Garden Route Regional Waste Management Facility

Public Private Partnership with Eden Waste Management Pty Ltd

The Garden Route District Municipality, through a public-private partnership (PPP) with Eden Waste Management Pty Ltd, on 11 February 2020, celebrated the launch and sod-turning of the region’s first Garden Route Regional Waste Management Facility. This is the very first PPP of its kind in South Africa and is a leading innovation in creating environmental and social benefits for communities.

Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality, Cllr Memory Booysen, during his address, said: “I am as old politically as this initiative.” He highlighted: “Thank you to Bitou Municipality who was one of the first municipalities to budget for this initiative, with Knysna who followed. Mayor Booysen also extended a word of gratitude to Mossel Bay Municipality by saying: “Whenever we submit plans, Mossel Bay does not sit on decisions – thank you Mossel Bay Municipality. He continued: “To our predecessors, you continued to support this initiative – thank you for not giving up on this project – if you can’t think it or dream it, you can’t do it”.

Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality, Cllr Memory Booysen, during his address made it clear that when Council works together, communities will thrive.

This facility will provide a regional waste management service to accommodate approximately 8 500 tons of domestic waste generated per month in the municipal areas of Bitou, Knysna, George and Mossel Bay. However, it is also designed to accommodate domestic waste from Hessequa and Oudtshoorn Municipalities in the future, as Hessequa Municipality has already indicated their interest to dispose of domestic waste from the towns of Gouritsmond and Albertinia, once site becomes operational.

The Western Cape MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Minister Anton Bredell, at the event, commended the District Municipal team for their hard work and commitment to get this project off the ground. “This is the first in South Africa and serves as key project for other municipalities too.”

To the Mayors and Municipal Managers in the Garden Route, MEC Bredell said: “You need to work hand-in-hand to make this a flagship in the Western Cape, but also in South-Africa. He congratulated the Bitou, Knysna, George and Mossel Bay municipalities for their vision in supporting this initiative.

MEC Anton Bredell urged all municipalities to work hand-in-hand with one another to uphold the reputation of the Garden Route and this flagship PPP.

Mr Jason McNeil, Chief Executive Officer of Eden Waste Management, who forms part of the public-private partnership, presented how the operations of the Regional Waste Management Facility will work and said: “This project will develop infrastructure and create jobs in the region”.

“I am excited to be part of the 1st project of its kind and look forward to its implementation that will create a safe haven for waste management in the Garden Route district”. He concluded: “The facility will set a tone of how waste management must be done,” said McNeil.

The facility will have a lifespan of approximately thirty (30) years. The site will include a domestic waste cell (Class B landfill) and a separate hazardous waste cell (Class A), that will accommodate hazardous waste with low and medium hazard ratings. The services of a roaming chipper and crusher will also be made available to Mossel Bay, George and Knysna municipalities on a rotational basis in order to manage their green waste, construction and demolition waste, respectively.

Further to this, bulk waste transport services will be available to George Municipality to transport domestic waste from Uniondale and George Waste Transfer Stations to the regional facility. Other infrastructure includes roads, stormwater pipelines, a leachate storage dam, a contaminated stormwater dam, offices, a laboratory, a weighbridge, fencing and security infrastructure.  The footprint of the waste management site will cover an approximate area of 115 hectares and the landfill waste cells itself will reach a maximum height of twelve (12) metres.  Three individual domestic waste cells, and one hazardous waste cell, will be excavated to six (6) meters below ground level and filled sequentially.

“In 2007, we decided to commission our own waste management facility – having made use of the Petro SA landfill to accommodate our waste, due to lack of airspace in Mossel Bay, Knysna, George and Bitou municipalities. And so, today, we celebrate this incredible milestone – a facility that is aligned to long term environmental sustainability goals and the latest in landfill legislation,” Mayor Booysen continues.  “However, given the need to meet changing legislative requirements in landfill design and compliance, the cost of municipal waste collection has been increased. We trust however, that our residents will understand the importance of a quality landfill site in managing the environmental impact of waste and that the long-term goals of sustainability and job creation are as close to their hearts as ours.”

Mr Morton Hubbe, Manager: Waste Management, was thanked by Mayor Booysen, MEC Bredell and other stakeholders for his persistence and his role in making the regional landfill facility a reality.

All relevant feasibility studies have been concluded and approved in order to ensure compliance with South African Waste Legislation. To this end, the following has been undertaken:

  • 2008: An Environmental Impact Assessment started and was finalised in February;
  • 2013: the municipality has been issued an Environmental Authorisation from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning;
  • July 2014: A Section 78 investigation, in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, No. 32 of 2000, was done, where it was finalised that an external mechanism or the use of an external service provider would be a more affordable option for the district municipality;
  • 2014: The Public Private Partnership process started;
  • A Section 120, Municipal Finance Management Act, No. 56 of 2003, process was followed, and the project was registered with the Department of National Treasury as a PPP. The PPP process included several prescribed reporting and commenting stages with National and Provincial Treasury who were part of the process throughout;
  • GRDM received all four views and recommendation reports from both National and Provincial Treasury (TVR I, TVR II A, TVR II B and TVR III);
  • November 2015: Our Waste Management Licence was issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs (now the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries); and
  • 13 December 2019: Council approved the appointment of the Private Partner and also approved the proposed PPP Agreement where Eden Waste Management (RF) Pty Ltd was approved as the Private Partner to build and operate the regional waste management facility over a period of 10 years from start of operation of the facility.

In addition to all legal requirements, GRDM also conducted an organic waste characterisation study in the district in order to determine the quantities and types of organic waste generated, to identify and determine the feasibility of possible alternative technologies. Through a district’s pilot waste minimisation project, it was found that households were very good at composting. Approximately 30% of our waste going to landfills consists of organic waste and can potentially be diverted by means of composting. As a result, GRDM is currently in the process of implementing alternative technology at their facility to accommodate certain organic waste streams.

In conclusion, GRDM Executive Mayor said: “A compliant facility that offers a safe, ethical and environmentally sustainable solution to the region – utilising the latest design and technology – is what we are aiming towards and we believe that, through our PPP, we are in a great position to meet this goal as well as ensuring that we are creating jobs.  Through this development, we aim to drive forth a new era that will environmentally and socially benefit our communities of the Garden Route district”.

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