A hefty R2.4 million joint investment between Goodyear and its recycling partner, The Waste Trade Company, has turned the tyre manufacturer’s waste yard into a clean, organised and Earth-friendly facility, reflecting the award winning, environmental can-do attitudes of both these companies.
“The generation of waste comes with the tyre manufacturing process; we can’t escape it but we can find the most practical and environmentally friendly ways to manage that waste,” said Pamela Moodley, Goodyear Risk Control Manager. “Waste is a health and environmental hazard. We look first at all possible ways to minimise the waste, using fewer and less harmful chemicals in our process, for instance. Next, we find ways to reuse and recycle.
“Goodyear now recycles more than 98 per cent of its waste, and is proud of the fact that it sends absolutely none of it to landfill. It is currently the only manufacturing facility in South Africa that can boast a true zero waste to landfill policy. The small amount of remaining non-recyclable waste is sent for thermal destruction.”
Before Goodyear’s waste can be collected for recycling, however, it must be stored safely and securely in an area that is legally compliant with the National Environment Management Waste Act (NEMWA). The designated waste yard on the outskirts of its busy manufacturing plant in Uitenhage was audited and declared legally compliant in 2010 and is today, after months of hard work and some innovative thinking, arguably one of the most attractive areas on the site.
“Goodyear’s waste yard has two divisions: hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Most of the area houses recyclable and general waste, such as food, which is given to pig farmers. There are stringent regulations surrounding the storage of hazardous waste. It is kept in a roofed area to prevent rainwater pollution, and on a concrete surface to prevent seepage into the ground. This area is well signposted and kept locked at all times,” Pamela explained.
For Goodyear and The Waste Trade Company, waste can be seen as raw material and trash can be treasure. The Waste Trade Company’s on-site team of Louis Rossouw and Joseph le Roux have established a minor miracle of biodiversity at the edges of the yard, capturing rainwater run-off and making compost from food waste to grow a patch of lawn, flowers and vegetables that they give happily to anyone who asks. There is a family of feral cats who catch any rats and the small aviary adds to the haven of harmony on the edge of this bustling tyre production facility.”