Waste not, want not
On February 18, the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) hosted a waste management update and networking session at the Wits Club in Johannesburg.
Due to the nature of chemical processes undertaken by the chemical industry in South Africa, as well as its final products, a large proportion of the waste generated by this industry is hazardous.
A total of 174 872 t of hazardous waste is reported to have been generated during 2013 – most of which was transferred to others for re-use
(26 percent) or disposed of (81 percent). The total exceeds 100 percent due to storage over more than a single calendar year.
However, there appears to be a marked improvement in the amount of hazardous waste generated, as well as how much of it is transferred to others for re-use.
While the chemical industry should be proud of this achievement, it is, however, imperative that it gains a clear understanding of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (including amendments) and its associated subordinate legislation (such as regulations, norms and standards, national standards and listing notices), so that the provisions of this Act can be used optimally.
Therefore, the CAIA organised this update and networking session to highlight recent changes to the Act, and to provide members with the opportunity to gain a clear understanding of what “waste” encompasses, and what the latest changes to, and interpretations of, the Act mean to industry.
As a follow-up to this session, the CAIA plans to arrange an additional networking session with the Department of Environmental Affairs, to answer any further questions or concerns relating to waste management.