As part of our drive to use resources efficiently, we are currently working towards promoting waste minimisation and reduction at our operations through the reuse of resources where possible, and the recovery of recyclable waste. All waste generated by Illovo operations is managed and disposed of according to the specific regulations of the relevant country of operation. Where these do not exist, as is sometimes the case with environmental legislation and guidelines in developing countries across Africa, or have yet to be finalised, we ensure that the waste is disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner. Where possible, operations endeavour to reduce, reuse and recycle waste and make use of in-country service providers to remove waste off-site.
South Africa is recently started to see the emergence of a new era in waste management with the promulgation of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 2008. In response to this new act, a comprehensive legal review was undertaken by Illovo SA during the 2011/12 season to ensure adherence to the new legislative requirements. Outside of South Africa, operations are developing internal waste management strategies in order to provide suitable systems for waste disposal, including the licensing of hazardous and general landfill sites as well as the regular monitoring of effluent and emissions.
In 2012/13, the company generated 14 901 tons of non-hazardous waste and 2 183 tons of hazardous waste. Of the non-hazardous waste, 74% went to landfill, 19% was recycled, 3% reused, with the balance being composted, incinerated or stored on site. A large portion of the hazardous waste was either responsibly reused by another organisation or composted.
The effluent produced outside South Africa is, after treatment to an acceptable level, disposed of under permit in local rivers, except for our operations at Dwangwa and Nchalo, where the effluent is retained in a dunder dam and then used for irrigation. Treatment outside Malawi varies from lime application to being mixed with clean water to being retained in settling maturation ponds, before discharge into rivers/waterways.
In South Africa effluent is, after various treatment processes at our different sites, discharged under permit either into rivers, the sea, settling dams, a municipal sewage works, or, as is the case with the Glendale distillery, used for irrigation under controlled conditions.
The majority of operations measure the quality of effluent discharged in terms of chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids and pH.