Making use of waste

Normal, Weekender

The National, Friday, May 13, 2011

A system will soon be introduced into Wewak to remediate waste and generate revenue for the town commission writes GABRIEL FITO


THE Wewak Urban Level Government in East Sepik is embarking on a new waste management system called the plasma waste converter (PWC) system for the coastal township.
The accumulation of waste is a big problem in the municipalities across the country including Wewak and mayor Peter Saun is concerned that with the sudden increase in the population of Wewak, the volume of waste generated each day was becoming unbearable.
The current dump site at Mongniol also could not hold anymore and as a result the mayor fears a rise in health related problems for squatters living at the dump area and the general population of Wewak.
Following this concern the Wewak Town Commission has engaged an engineer from East Sepik to carry out a feasibility study to ascertain the type and volume of waste generated per day in the town and the local communities.
At small ceremony at the Wewak Town Commission office in early February, the mayor presented a cheque of K50, 000 to local engineer Thompson Benguma in front of ward councillors, council employees and the general public.
The payment was to finance the feasibility study which commenced immediately thereafter and is now nearing completion.
The study covered government offices, industrial areas, business houses, local communities, individual households, the general hospital and other places where rubbish are generated.
The exercise is expected to conclude this month with the South Seas Tuna Loining factory but already the findings has indicated that over 10 tonnes of waste is generated each day in Wewak.
Benguma thanked Saun and the commission for have the trust and confidence in him to carry out a feasibility study and introduce a technology which will not only remediate waste but generate revenue for the commission.
Commission employee, Micheal Kabaru, the man tasked to address the problem of waste in the town, said he had been looking for a way or a technology to effectively manage waste in Wewak but to no avail.
A number of proposals were submitted to him but did not look convincing.
Finally a proposal was submitted by Benguma on the plasma waste converter system to remediate waste effectively and efficiently.
Benguma said he was looking at remediating the waste in Wewak through the plasma waste converter  (PWC) system designed and produced in the United States of America.
The PWC is a closed loop elemental waste recycling system that converts waste into useful commodities by a process of molecular dissociation and reforms it into two useful commodities such as synthesis gas and solids in the form of metals or silicates.
The PWC can remediate organic, in-organic, hazardous, non-hazardous waste, company specialty waste, e-waste, medical waste etc. It is capable of handling solid, liquid and gaseous waste simultaneously. Any aerosols, waste particulates in the gas are fed back into the system via the cyclone filter which is why the system is known as closed loop.
The byproducts resulting from processing waste have high value and will generate income for the council. Metals can be sold to metal recycling while silicates can be sold as construction and road base materials. The synthesis gas on the other hand can be sold for domestic and industrial heating and cooling needs.
The gas which is not a molecule has free hydrogen and carbon therefore the hydrogen can be extracted for use as fuel.
Benguma is also planning to use the gas to run motor vehicles or convert into methanol for use to produce bio-diesel.
The plasma waste converter system has its roots in the Kyoto Protocol. It is not only a low carbon footprint but a zero carbon footprint and addresses the climate change and green house gas issues.
The project is Clean Development Mechanism approved and once certified carbon credit funds will be paid to the council for as long as the system is operational. The PWC has no moving parts and therefore requires very little maintenance.