Fairway Waste Management says processing facility on schedule

Apr 24, 2017 (LBO) – Fairway Waste Management said its solid waste processing facility, being built in Colombo, was an important step taken recently to tackle Colombo’s solid waste problem.

“In the aftermath of the recent unfortunate incident in Meethotamulla, the ‘Waste Free-Clean City’ project in Karadiyana, which has been awarded to Fairway Waste Management (PVT) Ltd, is a timely measure towards ensuring that such a national calamity will never occur in future again,” the company said in a statement.

The waste processing facility will be located at the Thumbowila-Karadiyana landfill site in the Boralesgamuwa Municipal area, an integrated facility to process 500 tons per day of fresh municipal solid waste.

The company, which announced being awarded the project in March, said it plans to construct the facility within 24 months.

“The processing facility will reduce the amount of waste diverted to landfills by as much as 80 percent by mass and 90 percent by volume, whilst the fraction, which will be disposed in a suitably prepared landfill is mostly inert with no ill effects on the environment.”

“The design consists of a biological treatment plant that will process the fast degradable, high moisture content organic waste in a wet fermentation anaerobic digestion system. This system will treat a maximum of 115 tons of fast degradable organic waste per day. The remaining waste will be diverted to an incinerator facility having a capacity of 425 tons per day.”

The project will supply a total of 79,000,000 kWh of electricity to the grid per year. This is sufficient to supply the demands of around 35,000 households, according to World Bank data.

In addition to electricity, the plant will produce 40,000 tons of liquid fertilizer per year, which will be processed to a high quality bio-fertilizer for the local market.

Currently the mixed municipal waste as well as the source segregated household and commercial waste from eight local authorities is disposed at the Karadiyana waste-processing site. A small fraction of the source-segregated waste is processed as compost.

All of the mixed waste is land filled. While the landfill is a managed landfill it does not meet the modern standards for a landfill by any measure, the company said. The site, which has been operational for several decades, contains more than 2,000,000 tons of waste that is polluting the surrounding waterways, ground water sources and the air.

The technology involved consists of a mass burn incineration with energy recovery boiler and an advanced flue gas cleaning system meeting European Union emission standards. The incinerator is a moving grate type with a four-stage heat recovery boiler.

The flue gas cleaning system will assure that the emissions exceed the standards required in the country and will meet EU2010 emission standards. The plant design is based on The European Union guidelines for Waste Incineration. Fairway Waste Management will be utilizing expert consultants from Denmark and the Netherlands to design and commission this project, the company said.

At the moment the site emits large volumes of methane from waste that is digesting anaerobically. It can be seen bubbling out of puddles of leachate. Methane is a potent green house gas with an environmental impact that is 20 times more than that of CO2.

While the project will not stop the current level of emissions immediately, the organic waste that will be kept out of the landfill will stop future emissions from occurring. It will eliminate the leachate that now washes into the ground and surrounding water bodies and it will also reduce the levels of SOx and NOx (harmful GHG emissions) in the landfill area.

“The plant operators will be trained by the best in the industry and the engineering staff will be hired locally to run the plant with specialized training provided to make the operation and maintenance of the plant a local effort.”

The initiative by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development enforces the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse Recycle).

Fairway Holdings and Sustainable Alternatives (Pvt) Ltd formed a consortium to bid for the project when the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development called for proposals in 2016.

The project is supported by government agencies such as The Waste Management Authority, The Western Province – Provincial Government, The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development and The Urban Development Authority.