Converting municipal solid waste to electricity for sustainable waste management : determinant factors for successful set up of a waste to electricity facility
Koech, Carol Chepkemoi
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Municipal Solid waste is a major challenge in most cities and especially in developing countries where budgetary constraints exist. This is exacerbated by the ever increasing urbanization which puts even more pressure in the existing infrastructure. With Africa having the highest rate of urbanization at 3.5% annually and the least developed waste management infrastructure, an urgent solution is required in order to save the environment and the health of people living near the open dumps which is the most common final waste disposal system. The study sought to find the entrepreneurial opportunity in the final waste disposal in the city of Nairobi. The study sought to estimate the potential of electricity in the current waste generated in Nairobi city by using the different waste to energy technologies i.e. Landfill gas to electricity and incineration. Literature was reviewed on landfill gas to electricity, incineration, factors affecting successful set up of a waste to electricity facility and the benefits of converting waste to electricity. The study also sought to understand the factors that have the most impact for setting up a successful waste to energy facility and a survey was administered to players in the municipal waste segment. Factor analysis was done to identify the factors that have the most impact in successful set up of a waste to electricity facility. Data collected from the survey was analyzed and the factors with the greatest impact successful set up of a waste to electricity facility were identified. The factors identified were: Stakeholder involvement for political support, regulatory framework and municipal waste chain management. The other factor was location in order to understand the available waste quantities and the environmental impact. The last factor was economical with incentives to attract investors being a key component to this. The benefits of setting up a waste to electricity facility were articulated as employment creation, carbon credits and carbon tax, financing and tax incentives, revenue from sale of electricity and heat and environmental benefits.