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Now garbage is more than just a load of rubbish

Now garbage is more than just a load of rubbish

Waste not, want not, is Chiang Mai’s new motto

Nopniwat Krailerg

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

The MOU 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 quite different.