Home News NC crematorium ordered to halt ‘dumping of cremated human remains’

NC crematorium ordered to halt ‘dumping of cremated human remains’

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The Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform has ordered the Upington Crematorium to halt the alleged illegal dumping of cremated human remains at the De Duine landfill site in Upington.

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THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform has ordered the Upington Crematorium to halt the alleged illegal dumping of cremated human remains at the De Duine landfill site in Upington.

A spokesperson for the Office of the MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Bongani Silingile, said on Tuesday that the department’s Air Quality Management, Pollution and Waste Management unit conducted inspections at the De Duine landfill site and they discovered dumped coffin covers and ashes containing burnt bones.

“The waste was discarded in black plastic bags. Most of the black refuse bags were torn and were mixed with other waste,” said Silingile.

He stated that the owner of the Upington Crematorium had acknowledged that the waste disposed of at the landfill site originated from waste from the crematorium.

“The owner could, however, not specify whether the waste was a general or hazardous waste.”

Silingile added that the department advised Upington Crematorium to assess its waste with a laboratory accredited by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, No 59 of 2008, Norms and Standards for the Assessment of Waste for Landfill Disposal 2013.

“They were further advised as an urgent matter to contact a hazardous medical waste transporter for the disposal of the waste at a hazardous landfill site.”

He further stated that the department had instructed that cremated human remains should not be transported to the landfill site.

“A service provider must be appointed to collect and dispose of the waste at a hazardous landfill site. Records of the waste transported and final disposal certificates must be kept for future verifications.”

Silingile stated that waste could be analysed to establish the hazardous rating.

“The facility owner was further advised to stop disposing of human ashes at a general waste landfill site.

“The Upington Crematorium is in contravention of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008, Chapter 4, Section 16, general duty in respect of waste management.

“Failure to adhere to this recommendation will result in the department having to take legal action against the Upington Crematorium,” Silingile concluded.

The co-owner of Upington Crematorium, Louis Kotze, on Wednesday denied that they had dumped any human remains at the landfill site.

“We presented the department with a certificate from a laboratory to prove that the waste that was transported to the landfill site was wooden coffin lids that are not hazardous to the environment. They must prove who is responsible for the dumping of human remains,” said Kotze.

He added that they had taken over the crematorium three weeks ago.

“We have appointed a service provider to transport any human remains as per the regulations.”

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