Xanthea Limberg‚ the mayoral committee member for water‚ waste and energy‚ launched a gas extraction and flaring facility at Coastal Park landfill in Muizenberg which will destroy methane produced by the landfill by burning it at 1‚000ºC.
In as little as 18 months the plant is expected to add a methane-powered generator which will produce 1MW of power — enough to run the waste water treatment facility in nearby Pelican Park.
According to project manager Alberto Borello‚ from Fountain Green Energy‚ landfills are responsible for 4% of South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions‚ mostly in the form of methane.
More than half the gas produced by rotting waste at Coastal Park is methane‚ while 40% is carbon dioxide.
The new project consists of 49 wells‚ each with a perforated pipe sunk about 20 metres into the garbage to suck out the gases. In the lifetime of the operation‚ Borello said 525‚000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions would be avoided.
The rate of extraction is expected to reach 1‚000m³ per hour‚ enough to power 128 landfill trucks if they ran on methane.