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  Solid Waste

As towns and cities have grown waste management has evolved into a high profile, capital intensive and very expensive operation. Its priority has been further increased during recent years as a result of legislative changes and a growing environmental awareness of the need to lower the risk of unwanted environmental pollution. Waste has been identified as the primary cause of environmental pollution in South Africa. Even general or domestic waste contains materials such as paint, pesticides and other hazardous household products and will biodegrade to give a liquid (leachate) that is highly polluting. .

Attention is often focused on the large masses of waste concentrated at disposal sites, although all aspects of waste management can impact adversely on the environment. The only way to minimize these impacts is to ensure that every aspect of an operation is conducted as efficiently as possible; refuse recovery, re-use, storage, collection, transport and disposal must be carried out using appropriate technologies. For unavoidable waste that cannot be recovered, recycled or re-used, this includes the optimal routing of the minimum number of vehicles, followed by waste disposal using proven sanitary landfill site management techniques and methods.

Throughout Africa waste related legislation exists in various forms and in many areas is still incomplete. A major concern is to ensure that international companies operating in Africa are not only conforming to local legislation but are also in compliance with the legal responsibilities that have been placed on the Parent Company. Thus, we aim to ensure that companies are protected against retrospective legislation that would otherwise force expensive corrective measures, where environmental damage has already occurred, or where the potential exists.

Democritus has the capacity and experience needed for investigating means by which waste generated can be eliminated, reduced, recycled, treated or correctly disposed of. As it is virtually impossible to eliminate all wastes, waste minimization is a key objective.

Particular expertise within the Democritus team exists for:

Scoping of waste disposal sites
Landfill siting and design
Surface and groundwater investigation
Site monitoring
Leachate management
Waste minimisation and avoidance
Waste Classification

Waste treatment and disposal technologies for :

 
general and hazardous waste
mining waste
power generation waste
industrial waste
agricultural and food waste
infectious waste
Waste policy development.
Pollution risk assessment.
Clean up and remediation of contaminated land