The Accra Compost and Recycling Plant (ACARP) is to begin commercial production of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), a form of fuel obtained from recycled waste which can be used by the cement industry.
The venture, according to ACARP, will considerably augment the coal needs of local cement producers when commercialised as it is a much cheaper and cleaner option to coal. It is created from a combination of highly combustible waste and textile waste, with this type of waste constituting about 30 percent of what is handled by ACARP.
“There is high demand for recycled material here,” said Michael Padi Tuwor, ACARP’s General Manager. “All the plastics that we are unable recover still have value. We can turn them into energy and a typical example is RDF, where are going to mix plastics with the highly combustible material to produce RDF that will be suitable for the cement industry to complement their coal requirement for firing.”
Mr. Tuwor revealed this when the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Ishmael Ashitey, led a delegation comprising the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah and the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, on a tour of some wastes landfills and cycling plants in Accra and in the Eastern Region.
Although he could not tell the exact volumes of RDF that the plant will be producing nor the volumes required by the cement industry, he noted that about 30 percent of the waste that comes to the plant can be used for RDF while he estimates industry demand for RDF to be around several thousands of tons per annum.
The plant currently handles about 600tons of waste per day, out of which it is able to recycle about 80 percent.
The recycling plant is also being expanded to handle 2000 tons of waste daily– about half of the total waste generated in the capital on a daily basis, he said.
It is expected to hit about 95 percent recovery rate when the expansion is complete by November this year which is when commercial production of RDF begins.
The 80 percent of waste being recovered is processed into various products such as organic compost – a product Mr, Tuwor noted, is in high by farmers because of a government a subsidy programme, plastics and RDF, among others.
“The existing facility currently handles 600metric tons daily and we are introducing another 1000 tons per day. We are going to add another 400tons a day mobile plant like the one at Integrated Recycling and Compost Plant (IRECOP). So the new facility is going to have 1400tons capacity in addition to the existing 600tons, making it 2000tons per day,” he explained.
When the expansion is complete by end of November this year, he said, “we will be more confident to say that we are controlling or receiving more than half of the waste generated daily in Accra. This will help in making our city clean and ease pressure on our landfills.”
It will also mean that little waste will find its way to waste landfills sites, thereby reducing the impact of such waste on the environment, he added.
Apart from PET waste, the plant is capable of recycling all forms of waste into usable products.
The Minister and his delegation visited a number of waste landfills sites including two within the Kpone Katamanso Municipality, Adepa engineered landfill in Nsawam in the Eastern Region and Nsumia also in Nsawam, as well as, the ACARP.
The tour by the minister was to ascertain the challenges faced by operators of landfills sites and recycling companies after some operators threaten closure due to government’s indebtedness to them. The debt is understood to be in the tune of GH¢42million.
“Meanwhile, the visit to Kpone was particularly to interact and assure youth of area who had been protesting against pollution from an abandoned landfill which is been put to use again after fire gutted the other landfill last August, as well as, bad roads in the area.
Not been able to quench the fire to date and with no alternative site for waste generated within the Tema, Ashaiman and Kpone areas, the abandoned landfill has had to been reopened for use, much to the displeasure of residence of the areas.
The road has been awarded on contract and the contractor is mobilising funds to start work. This is not the only road; there are so many roads and they are all going to be constructed this year,” Mr. Ashitey assured the youth.
On the landfill site, he said: “I have spoken to the Sanitation Ministry and they are trying to do something about it but this will not be as quickly as that of the road. Looking at the way the place is developing that thing will not continue to be there.”
He further indicated that government was stepping up efforts to find new engineered sites to manage waste and bring lasting solution to the waste disposal problem in the country.
“I am here with my team to get my own report on the landfills sites to discuss it technically with the Minister of Sanitation and maybe later with the Chief of Staff for us to see how important it is to do something immediately. No one wants you to get a bad situation here and government will do everything possible to make sure that there is solution to the problem,” Mr. Ashitey added.