South African non-profit association, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), aims to change perceptions and encourage more people to consider waste as a valuable resource. The institute’s Eastern Cape branch hosted its regional waste conference, titled ‘Green is the new Gold’ at the World of Windows in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last week.
“Our theme emphasizes the value of green initiatives and innovative waste management approaches to ensure sustainability. The conference provides a platform for like-minded individuals to discuss pertinent issues around waste management strategies,” said Theo von Ruben, owner of ChemSolved.
The conference hosted nine speakers from diverse backgrounds and offered various forms of entertainment for the delegates.
Rosa Blaauw, from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM), presented the NMB Stadium’s Environmental Management System and elaborated on its various green initiatives. “The establishment of a recycling buy-back facility at the stadium is one of the key focus areas for the near future, and this will directly benefit the immediate community by creating a value chain for recyclable material,” Blaauw reported.
Vuyo Sikwebu, Managing Director of Clariter ZA’s, presentation focused on how technology can help save the environment. He elaborated on how Clariter converts plastic waste into high grade chemical fluid using a unique patented process. “By investing in innovative technology, we can find solutions to the world’s plastic waste problems and create employment opportunities,” Sikwebu pointed out.
Brian van Niekerk, Managing Director of The Rhino Group, discussed House Rhino, a building designed to be completely self-sustainable, incorporating energy, water-saving elements and various green building material and techniques. A paper regarding House Rhino won international acclaim at the Seeds Conference in London during 2015 and has been published in an international journal.
Walter Fyvie, Senior Associate from the Environmental unit of GIBB, presented a paper on the NMBM Waste Drop-Off Facility Master Plan. “Illegal dumping is a pressing concern, annually 85 994 tonnes of illegally dumped waste is removed in the NMBM,” Fyvie said.
The need for recycling drop off facilities such as the upgraded Kragga Kamma waste transfer station was highlighted, and the systematic planning process that was used to determine where future drop-off facilities should be located was presented.
Von Ruben followed with an in-depth look at waste minimisation in the automotive and component industries. Agripa Munyai, Environment Manager at Tetra Pak Southern Africa, discussed the recycling value in all the layers of a carton and Kabega Primary, NMB’s top recycling school, ended with a motivational presentation about the school’s various greening efforts and highlighted how they raise funds through recycling and investing in other projects such as green gardening, water saving and solar power.
Delegates were treated to a live performance by Emmy Nxayeka, Schools Project Coordinator at The Waste Trade Company, who launched a ‘Recycle Rap’ accompanied by learners from Kabega Primary and Molefe Primary. To end the conference off, Southern Kings rugby player, Siyanda Grey, modelled a Springbok Rugby shirt that was auctioned off to delegates.
“We would like to thank all parties that played a role in the successful running of the conference, events such as these showcase the vision and mission of the IWMSA, which includes fostering communication between all stakeholders in the waste industry and promoting the value of waste as a resource,” von Ruben concluded.