New regulations governing the classification of toxic waste will come into effect in August and, in anticipation, the Vissershok landfill site ceased its current waste analysis service at end of June.
Under the current regulations, your waste samples are tested at Vissershok at a cost of R300 for each waste consignment, explains Dolphin Bay Sales Executive Braam Rust.
The new regulations require Vissershok to send the sample to a laboratory in Rietfontein, Gauteng, for testing, he says. This test will cost R7 300 and be valid for five years, regardless of how many waste consignments your company generates, as long as the stream generating the waste stays the same.
The new rules fall under the Waste Classification and Management Regulations, which apply to the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 2008. The changes incorporate a new, more stringent hierarchy for waste, depending on the risk it poses. The risk profile of the waste is determined by the “leachable concentrations” and “total concentrations”, and these determine the appropriate landfill. The current regulations focused on the disposal of waste at landfill sites, and the protection of water resources. The new rules aim to reduce the production of waste at source and, following this, encourage the re-use, recycling and recovery of waste.
“Vissershok alerted us to the changes, and we have been explaining them to those companies making use of our waste disposal service,” says Braam. “These new regulations affect our whole industry, so we all need to understand the implications.”
Like the existing regulations, the new rules require waste generators to classify their waste under SANS10234 within 180 days of generation. The waste must be used, recycled, recovered or disposed of within 18 months of generation.
Inspectors have increasingly been visiting treatment plants to ensure that hazardous waste is disposed of properly, and threaten hefty fines, or even jail sentences, for plant owners who do not comply.
“Dolphin Bay’s waste removal service will continue in the same way as before,” says Braam. “The only change will be that Vissershok authorities will now have to send the samples away for testing which, we expect, will take place quickly.
“We encourage all members of our industry to take responsibility for complying with the regulations,” he concludes. “This will prevent a clampdown by the inspectors, and help to protect the reputation of our industry.
“The relatively small cost of waste disposal will help to protect your business in the long term.”
Dolphin Bay helps its customers to navigate every step of the toxic-waste disposal process – which can become extremely complicated and frustrating, especially if the wrong options are selected during the registration process, says Bertus.
“We believe that the registration process will only get harder and more expensive with the passing of time; therefore, we encourage our customers and others within the industry to make contact with us to help them with the process,” says Bertus.
“As an industry, we need to ensure that we operate in an environmentally responsible way. By following the proper processes for waste disposal, we can all do our part in keeping our industry clean.”