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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

CPUT organises first landfill gas harvesting workshop


Landfill gas, with its high methane content, can pose a threat to humans through explosions, combustion or asphyxiation.

This was the focus of the Landfill Gas Harvesting workshop that took place at the CPUT auditorium on the Bellville campus recently.

The workshop was organised by the Waste Management students as part of their assessment on 7 October 2009.

This was the first landfill gas harvesting workshop in Cape Town

The workshop focused on creating awareness about the dangers of methane gas which may be the result of a gas that comes out of landfills.

Also, the event showed attendees what has been previously done regarding the landfill gas, what is currently underway and what may be possible in the future.

The Waste Management department emphasised that there is a significant amount of money that can be made by operators through mining landfill liabilities and turn them into garbage gold

Jacob Seccona, CPUT Environmental Department’s head said: “This is the first workshop ever organised in CPUT. We need more workshops like these in order to create awareness at municipalities as it is only Ethekwini Municipality that is doing something about landfill gas harvesting.”

CPUT’s Environmental Management Department, which presents the Waste Management course to environmental officers who come from all over the country, helped the students organise the workshop.

Kagisho Motingwe, a student who also works for the City of Cape Town as a principal technician, was the steering committee manager for the workshop.

“Putting together this workshop was an assignment on its own for us as it is part of the continuous evaluation of students, which forms part of the year mark,” said Motingwe.

The workshop targeted municipalities, non-governmental organisations and private sector entities involved in waste management in general, but specifically landfill management and subsequently expanded to students as well.

Motingwe said the objective of the workshop was to create a discussion around landfill gas in South Africa, and to stimulate that relevant guest speakers were invited.

Five speakers shared the stage, touching on the social and environmental externalities of landfill gas, carbon loads and carbon credits, civil impact on landfill gas harvesting and also creating a climate for innovation and change.

According to Motingwe, the idea behind the workshop was to look at the economic side of landfill gas harvesting, the social side and the ethical side of it.

Among the guest speakers was CPUT’s lecturer Dr Lee-Anne Seeliger who spoke around the ethical side of landfill gas.

By Andiswa Dantile

Photograph: Waste Management students together with Virginia Elissac of the Marketing and Communication Department attend the Landfill Gas Harvesting Workshop at the Auditorium, Bellville Campus

Written by CPUT News