Fertilizer manufacturing is a dry process. Some of the dust is captured by the dry scrubber and is recycled back into the fertilizer manufacturing process. However, there were incidents of emission of fugitive fertilizer dust that eventually settles on structures, buildings as well as vegetation. During the rainy season, ZFC Ltd generates effluent from Runoff. The effluent is rich in nutrients emanating from the fertilizer dust that would have settled on vegetation and structures. The runoff effluent attracted an Effluent License from EMA. Quarterly payments were made twice a year to EMA in fulfillment of the Polluter pays theory instituted by EMA.
In order to achieve our ZERO Harm mantra, ZFC concrete lined all the site drains and re-routed all the runoff into a concrete lined pond, the Osborne Pond. This nutrient rich water was then pumped into recycled old fuel storage tanks which were placed in a bunded area to ensure zero leakage to the environment. The effluent is now being put to better usage, that is, irrigation of the seedlings at our concrete lined Aspindale tree and flower nursery.
ZFC Ltd aims to fulfil the triple bottom line namely; People, Profit and Planet.
The ZFC Ltd Nursery project managed to create employment. This better improves the livelihoods of the people working at the nursery and wholesalers who resale plants, tree and flower seedling.
The tree seedlings, flower and plant seedlings are able to germinate and grow with minimal additional fertilizer as the nutrient rich effluent caters for the plant growth needs. This also lowers the cost of propagation at the same time conserving fertilizer. ZFC Ltd is able to serve the community by providing cost effective tree seedlings for a profit.
ZFC Ltd applied and was granted an exemption from the EMA Effluent License saving huge compliance cost arising from the red class penalty fees.
The nursery propagates variety of flower, plant and tree seedlings which also plays a pivotal role in combating climate change as trees and plants are the biggest carbon sink. Ultimately ZFC Ltd will become a carbon neutral entity.
Recycling of the effluent and its resultant use in irrigation has been significantly beneficial to the environment as this lowers the downstream effects of eutrophication as well as the immediate effect of prevention of groundwater pollution. This ensures cleaner borehole water.
It would be remiss to not talk about the beautiful ambience also brought about by the esthetics from our nursery.
Compiled by Samantha Chigoverah