Green Scorpions happy with clean-up of medical waste dumps

2010-11-03 12:49

Four sites in Welkom in the Free State, where tons of illegal medical waste was dumped, received a clean bill of health from the Green Scorpions today.

An independent environmental hydrogeologist, Richie Morris, said 18 600 tons of soil and medical waste was removed from the four Welkom sites in an operation costing R53 million.

“The main burial site at the Maximus Bricks yard in Welkom Industria was targeted first,” Morris said.
Nearly 12 000 tons of waste and clay ground were removed from that site alone.

The rest of the material removed came from the Welkom Showgrounds, a game farm outside Virginia and a small amount near an old shaft on Harmony Gold’s property.

Spokesperson for the environmental management inspectorate Frances Craigie said a huge amount of work had gone into the clean-up of the illegal sites in the past year for compliance.

She said they received good cooperation from all the people involved in the clean-up.

“We can now put all our focus on the criminal case.”

Nine people have already appeared in the Welkom Magistrate’s Court in connection with the allegedly illegally dumped waste.

They included the former chief executive officer of waste company Wasteman, Olivier Meyer, and Welkom businessman and Maximus Bricks owner Gavin Brasher.

The matter was postponed to November 29 to give the state a chance to add two more accused to the case.

The Green Scorpions are environmental enforcement officials from different government departments.

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