The new R250m Vlakfontein hazardous waste landfill site in Vereeniging is nearing completion and is set to begin commercial operations in a couple of weeks. Designed to tackle industrial and mining waste from the Vaal Triangle area, it is only the second highly hazardous waste site to be licensed in SA in 22 years.The 212ha site is owned by Averda SA, which will operate it. Averda is one of the country’s largest waste management firms. The site is located in the petrochemicals heartland of SA and uses the latest international best practice methods of landfill engineering. With an operating lifetime of 35 years, the site will employ about 20 people full-time.The guideline of the department of environmental affairs is that there should be one such site for each province. SA has about six such dedicated sites, among others in the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng. All these provinces have large industrial areas. Highly hazardous waste is a serious business world...

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