Tag: recycling

The role of ERP in minimising waste

By Dominic Naidoo for IOL

An opinion piece, penned by Marcelo Piva, sustainability director at Tetra Pak, popped into my inbox.

Piva implored that “a viable world for us to live in today, and one that will sustain our children tomorrow, is a universal responsibility”.

Piva is correct. Sustainability is no longer a buzzword people throw around to be relevant, it is now a need, a must.

Government has recognised that Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is the preferred vehicle to reduce waste generation and increase diversion from landfills.

Experts believe that EPR will play a central role in South Africa’s waste management strategy in order to minimise the country’s growing waste volumes. Allied to this is the circular economy, which is an essential part of sustainability today.

Piva said that “the commitment to recycling and sustainability cannot rest only at the manufacturing stage.”

Litter, waste separation at source, and collection, all factors influencing the shift towards a more sustainable Earth, bring a collective responsibility to society, across the value chain from material suppliers, manufacturers, packaging companies, and brand owners, right down to consumers. It is everyone’s responsibility.

The waste generated in the world has been detrimental to our environment for quite some time now. Humans are generating too much litter and cannot deal with it sustainably.

Piva said he gave the example of Tetra Pak and the role it is playing in the manufacturing of sustainable packaging and investing in reliable recycling partners. Within a year and a half, the company invested over R6.64 million into the local waste management sector to help the local value chain secure proper solutions and stronger capabilities for carton package recycling.

Tetra Pak manufactures nearly every milk and juice carton we see in our grocery stores, which amounts to millions of cartons being discarded daily. But private companies like Tetra Pak cannot save the planet alone.

Food is a critical but often overlooked element of the climate issue. The global food system accounts for 26% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while 8% of total emissions are caused by food waste.

The combination of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has exposed the weaknesses of the world’s food system, issues affecting global food supply and security, and the expected growth of the worldwide population of 9.1 billion by 2050 adds exponentially to the interconnected global challenges of climate change and sustainability.

Food packaging plays a key role in keeping food safe, nutritious, tasty, and available for people everywhere – and thereby feeding the world – but it must do so sustainably, so that food availability does not come at the cost of the planet. Sustainable packaging is vital for a sustainable future for all.

Pavi believes that the key to this is maximising the use of renewable materials and sourcing them responsibly in a way that protects biodiversity and minimises the carbon impact of packaging manufacturing operations by, for instance, accelerating the change to renewable energy and by stepping up investment to develop low carbon processing and packaging solutions.

South Africa experienced a decline in collection and recycling rates in 2020, compared to pre-Covid-19 rates. Factors that adversely affected the recycling sector include ongoing load shedding, water shortages, and high labour costs, which forced many operations to scale down, or even close their doors permanently.

Numerous recyclers were unable to operate at full capacity for several months during the past two years due to lock down regulations.

Yet recycling as a concept and practice should be actively encouraged. There is no question that barriers exist and that this is a complex road to navigate across the recycling stakeholder base.

Collaboration across the value chain is of high importance in the industry as well as private-public sectors to join efforts in developing recycling solutions and implementing policies that support collection and recycling.

The devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal in April and late May point to a world in trouble where the reality of climate change can no longer be ignored. Climate change has become a climate crisis, and now, more than ever, it needs a broad-based collaborative mitigation approach to halt further destruction.

It is no longer enough to talk about what should be done to address the climate crisis. It is time to take firm action across all sectors of society — consumers, organisations, businesses and government institutions and businesses — for collaboration and commitment to building a framework for supporting a stable future and shaping it for sustainability.

Invest in our planet by committing to a forward-looking and ongoing assurance to place an even greater focus on sustainability and recycling. We have no other option.

By Hanno Labuschagne for MyBroadband

Getting rid of broken or obsolete computer components is not as simple as throwing them in the trash.

In South Africa, the disposal of old electronic equipment like hard drives and batteries is governed by various regulations.

The National Environmental Waste Act of 2008 requires the appropriate disposal of hazardous waste such as batteries that contain chemicals which pose a danger to the environment.

Additionally, the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) necessitates the need for enterprises to completely delete any personal data from storage drives to protect employees and clients.

Both businesses and individuals therefore have an obligation to get rid of their old electronic equipment in a responsible manner to ensure the necessary compliance.

To find out more about the lawful destruction and recycling of e-waste, MyBroadband spoke to Desco Electronic Recyclers, E-waste SA, and Computer Scrap Recycling.

Types of goods
The types of electronic products that can be recycled, refurbished, or destroyed may vary from company to company.

Giulio Airaga from Desco Electronic Recyclers said that eligible devices are not limited to the IT industry.

“Anything electronic, with a plug or battery, or anything that has metal content. So the industries can vary, from the financial sector, to legal, to medical, to industrial. We are not limited to IT equipment. It is any kind of device or machine that is powered by electricity,” Airaga said.

Computer Scrap Recycling also listed a myriad of electrical and electronic goods that typically qualify.

These include monitors, laptops, desktop PCs, printers, photocopiers, servers, scanners, PVC cables, motherboards, UPSs, keyboards, and cameras.

Other general household electric appliances include stoves, fridges, washing machines, air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, kettles, irons, lawnmowers, drills, grinders, and transformers.

The process
Customers typically have the option of either taking their old goods to a waste depot, or having them picked up from their home or office, said the companies.

Airaga explained that upon delivery to the depot, the materials are weighed before being off-loaded and separated according to predefined waste streams.

During separation, the materials are unpacked and sorted into waste streams for further processing and dismantling.

This is when items are dismantled into “E-Waste fractions” – PC boards, plastics, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, glass, and PVC cabling.

PC boards are shredded before being sent to refineries for smelting, while the other fractions are provided to specialist downstream vendors for recycling and recovery of secondary resource materials.

E-waste SA’s approach involves the processing of the received equipment, where devices are tested and earmarked for refurbishment, dismantling, and destruction.

From this, a report is generated which will show the status of each device, such as working, faulty, or scrap.

Any qualified e-waste recycler must also provide the customer with a recycling certificate upon completion of the process.

Data destruction
It is essential that any private information contained on storage devices be dealt with appropriately when disposing of e-waste.

Clients must be furnished with another certificate confirming that the correct procedures have been followed to ensure that no data can be salvaged or parts put back into the market for further use.

Desco securely destroys hard drives, magnetic tapes, tablets, cellphones, GPS units, and other devices that may contain sensitive data.

For the destruction of hard drives, the company charges R20 per unit excluding VAT, while the secure destruction of other e-waste is priced at R10 per kg.

Additionally, Computer Scrap Recycling said it removes any logo or indications of previous owners from all devices.

“Tags, company names, and stickers are all removed from the equipment when it arrives at our premises and a code is allocated to the equipment for company records,” the company said.

“All non-working devices are crushed and we make sure that no data or information is leaked during the destruction or refurbishment process.”

For devices that are intended for refurbishment rather than destruction, Computer Scrap Recycling erases all data and wipes drives through low level format and zero format.

Prices and compensation
When it comes to the pricing involved with e-waste recycling, customers may find a range of options available.

To establish the exact compensation or charges for recycling, the goods will need to be assessed by the chosen recycler.

Airaga said that Desco compensates clients for the delivery of e-waste to its door, while it charges for collection if the total weight of the equipment is less than 1,000kg. There can be exceptions to this, however.

“Depending on the type of electronics, if it is less than 1,000kg but the value of the e-waste is higher, we can waive the collection fee,” Airaga said.

Generally, the price list is broad, but at Desco customers can expect household electronic goods delivered to Desco to get R1 in compensation per kg. IT equipment can range from R1 to R8 per kg.

Additionally, components such as RAM, CPUs, or PC Boards can fetch prices from R30 to R2,000 per kg at Desco.

E-Waste SA said it creates a purchase order based on the device report as described in its recycling process above, with a calculated value for the devices which were recovered or assessed.

This is then sent to the customer, who must create an invoice from this purchase order.

Legislative compliance
E-waste recyclers must also comply with the necessary legal requirements under environmental and data laws.

Computer Scrap Recycling and E-waste SA are members of the e-Waste Association of South Africa (Ewasa), a body which was established to develop an e-waste management system back in 2008.

Desco partners with the Southern African E-waste Alliance (SAEWA) and the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), both of which promote and support the responsible management of e-waste.

Airaga explained that the consequences of irresponsible destruction or recycling could be devastating for the environment and humans.

“If these fractions get dumped, their chemicals leach into the ground. They affect the soil and the groundwater underneath it. You can’t plant on this soil, and if you drink the water that comes from the water table where e-waste was dumped you can get poisoned,” Airaga said.

He added that the approach to batteries in particular was important.

“All are hazardous, but lead acid batteries have a recovery value because of the lead, so we can buy them. But lithium-ion (from cellphones or laptops) doesn’t have a recycling solution, therefore, it either goes to a hazardous landfill or gets incinerated.”

By Michael Holder for BusinessGreen

Upcyclers turn old desks, chairs, and carpets into new office furniture, saving money and delivering environmental benefits.

Making sure products and materials can be used again – rather than going to waste – is good for for both businesses and the environment. That is the premise that underpins the concept of the “circular economy”, an emerging sector the government estimates could deliver £23-billionn a year of benefits to UK businesses if resources were used more efficiently.

For example, one third of our office furniture – 300 tonnes per day – ends up in landfill.

Firms such as Rype Office create sustainable furniture from items that would otherwise get thrown away and is employing ‘upcyclers’ across its growing business to help turn the circular economy vision into a reality.

In many ways paper is the perfect example of the circular economy; it is both an end product and the main raw material when recycled into the next generation of products.

In order for the paper sector to remain profitable – especially important given the recent surge in raw material prices – recycling must be made as operationally efficient as possible and able to create innovative new products of higher value than before.

One key challenge to this has been determining the overall efficiency of the recycling process from start to finish. Current tools can determine, say how efficient a recycling plant is processing raw material at any one given time, but achieving a global picture of the entire process has been difficult to capture. The EU REFFIBRE project, which hosted its final conference in September 2016, has developed new tools to achieve exactly this.

Achieving recycling efficiencies will have significant – and positive – business implications for the paper sector. The policy and consumer-driven shift towards a bio-based economy (and away from a fossil fuel-based one) has had the knock-on effect of increasing demand for tree-based raw materials from sectors like energy, which has in turn driven up prices.

The project’s concept is that by gathering information on the potential impact of new processes, raw material input and product innovations – and combining this information with key processing data – paper makers will be equipped to make the most informed decisions on how to run their operations as efficiently as possible.

REFFIBRE began by identifying and then testing various production and process modelling tools. As raw material selection and stock preparation can influence pulp properties, tools for predicting this have been developed. This means that key parameters, such as the Mean Fibre Age (number of times a fibre has been used before entering a paper mill) and the Mean Number of Uses (number of times a fibre will be used after leaving the paper mill), can now be calculated.

REFFIBRE partners have also worked on tools to help paper makers take into full consideration issues such as the impact on energy use outside the paper mill, and what happens if reduced quality recycling material is fed into the process. These tools were then tested under real processing conditions, and the results of each case study combined into a practical guide targeted at industry decision makers. In addition, it is expected that the results will be used to further develop industry standards.

Achieving recycling efficiencies is one way that the pulp and paper industry can mitigate raw material price increases, and at the same time reduce its environmental impact. There is a significant business opportunity here; Europe paper fibre is recycled an astounding 3.5 times a year; world-wide the average is 2.4 times. The recycling rate in Europe reached 71.7 % in 2012. All this strongly suggests that the infrastructure for paper recycling is already in place. And now, thanks in part to the REFFIBRE project, so is the technology.

Source: www.phys.org

The new Renegade 3D pen was born with the aim of being the perfect solid tool to eliminate overpriced 3D printing filaments and to save the environment by directly recycling and reusing household plastic waste for 3D printing.

The sustainable technology specializes in one thing, and one thing only — it prints models by recycling plastic bottles, files, and bags. It does this providing a great 3D printing experience with no compromises.


The pen uses a robust and powerful extruder that includes a screw-feeder mechanism and heating system. These combine to transport, destruct, and melt the plastic tape produced by the ‘chupacut’ plastic bottle shredder or even standard filaments.

The rotating screw forces the heated plastic to move forward evenly and extrudes it from the nozzle. The molten plastic then cools down rapidly into a solid and stable spatial structure. The tool uses a powerful drive motor and gearbox, eliminating well-known issues in plastic material feeding that most 3D pens currently face.

The temperature is adjustable from 50°C to 320°C using a single controller and the speed is also controlled by a single button.

The sustainable instrument can use 5 to 7 mm strips cut from PET plastic bottles, plastic bags, or plastic files with a thickness of 0.14 to 0.35mm. It can also use standard PLA, ABS, nylon, TPE, HIPS, wood and other types of filament with a diameter of 1.75 mm. It is available in two finish options: matte black and matte white plus features a removable attachment with a colourful spool for plastic tapes.

Chupacut is a manual plastic bottle shredder which produces the perfect plastic strips to use with the 3d printing pen. Its spherical shape allows it to create 3, 6, 9, or 12mm plastic strips without ever having to change the setup.

It has curved slots that significantly reduce friction force and provide a very efficient rotation of the bottle, keeping it at an acute angle with the blade as it’s being cut. This also prolongs the lifespan of the blade, and results in a faster, more stable cutting process.

The design ensures that the blade is completely enclosed within the instrument. After installation, the blade can only be removed by using another similar-sized blade for safety purposes. Chupacut’s telescopic holder keeps large bottles stable – in any position. A stable bottle means a more reliable cutting process that yields the smoothest plastic strips.

Renegade is reaching out for funding via its Kickstarter campaign.

Click on the following link to buy recycled products to make the earth a better place – https://www.customearthpromos.com.


His name is Peter May, and the collars of his dapper blue shirt have been ironed flat.

“I have the same name as an English cricketer,” he says, pulling a trolley that bulges with rubbish bags.

But he is not a cricketer, and for him the waste inside the bags is not garbage. It is his livelihood: bundles of white paper, cardboard, newspaper and light steel sifted from bins and landfill sites across Cape Town.

May is one of the country’s 60 000 to 90 000 waste pickers who, in a recent surprise finding, save our municipalities up to R750-million a year.

They divert recyclables away from the landfills at no, or little cost. Now their fate hangs in the balance as the waste economy sets off on a new path.

According to a report by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the waste and recycling sector “is on the brink of change” thanks to mandatory extended producer responsibility, which means producers will be responsible for the waste they generate. This often takes the form of a reuse, buy-back or recycling programme.

The CSIR has done research to see if waste pickers can be incorporated into the formal economy, and Professor Linda Godfrey, who led the study, said: “The most surprising finding for me was when we started to attach financial values to the savings by municipalities as a result of informal waste pickers.”

With paper and packaging, for example, a staggering 80-90% of waste is recovered by the pickers, and it is estimated that each picker diverts up to 24 tons of packaging waste a year. Cardboard gets them about 80c/kg, plastic R2, newspaper 40c and light steel 70c.

After 2009, when the South African Waste Pickers’ Association was formed, many formed co-operatives, a model of integration favoured by the Department of Environmental Affairs.

Godfrey, however, said 92% of co-operatives had failed and their members had returned to picking on landfills.

“What must be done in the short term is to move pickers off landfill sites, where they reclaim recyclables, often with considerable health risks.”

This could be done only by diverting recyclables “through separation at source and kerbside collection programmes”.

For many, however, kerbside collection comes at a price, with neighbourhood watches demonising waste pickers and encouraging residents to keep bins behind high walls until the trucks arrive.

Much of the recycling happens out of view, however, with many waste pickers saying they walk up to 40km to make sure they drop goods off at the right places.

“About 12 or 13 guys a day come here,” says Zainab Abrahams, manager of Town Scrap Metals in Lansdowne, Cape Town. “Each brings in around 7kg. They come with cardboard, white paper, and newspaper. I don’t take plastic though, it is too messy.”

Zainab Abrahams at her scrap-metal yard in Cape Town. About 12 waste pickers arrive on foot everyday with their hauls Image: Ruvan Boshoff

Department of Environmental Affairs spokesman Albi Modise said that “extended producer responsibility would be in place for e-waste, lighting and the paper and packaging waste streams in 2017/18”.

Integration of waste pickers into the formal system “will depend on the readiness of each municipality” and what is “suitable for their circumstances”.

He added: “We do want to ensure the protection of waste pickers as vulnerable workers.”

I left my permanent job and now I earn more

“I look in a bin and I can tell you – this one needs one-and-a-half minutes, this one needs five minutes.” By 8am, Peter May’s trolley is weighed down.

He likes working on his own. “I had a permanent job but I left,” says May, 42. “I stopped working because people were lazy and the manager did nothing about it. I can’t do the work of five or six people.”

He starts at 5am and takes a break after three hours. “I earn more now than I did working for someone else because I work so hard,” he says.

“Even if it is raining or the wind is blowing, I am up at 4am. I must do this every single day to reach my R120 to support my family,” says Ryan Morgan, 34. “I work from 5am to 11am and take a break. Then I work again from 1pm to 6pm.” He has a wife and three children, who are four, eight and 12.

Ronelle Filies, 37, who sleeps outside Claremont police station, always puts on her apron before going through the bins. She hits the streets Monday to Friday at 5.15am, based on where Cape Town’s garbage trucks will be picking up refuse. At her side is Raymond Jacobs, 43.

“I want to change my life,” he says. “I have seen too many people dying from the cold winter.”

Source: www.timeslive.co.za
Image credit: www.timeslive.co.za

Office Depot has announced the launch of its Binder Recycling Programme, encouraging shoppers to help preserve the environment by recycling old binders.

Shoppers can bring any old empty binder to an Office Depot or OfficeMax retail location and receive a $2 instant discount off a same-day binder purchase.

The programme is in partnership with TerraCycle, a company whose primary objective is to recycle waste that is typically considered non-recyclable. Consumers find recycling to be the most easily understood component of sustainability, and Office Depot is partnering with TerraCycle to help consumers participate in the movement for a more sustainable planet.

“We’re excited to partner with TerraCycle this back-to-school season as parents, teachers and students prepare for the school year with new supplies,” says Ron Lalla, executive vice-president of merchandising for Office Depot.

“The programme provides a way to recycle binders in an environmentally conscious way while also offering a discount to shoppers who are looking for new ones.”

Customers can recycle as many binders as they wish and can receive instant discounts for up to six binders per day. The offer is only valid in-store at Office Depot and OfficeMax retail locations.

Source: www.businesswire.com

It may not look like it, but a basket of worn-out wax crayons can be an incredible find. There are so many things you can make with these colourful little wax cylinders, apart from of course carefully colouring in those detailed drawings in a grown-up colouring book.


Repurpose crayons? Well – you could for example:

  • Drop a candle wick in an old mason jar, melt down a handful of crayons, mix in a few drops of essential oil, and create a beautiful, fragrant candle.
  • Melt the old ends of matching colours together by cooling the wax in the bottom of a muffin tin to make it round.
  • Melt the wax and layer it to make rainbow crayons, cooling the wax in anything from ice cube trays to cookie mould tins to make unique shapes. Your imagination is your palette. Colour your world.

Repurpose with a purpose: crafting a scarf

Repurpose an old scarf into a beautiful tapestry of colours using – you guessed it – crayons. It’s a fun, fashion-forward DIY idea project you can do at home.

This process is pretty much a take on batik fabric dying. By melting the wax and applying it to fabric, then removing the wax, we can create gorgeous patterns and breathe new life into old garments.


You can break your crayons up and sort by like colours in a muffin tin. Heat some water over the stove and float the muffin tin in it until the wax melts. Then, paint the melted wax onto your garment using disposable paint brushes or Q-tips. Since the wax tends to harden when taken away from the hot water, I just did my painting in the kitchen near the stove. However, if you have a crockpot, you can fill it about halfway with water and float your crayon wax muffin tin in that, instead, to keep the wax melted while you work.

You can grate your crayons, sorting by like colours, and artfully arrange the granules on your garment. Once everything looks good, you can melt the crayon over the fabric by layering it between sheets of aluminium foil and either ironing it or using a blow dryer set on high heat.

If your pattern is rather “free”, like ours was, you can quickly do a light melt of the wax with a blow dryer or iron, then roll the scarf up tightly between sheets of aluminium foil and set the whole kit-and-caboodle in the oven on warm (about 170 degrees) for five minutes until the wax is really melted.

If you don’t have the time to grate each crayon down to a melt-able size, you can do what I did and use the “shred” disk on your food processor, being sure to remove the paper wrappings on the crayons before you drop them in. The waxy leftovers come off the equipment after a good soak in some hot water, though it does dull down the blades just a touch.

The next two steps are entirely up to you. Unless you’re incredibly careful with your scarf, the cooling wax will break here and there, leaving little spider veins of the scarf’s original colour in your final product. You can choose at this point to increase that crackle effect by scrunching up your scarf once the wax is dried, or just leaving it as is.

Dye the rest

If you want to dye the entire scarf instead of just adding colour to it with your crayon work, you can finish the rest by dying the whole piece with fabric dye. Just follow the instructions that come with the dye, particularly paying attention to the fact that you only need to use hot water, not boiling water, for the dye process. Hot water shouldn’t affect the crayon wax while boiling water, might cause the wax to melt.

Remove the wax

Once the wax has cooled, it’s time to remove the dried-on wax to reveal the colour underneath. To do this, grab a stack of newspapers or old paper bags, layering one underneath your garment to soak up any melting wax, and placing another piece on top. Slowly run an iron over the paper until the wax melts through, making sure any steam function is turned off.

Do this repeatedly until no more wax melts through the paper. For me, this took about nine sheets of paper per section, though I’ve done a couple garments that took up to 15, depending on how thick the wax is.

Once the fabric feels soft and wax-free, run it through the wash one time on its own just to make sure everything is set and you’re done! Wear your scarf proudly, knowing that you took something old (crayons) and something not-quite-your-taste and turned them into something wearable and lasting. And if you had a chance to do this fun project with a loved one, you not only have a lovely new scarf and the memories of time together, but a precious new keepsake, as well.

By http://www.earth911.com/


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