The site possesses a commissioned biomass power plant used by the municipality to generate electrical energy through rotting waste.
Currently, one megawatt of power is generated from the Simmer and Jack landfill site which is transmitted to the Wychwood Substation in Germiston, consequently relieving the pressure on the national grid.
“Once refuse has been collected from residential areas and businesses around the municipality, it is discarded into a berm to prevent the litter from blowing,’ explains Themba Gadebe, municipal spokesperson.
“The waste is then compressed in order for it to decompose and create methane gas. The gas is then collected through pipes that feed it directly to the flare where it is burnt to generate electricity,” he continues.
This process is not only a solution to the challenge of space for waste disposal but capturing methane before it gets into the atmosphere helps reduce the effects of climate change and minimise the effects of airborne sicknesses caused by air pollution from landfills.
As part of its future plans to generate its own clean energy through alternative resources, the EMM plans to duplicate this biomass power plant to generate two MW of power project in other landfills sites in Ekurhuleni.
The project, still in its planning stages, is estimated to cost the municipality R22 million and may be implemented at the Rietfontein landfill site in Springs, the Weltevreden landfill site in Brakpan and the Rooikraal landfill site located in Boksburg.