Scientist roots for recycling of waste

David Ochieng' (left) and Mark Vincent both 14 years of age and orphans scavenge for valuables at Kachok dumping site in Kisumu on December 04,2017. Scientist is rooting for harnessing of energy from such wastes. [File, Standard]

A scientist wants county authorities to build a waste-to-energy plant to turn tonnes of garbage generated in the city into electricity.

The expert made the recommendations after carrying out an intensive environmental impact assessment in Kisumu to advise the authorities how to manage the waste.

Raphael Kapiyo, the head of environmental studies at Maseno University, said he advised the authorities on alternativee means to cut costs on inert waste.

Speaking to The Standard in an interview, Dr Kapiyo said heaps of rubbish collected daily in Kisumu could be burned in a combustion chamber.

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"The resulting heat can be used to heat water until it turns to steam, which drives a turbine generator that produces electricity," he said

The scientist explained that in cities like Kisumu where land is scarce, waste-to-energy incineration could be used to manage inert waste.

Save space

He said if done well, it could save space, help to generate electricity, prevent the release of toxic chemicals into groundwater and reduce the release of methane.

Kapiyo gave an example of Europe, where waste incineration is popular and where nearly one quarter of all municipal solid waste is incinerated.

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"These are some of the cost-effective and viable measures that we want Kisumu authorities to implement instead of spending millions of shillings on waste dumping."

Kapiyo spoke as county authorities disclosed that they would save Sh500 million out of the Sh800 million initially set aside by the French-funded Kisumu Urban Project for relocation of the Kachok dumpsite.

Already, the county has spent Sh100 million in the first phase of removing the waste to a quarry in Kajulu on the outskirts of the town

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