Solid Waste

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Integrated Solid Waste Management

The implementation of an Integrated Waste Management Planning system is intended to optimise waste management by:

  • maximising efficiency in management, and
  • minimising the associated:
    • environmental impacts and
    • financial costs of waste

Development Objective

The objective is reduced generation of all forms of waste, so that socio-economic development, health and the quality of environmental resources are not adversely affected by uncontrolled and uncoordinated waste activities.

Waste Management Planning

Waste management has generally been undertaken on an ad hoc basis to meet immediate needs. The siting of landfills was generally haphazard, without adequate planning and design, with their management and operation being, in some cases poor, with inadequate control of waste types disposed at the landfills.

Neither sufficient funding, nor adequate staff training, was generally provided to effectively plan and execute proper waste management functions.

Waste management planning has generally been primarily focused on waste disposal. Occasionally, waste management planning has provided for shared regional landfill sites, together with transfer stations and local landfill sites.

Locating, constructing and managing a solid waste landfill site is a science. In summary, it involves:

  • Site identification
  • Investigations to establish viability in respect of soils, ground and sub-surface water conditions
  • The facilities required to manage the site
  • Monitoring & managing the operations, and ultimate closure of the site.

In certain instances, where the distances between the waste source(s) and the landfill(s) are too great, and where waste types need to be separated, logistics require the provision of transfer stations.


Investigations that need to be conducted, prior to site development, include determining:

  • Proximity to the waste source(s), waste volumes, and land availability,
  • In-situ soil conditions, as they relate to leachate containment and use as cover material,
  • Geo-hyrological conditions in respect of potential for contamination of surface water and/or groundwater, and depths to which excavation can take place for cell development,
  • Availability and extent of air-space, and purpose to which the landfill can be put.


  • Landfills differ in terms of size, type and potential threat to the environment.
  • Landfill classification covers the full spectrum, from a small communal operation to a regional hazardous waste landfill.

Cover Material, Air Space and related Landfill Life Span:

  • The volume or air space, and life span of a site is a function the volume of cover material available. This is thus a major factor in the selection of a site.
  • The available airspace is also dictated by the shape of the final landform, which depends on the base area or ‘footprint’ of the landfill, the slopes of the sides and the maximum acceptable height.

Cell Development and Leachate:

  • All landfills, with the exception of communal ones, require leachate management systems, comprising liners and leachate collection systems.
  • Each landfill comprises a number of cells into which waste is deposited and by means of which leachate is individually collected and drained to a leachate containment dam.
  • Waste is contained in each cell, ultimately resulting in the landfill, as a whole, reaching its design height and capacity.

Landfill Closure:

  • Closure must be preceded by rehabilitation and capping, to ensure that the site is left in an environmentally acceptable state.
  • The site must also be rendered suitable for its proposed end-use.

Transfer Stations

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 Purpose and Uses:

  • Waste collection vehicles are used to collect waste from its source(s) and to transport it, within an economically viable distance to a discharge or disposal facility.
  • Where distances are too great, waste transfer stations are provided.
  • These are where solid waste is unloaded from collection vehicles, compacted before being reloaded onto larger long-distance transport vehicles for shipment to landfills or other disposal facilities.
  • This way, savings are generated.
  • The total number of vehicular trips, to and from the disposal site are reduced.
  • These are then transferred to individual facilities designed to deal with them.

Selected Projects:

  • Rooikraal Solid Waste Landfill Further Cell Development
  • Simmer & Jack Solid Waste Landfill Further Cell Development
  • Rooikraal Solid Waste Landfill Infrastructure
  • Rietfontein Solid Waste Landfill Further Development
  • Deep Levels Solid Waste Landfill Closure
  • Goudkoppies Solid Waste Landfill Further Development
  • Weltevreden Solid Waste Landfill Further Development
  • Platkop Solid Waste Landfill Further Development
  • Goudkoppies Solid Waste Landfill Investigation & Licence Application
  • Nigel Waste Disposal Site Stormwater Diversion
  • Linbro Park Solid Waste Landfill Groundwater Pollution Investigation
  • Heidelberg Road, Solid Waste Transfer Station, Alberton

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Riana Bekker

This serves to confirm that Themba Consultants (Pty) Ltd have worked as our Consulting Engineers on the following projects, about which I have personal knowledge:

  • Rietfontein Landfill Access Road;
  • Rooikraal Landfill Infrastructure;
  • Simmer & Jack Landfill Development (2 projects);
  • Rietfontein Landfill Development;
  • Deep Levels Landfill Closure;
  • Bullfrog Pan Landfill Closure;
  • Weltevreden Cell Development Cell 6 & 7 (2 Projects);
  • Rietfontein Cell Development Cell 4 & 5 (2 Projects);
  • Platkop Cell Development and fencing (2 Projects);
  • Rooikraal Cell Development Stage 2B & 3 (2 Projects);
  • Rietfontein Concrete Boundary Wall.

I would describe the performance of the firm as very professional. I have no hesitation in recommending Themba to any potential client.