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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…

Statement

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:

  1. Interwaste has installed a permanent cover over the site’s leachate dam which prevents odours being emitted by the dam. This was the first cover of its kind in South Africa.
  2. Interwaste proactively monitors both upstream and downstream borehole water on site to ensure the landfill has no effect on the ground water and so that no sub surface contamination takes place. The results of such monitoring indicate that the ground water remains unaffected by the landfill operations.
  3. Recently, an independent expert consultancy conducted an extensive surface and ground water sampling study within a 1.5-kilometre radius of the site, which further confirmed that the site has no impact on water resources.
  4. Interwaste commissioned leading global experts to manage the design and implementation of the landfill gas management system at the landfill. Subsequently, an advanced landfill gas harvesting and flaring system has been installed on the landfill site.
  5. Regular ambient air quality monitoring at the site has consistently shown that emissions do not pose adverse health risks to the population in the region.





Landfill Facts

  1. 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 engineered Class B landfill liner (containment barrier), which complies with the very latest in environmental legislation.
  2. The Landfill 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).
  3. The site is audited by independent external auditors bi-annually. Following the external audit residents that form part of the site’s monitoring committee (who are the duly elected by the community) are informed of the audit findings. In the latest external audit, conducted in December 2016, the site achieved a mark of 99.5 percent for compliance with the Minimum Requirements for Waste Disposal by Landfill, and 97.1 percent for compliance with the conditions of the site’s licence.
  4. Interwaste also installed a gas collection and extraction tool to monitor landfill gas production and quality.
  5. Interwaste has proactively monitored both upstream and downstream borehole water on site for the past 10 years, to ensure the landfill has no effect on the ground water and so that contamination does not take place. The results of such monitoring indicate that the ground water remains unaffected by the landfilling operation.
  6. Recently, an independent expert consultancy conducted an extensive surface and ground water sampling study within a 1.5 kilometre radius of the site, which further confirmed that the site has no impact on water resources.
  7. Interwaste commissioned leading global experts to manage the generation of landfill gas at the landfill. Subsequently, an advanced landfill gas harvesting and flaring system has been installed on the landfill site. In line with best international practice, and with South African Norms and Standards, the gas being collected is flared to reduce Green House Gas emissions.
  8. Regular ambient air quality monitoring at the site has consistently shown that any emissions from the site does not have adverse health effects on the community in the vicinity.
  9. Onsite weather station monitoring also monitors wind direction, temperature and rainfall.





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EMAIL: info@interwaste.co.za
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