Feedback on gaseous smells report

2016-05-17 06:00

SUBSEQUENT to the article published in the Hillcrest Fever titled “Gaseous smells leave residents fuming” on 19 April, where residents pointed fingers at EnviroServ for a toxic stench in the area, the company addressed the community on Wednesday 11 May.

According to Esme Gombault, group operations director, EnviroServ has operated over 35 years.

She said that EnviroServ offers responsible waste management solutions which do not impact negatively on our staff, communities and the environment, we are an integral part of society.

“The company complies with legislation governing the waste management industry, something the company has always endeavored to do,” he said.

Gombault said EnviroServ learnt about odour problems experienced at the Plantations Estate and the surrounding suburbs within five kilometres radius of the Shongweni landfill site.
“As soon as we became aware of the concerns, EnviroServ actively encouraged community members who experience odours to contact the EnviroServ call centre. All complaints received were logged, investigated and analysed in an effort to learn more about the most likely sources of odours,” he said.

“The company decided, in consultation with various community representatives, to set up an air-quality monitoring station within the Plantations Estate where the bulk of the recent complaints originated.”

Gombault said in early April EnviroServ requested independent air quality specialists GeoZone Environmental, (Department of Labour Approved Inspection Authority Cert number OH036CI04) to conduct an additional air-quality assessment at the Plantations Estate and Shongweni landfill site.

“The first phase of sampling was initiated on 11 April and terminated on 26 April. The results have been compared with the records of air sampling stations at numerous other locations in the area, which have been collected over the last 12 years,” he said.

She said the following results were reported by GeoZone:

• Average ambient concentrations of all measured contaminant compounds at the off-site monitoring locations (Summerveld and Plantations Estate) were well below the relevant long-term (annual) South African ambient air quality standard (Benzene) and environmental assessment levels (EAL).

• Average ambient concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC) at the monitoring locations on the Shongweni site during the sampling period were well below the South African long-term (annual) environmental assessment levels.

• Average ambient concentrations of ammonia at the on-site monitoring locations during the survey period were below the relevant long-term (annual) EAL.

• Average ambient concentrations of aldehyde compounds at the on-site monitoring locations were well below the relevant ambient air quality reference guidelines.

• Average ambient concentrations of hydrogen sulphide at the on-site monitoring locations during the survey period were below the relevant long term (annual) EAL.

“On the basis of these results, GeoZone concluded that average ambient concentrations of several VOC were higher at the Plantations Estate monitoring station than at one or both of the monitoring stations on the Shongweni landfill site.

“This suggested a contribution by a more local source of these VOC than the landfill site (located 3350m distant). Based on international risk assessment standards, GeoZone reported that ambient air quality on the boundaries of the Shongweni landfill site and at the Plantations Estate posed a low general health or cancer risk to exposed individuals during the survey period,” she said.

Gombault added that EnviroServ remains committed to working with communities to identify the origin of the odours.

To this effect, further air sampling is being done at the Plantations Estate to validate the findings of the initial report. For further information, contact the site manager, Clive Kidd on 082 779 6318 or

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