Although waste-related greenhouse gas emissions account for less than 2% of South Africa’s total emissions, the amount of waste generated is rapidly increasing. Furthermore, some substances currently regarded as waste could be used in climate change responses, e.g. gypsum resulting from flue gas desulphurisation. With this, current climate change challenges for the waste sector include, amongst others –

  • Methane, an important potential fuel, is the predominant greenhouse gas associated with waste.

  • Many of our landfill sites are not designed or operated in a way that allows for the optimal extraction of methane for use as a fuel.

  • Co-generation and use of waste and by-products as fuels has a significant potential to contribute to energy supply and electricity supply in particular.

  • Gypsum is an example of a waste stream that could be utilized in the manufacture of ceilings for low-income homes thereby increasing the energy efficiency of these homes substantially.

  • Cattle feed-lotting results in manure concentration and, hence, relatively concentrated methane emissions – i.e. emissions of a powerful greenhouse gas that could be used as a fuel.

To address these challenges in the waste sector, South Africa will –

  1. Encourage and support industries that produce significant quantities of gypsum from flue-gas desulphurization to enter into appropriate public-private and/or other partnerships to ensure that affordable gypsum products are readily available to meet the demand for ceilings and dry-walling in low-income homes by 2012.

  2. Ensure that the Minimum Requirements for Landfills are revised and amended to reflect greenhouse gas mitigation considerations by 2012, including, among others: the use of bio-cover at landfills not suitable for gas extraction; energy recovery from landfill gas at landfills suitable for gas extraction through active support to municipalities in the development of energy recovery projects and the negotiation of appropriate carbon-offset funding; and, in the transition to effective energy production from landfill gas at landfills suitable for gas extraction, ensure that all such landfills are required to, at least, extract and flare this gas by 2020.

  3. Compile and implement by 2014 a national composting strategy aimed at reducing the amount of organic waste land-filled by 50% of the 2000 baseline by 2020.

  4. In line with the Waste Incineration Policy, facilitate energy recovery from appropriate waste streams through active support to municipalities in the development of energy recovery projects and the negotiation of appropriate carbon-offset funding.


Gypsum as a waste stream from desulphurization of flue gas

The document is appears to confuse issues as the removal of SOx (not an acknowleged GHG) with lime to produce gypsum will also produce millions of tonnes of CO2.

Lime is produced by the calcination of limestone (CaCO3) producing lime (CaO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The process is significantly energy intensive requiring thousands of tonnes of coal to provide the thermal heat required for the process and inherently producing even more CO2 from the combustion of the coal. So to remove one unit (chemical mole) of SO2 will generate >one unit (chemical mole) of CO2. There are other ways to do this that do not produce gypsum. There is sufficient gypsum already produced in SA by the fertilizer industry (multiple millions of tonnes) to manufacture plasterboard for ceilings.

This document should focus on actual climate change issues and not try to adress all emission issues that should be tackled elsewhere.

You need Help!

In terms of this section,you need help.The information portrayed in this section is so archaic and narrow-minded. RDF's,WTE,Methanization, polymer conversion and re-use by manufacturers needs to be looked at more in-depth.These industries are the future and thus should be taken more seriously for medium-long term goals.Quick solutions can be made in certain areas to facilitate private sector involvment.Gypsum is a minute, singular entity and yet it shares 50% of this entire page.