The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), of which Averda is a patron member, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries. This commemorates a new collaboration in the waste management industry.
“The purpose of the [memorandum of understanding] is to ensure increased cross-collaboration between government, the IWMSA, and the private sector within the waste management industry in South Africa,” says IWMSA president Leon Grobbelaar.
“The signing of the memorandum will allow the Regulator and the Institute to collaborate on and debate matters of mutual environmental interest and find workable solutions to benefit the entire industry role players. We are not always going to agree, we sometimes have to agree to disagree, but at the end of the day I think it is all for the purpose of a cleaner and healthier environment”,” he explains.
The memorandum will create a bridge between public and private sector
“I do think that the signing of the memorandum between the Department and the IWMSA really takes us full circle back to the origins of the Institute, which was basically to create a meaningful working bridge between the public and private sector, to be able to progress in the field of effective modern waste management,” says IWMSA vice president Brendon Jewaskiewitz.
“Moving forward with our initiatives with respect to a Circular Economy, effective waste management, and protection of the environment in general, I would like to congratulate the Department and the Institute for coming together after many months of planning,” adds Jewaskiewitz.
Debating the possibility of a circular economy
The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (formerly the Department of Environmental Affairs) hosted a dialogue session on the possibility of a circular economy in South Africa. Some of the topics discussed by representatives of the government and private waste management institutions include:
- South Africa’s plastics pollution crisis and the financial implications of additional taxes on plastic products.
- The role of the Association of Cementitious Material Producers (ACMP) in the circular economy.
- The National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA).
- Financial challenges in meeting technical standards for landfills.
Landfill dialogue session
The IWMSA hosted a discussion on landfills in South Africa at the dialogue session. They highlighted some examples of the successful disposal of waste at landfills and how other facilities can follow suit. The Western Cape Government director of waste management, Eddie Hanekom, also spoke about the financial challenges that landfill owners face in pursuit of meeting the technical standards.
Hanekom discussed why such strict technical and design standards are necessary for landfills and how cash-strapped municipalities can still develop waste management facilities that comply with these regulations. He also looked at the idea of using hazardous healthcare waste as an alternative source of energy for electricity generation.
These discussions held at the dialogue session between government and waste management companies are important to foster the mutually-beneficial relationship between the two sectors. The memorandum of understanding further strengthens the working relationships between the government and the waste management industry.
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