Organic waste, which began to be collected separately a month-and-a-half ago, is already generating sufficient energy to supply 6.000 family homes. Wasteserv CEO David Borg told TVM the new collection scheme had fared better than expected, so much so that this is weekly rendering 500 tons of organic waste.
A TVM crew was on hand to see the workings of the process and the way it is being treated following door-to-door collections that now take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Although in general the public complied with the placement of organic waste in white bags, few know what happens after the white bags are collected.
Collection trucks unload the bags in a specially closed warehouse so as to prevent the material from causing a stench. A machine with sharp blades tears the bags open and the organic contents go through a large mincer that liquidises the material. This is then subject to biological treatment that produces the gas; liquids and solids are separated and this is then dried to produce soil compost.
David Borg said the organic contents of bags are transformed into electricity that goes into the grid and is purely green energy. He said he has been informed this supply is now reaching 6,500 households annually.
He explained that the incoming waste is serving to double the volume of clean energy supplied by organic waste. Borg said Wasteserv is satisfied that families are playing their part and in fact the target for November had been exceeded with an average of 12 kilos of such organic refuse being collected from each household whereas previously this used to end up as landfill.
Borg said that 500 tons weekly is being collected against a previous estimate that 300 tons weekly would be collected.
Davina Shead, who is responsible for the project, said that Wasteserv is continuing with the distribution of refuse separation containers. She said this entailed an investment of €5 million to provide the necessary containers to every household.
In the meanwhile, a Parliamentary Committee for the Environment has continued to discuss the next step in the management of refuse to enable refuse that is going into landfill to be transformed into energy. This project, on an investment of €100 million, is expected to be completed in the next legislature.