CCET and UNEP-IETC jointly organized a session on Biogas Technology during an international conference on Technology Solutions for Holistic Waste Management: A Global Dialogue with the Private Sector in lead up to G20 Summit in Osaka, 21-22 May 2019. This session entitled “Holistic Waste Management: A Case of Organic Waste Management”, explored the potential application of anaerobic digestion (AD) system as one of the proven and demonstrated technology options for managing organic waste which occupies the largest share of MSW in many developing countries, amounting to 50-80%. Waste separation at source and application of AD are increasingly recognized by policymakers and practitioners as valid options for implementing the concept of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) and resource utilization for organic waste, particularly in relation to achieving the SDGs and climate goals.
The session started with a framing presentation on the general trend of waste generation in developing countries by Ms. Claudia Giacovelli (UNEP-IETC). Following this, Mr. Kazunobu Onogawa (CCET) stressed that the socio-economic and physical conditions of the locality must be given due consideration in selecting technology options and solutions, and provided the rationale for advancing utilization of organic waste from the perspective of resource efficiency and climate smart communities.
Subsequently, two case studies were presented to provide on-the-ground experiences from both developed (Japan) and developing (Sri Lanka) countries. The first presenter, Mr. Masashi Naruse (AMITA), reported on a case in Minami-sanriku (Miyagi Prefecture, Japan), where the town administration, AMITA and residents co-created a resource circular society centered on a biogas plant as a reconstruction effort in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The project yielded multiple economic and social benefits beyond environmental targets, reconnecting ties among residents while promoting regional industries. The key success factors were: (1) careful consensus building with residents, (2) existence of shared goals, (3) public private partnership, and (4) project cost performance.
In the following presentation, Mr. Damitha Samarakoon (Janathakshan) reported on cases of AD System projects in Negambo and Kaduwela, Sri Lanka, where technology specifications and operation procedure were customized to suit the local needs, available resources, and input waste materials. Focusing on the technical aspects, (1) appropriate sizing, (2) quality of incoming waste, (3) ease of feeding waste and serviceability of system, (4) proper methods of releasing and utilizing system by-products, and (5) continuous capacity development of staffs for maintenance, were reported as the key success factors for sustained project operation.
As a final presentation, Dr. Andante Hadi Pandyaswargo (Waseda University) highlighted the key outcomes and structure of the Guideline on AD Systems currently being developed by CCET and UNEP-IETC to assist national and local governments that would like to apply AD to their national and local waste management systems. Through identification of challenges in implementing AD in emerging country contexts, an implementation framework was developed to guide prospective users (policymakers/implementers) including social conditions, institutional aspects, government capability, necessity and presence of appropriate technology, financial aspects, public awareness and cooperation of residents – a series of factors that needs to be considered/satisfied in the planning stage for the successful application of the technology.
At the end of the presentations, the audience discussed the importance of AD for achieving a sound material cycle society at local and regional scales. However, risk and safety issues in applying the technology need to be highlighted in the guidelines, including the management of resulting methane. The audience also stressed the accessibility to farms using liquid fertilizers as a prerequisite to introducing AD systems, which would otherwise cost users for the treatment of digestive liquid as waste water.
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