Environmental waste management in South Africa is governed in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 2008 (Act 59 of 2008), as amended by the National Environmental Management: Waste Amendment Act (26 of 2014). A Waste Management Plan (WMP) plays a key role in achieving sustainable waste management. The purpose of this plan is to ensure that effective procedures are implemented for the handling, storage, transportation and disposal of waste that is generated from the activities on site. The plan prescribes measures for the collection, temporary storage and safe disposal of the waste streams associated with the project and includes provisions for the recovery, re-use and recycling of waste.
This WMP has been compiled as part of the project Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) and includes waste stream information available at the time of compilation. Construction practices and operations must be measured and analysed in order to determine the efficacy of the plan and whether further revision of the plan is required. This plan should be further updated should further detail regarding waste quantities and categorisation become available, during the construction and/or operational stages
WASTE GENERATED ON SITE, ORIGINATES FROM VARIOUS SOURCES INCLUDING:
- Concrete waste generated from foundations.
- Contaminated water, soil and vegetation due to accidental hydrocarbon spills.
- Hydrocarbon waste from vehicle, equipment and machinery parts (oil cans, filters, rags etc), and servicing.
- Recyclable waste in the form of paper, cardboard, glass, metal offcuts, wood/ wood pallets and plastic.
- Organic waste from food waste and alien vegetation removal.
- Sewage from portable toilets.
- Inert waste from excess rock and soil from site clearance and trenching works
WASTE MANAGEMENT OPTIONS – WASTE HIERARCHY
The Waste Management Hierarchy aims to achieve ideal environmental outcomes and is an international and national credited guide to prioritizing waste management policies. It lists priorities of the most preferred to least preferred waste management option. South Africa is informed of waste management through the waste management hierarchy which is the objective of NEMWA (DEA, 2011: 6). The waste hierarchy presents waste management stages commencing with the most preferable option to the least preferable option. Waste prevention is the most preferred option, followed by reuse, recycling, recovery including energy recovery and as the last option is safe disposal.
Enterprises should be required to strictly manage purchasing of raw materials in order to ensure there is minimal wastage. The focus is to prevent raw materials, ingredients and products from becoming waste in the first place. Any surplus raw materials or produce not meeting exporting standards or products that have been sent back after being exported owing to defects should be reduced by redistributing these products at organised market events annually, or donate to charity lawfully within the country. Enterprises should be committed to avoiding the generation of waste and not using hazardous materials. Where the use of hazardous materials is unavoidable, efforts should be made to identify replacement materials that are non-hazardous through continued research and development.
Enterprises should be required to prepare a maintenance management plan which seeks to ensure that all equipment is regularly checked and maintained and refurbished or repaired. In addition, Enterprises should seek to sell and buy used items, donating them for free or exchanging them.
Enterprises should seek to turn waste into a new substance or product, such as composting of organic wastes to a standard that meets quality controls. This compost could be sold or given to farmers outside the boundary of the sites to facilitate improvements in soil conditions and hence their production levels.
Recovery of waste is usually most successful when done in bulk. Therefore, a centralised recovery facility is preferable. Forms of recovery include anaerobic digestion, incineration with energy recovery, gasification and pyrolysis which produce energy (fuels, heat and power) and materials from waste. It is recommended that the solid waste management system be modified and improved to make it compatible with the requirements of the proposed bio-methanation technology.
Disposal is deemed the last resort and must occur in an environmentally responsible manner. Disposal results in waste going to landfill or to incineration without energy recovery and is the least preferred environmental option. However, when wastes must go for disposal, this must occur at a suitably designed sanitary waste disposal site.
KCM undertakes WMP’s in line with the following objectives:
- Summarise the regulatory framework governing the management of waste;
- To minimize the risks to human and environmental health due to construction and operational wastes;
- Describe measures and controls related to the management of waste associated with the construction and operational phases of the proposed development in line with the waste management hierarchy described above;
- Define roles and responsibilities for the implementation of this plan and management of waste;
- Ensure a rapid and correct response to non-conformances related to the management of wastes;
- Describe limits applicable to liquid waste that are to be discharged to the environment;
- To ensure that appropriate records are kept for compliance monitoring; and
- Provide a framework for monitoring and reporting on the management of waste.
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