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Recycling & Waste Management News

Company first stainless steel producer to earn certification

22nd October 2021 Stainless steel producer Aperam’s Stainless Europe operations in September were successfully certified to be operating at the ResponsibleSteel Standard by independent auditors the Association Française de Normalisation (AFNOR). The ResponsibleSteel initiative is the first global sustainability... 

While metals help ‘greenify’ industry, the industry itself needs cleaning up

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th October 2021 While global carbon dioxide emissions fell by 5.8% in 2020 owing to Covid-19 lockdowns globally and therefore lower energy demand, Dutch multinational banking corporation ING says it is only a matter of time before they hit record highs again. International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that... 

Petco rolls out track and trace platform for recyclers, waste pickers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th October 2021 The South African Polyethylene Terephthalate Recycling Company (Petco) is driving the rollout of technology called BanQu to recycling buyback centres, in an effort to revolutionise how recyclable materials are traded, tracked and traced. The digital platform will help buyback centres accurately... 

Melody Nyamakura, who works at the Main Buy-Back Centre in the Johannesburg CBD, shows how the centre uses the innovative recycling tracking platform, BanQu.
Melody Nyamakura, who works at the main buyback centre in the Johannesburg central business district, shows how the centre uses the innovative recycling tracking platform, BanQu.

DFFE announces R29m waste management intervention for Mangaung

By: Schalk Burger     15th October 2021 The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) on October 15 announced a R29-million waste management intervention for the Mangaung metro municipality, in the Free State.  Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment deputy Minister Makhotso Sotyu attributed the waste management... 

Waste recycling, beneficiation and waste-to-energy could create 150 000 jobs by 2024

By: Schalk Burger     13th October 2021 The 2020 National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) posits that increased recycling and beneficiation of waste can act as a catalyst and contributor to the circular economy with the potential to create up to 150 000 new jobs by 2024, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE)... 

Afri-Plastics second challenge calls for innovators to reduce, eliminate plastic use in sub-Saharan Africa

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2021 The second Afri-Plastics Challenge initiative, called Creating Solutions, calls for applications from individuals and organisations with new or early-stage ideas to reduce or eliminate plastic use across sub-Saharan Africa. For the Creating Solutions challenge, 25 finalists and three winners will... 

Local furnace builder playing its part in global urban mining

By: Darren Parker     5th October 2021 Foundry and engineering company Thos Begbie is supporting recycling and the circular economy by supplying specialist critical components for pyrometallurgical smelting in furnaces designed for reclaiming rare metals. Reclaiming rare metals from waste – called urban mining – involves extracting... 

A photo of a Thos Begbie smelter component
SPECIALISED APPLICATIONS Owing to the complexity of extracting so many different metals, the design of smelters for e-waste processing is more complex than usual

Significant untapped potential in local waste economy

By: Darren Parker     24th September 2021 The current contribution of the waste economy to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) could significantly increase if the importance of implementing the waste management hierarchy is fully recognised, says waste management company Interwaste human resources and transformation director... 

A photo of two informal waste reclaimers walking along the road dragging trolleys laden with recyclable waste
Photo by Reuters
UNDERVALUED Informal waste reclaimers perform a much-needed recycling service in South Africa with little support or appreciation

Programme expands into other provinces

By: Darren Parker     24th September 2021 National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa’s (NCPC-SA’s) Industrial Symbiosis Programme (ISP) is on track to be launched in the Eastern Cape and the Free State before the end of the year, says NCPC-SA national programme manager Victor Manavhela. “We are to conclude feasibility studies in... 

A photo of plastic dustbins in the background, which are made from recycled waste plastic and rubber in bags shown in the foreground
REPURPOSED Where one company sees waste, another might see a valuable resource

Pressure on municipalities key to recycle culture

By: Darren Parker     24th September 2021 The quality of waste management in South Africa is improving, but citizens need to continue putting pressure on municipalities and their respective communities – especially in rural areas – to treat waste as a valuable resource that creates employment if collected and recycled. “That’s the only... 

  	A photo of Plastics SA sustainability director Douw Steyn and Clean Surf Project member Smphiwe Shozi picking up litter on a beach
DOUW STEYN AND SMPHIWE SHOZI Plastics SA coordinated South Africa’s participation in the International Coastal Clean-Up Day

Rubble recycling not seen as economically viable

By: Darren Parker     24th September 2021 The recycling of construction and demolition materials in South Africa is behind the global curve, partly because it is generally not viewed as economically viable by the vast majority of local companies operating in the sector, claims crushing and screening equipment supplier Pilot Crushtec... 

A photo of Pilot Crushtec Africa sales manager Fernando Abelho
FERNANDO ABELHO A lack of enforcement means much construction and demolition waste is not suitable for recycling into general aggregate

iREREP to have 30-year lead time, private sector to be responsible for technical and financing aspects 

By: Donna Slater     20th September 2021 The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) launched its Integrated Renewable Energy and Resource Efficiency Programme (iREREP) by opening its request for information (RFI) on September 20, saying its 30-year lead time is aligned with government’s National Infrastructure Plan 2050... 

Association releases new training manual

By: Halima Frost     17th September 2021 Last month, South African Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (Saracca) released its updated training manual, which will be implemented, from this month onwards, by heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) training providers throughout South Africa.... 

Metal pipes of a correctly installed pipe system for the HVACR system
HOW TO... The association has released a new installation manual which will be used by training providers form this month

Refrigeration system to cut energy costs available

By: Halima Frost     17th September 2021 With South African retailers looking for ways of recovering from the latest lockdown, as well as the looting and vandalism, an opportunity to decrease costs on the system that comprises the bulk of their energy spend, which is refrigeration, has arisen. “All food retailers rely on refrigeration... 

A large solar installation on a clients roof installed by EP Refrigeration, which is grid-tied and decreases the clients reliance on grid power
LIGHT WORK Adding a solar installation to a company's refrigeration unit deceases the cost of running the unit off grid power alone

Global citrus demand increases refrigeration demand

By: Halima Frost     17th September 2021 A global increase in demand for South African-grown citrus, as well as more export regulations, has resulted in a substantial increase in demand for refrigeration capacity, says local refrigeration manufacturer EP Refrigeration business development head Dawie Kriel. “We not only need to add... 

A roof top refrigeration system installed by EP Refrigeration at a produce packing house
FRUITFUL SERVICES An increased need for refrigerated storage and transport capacity in the citrus sector is being addressed by EP Refrigeration

Polyco launches municipal-focused recycling strategy

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2021 Producer responsibility organisation (PRO) for the plastic industry Polyco is launching a municipal-focused recycling strategy, aimed at drastically improving the country’s recycling rates. To implement this “first of its kind” strategy, Polyco on September 15 said it would work with... 

SA Plastics Pact publishes first list of problematic, unnecessary plastics to be phased out 

By: Simone Liedtke     9th September 2021 The South African (SA) Plastics Pact members have published a first list of problematic or unnecessary plastics for phasing out this year and next. The SA Plastics Pact is a collaborative pre-competitive initiative that brings together key stakeholders from the local plastics value chain,... 

Polymer plastic waste management among the challenges facing African recyclers

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd September 2021 Waste management is one of the biggest challenges faced by the African recycled polymer supply chain and the continent’s waste management challenges urgently need to be dealt with, says Independent Commodity Intelligence Servcies (ICIS) plastic recycling analyst Carolina Holland. In an insight... 

Environmental organisations concerned about government no-show at plastics treaty meeting

By: Donna Slater     2nd September 2021 Environment advocacy organisations Greenpeace Africa, groundWork and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have expressed deep concerns that the South African government did not participate in a Ministerial meeting on a proposed global plastics treaty held this month. This shows, the... 

RMB launches ESG-risk-measuring platforms to support sustainable investing

By: Donna Slater     2nd September 2021 Financial services provider Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a division of FirstRand Bank, has launched environmental, social and governance- (ESG-) measuring platforms – ESGo! and ESGNow. The platforms are envisaged to drive sustainable finance by offering client interfaces that enable more informed... 

Litter spills onto Cape Town beach as heavy rain causes breach at old landfill site

By: News24Wire      31st August 2021 Heavy rain over the weekend has caused dunes at a decommissioned landfill site to shift, spilling litter onto the beach at Witsand in Cape Town. City of Cape Town Mayco Member for Water and Waste Xanthea Limberg said the recent heavy rainfall caused the mobile dunes, which covered the waste, to... 

Polyco now a ‘one stop shop’ for collection, recycling of polymer plastics

By: Simone Liedtke     27th August 2021 In response to recently introduced waste management regulations, the Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco) has decided to broaden its focus to all plastic types under extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations. This decision has been made to increase its support to producers to... 

UPL spill investigation to be complete next month

By: Simone Liedtke     26th August 2021 The final report into the chemical spill at the United Phosphorus Limited (UPL) warehouse in Cornubia, KwaZulu-Natal, in July, is expected to be completed by the end of September. The multi-departmental investigative team which was set up to investigate the incident has nearly finalised a... 

UJ joins SA Plastics Pact as supporting member

By: Schalk Burger     23rd August 2021 The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has joined the South African (SA) Plastics Pact as a supporting member. The SA Plastics Pact tackles the plastic waste challenge along the value chain in South Africa to increase sustainable practices and circularity. The pact members aim to accelerate the move... 

Not viable for South Africa to invest in li-ion battery recycling

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th August 2021 A recent study undertaken by mineral processing expert Mintek has confirmed that there is no viable business case for South Africa to invest in lithium-ion (li-ion) battery recycling. Mintek bio-metallurgy manager Mariekie Gericke spoke during the Battery Technology conference on August 13... 

Lithium-ion batteries
Photo by Reuters
Lithium-ion batteries

High level of available food supply in South Africa wasted, CSIR study shows

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th August 2021 The findings of a recently released study from scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisation the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) shows that an estimated 10.3-million tonnes a year of edible food, earmarked for human consumption in South... 

Partnership notes first new chemicals success

6th August 2021 The partnership between carbon recycling technology company LanzaTech and multinational chemicals company BASF, who together aim to transform the carbon contained in industrial off-gases into valuable chemicals, has achieved a key first success. The companies announced in May that, with the help... 

An image of a LanzaTech installation capturing off gasses
ON-GASSES A key first success has been achieved by LanzaTech and BASF in using off gasses or emissions for a positive product

Petrochem giant uses tech for greener fuel

By: Halima Frost     6th August 2021 In April JSE-listed synthetic fuels and chemicals company Sasol announced it will work alongside a consortium comprising multinational chemical company Linde, renewable energy company Enertrag and investment company Navitas Holdings to bid in concept for the production of sustainable aviation... 

An image of a Sasol Chemicals plant
COOL COLAB The collaboration between Sasol and the LEN Consortium will see greener jet fuel and chemicals being produced using Sasol's Fischer-Tropsch technology

Trading remains positive for Mondi as macroeconomic uncertainties remain

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2021 While macroeconomic uncertainties remain, trading is positive for paper and packaging manufacturer Mondi, which expects to see the full impact of the price increases implemented to date and the continued contribution from its capital investment projects during the second half of this year. 

Mpact remains ‘firmly anchored’ in making a difference on the back of robust interim results 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2021 South African paper and packaging business and recycler Mpact remains “firmly anchored” in its purpose of making a difference by providing customers with sustainable packaging and giving effect to the circular economy through its integrated business model. CEO Bruce Strong said on August 5 that... 

Pic of Mpact Polymers recycling in Wadevil.=le.
Mpact's Bruce Strong and Brett Clark give Engineering News some more insight on the company's results, and some external factors that had an impact. Video: Recorded on Zoom. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Kibo forms working relationship with IGES to pursue South African waste-to-energy projects

By: Donna Slater     30th July 2021 Africa-focused energy company Kibo Energy has satisfied all conditions required, and completed an agreement with South Africa-based Industrial Green Energy Solutions (IGES), to jointly develop a portfolio of waste-to-energy projects in South Africa. The companies entered into an agreement to... 

Report suggests 10% reuse of plastics will halve such ocean-going litter

By: Donna Slater     22nd July 2021 A key finding of the ‘Future of Reusable Consumption Model’ report suggests that it is possible to prevent almost half of yearly plastic ocean waste by reusing just 10% of all plastics consumed, as an integral part of the reduce-reuse-recycle agenda. The report – a collaboration between... 

Challenge launched to promote solutions that address marine plastic waste

By: Donna Slater     21st July 2021 Innovation foundation Nesta Challenges has launched the Afri-Plastics Challenge as part of its efforts to find African innovators with scalable and sustainable solutions to prevent plastic waste from entering the marine environment in sub-Saharan Africa. The challenge involves a public... 

Holistic strategy needed to tackle growing marine plastic crisis

By: Donna Slater     16th July 2021 As the marine ecosystem plays an critical role in mitigating climate change, through absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), cooling the environment and sustaining delicate marine wildlife, it is becoming increasingly important to mitigate a mounting problem – the leakage of plastic waste into Oceans and... 

Image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly 16 July 2021 cover.

Increasing waste generation requires a new approach

By: Schalk Burger     9th July 2021 The expected increase in solid waste generated by cities each year, from two-billion tonnes a year now to 3.4-billion tonnes a year by 2050, means new plans for dealing with waste and protecting biodiversity are necessary. This will require changing the global "throw away" culture, says waste... 

How climate change is driving adoption of technology in agriculture

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2021 Environmental phenomena such as climate change and its manifestations, including extreme weather events, are featuring more prominently on the risk radar of investors, banks and commercial farmers, as agricultural activity intensifies in order to provide sufficient food for a growing population.... 

How climate change is driving adoption of technology in agriculture

Sapro, MyPlas sign Operation Clean-Sweep pledge

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd July 2021 Industry organisation the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (Sapro) and manufacturer of recycled plastic compounds MyPlas have become the latest signatories of Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) – an international stewardship programme designed to keep plastic pellets, flakes and powders out... 

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