The two-day conference focused on cutting-edge technological innovations and solutions related to the solid waste in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM).
Manager of Solid Waste in BCMM, Nomphelo Daniel and the owner of the VIP Park Place guesthouse Lizelle Maurice were the Programme Directors for the first day with Lizelle being replaced by the H.O.D of Municipal Services, Howard Sikweza on the second day.
The conference brought together national experts to present on issues related to policy, new technologies, regulatory updates and what the future holds for the industry and the long journey towards sustainable waste management solutions with the urgent need to adopt a holistic view of waste management.
Portfolio Head of Solid Waste, Councillor Helen Neale-May said the purpose of the conference was to bring partners together in assisting [them] on the journey of making sure that they have a beautiful green and clean city – a city that will lure investors.
Executive Mayor, Councillor Xola Pakati, in his keynote address, acknowledged the partnership with the Border Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB) and Call-2-Action campaign as the significant drivers of the city’s waste management.
“If we’re working collectively with our stakeholders we’ll be using these two days as a way of showcasing the success of our Call-2-Action campaign, the partnership between business and municipality with the intent of keeping our city clean for a long time,” said Cllr. Pakati
After noting the various challenges that the municipality is facing in the arenas of waste management, they have developed a rapid service delivery improvement plan that will ensure that the satisfactory state of cleanliness in the city is adequately addressed.
Just before tea time, Exec. Mayor Cllr Pakati and Cllr. Helen Naele-May cut the ribbon to officially open for exhibitions.
Exhibitors were commended on their levels of innovation.
Prospective exhibitors included Clariter, DNF Waste & Environmental Services, KGI Holdings, BCM Solid Waste, Supreme Mouldings and Lime Infusion.
Among the exhibitors was Dave Lello of eKasi energy with his Fabstove that burns biomass pellet fuel cleanly and efficiently with no smoke or smoky odours, offering the convenience of a modern electricity stove at a lower price.
Lello said they are looking to build a factory here in East London to make pellets.
“We’ll take the waste from alien trees to make the pellets, our pellets are made from sawdust,” said Dave
Supreme Mouldings also presented their model of extrusion, utilising Polystyrene as an eco-friendly wood substitute to produces photo frames.
The first day of the conference was divided into 3 panels with 10 presentations from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Roundhill Landfill Site, GreenCape, PET Recycling Company (Petco), Rose Foundation, Clariter and Royal Haskoning DHV.
DNF Waste & Environmental Services, JG Africa, Call-2-Action, WiTech Africa and BCM concluded the presentations on the second day followed by 4 commissions on legislative framework, Enterprise Development, Alternative Treatment Works technologies and Waste Minimisation.
The current status of Solid Waste in BCM was presented by Nomphelo Daniel, who said they have an upcoming programme within their operations unit of Waste Mapping for illegal dump sites in different areas. The mapping will prevent and clear illegal dumps within the city.
Daniel said BCM solid waste department has achieved so much, they have an operations unit which is responsible for area cleaning with 11 areas in the coastal region and 6 areas in the midland.
They also have a ‘Adopt a spot’ programme where communities work together with the municipality to clean and make vegetable gardens out of the adopted spots.
Ceba Mtoba, a local environmentalist commended BCM for a useful engagement.
“I hope that the conference will result into short-term and long-term interventions to deal with waste minimisation and job creation in Buffalo City,” said Mtoba
Waste Management Specialist from SALGA, Mr Balanganani Nengovhela said the conference went well, he didn’t point anywhere that there were challenges and the presentations were interesting.
City Manager, Andile Sihlala said “the Indaba was a resounding success pulling participants from all spheres of government, business, waste management industry and the local community”
He thanked the DEA, Council of Churches, BKCOB and all waste practitioners for their viable input.