Towards zero-waste to landfill : the case of CSIR's framework

Ginindza, Mpendulo Tozi (2012-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Organisations are beginning to take responsibility for the impacts made by their operations/activities on the environment. The sustainability of organisations can not only be measured by their economic performance, but also by their social and environmental performance. Good governance as recommended in the King III report (Institute of directors in South Africa, 2009) requires reporting to be integrated with the organisation’s social and environmental performance. Organisations inevitably use natural resources and generate waste. Agenda 21 states that organisations should use natural resources efficiently (UNCED, 1992). The challenge according to UNDP (1998:1) is not to stop growth, but to “change the patterns of consumption and production, using new technologies to achieve greater efficiency and reduce waste and pollution”. Waste management is not only an internal concern for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), but also for the national and international institutions. In South Africa, waste management previously only involved the disposal of waste aspects of it; leaving out important components of waste management such as its treatment and the principles of waste reduction, reuse and recycling. South Africa has in the past ten years changed and has instead developed sustainability plans. For example, The Polokwane Declaration on waste management outlines what the government, civil society and the business community will do to ensure the reduction of waste generation and disposal (South Africa, 2001). The National Environmental Management: Waste Act (Act 59 of 2008) states that waste must be reduced, reused, recycled and treated before it is disposed. To this effect, South African municipalities are trying to identify ways to ensure that residents and industry adhere to these requirements. The CSIR is a scientific and technological research, development and implementation organisation which has a long-standing commitment to environmental protection. It has been accredited for adherence with ISO14001 Environmental Management System requirements for over ten years. Development of the Zero-Waste to Landfill Framework builds on the strengths of the organisation’s Environmental Management System and enhances sustainable practices throughout the organisation; and also responds to national imperatives such as the Polokwane Declaration. Typical waste streams generated at the CSIR sites include general business waste (paper, cans, plastics, glass etc), general industrial waste (oils, greases, metals, plastics etc), and hazardous waste (chemical, laboratory, bio hazardous). The Zero-Waste to Landfill Framework assists, and gives guidance to the organisation in order to achieve Zero-Waste to Landfill. It informs the CSIR in planning for initiatives and systems that need to be in place in order to achieve the Zero-Waste to Landfill goal. The framework is developed to provide sustainable solutions for waste management which result in economic, social and environmental benefits for an organisation such as the CSIR. This research was done to look into the factors that ensure that an effective waste minimisation process and programme is implemented at the CSIR, and the recommendations are that; a) The CSIR participates in sustainability reporting. b) The CSIR implements green procurement. c) The CSIR explores different innovative methods, technologies and materials that can be used to minimise waste. d) The CSIR runs intensive awareness raising campaigns.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Dit blyk dat sekere Suid-Afrikaanse organisasies uiteindelik besig is om verantwoordelikheid te neem ten opsigte van die impak wat hul produksieprosesse op die omgewing het. Die volhoubaarheid van organisasies word nie net deur ekonomies uitsette gemeet nie, maar sluit ook die monitoring van organisatories-ekonomiese in. Effektiewe bestuur soos aanbeveel deur die King III verslag (Institute of directors in South Africa, 2009) vereis dat organisatoriese rapportering sosiale en omgewingsuitsette insluit. Dit is onafwendbaar dat organisasies natuurlike bronne sal gebruik en afval daardeur genereer. Agenda 21 (UNCED, 1992) vereis egter dat organisasies natuurlike hulpbronne op ‘n effektiewe en verantwoordelike manier sal gebruik. Volgens die UNDP (1998:1) is die uitdaging aan organisasies nie om vooruitgang te stuit nie, maar “to change the patterns of consumption and production, using new technologies to achieve greater efficiency and reduce waste and pollution”. Effektiewe afvalbestuur is nie net van toepassing op die “Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) nie, maar geld ook vir ander nasionale organisasies. In die verlede was afvalbestuurmetodes in Suid-Afrika hoofsaaklik gemik op die wegdoening van afval, terwyl metodes soos hergebruik, afvalvermindering en herwinning nie eers oorweeg is nie. Suid-Afrika het gedurende die afgelope tien jaar vooruitgang gemaak op hierdie terrein deur planne te ontwikkel wat volhoubaarheid sal bewerkstellig, byvoorbeeld the Polokwane Verklaring insake Afvalbestuur wat bepaal watter metodes die regering, gemeenskap en besigheidsgemeenskap sal implementeer om die vermindering en wegdoening van vaste afval te verseker. Die “National Environmental Management Waste Act” van 2008 vereis dat metodes vir die vermindering, hergebruik en herwinning oorweeg moet word alvorens blote wegdoening plaasvind. Die munisipaliteite in Suid-Afrika is tans besig om maniere te identifiseer wat sal verseker dat inwoners en industrieë hierdie vereistes nakom. The CSIR is gemik op tegnologiese navorsing, ontwikkeling en implementering en het ‘n langtermyn verbintenis om die omgewing te beskerm. Dit het die afgelope tien jaar die ISO 14 001 akkreditasie bekom en behou. Die ontwikkeling van die “Zero-waste to landfill”-Beleid bou op die positiewe aspek van die Organisasie se omgewingsbestuursisteem en bevorder volhoubare praktyke regdeur die Organisasie. Die Beleid spreek ook tot nasionale imperatiewe soos die Polokwane Verklaring. Die CSIR genereer afvalstrome ten opsigte van algemene kantoorafval (papier, blikkies, plastiek, glas, ens.), industriele afval (olie, ghries, metale, plastiek, ens.), sowel as gevaarlike afvalstowwe afkomstig van laboratoriums wat chemikalieë en biologies-gevaarlike materiaal insluit. Die “Zero-waste to Landfill”-Beleid fasiliteer en gee gestalte aan die Organisasie om hierdie doelwitte in die praktyk te bereik deur die ontwikkeling van inisiatiewe en sisteme. Die Beleid is ontwikkel met die doel om volhoubare oplossings te verskaf aan ‘n Organisasie soos die CSIR wat uiteindelik ekonomiese, sosiale en omgewingsvoordele sal inhou. Hierdie navorsing is gedoen om faktore wat die suksesvolle implementering van effektiewe afvalverminderings prosesse en programme by die CSIR beinvloed te ondersoek. Die aanbevelings sluit die volgende in: a) Die CSIR moet betrokke wees by volhoubare rapporteringsmetodes. b) Die CSIR moet aankoopmetodes implementeer wat volhoubaarheid ondersteun. c) Die CSIR moet verskeie innoverende metodes, tegnologie en materiale ondersoek wat gebruik kan word om die generering van afval te minimaliseer. d) Die CSIR moet intensiewe bewusmakingsveldtogte van stapel stuur.

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