South Africa is an energy-intensive country and a major greenhouse gas producer. The reason is threefold: the large share of the industrial sector in the gross domestic product (GDP), the predominance of coal in the energy mix (75% of primary energy consumption) and the poor efficiency resulting from the low energy costs. Waste is responsible for 4% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. Municipalities are in charge of waste collection and treatment; they favour landfill disposal, a solution that satisfies financial considerations but not environmental ones as it results in a high degree of pollution.
The eThekwini municipality, which includes the city of Durban and surrounding areas, produces over one million tons of municipal and industrial waste per year, disposed in three main landfills; this contributes to a large extent to air pollution.
AFD is providing support to the eThekwini municipality to develop innovative and alternative solutions to waste management. The aim of the project is to collect methane emitted by waste fermentation and use it to produce clean energy, while reducing the impact of these urban landfills on climate change. 103 extraction wells were built and distributed over the three landfills; the wells are connected to a plant which generates electricity from burning methane. The plant is connected to the municipality's electricity supply network.
The project is managed by Durban Solid Waste, the municipal agency in charge of waste collection and management, and benefiting from the sale of carbon credits.
Five impacts have been identified:
- Job creation in sorting and recycling infrastructure;
- Involvement of disadvantaged communities in biodiversity management;
- Less 54,000 tons CO2 emissions per year;
- Landfills converted into green areas;
- Healthier environment.
on the same regionSustainable CitiesEnergyFighting Inequalities
on the same topicEnergySustainable Cities
on the same financial toolEnergyClimateHealth and Social Protection