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The gas flare at Robinson Deep 

Joburg is determined to create a green city, in keeping with the movement to prevent climate change and improve the environment in whatever way possible..

MANY of the City's development decisions are taken with the need for a green planet in mind: from greening and cleaning the environment, to reducing the energy load in buildings, to cutting carbon emissions.

Landfill gas to energy project

Landfill preparation for a gas flareLandfill preparation for a gas flareIn 2005, the City identified Robinson Deep, Marie Louise, Linbro Park, Goudkoppies and Ennerdale landfills as potential sites to implement a landfill gas to energy Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project. 

Through the implementation of a CDM project, the City will contribute to the country’s achievement of the Kyoto Protocol commitments and simultaneously generate revenue through the sale of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and sale of electricity generated. The City of Johannesburg Environment Infrastructure and Services department initiated the landfill gas to energy CDM project in 2007.  The main aim of the project is to mitigate the harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted from the landfills. It is anticipated that the renewable energy generated from the project will be fed into the municipal grid, thus off-setting largely coal derived electricity.

The project supports the South African Government’s 2002 agreement to the Kyoto Protocol on World Climate Change which aims to reduce the amount of GHG emitted in countries and the implementation of supportive CDMs in Third World countries. The project is being implemented in five of the City’s landfill sites, making it the largest landfill CDM project in South Africa so far.

Approximately 19MW of electricity will be generated from the project (the same amount used by approximately 12 500 middle income households). This will relieve the City’s reliance on coal-derived energy which is harmful to the natural environment.

Work on a gas flareWork on a gas flareEnvironmental impact assessments on each of the landfill sites have been completed and the City received Waste Licences under the Waste Management Act to implement the projects on each of the sites. The first phase of construction at Robinson Deep and Marie Louise sites has started. Work includes installation of the gas extraction and collection systems, and installation and commissioning of the gas flares within equipment compounds located at the landfill sites.

The second phase of construction will start in June 2012 and will include the installation of gas engines that will be used to generate electricity using the landfill gas as fuel. The third phase of electricity generation will commence in 2013. This phase of the project will only commence once the power has been sold from the projects under the Department of Energy’s Independent Power Producers Procurement Program.

Construction of the first phase at Robinson Deep has been completed and the plant was commissioned in May 2011. At the Marie Louise landfill site construction commenced in February this year and will be commissioned in April, with the other sites to follow.

The project is in the process of applying for registration as Clean Development Mechanism projects under the United Nations Framework convention on Climate change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we are confident that registration will be achieved before the end of 2012.
 
The City has submitted a bid to sell the power from the projects as part of the Department of Energy’s Renewable Electricity procurement program. The bid was submitted on the 5th March and the DOE will notify the successful bidders of their selection on the 14th May 2012. We are confident that the project will be selected as the City’s project was the only project to submit an application for allocation under the IPP Procurement Process for landfill gas projects which has been allocated 25MW of capacity. 

Green Joburg, a city of trees
Green Joburg, a city of trees
Water
The most crucial element in creating a green environment is to preserve and conserve the most precious of resources - water. It is up to Joburg Water to supply almost four million residents with top quality water. Joburg Water is responsible for an area of about 1 646 km2 in size, testing drinking, water; industrial water; rivers and streams; seepage water; borehole water; sewage; effluent and other wastewater.

Greening Soweto
The City set out to address the imbalances in past development policies and provide a Green Soweto. It decided to plant 200 000 trees ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, creating a legacy for the residents of Soweto.

The first tree was planted in Soweto by Executive Mayor Amos Masondo planting on Arbor Day, 1 September 2006. The project saw businesses and individuals participate in donating and planting trees in areas that were in need of regeneration.

In April 2010 Masondo saw the project come to fruition as he planted the 200 000th tree in Dhlamini Eco Park.

Managing waste
Pikitup has embarked on a Separation at Source pilot project to get residents to help in recycling and reusing materials.

Besides making everyone aware of the need to reduce, reuse, and recycle material, the project is one way of taking pressure off rapidly filling landfill sites.

Pikitup's project is the first of its kind in Gauteng. Find out more on the Pikitup website.

Creating city parks
City Parks, has also been involved in creating and upgrading parks across Joburg.

These public spaces provide a place where residents can relax and play - part of a creating a healthy lifestyle.

One project of particular note is the Xtreme Parks built by City Parks. The open space is selected and all efforts are focused on building, within 24 hours, a park with trees, plants, walkways and recreational amenities.

One such park, in Diepkloof , went on to receive international recognition, winning gold at the United Nations' Liveable Communities Awards in Dongguan City, China, in 2008. The park has a splash pool, mini soccer field, multipurpose court, natural amphitheatre with a big television screen and ablution facilities.

For more on City Parks' greening programmes, read here.

Besides the obvious public spaces efforts, Joburg also tackles other green projects.

Rea Vaya buses cut carbon emissions
Rea Vaya buses cut carbon emissions
Smart buildings
The City has a policyin place that emphasises energy efficiency and resource sustainability in urban development.

 As a result, its own buildings set the trend for energy cuts, and the City has received much acclaim internationally. Joburg was the only South African participant at the Seoul C40 Summit, where it presented a paper on Smart Buildings: how Johannesburg is implementing energy efficiency in buildings.

Joburg is also working closely with Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI).

Bus Rapid Transit system Rea Vaya, the City's Bus Rapid Transit system aims to cut pollution. Its buses run on low-sulphur diesel. According to an environmental impact research conducted in 2008, it is estimated that 1.6million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions will be saved by 2020. For more information, check out the website.

Other projects To help fight climate change, Joburg's environment department has come up with initiatives and programmes such as the the Cosmo City Climate Proofing Programme, the Energy Efficiency Buildings Retrofit Programme, the Greenhouse Gas Data Web Interface and the Implementation of the BRT Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project, to monitor gas emissions.

Key drivers of the Green Joburg initiatives


Policy documents

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