Meeting sanitation and energy needs with Biogas

So is it possible to feed a biogas digester with human waste? Yes it is. The problem however is getting enough of it into the digester. The traditional answer to this has been to build latrine stances which feed, by gravity, directly into the digester

Wantokism

So we’ve been doing some investigation into installing biogas into schools which are using huge amounts of firewood for their cooking needs. These are BIG institutions! We’re talking upwards of 1500 boarding students!

There are a lot of challenges with biogas even at a small scale. Most notably for me the pure amount of unsavoury work it takes to feed the beast! The calculations say that about 60% of fuel needs can be met by Biogas…best case.

These schools happen to have a huge problem with sanitation as well. With no water borne sewage they rely on pit latrines. The maintenance of these systems (either digging new ones, or emptying them) imparts another financial cost of the schools. Not to mention the possible damage to the ground water system! In the area we are working there is no ‘honey sucker’ truck to dispose of human waste…it’s dumped on site, in…

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Plastic, Waste decay and Recycling.

Plastics and other man-made products take longer to decompose than the natural occurring compounds. Let us find creative and innovative ways to re-use, reduce and recycle our waste. Organics such as banana peel and apple core can be decay and used in the production of Biomass energy, such as Biogas and also as manure for the soil.

The Leafy Agenda

In my country, we call waste “taka” or “taka taka”.

Poor waste management is rampant and it results in extensive dump-sites the height of anthills; some extending on large tracts of land. This waste continuously pollutes both water and food sources,and this untreated water is used for human consumption through drinking, cooking and also in Agriculture, to irrigate the crops on the fertile Kenyan soil . At the source, there  tends to be little or no segregation of waste hence all types of waste are combined at the dump-sites. This in turn impedes proper disposal and recycling of waste in the municipalities.

Food safety concerns are high with food and waterborne illnesses such as Cholera, typhoid and Dysentery infections thriving excellently in polluted water. Data from the PLOS Medicine Journal indicates Diarrhea, which is defined as passing three or more loose or liquid stools per day, kills roughly 1.5 million…

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Food Waste in the Hospitality Industry

Though lots of attention and encouragement has been given to composting and donating leftover food, the first step we can take is to reduce the amount of food produced. Reducing food portions will help immensely and play an important role lessening the waste. Not only is it a good cost control measure to do an inventory of all of your food products, but it will also ensure that perishable food does not go bad before you get to use it. By putting in place and respecting an organized inventory process, waste of easily perishable food can go down. This will also help in reducing food costs greatly.

Stop Food Waste

Introduction

 Every year, 475 pounds of food waste is produced by the average person adding up to more than 70 million tons in our landfills. Not only does the waste attract vermin, it emits odors and liquids that are toxic to the environment. As a result, the methane gas generated from the waste is 20 to 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Food waste has become a big issue in all types of businesses.

 This is especially true in the hospitality industry. Haute cuisine, all you can eat buffets, and in room dining are all an integral part of the hospitality experience. But what happens to all the leftovers once guests are done eating? Most of it will be hauled off to landfills at a great cost to the establishment and an even greater cost to the environment.

Our report will look at and provide statistics on…

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Biogas generator

The process begins with the segregation of the waste to ensure the waste that is used in completely biodegradable (fragments of plastics and glass are sent to a dumping ground). Once segregated the waste is put into a liquefier.

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To find out if waste to energy plans are already used in Mumbai, we got in touch with an engineer from the solid waste management of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). He told us that in Deonar (an area with a notoriously large dumping ground) a biogas generator had recently begun to convert biodegradable waste to energy for a local hospital. Although it isn’t directly related to our project, by going to the site we got an idea as to how much electricity can be generated from biodegradable waste.

The process begins with the segregation of the waste to ensure the waste that is used in completely biodegradable (fragments of plastics and glass are sent to a dumping ground). Once segregated the waste is put into a liquefier. Check this out in this video:

After being liquified the waste is put into a chamber with microbes that process…

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Environmentally Confused – Burn or Recycle?

Sweden has had strict standards limiting emissions from waste incineration since the mid-1980s. Most emissions have fallen by between 90 and 99 per cent since then thanks to ongoing technical development and better waste sorting.

Journey of Mixed Emotions

The recycling movement in 1990s-era Vancouver started as a lukewarm way to protect the environment. Then the issues started heating up until it was a sizzling hot topic.

Everyone I knew became a star recycler. We learned how to sort properly, and although I did not always compost, I really tried to be environmentally responsible in other ways. Up until 2001, I was doing my undergraduate degree in biology and I felt it was my duty to understand the issues and be proactive.

In 2005 (give or take) I read Michael Crichton’s book State of Fear. Although there is controversy as to his thesis behind this fictional story, he had some great points about whether we were all jumping on the global warming bandwagon without all the facts. Almost 10 years later I still feel that way on a daily basis.

I am conditioned to recycle. I am often pulling…

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Sustainable Waste | How is waste managed at DMU?

Since April 2001, De Montfort University has been running a recycling scheme to help the environment. The scheme started with recycling paper and reusing envelopes. In December 2002 the scheme was extended to include the collection and recycling of cardboard waste, glossy paper and newspaper. In 2004, 149 tons of paper, cardboard and glossy paper were recycled, an increase of 12% on the previous year. Further expansion took place in 2005 with the recycling of cans and plastics which resulted in 164 tons being collected. In 2006 the recycling of CD’s/DVD’s was started. The key performance indicator set in 2009 required that by the end of 2012 60% of waste is to be recycled on campus, with the general waste reducing by the same amount.

The paper recycling scheme set up by the Estates Department has seen over 10,750 bags of waste paper, the equivalent of 2,420 trees, collected annually…

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Waste Management in Rhode Island

The Providence Environment

Hello readers! I come to you today to talk about waste. I know it’s definitely not the most appealing topic, but it’s such an environmental concern that I think the public needs more education about. My professor for this environmental studies class said something really interesting today when we were talking about the idea of “social sustainability.” This viewpoint advocates for people to “wallow in their own filth” more to really see what they’re creating and how it’s affecting the environment. We in more developed countries are so used to having other people take care of our trash FOR us. We don’t have to deal with the nastiness that is disposing of the pounds of trash we generate each day. So maybe if we DID have to deal with it, we’d see just how much waste we produce with our current lifestyle, and would then be more likely to…

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Campania: The land of smoke and fire

In the Shadow of Vesuvius

Garbage and Campania have a long sordid history together. With over 5.8 million people living in the region it shouldn’t be surprising that they have trouble disposing of their waste. Naples is the largest city in Campania but the smallest province. With a population of 3,175,010 people and a population density of 2,625.9 people/sq. km it probably has the most difficulty with ridding itself of trash but also manages to keep the streets relatively clean* considering. In 2007-2008 the problem reached its peak when municipal workers went on strike and refused to transport anymore trash. The garbage piles were higher than the roof of a car and several times as long. They could be found all over the city and surrounding countryside. Since that time the government has worked on solutions to attempt to rein in the overflow.

In Campania the mafia have traditionally been involved in trash management with their main…

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In Delhi, waste generates power — and debate

Panchabuta-Renewable Energy & Cleantech in India

According to reports, by the end of this year, Delhi will have its second waste-to-energy plant generating electricity at the landfill near Ghazipur. A similar plant, Timarpur Okhla Waste to Energy plant, sited in the vicinity of a residential colony and a hospital, has started generation since the beginning of this year.

The Delhi government is buoyant that it has finally found a solution to tackling the ever-increasing piles of waste. No government wants to grapple with millions of tonnes of waste dumped on prime land, polluting the groundwater and the air and threatening to multiply.

Delhi, with limited space, views waste-to-energy plants as a win-win solution. “Energy production is incidental. Our main concern is waste,” says Shakti Sinha, Principal Secretary, Power, summing up the government’s perception of these plants.

“The plants are absolutely safe,” he asserts. “We use state-of-the-art technology, and these are run as per the European Union norms…

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Organic Waste in South Africa

Southeast Michigan Waste

With waste to landfill becoming an ever critical concern, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) calls to attention the necessity for managing all our waste streams, especially that of organic waste.

Anything from 35% to 40% of all waste that is sent to landfill is organic; that is, of plant or animal origin, and able to be broken down by other living organisms. “Something that is not often stressed, is that despite the fact that waste may be organic, once it reaches a landfill and decomposes under anaerobic conditions (where oxygen is not present), it is responsible for producing quantities of methane gas as well as releasing potentially hazardous chemicals into the landfill’s leachate, and thence into the groundwater,” says Stan Jewaskiewitz, president of the IWMSA.

Landfills have limited lifespans

“We may think that our biodegradable waste is fairly harmless, but this is a misconception and needs…

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