Kenya to host two-day Waste-to-Energy Congress

People collecting plastic bottles

People collecting plastic waste from Nairobi River for recycling. Kenya will host the inaugural two-day Waste-to-Energy Congress between June 15 and June 16, 2022.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The challenge of waste management has been facing most third world countries and Kenya is not an exception.

In this regard, Kenya will host the inaugural two-day Waste-to-Energy Congress between June 15 and June 16, 2022.

The conference’s aim is to deliberate on ways of tackling waste management challenges facing the country.

It will be based on the theme “It is Time to Act” and it comes at a time when the country is setting up infrastructure to address Africa’s growing waste management challenge.

The inaugural Waste-to-Energy Congress is organised by Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), a Zurich-based firm dedicated to tackling global environmental challenges by generating waste from energy, in partnership with Sintmond Group, a local zero waste smart waste project management firm.

Creating energy

Speaking about the event, Sintmond Group Limited Chief Executive Officer Richmond Gatu said waste-to-energy (WtE) technologies consist of any waste treatment process that creates energy in the form of electricity, heat or transport fuels like diesel from a waste source.

“Waste being one of the contributors of greenhouse gasses affects climate change in addition to improper management of waste disposal which ultimately hinders the achievement of sustainable development,” said Mr Gatu.

Recent statistics from the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) indicate that Kenya generates an estimated 22,000 tonnes of waste per day, translating to 8 million tonnes annually.

Urban waste

About 40 per cent of this waste is generated in urban areas. With urbanisation growing by 10 per cent annually, Kenya’s urban population will be generating an estimated 5.5 million tonnes of waste every year by 2030.

Currently, Nema estimates that 60 to 70 per cent of waste generated is organic, 20 per cent plastic, 10 per cent paper, one per cent medical waste and two per cent metal.

HZI Senior Sales Director for Emerging Markets Urs Altenburger said the partnership with Sintmond and other stakeholders in Kenya will make the initiative achievable.

“HZI brings decades of experience in delivering complete turnkey waste management plants and its solutions as a project developer, technology supplier and engineering, procurement and construction contractor have been part of more than 1,600 reference projects,” said Mr Altenburger.

The partnership between HZI and Sintmond Group includes development of local waste management plants as a long term solution for recycling waste into electricity and fuel.

Some of the issues to be addressed during the 2022 congress include WtE project development and technical solutions, financing opportunities tailored for Africa, education exchange programmes to Switzerland and long-term operation of waste to energy plants.