JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Growthpoint Properties has partnered with Waste Transformers – an organisation based in Netherlands – to leverage end-of-pipeline food waste from the Reit’s shopping malls and to adopt a decentralised approach to organic waste.
This comes ahead of plans by the City of Cape Town to ban wet waste from landfills from 2022.
Growthpoint has already installed an on-site, anaerobic digester at the N1 City Mall, in Cape Town, which is processing waste from the mall to generate clean methane. The methane is then consumed by an internal combustion engine to produce electricity and hot water for the shopping centre.
The digester also creates fertiliser for the mall’s gardens.
Growthpoint regional retail asset manager Gavin Jones says shopping centres can be large food waste generators, especially those with a significant selection of restaurants and grocery shops, making them excellent locations for waste-to-energy conversion.
Growthpoint sustainability specialist Nardo Snyman comments that organic waste is one of the last barriers to truly achieving net zero waste at a number of the company’s properties.
“With rising levels of pollution in our country and our oceans, it is no longer a case of best practice to repurpose our waste but rather a necessity.
“The containerised, small-scale, on-site approach to transforming waste into energy holds great potential. This pilot project will focus on positive impacts and financial feasibility and, if successful, we would look to roll it out to other Growthpoint properties by 2022.”
Waste Transformers CEO Lara van Druten notes that the pilot project at N1 City Mall demonstrates how companies can cooperate in a mutually inclusive way to generate energy for positive economic and social change.
Waste Transformers is a waste solution provider that specialises in converting organic waste streams into energy, while simultaneously transforming waste into new products.