Congo gets first solid-waste landfill

10th August 2016 By: Anine Kilian - Contributing Editor Online

Lifoula village in the Congo will open its first solid-waste landfill cell in 2017, designed, built and operated by global waste management solutions provider Averda.

The Lifoula landfill, which will span 40 ha, will have eight storage cells in total and an operational life span of 15 years.

After the 2017 launch of the first landfill cell, the remaining seven cells will be rendered operational in a phased approach, with the last cell scheduled to be commissioned in October 2030.

With a countrywide unemployment rate of 46.10%, according to the latest 2016 data, Averda’s newest initiative in Congo will boost Brazzaville’s economy, as the total number of Congolese employed by Averda in its first year of operations in the country will reach almost 1 500.

“The new landfill will not only provide an infusion of much-needed capital investment and job creation in Brazzaville, but it will also capitalise on the by-products of waste generation, where the food waste will be turned into organic compost and supplied to Congolese farmers, while the biogas emanated by the landfill can provide electricity to the grid,” said Averda Congo MD Mohamad Ghalayini.

The new landfill, a first of its kind for central Africa, will be equipped with a leachate collection and treatment system, a system for the capture and reuse of biogas released by the waste landfilled, and a system for the collection and treatment of surface water.

In a recent study published by Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, it was argued that up to 363 PJ of electricity could be generated by landfill gas alone across the African continent by 2025, if the municipal solid waste produced by African countries is appropriately collected, treated and disposed of.

The estimated biogas generation capacity was calculated by Averda’s technical experts to reach between 2 000 and 2 500 m3/h after the first four years of landfilling operations.

To ensure that Lifoula landfill is a safe and fully environmentally compliant operation, aligned with the national and international standards and regulations in the field, Averda promised to provide a robust and constant quality audit of the waste designated to reach the landfill.