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Does your company manage waste? Ensure it complies with these six NEMWA requirements

by , 05 June 2013
If your company generates waste or stores wastes, pay attention! There are six requirements the National Environmental Management Waste Act (NEMWA) has laid down for your company. And if don't comply with conditions of your waste management licence, you could face a R10 million fine, jail time or both! Read on to discover what your legal obligations are so you can ensure your company avoids hefty fines.

The National Environmental Management Waste Act (NEMWA) is aimed at addressing the prevention of pollution and the management of it.

'The Act promotes the reduction, re-use, recycling or recovery and as a last resort, disposal of waste,' says the Health and Safety Advisor.

This means if your company, imports, generates, stores, accumulates, transports, processes, treats, exports waste, disposes of waste, you must take all reasonable measures to do the following…

Your six responsibilities in accordance to the NEMWA

  1. Avoid generating waste. If your company can't avoid this, reduce the harmfulness and the amount of waste generated;
  2. Re-use, recycle or recover waste;
  3. Ensure that the waste is treated before disposing of it in an environmentally accepted way;
  4. Manage your waste in such a way that it isn't a danger to anyone's health, the environment, or causes a nuisance through noise, odour or visual impacts;
  5. If at all possible, prevent any other person from contravening a provision of the Act; and
  6. Take reasonable control measures to prevent waste from being used for an unauthorised purpose. An example of an unauthorised purpose would be using containers that previously held chemicals to store clean water.

Remember, if your company fails to comply with these obligations, fails to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment, or doesn't comply with conditions of your waste management licence, you could face a R10 million fine or jail time.

There you have it. Knowing what your legal obligations are will help you comply with the NEMWA and avoid non-compliance fines.
 



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