Chiang Mai Municipality has initiated a project that
makes garbage not just a lot of trash. The new project is called “Turning
Garbage into Energy”.
The British ambassador to Thailand and the British Consul
in Chiang Mai, along with Chiang Mai M.P. Pakorn Buranupakorn, Governor
Suwat Tantipat, and Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn, signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) for mutual cooperation between the Thai and British
governments for the project
signing between the Chiang Mai Municipality and SEPCO Holdings Plc, UK, for
collaboration on technology transfer to turn waste into energy.
The signing between the municipality and British SEPCO
Holdings Plc took place at Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Chiang Mai, on May 3.
Modern technology and equipment imported from England
would be used to transform garbage into energy. The 250 tons of waste
collected each day within the city’s municipal area and 180 tons a day
from nearby tambons and municipal areas in the province will be ‘pressure
cooked’ at 160 degrees Celsius and steam pressure at 75 psi.
The garbage is steamed for 90 minutes to make sure all
the germs are killed, and then dried. The organic chemicals of the waste
will be ground into powder, while plastic and rubber materials will be
shrunk, commercial labels will be separated, and cans will be rendered
hygienic by steam.
In a subsequent step, plastic objects will be separated
before being crushed to be recycled or sold. Cans will undergo a similar
process. Organic garbage will be transformed into fuel and will be used in
the production of electricity.
It is expected that 400 tons of waste per day or 150,000
tons per year will be able to be re-used in one form or another. Ten
megawatts of electric power is expected to be generated from this process.
At present, Hai Ya Cemetery has been chosen as the site
to steam the garbage. The site for electric power production is still
undecided between the former waste dump in Doi Tao District or the empty
land near Northern Region Industrial Estate in Lamphun.
Mayor Boonlert emphasized that the public should understand that this was
a garbage dehydrating plant, as in the past there had been a major public
outcry against a project for a garbage burning plant. The two processes are