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Insight into Renewable Energy Futures


Djemaah Allahar - of WoeLab

“In the beginning, the idea was not to recycle, but to create something great out of local material, a high-low tech thing. We know Africa is a continent where all the e-waste of Europe and so-on is thrown. Why not create a 3D printer with the recycled materials we have?"

Marvelous Nengovhela - Waste management specialist at the South African Local Government Association

“We need a paradigm shift, to move away from disposal towards the avoidance of waste."

Nick Mannie - Aurecon Client Manager for Government RSA.

“The global technology revolution is transforming how we think about waste management. The influx of people to the extended urban areas of poverty surrounding African cities, and the consumption of products are only some of the things that are fuelling waste generation across the continent.

The Internet of Things (IoT) can help us provide integrated, timeous and sustainable solutions. We’re moving towards creating a circular economy for waste management with the help of technology, which includes a cradle-to-cradle approach as well as relooking at how we can reuse and recycle products, components and materials to reduce the use of natural resources."

Jim Puckett - Executive Director of Basel Action Network, an organisation aiming to tackle global toxic waste.

“The norm is that globally, e-waste is being swept from north to south, to areas lacking in the proper infrastructure and technologies to deal with it. It gets a second use in the developing country perhaps, but then still ends up in informal wayside dumps."

Simon Mbata - Representative of the South African Waste Pickers Association (SAWPA)

“Waste pickers are not fighting for the right to be on landfill sites, they are fighting to be part of the waste management system."

Frans Dekker - Functional Head of Landfill Management Operations for the City of Tshwane

“Waste pickers contribute toward waste reduction on the site and can be extra eyes, if trained, to look out for illegal dumping activities and criminal behaviour."

"They assist the public with offloading waste and can help out during strikes as they did recently. However, having waste pickers on a landfill site means more people for the site operator to manage and slower turnaround time on waste processing. The personal safety of the waste pickers themselves is also an ongoing risk. Many sites feel that their public image may be tarnished by the presence of waste pickers."

Y. Yang - Tongji University, China - Advances in earth and environmental sciences

“... to deal with radioactive waste in a manner that protects human health and the environment now and in the future without imposing undue burdens on future generations."

Leon Grobbelaar - Director at Interwaste Holdings Limited

“Recycling should be done before waste reaches the landfill site. I don’t believe that a landfill site is the right place for the waste pickers to operate."

Andreas Manhart - Project leader at Oeko-Institut

"Nigeria imports more used and end-of-life equipment than any other West African country. This means that the repair and recycling of used and scrap items constitutes an important job market for Nigerians. In the city’s two main market places alone – Alaba Market and Ikeja Computer Village –, 15,000 people, organised in 5,500 small enterprises, repair and sell second-hand electrical and electronic equipment. Any effort towards reform of this partially informal sector must confront the issue of what is to happen to these jobs in the future."

"There are good reasons why West Africa should not simply go down the European path when it comes to recycling", "European procedures are often designed to function with as few employees as possible. In West Africa this would be undesirable for social reasons. Besides, with many mechanised methods scarce and valuable metals are irretrievably lost."

Dr Suzan Oelofse - Principal Researcher: Pollution and Waste at the CSIR

"Women are realising that working with waste does not mean you are wasting your talents, or that you need to lose your femininity."

"On the contrary, women are much-needed in the waste industry, due to their natural instincts to protect human health and potential to make a real difference. In South African households, it is most often the women taking responsibility for waste management."

"Even though I acknowledge the important role that waste pickers play in waste management in the country, landfills are not the place for anyone to sort waste. Waste separation at source will reduce the amount of recyclables going to landfill and therefore the income potential of pickers at the landfill. One unintended consequence of waste separation at source is that the pickers will go to where the recyclables are; they will migrate into the residential areas. It is therefore important that waste pickers are incorporated into the formal recycling system so as not to affect their livelihood. I have also seen literature reports that pickers working in residential areas typically collect less waste on a single day as they have to walk from bin to bin, whereas at the landfill, the waste is delivered to them."

Alfred Rwabugahya - Operations Manager at the Uganda Plastic Manufacturers and Recyclers Association (UPMRA)

“The truth is that any weight of plastics from one micron can be recycled but the focus on carrier bags is obscuring the bigger issue, which touches on policy and its impact on investment decisions. How do manufacturers decide whether to invest in recycling lines when they don’t know if a ban will be placed on the industry?"

Alison Lewis - South African Professor of Chemical Engineering

“Waste has come to mean something that is outmoded and outdated that consumes land, resources and energy and something that we have to rethink."

Emil Walter Haury - Archaeologist

“Whichever way one views the mounds [of waste], as garbage piles to avoid, or as symbols of a way of life, they...are the features more productive of information than any others."

Dr Angela Murray - Pioneer of the Roads to Riches project, at Birmingham University.

“Waste was traditionally seen as a problem, something negative, that we didn’t want. However, I think nowadays people are beginning to see it as an opportunity and potentially as a revenue stream."

Barry Sheerman - MP - Co-Chair, Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group

“As an industry, waste management is just beginning to assert itself as an important part of the environmental agenda, shrugging off negative public perceptions which have seen it labelled as ‘dirty’ and ‘unskilled’. It is an industry that young people should be excited to become involved with. The variety of opportunities within the sector mean that it can appeal to a huge pool of talent, if it can successfully position itself as the place to be for those in search of skilled, long-term employment."

Kathy Marks & Daniel Howden - “The World’s Dump” The Independent UK

“Hundreds of millions of tiny plastic pellets, or nurdles — the raw materials for the plastic industry — are lost or spilled every year, working their way into the sea. These pollutants act as chemical sponges attracting man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide DDT. They then enter the food chain. What goes into the ocean goes into these animals and onto your dinner plate. It’s that simple."

Daniel Hoornweg - Professor and Jeff Boyce Research Chair, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

“Honestly, I don’t see waste disposal as a huge environmental problem in itself. But it’s the easiest way to see how the environment is being affected by our lifestyles overall."

Adam Minter - Journalist who has recently published his book Junkyard Planet which reveals how the billion-dollar global recycling trade works.

“I see waste as a raw material and a way to make a living and to grow a business."

R. Buckminster Fuller - was a neo-futuristic architect, systems theorist, author, designer and inventor. (1895–1983)

“Resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value."

Theodore Roosevelt - 26th President of the United States of America

“To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified."




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