It’s been over a year since South Africa made history as the first African country to convert waste into gas. The first waste-to-energy plant was launched in January last year at the Waste Mart in Athlone, Cape Town to provide the liquefied petroleum gas needs of the people.
Like its colleague African countries, South Africa experiences significant pressure on its landfill site with its operational landfills being rapidly filled up. Waste collection and management is a major challenge, with the city of Cape Town alone generating around 8000 tons of waste a day.
As part of efforts to reduce the city’s landfill sites and ultimately create jobs, the $33m waste-to-energy conversion plant was borne. The project, which is a collaboration between Waste Mart and Clean Energy Africa, is being operated by New Horizons Energy.
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The plant uses 500 tons of organic household, municipal, and industrial waste per day, in an anaerobic digestive process, to produce methane, food-grade carbon dioxide, and organic fertilizer, local media News24 reported.
“This project is the first of its kind to provide the combination of an effective waste-management service and a valuable energy resource,” Egmont Ottermann, chief executive of New Horizons Energy was quoted by IOL News.
According to Otterman, Cape Town was the perfect place for the first plant as it was in short of gas apart from it having high landfill prices.
The plant which was expected to start operations by June 2017 could supply around 4% to 5% of the city’s liquefied petroleum gas requirement.
Other countries in Africa have also followed suit. In November 2017, Ethiopia turned its largest rubbish dump Koshe into a new waste-to-energy plant via the Reppie Waste-to-Energy Project. The plant will supply the people with 30 percent of their household electricity needs and also revolutionise waste management practices in the country.