Monday, September 3, 2012

Project aims to convert waste to energy

The country could hit two birds with one stone by ramping up energy generation projects from solid waste, a statement on Friday showed.

The Asian Development Bank said it has approved a $385,000 technical assistance fund to support a feasibility study on "waste-to-worth" energy plants in the Philippines.

This, as the Manila-based multilateral lender said the metro generates 6,700 tons of solid waste daily, but only recycles or composts 720 tons.

The rest is dumped in legally on landfills, openly burned oir thrown illegally on private land, rivers, creeks or even the Manila Bay.

"This has led to serious environmental problems, such as air pollution and soil and groundwater contamination," the ADB said.

The feasibility study aims to develop plants which will process 99 percent of waste into energy, as well as other materials such as asphalt, which is used to overlayed roads.

Aside from reducing urban waste, it will also augment the country's power supply as a single plant is expected to produce up to two megawatts of power.

ADB said that if deemed "viable and sustainable," a waste-to-energy plant will be piloted in the Philippines by 2016.

"This is the kind of innovative project that brings the public and private sectors together to tackle a problem seen throughout the developing world," ADB investment specialist Jose Manuel Limjap said in the statement.

"Successfully piloting an integrated solid waste management system means it could be replicated in other parts of the world," Limjap added.

The project further aims to develop business models and supply chains for municipal solid waste management systems.

"If proven successful, it is hoped that the model will be replicated in other areas with such a need," the ADB said.