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Waste-to-Energy terminated

After years of research, complaints and discussions the Waste-to-Energy (WTE) project has been terminated.

In last week’s council meeting two options regarding the WTE project was tabled. One was to proceed with the WTE project without the incineration part and the other was to terminate the entire project.

The ANC councillors immediately showed their support to terminate the project. Both the ANC and DA took 20 minutes to caucus, after which the mayor, Conrad Poole, announced that they will “pull the plug” on the WTE project.

With the termination of the project the municipality faces a possible claim by Interwaste, the preferred bidder, of R7 million.

A new waste recovery, beneficiation and energy project for the Drakenstein area (Paarl, Wellington, Gouda, Hermon, Saron and Simondium) will now be conceptualised and a new tender process will be embarked upon.

According to the municipality, the project was never just about incineration of municipal waste. The project included various waste management components, such as recyclable material recovery and anaerobic digestion – all of these are proven components of good waste management. Incineration of municipal waste is new to South Africa and the inclusion of incineration technology as a component was not accepted by the public.

“We believe the decision to terminate the project addresses the public concerns that have repeatedly been raised against the project,” said Poole. “It also liberates us from a project that was started by a previous administration in 2008. It further gives Drakenstein Municipality the opportunity to take a fresh approach and start a new process – ensuring the best, innovative and environmentally safe waste management solution for our community.”

The Wellington solid landfill site is estimated to run out of space by 2021, unless there are immediate operational interventions. According to the municipality, an alternative waste landfill site does not readily exist in the Drakenstein municipal area.

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