The Cape Town Installation
Food waste in South Africa
Every year, South Africa produces 10 million tonnes of food waste. N1 City Mall, a shopping mall in Cape Town, contributes positively to tackling the problem of food waste. They reduce the pressure on landfills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and recover valuable nutrients in food waste for recycling. The solution chosen is the on-site transformation of food waste into green energy. Inspired by the South Africa Government - which made a commitment to reduce food waste by 50% in 2030 - N1 City Mall has placed a small-scale Waste Transformer next to their garbage collection hub at the back of the shopping mall. Each tenant throws away - only non-consumable - organic food waste into separate recycling bins, which are collected daily. In return, they get a clean bin and are ready to go for the next day. Because of the fast turnover, the problem of smells around the waste in the kitchen is eliminated.
View our Durban installation
Watch the video of how we convert low value waste into high value products on-site in Durban South Africa.
How does this work?
You feed a Waste Transformer -an anaerobic digester inside containers- everyday with non consumable food waste, which is not fit for consumption anymore. The food waste is shredded and transformed into biogas. The biogas generates inside the container green electricity, which is fed back into the mall to power its operations. The residual heat will be used for hot water in the mall. Whilst the recovered nutrients in the food waste will be turned into a fertilizer that will be used for the landscaping on the premises to keep the gardens green and fed.
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Turning a malls food waste into clean energy
Waste-to-energy generation on-site has multiple advantages: The landfills in South Africa are filling up quickly, which have a negative impact on society and the environment. Due to harsh weather conditions in recent years, and a population growth of 79 percent in the last 23 years, the city of Cape Town is now home to over 4.3 million people. In addition, water demand exceeds the supply of fresh water. Agriculture alone uses about 29 percent of the water supplied by the Western Cape Supply System, but water usage is severely restricted during the drought. The Waste Transformer on-site reduces the need to transport food waste over long distances to landfills, thereby reducing the CO2 emissions of diesel transport to 0. The high-quality digestate, a liquid natural fertilizer can be used in the local gardens and for agricultural purposes, reducing the pressure on the freshwater supply of the region, and reducing the need for polluting artificial fertilizer. It's a win-win-win, for the city, N1 City Mall and our environment.
"With rising levels of pollution in both our country as well as our oceans, it’s no longer a case of best practice to re-purpose our food waste but rather a necessity."