RWANDA: In Nduba, a new landfill will produce electricity and fertiliser

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RWANDA: In Nduba, a new landfill will produce electricity and fertiliser ©Moh. Saefudin/Shutterstock

In Rwanda, the city of Kigali will have a modern landfill to manage its household and similar waste. The facility, which will replace the existing landfill in the Nduba sector, will convert organic waste into biogas and then into electricity and fertiliser for agriculture.

A new landfill will soon be built in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. According to the Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), construction of the site will start in June 2023. The landfill will be located in the Nduba sector, but on a different site from the landfill in operation since 2012.

The future landfill will be built under a public-private partnership (PPP) and equipped with facilities for sorting and recycling part of the 49,576 tonnes of waste collected daily in the city of Kigali. “The tender is about to be completed as it is at the notification stage. It will be followed by contract negotiations and concluded by May 2023,” explains Dominique Murekezi, Wasac’s acting director.

Electricity production

According to the Rwandan authorities, at least 70% of the waste generated in Kigali and stored at the current Nduba landfill is organic waste. This high content leads to the production of methane (a greenhouse gas, editor’s note) on the site, causing fires. With the new Nduba landfill project, the Kigali authorities want to solve these various problems, in particular through the recovery of organic waste as fertiliser for agriculture and gardening, as well as the problem of pollution.

The future facility will also have equipment for the production of biogas. The gas produced by the fermentation of organic waste will be burnt in a power plant, in line with Rwanda’s ten-year climate plan. The East African country plans to allocate $28 million (about 26.6 billion Rwandan francs) to extract and use landfill gas for electricity generation, which will then reduce methane emissions into the air by 2030.

Read also – AFRICA: the circular economy, an ally for the ecological transition

“Waste that cannot be recycled will be dumped in landfills, which is a safe way to ensure that the waste does not seep into the ground. The water from the waste will also be treated before it is released into the environment,” says Dominique Murekezi, acting director of Wasac.

The inauguration of the new Nduba landfill will mark the closure of the old site, which receives all the waste from the Rwandan capital Kigali. Instead, the faecal sludge will be dumped in the future faecal sludge treatment plant in Kabuga, in the Kicukiro district of Kigali. The sludge dried in the plant (500 m3) will be used as fertiliser for agriculture. The plant is expected to be operational within three years from the start of construction.

Inès Magoum

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