Unfortunately, the open-air landfill outside of the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, murdered more than 110 people in 2017.
The government invested $120 million in the building of a waste-to-energy plant next to the garbage dump as a means of tackling the problem of waste piling in the city.
The plant is called the Reppie and it can collect energy from 1.4 million kg of waste daily.
This makes sufficient electricity to power around 30 percent of the household in the capital, claims the company that’s responsible for the project, Cambridge Industries.
This facility is the first of its kind in Africa.
Will the Reppie Help Reduce the Need for Landfills?
Another type of waste-to-energy plant was opened in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2017, to help convert waste into fuel and gas.
And, in Naivasha, Kenya, there’s an anaerobic digester plant which makes sufficient energy to grow a commercial farm and sell the surplus electricity to the national network.
The Reppie burns around 85 percent of the fresh domestic waste in the capital to produce heat.
For this, the steam turbines produce around 185 million kilowatt hours of electricity per annum.
The idea for this plant is also to lower the need for landfills, in addition to producing and selling electricity to the national grid of Ethiopia.
Koshe, a Landfill the Size of 36 Football Pitches
However, it won’t convert the garbage from the landfill next door.
This landfill, called the Koshe, spreads on an area of 36 football pitches and releases toxins into the groundwater and fills the atmosphere with methane.
Despite these facilities are common in Europe, Africa is more inclined towards disposing waste in dumping sites or landfills.
The hope is to develop similar plants in major cities across Africa where the landfills are over their capacity, including Nairobi, Lagos, and Kampala.
They want to build renewable energy sources that can compete with the fossil-fuel ones.