Two land uses which often

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Two land uses which often compete for new land amidst the developmental pressures of urbanization are land for conservation purposes and land for new waste disposal sites. The e’Thekwini Municipal Area (EMA) contains over a third of the population of KwaZulu-Natal province and has to dispose of waste within this area. The Marianhill Landfill Conservancy is an initiative by the EMA designed to address both these issues. The project was driven by the Cleansing and Solid Waste Branch of the e’Thekwini Municipality through “Carbon Finance” channeled through the World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF), a public-private partnership with participants from several countries worldwide. The municipality also worked with consultants and stakeholders who provided technical expertise and voiced their input and concerns during the planning and implementation phases of the project. The main priorities of the initiative were to ensure that no pollution of the environment occurred and to save on costs. One of the main obstacles encountered came during site selection. The initial objective was to change the attitude of the community and
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Environmental NGOs and address negative associations with landfills, including fouls smells and environmental pollution. Meetings were held with affected communities and Environmental NGOs were identified. Research was then conducted to determine solutions. Where the municipality did not have the expertise, consultants and contractors were appointed. The result is a landfill that contains several cells that hold waste. Soil from the landfill area is removed and stored, to be replaced once the cell is full. Vegetation is also removed and placed in a large holding nursery on site called a Plant Rescue Unit. A barrier system in each cell prevents harmful waste by-products from seeping into the environment. As waste cells reach their optimum capacity, they are rehabilitated. Key features of the site include the Plant Rescue Unit, which provided indigenous vegetation for rehabilitation of the peripheral “buffer zone” areas of Marianhill and on- going rehabilitation of the Bisasar Road Landfill Site. The rescued plants help the municipality save on rehabilitation costs. Leachate, produced as a result of rainfall passing through waste is treated onsite and landfill water is treated to reduce leachate content until the water is reusable. This reduces the load on the municipal sewer system and allows Marianhill to use effluent for on-site dust control and irrigation. The landfill also has a gas extraction scheme, which has been operational for 4 years. Marianhill conducts weekly environmental lectures for between 60 to 120 children in an open-air amphitheatre overlooking the conservancy. The site is also a bird hide and conservation area with nature trails that link up with existing green space, and serves as an important natural corridor for species migration. The landfill’s environmentally friendly design and technology has resulted in its receiving Conservancy status. The
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  • Spring '10
  • BASIC
  • Work, Water supply, Palestinian Territories

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