Strict penalties await the generators of used oil whose businesses fail to comply with the National Waste Information Regulations 2012, which came into effect on January 1, warns the Recycling Oil Saves the Environment (ROSE) Found-ation, a nonprofit organisation that manages the environmentally acceptable collection, storage and recycling of used lubricating oil in South Africa.
Offenders face either a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment or an appro- priate fine, or possibly a fine and imprison-ment, says ROSE Foundation CEO Raj Lochan.
The purpose of the National Waste Information Regulations 2012, which falls under the National Environmental Management Act (Nema): Waste Act No. 59 of 2008, is to control the collection of information on waste and waste management in South Africa to fulfil the objectives of the South African Waste Information System (SAWIS), as set out in Section 61 of Nema, he explains.
The implementation of the SAWIS, which is a Web-based system used by government and industry to register information on the tons of waste generated, recycled and disposed of monthly and yearly in South Africa, will prove to be a useful tool in informing waste management decisions, says Lochan.
One of the most compelling new requirements under the regulations is that generators of hazardous waste in excess of 20 kg a day have to be registered on the SAWIS.
Lochan equates this 20 kg to about four car oil changes a day or one truck oil change a day.
He adds that, once registered, these hazardous waste generators will need to submit information based on actual volumes and not on estimates to the SAWIS within 90 days.
Further, Lochan explains that a registered waste generator will be required to report waste management information to the SAWIS on a quarterly basis and it must keep a record of all the waste management information submitted to the SAWIS or the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) for at least five years, as the information might be subjected to verification.
Hazardous Waste Manifest
As used oil is classified as hazardous waste, generators thereof are required to document their used oil from cradle to grave using a Waste Manifest, which is submitted quarterly to the SAWIS to provide a clear snapshot of how their used oil is managed, says Lochan.
A Waste Manifest must, according to the National Waste Information Regulations 2012, contain information on each consignment of waste transported to a waste manager, as waste transporters may not accept hazardous waste for transport unless it is accompanied by a Waste Manifest.
Hazardous waste must also be accompanied by a safety data sheet prepared in accordance with SANS 10234, a globally harmonised system of the classification and labelling of chemicals. The waste must also be transported in the correct manner, outlined in Chapter VIII on the transportation of dangerous goods under the National Road Traffic Act, No 93 of 1996.
Lochan explains that the Waste Manifest must reflect the classification of the waste; the quantity of each type of waste generated, expressed in tons per month; and the quantity of each type of waste that has either been reused, recycled, recovered, treated or disposed of; as well as where and by whom each type of waste was reused, recycled, recovered, treated or disposed of.
A Waste Manifest must also include a unique consignment identification number in the form of a bar code; the generator’s contact details, including the name, physical and postal address, phone and fax number and email address; the physical address of the site where the waste was generated; an emergency contact number; the origin or source of the waste; a description of the waste, which incorporates the waste classification and waste category; a safety data sheet; and a waste risk profile, if relevant.
Also reported in the Waste Manifest are the chemical composition of the waste; the physical nature or consistency of the waste; the quantity of the waste; packaging; transport type; special handling instructions; the date of collection or dispatch; the intended receiver or waste manager; and a declaration that the content of the consignment is fully and accurately described, classified, packed, marked, labelled, and, in all respects, the extent to which the waste is in a proper condition to be transported in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.
“The ROSE Foundation and the National Oil Recycling Association of South Africa (NORA-SA) provide comprehensive training for its members and collectors to inform and educate them on the Waste Manifest and the waste classification system so that they are fully informed of the requirements for them and the clients,” explains Lochan.
He adds that the ROSE Foundation and NORA-SA are also working closely with government to ensure that the stakeholders in the used oil industry remain compliant from the point of generation to final management.
Lochan points out that by using a NORA-SA-approved used-oil collector, used-oil generators will be able to confidently verify the accuracy of the information being reported in a Waste Manifest, thereby avoiding a possible waste quantification survey and waste audit. This is required if the DEA considers the volumes reported to be incorrect or misleading.
“As has been witnessed, regulations pertaining to waste management in South Africa are ever-evolving and fast changing and, as a result, the ROSE Foundation works tirelessly to stay abreast of changing legislation. We will continue to do so so that the used-oil industry, NORA-SA-approved collectors and their clients remain compliant,” he concludes.