By Felix Ajide
Abuja – Kano and Kaduna State Governments have concluded plans to generate electricity from solid waste.
Environmental officials in the two states gave the indication in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Malam Ahmed Salihu, Director of Environment, Kaduna State Ministry for Environment, said that plans to generate electricity from domestic waste had gone far.
According to him, the plan is to transform waste into huge employment opportunities.
“We have already entered into discussion with the Federal Ministry of Environment and had shown interest to partner with us to make the project a reality.
“The waste generation has become a major challenge to the state and we need to be taken advantage of the situation.
“The large volumes being generated daily has become a nightmare to the government, residents and even the environment as the population of the state increases.
“Therefore, turning the waste into energy or electricity is inevitable to save humanity and the environment,” he said.
Salihu said the Kaduna recycling plant, located along Kaduna-Abuja Highway, had reached 80 per cent completion as the needed machinery had been installed.
According to him, used plastic and nylons are being used as raw materials for the plant; this will complement government’s effort in ensuring the state is flood free during rainy season.
“This initiative will also generate revenue for the state government as recycled products will be sold to residents at a cheaper price.
“The plant is expected to create employment for at least 2000 youths in the state,“ Salihu said.
Yusuf Rigasa, General Manager, Kaduna State Environmental Protection Authority (KEPA) said 3000 tonnes of refuse were evacuated daily within the metropolis.
He told NAN that the state government has approved the construction of three new standard refuse dumping sites and ten transfer stations at the cost of N675 million.
Rigasa said the refuse dumping site was to take care of the increasing tonnes of waste generated daily in the state.
In Kano State, the government said that it was exploring avenues of converting solid waste to electricity in collaboration with a Non-Governmental Organisation.
The government said it had already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the organisation.
Malam Baba Ahmad, Deputy Director, Pollution Control in the state Ministry of Environment, said the MoU with the NGO, Shara Dukiya, was to convert solid waste to electricity.
He explained that the conditions attached to the agreement had been met, pointing out that the project would take off in the next few months.
Speaking with NAN on waste management at the local governments, Ahmad said it was very effective.
He said that the bulk of solid wastes were generated by the eight local government areas in Kano metropolis.
The state government, he said, had no waste recycling plant or incinerator, but the NGO had installed one in Gabasawa area of the state.
Meanwhile, the Kano State Refuse Management and Sanitation Board (REMASAB) says it is evacuating over 4, 000 tonnes of refuse daily.
Mohammed Bichi, Managing Director of the board, told NAN that the waste was being evacuated daily from the eight metropolitan local government areas that made up the state capital.
According to him, the state government is doing everything possible to ensure that the entire state remain clean.
“The state government has provided us with all the necessary facilities that will assist us in achieving our goals,” he said.
Bichi told NAN that the government had procured sanitation equipment worth N1.6 billion as part of effort to ensure effective refuse collection and disposal in the state.
He called on the general public to avoid indiscriminate dumping of refuse in places not designed for such purpose.
The managing director described solid waste as a very viable source of generating electricity, “because it’s one of the three major sources of electricity all over the world.”
“Other countries have tried it and succeeded, therefore, if the necessary materials are provided, it can also be successful in our country.”
According to him, the state government under Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje was committed to the recycling of waste materials.
In Katsina State, the Environmental Protection Agency, says it evacuates 6, 660 tonnes of refuse in Katsina metropolis monthly.
Malam Nura Badi, the Public Relations Officer of the agency, said that 30 refuse evacuation trucks are being used for the evacuation daily.
Badi revealed that the agency has two major refuse dumping sites, and employs 2,000 casual workers as loaders and street sweepers.
The PRO said that the agency usually separate plastics and metals, as well as manure from waste products.
Badi said that the manure was sold to farmers, while the plastic and metallic objects were sold to companies that recycle the materials.