ADI Systems has been specializing in the design and construction of industrial wastewater treatment systems for over 30 years. Berni Chapman is a wastewater treatment specialist with ADI Systems, who has extensive experience in waste-to-energy projects particularly in the food industry, everything from initial laboratory and pilot scale testing through to detailed design. Angela McClowry from Cleanleap recently interviewed Berni to discuss wastewater treatment in emerging economies.
Dilla, a city 361 km South of Addis Ababa, is one of the pivotal areas of coffee production in Ethiopia, with Ethiopia being among the greatest coffee producers in the world. With this, comes a number of challenges such as establishing reliable energy sources for coffee processing and dealing with waste by-products. In July 2011, a plan was resurrected that had laid idle for over 20 years began, which was to create the first Ethiopian Briquette Factory. This was a move meant to offer an important firewood alternative and also a way of managing coffee husks wastes, all this in the light of urbanization and population growth.
Long Sokhon is a small-scale farmer in Cambodia’s Pursat Province. Like 85% of Cambodians, she makes a modest living off the land. She used to cook for her family of eight over a wood-chip fire by night. Sokhon lived the way most do in rural Cambodia—one of the poorest countries in South East Asia with a population of 15.8 million. Then, she was given the opportunity to have a 2,000 litre slate-grey tank installed in the vegetable patch. Long Sokhon was chosen as part of a biodigester pilot project run by Engineers Without Borders Australia and Live & Learn Environmental Education.
When you arrive at Kigali International Airport or any other border of Rwanda, you might get surprised when you see that your plastic bags are confiscated if you have some items packed into plastics bags. Since 2008, Rwanda has established a law regarding the prohibition of the importation and usage of polyethylene bags, and set heavy fines to anyone trying to import or use them. Plastic bags were replaced by paper bags. However, there are some situations where plastic bags are needed, such as in the health and agriculture sector, so there was a need to come up with an innovative solution to avoid environmental damage that can be caused by those plastic bags.
In Cameroon, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, there is a growing number of entrepreneurs who are turning rubbish into innovation by making paving tiles and building materials from plastic waste. Pierre Kamsouloum, an entrepreneur from the Northern region of Cameroon was pioneering the technology. Pierre joined forces with Living Earth, an international NGO, and has travelled across Cameroon and to Nigeria and Sierra Leone to train others.
The efficiency of waste management is an important aspect of sustainablity - especially with the global amount of waste expected to dramatically increase over the coming decades. Mobile technology from IBM is being used for mapping and tracking waste collection, as well as reporting related data in real-time, in order to enhance related decision-making.
It is a towering mountain of waste, a 50-year-old dumpsite, in the outskirts of Addis Ababa, locally known as Koshe, an Amharic word meaning “dirty”. However, this heap of waste will be a thing of the past with the construction of its first ever waste to energy plan.
Adoption of biomass power generation technologies in Africa has been challenged by a variety of factors including high capital costs and lack of feedstock. However, with biomass contributing to only 5% of power production in the continent, these projects hold a promise to helping boost the much needed power in developing world. It is not only the largest biomass power plant in Africa, but Gorge Farm AD Plant in Kenya will be Africa's first anaerobic digester.
The traditional plastic bottle is associated with high carbon emissions, and that is set to change with the onset of a PET bottle made of 100% plant materials. The bottle was launched earlier this month by Coca Cola, and is set to help the company eliminate dependency on fossil fuels for production of PET bottles. Coca Cola has, through the previous PET bottle made of 30% plant material, achieved substantial cuts on global emissions and the new development to produce a 100% plant bottle is a key to sustainable packaging.
In African countries experiencing economic growth, increased population and rapid urbanization– waste management has become a constant thorn in their sides. Aided by the rejection of common waste management practices by environmental lobbyists due to the dire negative impact on the environment, this has made the disposal of waste more difficult.