HARARE – About 18 000 megawatt hours of electricity can be generated from organic matter per year in Harare alone, a study has shown.
In an interview, Environmental Management Agency (EMA)’s environmental officer Mr Luke Makarichi explained the findings of the study saying it is possible to recover materials and energy from the waste refuse using technology around us.
“Our municipal solid waste is composed of a number of components which include plastics, metals, wood as well as food which is the organic part of the biodegradable portion and that portion alone can be used to generate that amount of energy if we install biogas powered generators using the digested solid waste,” he said.
According to the preliminary calculations, the 18 000 megawatt hours of electricity is sufficient to serve a population 300 000 people with continuous supply per year considering that the average consumption of electricity per individual is around 60 to 70 kilowatt hours per year.
Mr Makarichi said instead of heaping the waste material at dumpsites this exercise of recovering energy from waste material is ideal in minimising the volume of refuse at dumpsites.
“Instead of just collecting the refuse and throwing it into the dumpsites, why not recover material and energy from it.
“The advantage is that at the end of the day we will have very little portion of the waste to be directed as refuse. And there will be a good incentive to clean up our environment and collect refuse as this will no longer be regarded as waste but as a resource,” he said.
He also said that the nation should not only focus on renewable energy but also expand it to alternative energy sources that is any other kind of energy source that we utilise to replace fossil fuels.