Generating Green, Nonpolluting Power Through Solid Waste

by Eszter Sailer

from Student UNU-MERIT Maastricht

Our solution

Waste management is a substantial problem in Rwanda. How about cleaning up the streets or landfills and generate power with that? Solid waste can actually be used to generate clean and nonpolluting power after it is collected, dried, crushed, screened, and put into bricks. Solid waste includes garbage, waste tires, scrap metal, furniture, toys, etc. - thus, a wide range. This leads to cleaner streets, cleaner energy, and a business opportunity everyone can take part in!

What's the business opportunity for host and refugee community

As waste is a big problem in Rwanda, it cannot be any less of a problem in refugee camps. Using garbage to generate recycled power is a way for refugees and locals to actively participate in cleaning the environment they live in and provide themselves with power, which solves several problems: cleanness, power supply, and employment. Depending on skills people can collect garbage or manage the company, or learn about green powers and acquire skills. This means employment and evolving careers.

How has it been implemented and what impact it had

Hanjer Biotech Energies has used this method in Mumbai, India to produce green and recycled power. Of the waste that is produced in India, 20% is refuse derived fuel, which the company converts into power. It is also planning on introducing it in other cities. This company reported a growth of 20% per year, which would mean a profit-organization that enables locals and refugees to work, develop skills and grow. Starting with one city, it could later spread throughout the whole country!

Our Skills and Experience

I am a student of Public Policy and Human Development at the United Nations University in Maastricht, with a special focus on policy implementation. In this program, we acquire skills to develop, analyse, and implement policies. Thus, I have a special interest in coming up with solutions. My solution would of course have to be adjusted to Rwanda. I also take part in Maastricht's Foodsharing organization, therefore, know what the impact is of a sustainable, locally sourced initiative.