Dundee waste management facility protects integrity of Tsumeb landfill site
Protecting the biological integrity of a landfill site has become a pillar of modern waste management principles, making it imperative that waste is sorted at source and only those items that can be accommodated at landfill sites are dumped. The rest must be sorted and recycled.
A similar strategy has been implemented at Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb where a general waste management facility was commissioned recently at a total investment of more than N$15 million. Approved by the Environmental Commissioner of Namibia, all waste processed at the facility is classified according to four categories, ranging from hazardous waste to neutral waste with little risk to landfill sites. The facility as such is classified as a Class B landfill.
Dundee Precious Metals is the operator of the copper smelter located on the outskirts of Tsumeb in the Oshikoto Region.
The design and operation philosophy of the waste facility aligns with the principles of integrated waste management and waste management hierarchy, with a strong emphasis on encouraging waste segregation and sorting at source and reducing waste sent to the landfill.
The objective is to divert unsuitable waste from the landfill where possible and to recycle as much as possible waste that is not otherwise treated as hazardous. Waste collected for recycling includes cartons, paper, cans, glass bottles, plastic containers, and plastic bags. Ultimately, only biodegradable general or domestic waste will be landfilled at this facility.
The Integrated Waste Management Facility comprises several key components, including an administration office block, a recyclable processing facility equipped with a balling machine and storage compartment, an interim storage facility for waste destined for onsite treatment or offsite disposal, a bioremediation pad for blending and treatment of soil, a disposal cell, a water management system, and a vehicle wash bay.
“This investment demonstrates Dundee’s commitment to be a responsible corporate citizen and stewards of the environment, said Zebra Kasete, Dundee Vice President and Managing Director.
At the commissioning of the facility, Environmental Commissioner, Timoteus Mufeti, said “this facility sets a new standard for environmentally conscious waste management practices, and it is my hope that other organizations, especially within the mining industry, will follow suit.”
Mufeti stated that by embracing integrated waste management practices, Dundee Precious Metals not only help protect the environment but also contribute to the well-being of the community. “It is our responsibility to ensure that our actions today do not compromise the future of our planet,” he said.
Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb Managing Director, Mr Zebra Kasete (third from left) with Dundee staff and members of the office of the Environmental Commissioner. (Photograph courtesy of Dundee Precious Metals)