UK firm to turn Giotto trash into wealth – Kenya News Agency
If the government approves Giotto landfillsite, a planned waste–to-energy facility that will transform the gigantean eyesore into a modern waste management system in Nakuru county, it will revolutionize the waste management system in the county.
For 50 years, the Giotto dump site has been the only landfill in Nakuru and as the town expands in population, the site which has become part of the urban landscape, sprawling over an area of 30-acres will assist manage the city’s waste.
The plant, whose construction is due to begin once a proposal submitted to the government through the Ministry of Energy, is approved will incinerate 3,000 tons of waste every day – that’s roughly 60 percent of the city’s garbage –while supplying Nakuru with 15 percent of its household electricity needs and meeting international standards on air emissions.
According to County Environment, Energy, Natural Resources and Climate Change Chief Officer Kennedy Barasa the devolved unit’s administration will make available the land within or around Giotto dumpsite, while KEW Technology, a United Kingdom based -sustainable energy solutions company will finance, develop, and operate the power plant.
“KEW Technology did a study back in 2016 with support from UK-AID on waste analysis in Nakuru County which led to the discovery that the amount of waste generated has high value content which could generate valuable landfill gases and steam. With the sustained increase in waste production in Nakuru the firm seeks to establish material treatment centres that will not only promote the production of clean energy but also boost our county’s economy as waste is a public hazard,” noted the Chief Officer.
Mr. Barasa stated that KEW Technology has created a unique technology that combats climate change over the years. It converts all types of nonrecyclable resources and low grade biomass into a wide variety of sustainable energy vectors such as hydrogen, heat, and advanced fuels for a zero carbon future.
“Our partnership with KEW Technology is just one component of Nakuru County’s broader strategy to address pollution and embrace renewable energy across all sectors of the economy .We hope that this will serve as a model for other counties in the region,” he added.
The approval of the feasibility study is required before the project can be implemented. It will take at least six to eight months to prepare.
The study will determine the viability of the project and the cost of the project.
A combustion chamber is used to burn rubbish in waste-to energy incineration plants. The heat from the combustion chamber is used to boil water to make steam, which is then used to power a turbine generator that generates electricity.
In cities where land is in short supply, “waste-to-energy” incineration is a quadruple win: it saves precious space, generates electricity, prevents the release of toxic chemicals into groundwater, and reduces the release of methane — a potent greenhouse gas generated in landfills into the atmosphere.
Incinerating waste to generate energy is popular in Europe, where nearly one quarter of all municipal solid garbage is used for “waste-to-energy” purposes. France alone boasts of 126 waste-to-energy plants, while Germany has 121 and Italy 40.
Mr Barasa indicated that once the “waste-to-energy” power plant is complete it will operate within the strict emission limits of the European Union and that it will adopt a modern back-end flue gas treatment technology to drastically reduce the release of heavy metals and dioxins produced from the burning.
The plant is expected to sustainably solve Nakuru’s garbage problem and at the same time create a new income stream for the County Government.
According to a World Bank feasibility study, approximately 300 metric tonnes of solid refuse are processed daily at the Giotto site.
The dumpsite was built in 1974. Around 200 trucks drop off waste each day.
Previous regimes including the defunct municipal council grappled with the challenge of acquiring suitable land for Giotto dumpsite’s relocation.
According to an official report of the National Environmental Complaints Committee (NEC), 45 percent of Nakuru’s waste goes uncollected.
According to the report Nakuru city generates an estimated 6,000 tonnes of waste daily. However, only 3,962 tonnes have been collected and more than 2,000 tonnes remain untouched.
Eighty five per cent of the waste generated by Nakuru’s urban centers comes from households.
Mr Barasa claimed that power generation from waste has the potential to reduce environmental degradation and increase job opportunities.
The Chief Officer stated “We need innovative technologies and approaches that change the way we think about, use and treat solid, liquid, domestic, industrial and commercial waste. Nakuru should explore the 5Rs of rethinking and refusing, reducing and reusing, as well as opportunities to transform waste into wealth.
Lack of adequate waste management has resulted in excessive air, soil and water pollution, threatening public health, ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as accumulating immense quantities of waste in Nakuru’s Lakes and Rivers’’.
By Anne Mwale