INTERWASTE’S RESPONSE TO THE FG MATTER AS SEEN IN RECENT PRESS
Interwaste welcomes the opportunity to comment on operations at our FG Landfill site (Olifantsfontein, Johannesburg) considering concerns recently raised by the local community. Interwaste takes its responsibility towards the environment, and the wellbeing of the public, very seriously…
The FG Landfill has been operating since 2002 and since acquisition by Interwaste, in 2008, has been operated in strict accordance with its licence. Interwaste has ensured that the facility is continually operated to the highest standards, compliant with current legislative requirements.
The FG Landfill was the first in South Africa, and remains the only landfill in Gauteng, to be equipped with a state of the art Class B landfill liner, which complies with the latest in waste management legislation as well as local and international best practice. It is the only landfill in South Africa with international OHSAS 18001 accreditation (OHSAS 18001 is an international health and safety standard based on best practice) audited and awarded by TUV based in Germany.
The FG Landfill facility and operations rank in the top 5% in the Country, as determined by independent auditors* over an extensive period of time. The site is continuously monitored and managed to scientifically evaluate its environmental impact and compliance to its license conditions. These ongoing evaluations are conducted by a host of specialized local and international experts who are qualified and experienced to certify the same.
As part of the ongoing and proactive monitoring initiatives, Interwaste also commissioned a series of comprehensive, independent scientific studies that clearly demonstrate that the FG Landfill does not pose elevated risk to the health of the public or the environment.
The studies do, however, suggest that odours emanating from the site were at times marginally above detectable limits, but that these odours were localised to the immediate landfill and buffer zone.
Interwaste continuously engages with authorities regarding air pollution in Olifantsfontein, a geographic area with many different air emission sources. It should be noted that in November 2007, the Government declared the Highveld area, including Ekurhuleni, a high priority air quality management area due to multiple sources of pollution (e.g. traffic, industries and fossil fuel burning), with the ambient air quality in the area requiring intervention by the authorities on a regional scale. (Government Notice No: 1123; 23 November 2007)
Interwaste operates the site strictly in accordance with its licence, which licence remains valid until determined otherwise by a court of law.
Several measures have been implemented, beyond legal requirements, to effectively manage landfill emissions and mitigate any potential odours, including but not limited to: