assessment and communication. It is included in various Departments’ regulations including Transport & Packaging, Labour (the OHS Act), Agriculture, Health, and more recently the DEA for waste classification, although using the system for waste classification remains a controversial subject as according to the International experts it is not possible to accurately determine the constituents of mixed waste, such as found on landfill sites, which could make compliance with these standards near impossible for waste management organisations.

It is still early days for the GHS in South Africa where implementation is fragmented across numerous government departments requiring high level co-operation and coordination to develop and implement a national strategy and implementation plan. This is however only the start of an on-going journey to improve communication of hazards and risks to people in both consumer and industrial chemicals and products. It is hoped that training courses such as these delivered by OHP will open the door to a positive and productive way forward for safer chemical management in our country.

For more information visit the RPMASA website at www.rpmasa.org.za or contact Liz Anderson on 032 815 1018.


Recycling facilities create jobs in the Eastern Cape

The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) wishes to congratulate the Intsika Yethu Municipality for opening two recycling facilities in Cofimvaba and Tsomo Town.

Two recycling facilities in Cofimvaba and Tsomo Town were officially opened by Deputy Minister of Water and Environment, Rejoice Mabudafhasi on Monday 28 February 2011. These facilities were established by the Intsika Yethu Municipality as part of the Integrated Waste Management Plan which has set out a programme for promoting waste minimization, recycling and job creation through waste management and reduction of waste to landfill.

The Minister hailed the Intsika Yethu Municipality on the excellent work done, especially for closing the landfill site in Tsomo Town and developing the recycling facility and transfer station whereby 80% of the local waste collected is recycled. The local group of 17 sorters at the site have since been registered as a cooperative with the support of the Chris Hani, Department of Economic Development & Environmental Affairs (DEDEA) office staff.

Lulama Macanda the Senior Manager for Waste Management Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Economic Development & Environmental Affairs also commended the Intsika Yethu Municipality, saying “this is a great example of how small municipalities can take up the challenge of waste management and make it work.” Macanda added, “This municipality should be used as a pilot project to demonstrate a success story in Eastern Cape”.

Steve Kalule, IWMSA Eastern Cape Branch Chairman played an integral part in setting up these recycling facilities by conducting the feasibility studies, and providing inputs into the licensing as well as design for the two facilities.

Buyisa-e-Bag contributed significantly to the infrastructure of the two sites, Shirleigh Strydom, the Chief Executive Officer of Buyisa-e-Bag indicated, “When we first visited the sites there was no infrastructure in place with major faults in the design of the recycling sheds. We provided the construction of site offices and ablution facilities at both sites. Baling machines and scales were also put in place so that the recyclables can be managed professionally.” Strydom added, “We refer to our relationship with Intsika Yethu municipality as a partnership, we pledge to continue our support of these two recycling facilities and the community projects in Intsika Yethu Municipality”.

Mr S.D Plata, Honourable Mayor and Mrs Yolisa Mniki the Community Services Manager for Intsika Yethu Municipality added that the municipality has also started a household contractor’s programme that will create 110 jobs whereby the contractors will distribute and collect black refuse bags in households in the high density residential areas that were previously un-serviced. The long-term objective of the project is to start sorting at source.  The household contractor’s programme is linked to the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP).  According to Mniki, the main challenge with the project is the provision of all the necessary equipment for it to achieve the desired outcome.


IWMSA workshop addresses the topic “The Waste Act – One Year On”

It is a year and a half since the introduction of the Waste Act; the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) recently hosted a workshop in Midrand to debate the issue of “The Waste Act – One Year on”.

“Waste generation continues to expand uninhibited in South Africa and the waste management facilities, both new and existing, are battling to keep up despite significant investment from government in this area,” said Obed Baloyi, Director of Waste Policy and Information Management for the Department of Environmental Affairs and Project Director for the National Waste Management Strategy.

This is one of the issues currently being addressed by the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) which is in its final phase. The strategy addresses a wide set of targets and objectives to be achieved by both government and industries. It will be the tool by which the objectives of the Waste Act will be achieved over the next five years.

Suzan Oelofse, Chairperson of the Central Branch of the IWMSA elaborates, “The National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No 59 of 2008) came into effect on 1 July 2009 and all previously fragmented legal requirements pertaining to waste management are now consolidated into this law. Within two years from the enactment of the Waste Act, a National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) must be established to guide the implementation of the Act. The NWMS may include targets for waste reduction (Section 6(2)), whilst Section 7 of the Act states that the Minister must set national norms and standards for the classification of waste; planning for and the provision of waste management services; and storage, treatment and disposal of waste, including the planning and operation of waste treatment and disposal facilities.”

What the boom in waste generation highlights is the requirement for effective waste minimisation strategies to address the overflow. It also demonstrates the economic potential of the sector; that there is great scope for increased job creation and GDP in the sector.

“In this regard,” Oelofse explains that, “other national norms and standards to be set in terms of the Act (Section 8) are for minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery of waste, including the separation of waste at the point of generation; extended producer responsibility; the regionalisation of waste management services and the remediation of contaminated land and soil quality,”

Baloyi outlined what has been achieved to date in terms of new strategies, plans and policies and the lessons that have been learned through this process, both the successes and the challenges. Baloyi also discussed the way forward and the future plans of DEA regarding the Waste Act. The Department’s primary focus has been on policy development up until this point as no comprehensive and acceptable Waste Management Policy existed previously. The issue of waste collection backlogs dating back to 2005 also had to be addressed. Going forward regulations will need to be finalised and then enforced.

Successful implementation of the Act will undoubtedly see significant changes in the way waste is managed in South Africa.  Municipalities, as responsible authorities, will have to get their house in order, address waste service backlog and implement waste reduction strategies as a matter of priority but even more so, the culture of consumerism needs to be changed.  The successful implementation of this Act relies heavily on the involvement and positive contributions of every South African citizen.

The Department is positive about the future of the Waste Act thanks to the implementation of a national framework, a broader approach to planning, commitment from the private sector and leadership on a national level.

For more information on the IWMSA or National Waste Act visit www.iwmsa.co.za


IWMSA e-Waste Collection Day at Cape Gate Mall

The e-Waste Alliance (EWA), together with the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), and the City of Cape Town’s “WasteWise” campaign is delighted to announce its second public e-Waste Collection Drive. This will be taking place at the Cape Gate Mall in Brackenfell on Saturday, 26 March, from 09h00 to 17h00.

The e-Waste Alliance is calling on all households and businesses to bring along and drop off any type of old or used e-waste, while seeing demonstrations about the services, products and projects offered by EWA and its members.

Just PCs, an e-Waste Alliance partner, will be sponsoring a raffle prize of a fully refurbished computer to a lucky participant on the day. In addition “Zibi the Ostrich” the official mascot of WasteWise will be there to help educate young and old about recycling, and how to avoid littering and dumping.

So what exactly is e-Waste? According to Susanne Dittke, e-Waste Alliance Co-ordinator, “It is any unwanted equipment such as computers, printers, fax machines, cell phones, toasters, microwaves, 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.”

With the increasing proliferation of new, smaller, and faster electronic technology, and the resultant outdating of existing equipment, electronic waste is now one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world.

Dittke gives the assurance that “Your e-waste will be re-furbished, repaired, re-used or recycled. All materials will be handled according to integrated waste management principles and in the most environmentally safe manner.”

Dittke is passionate about the role of the e-Waste Alliance in creating awareness around e-Waste, and says, “The e-Waste Alliance provides a constructive solution to the problems associated with the disposal of electronic waste. It can often be given a second lease on life by being used elsewhere, or through recovery of special materials and components. It can also lead to the creation of jobs or development of new skills in the community.”

The e-Waste Alliance is a non-profit organisation which helps to coordinate responsible management of the entire electronic waste (e-waste) stream in a one-stop shop format. For more information contact Susanne Dittke on +27 (0) 21 532 0940, or +27 (0) 83 462 6665, email: envirosense@xsinet.co.za or visit www.ewastealliance.co.za or www.iwmsa.co.za


PenBev - Cape Argus Pick n Pay MTB Challenge

Participants at the Cape Argus Pick n Pay MTB Challenge event on Sunday 06 March 2011 enjoying the refreshing Coca-Cola beverages sponsored by Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev), local bottler of The Coca-Cola Company’s products. For many years PenBev has been committed to sponsoring all the logistics associated with preparing and supplying the beverages to all the participants during the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Lifecycle Week events. Annually a total of 100 000 litres of water, 65 000 litres of Coca-Cola, 82 500 litres of Powerade and 100 tons of ice are sponsored by PenBev at these events.