N1 City Mall to use waste-to-energy technology

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The N1 City Mall in Cape Town has been equipped with green waste-to-energy technology that converts organic waste into electricity. An on-site anaerobic digester is fed with organic waste and compost, which it then uses to produce power, hot water and fertiliser.The technology, installed by Dutch green technology company Waste Transformers, will be showcased at the Future Cities conference at African Utility Week in Cape Town. The technology will be used as a focal point for discussions around waste-to-energy possibilities and their functionality in real-life scenarios.

Waste-to-energy installation is modulated

The anaerobic digester is a modulated unit comprising four large containers situated on six parking bays at the N1 City Mall. “Within our shopping centre environment we collect organic waste material from restaurants and from food supermarket operators in separate bins and separate it from the recycled goods,” says the Western Cape regional retail asset manager at Growthpoint Properties Gavin Jones.“We then process it in the first stage of the machine, which is the macerator [that] chops up the organic waste matter into a usable size,” he says. “A grey water mix is added and this mixture is then pumped into the anaerobic digester. With added enzymes, this digester pretty much functions like a stomach which produces methane gas as well as a by-product of hot water,” Jones explains.The hot water from the digester is used to clean the area surrounding the digester, as well as other waste-collection areas on-site. The methane gas is collected and filtered by a gas chamber on the unit. The methane gas is then used to power a generator to create electricity for the mall.

Reducing organic waste-to-landfill

The intention for the waste-to-energy installation at the N1 City Mall is to make strides towards future regulation of waste to landfills - particularly organic waste from functional buildings in the Western Cape.“Cape Town has announced that they want a 100% reduction of organic waste to landfills by the year 2027. Growthpoint is trying to reach that target by 2020 while Cape Town is hoping to reach a target of 30% by that time,” says Jones.Green technologies such as this waste-to-energy unit have a vital role to play in the future of sustainability in South Africa. The success of such technologies is important if other businesses and buildings are going to install similar units.___Averda is a leading waste management provider with over 50 years of experience across three continents. Through growth, transformation and engagement, we strive to find new ways of managing waste while protecting the community and environment. ___By pairing international expertise with local insights, we have secured our position as one of South Africa’s most respected providers of waste management and industrial cleaning services. We also operate in the recycling, pipe inspection, CCTV, infrastructure inspection, hydro-demolition, high-pressure water jetting and catalyst handling industries. ___Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the best tips on recycling and the latest industry news. See our Instagram and YouTube channels for more insights into environmental affairs and our work with local communities.