Waste not Want Not

Waste not Want Not
Jeroen Vincent
Published: 4 January 2014 - 1 a.m.
By: Aby Thomas

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Averda’s COO Jeroen Vincent talks to fmME on how waste needs to be seen as a valuable resource, instead of just garbage

With more than ten years of experience in the waste management industry in Europe, Jeroen Vincent seems to be well placed in his role as the chief operating officer (COO) at averda, the largest environmental solutions provider in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Having joined the company only a few months ago, Vincent is a newcomer to the Gulf, but he is quick to say that he has been very impressed with what he has seen of the waste management industry in the region.

“I was highly surprised by the level of automation and infrastructure in the region,” Vincent says.

“The awareness here about the need to have a proper waste management ecosystem in place is now, I think, bigger than ever. So, it’s an interesting time period for the industry in the region. It’s time now for the execution of the transition from moving waste away from landfills, and on to better and smarter models.”

Diverting waste away from landfills has become an important target for many countries in the Middle East.

Statistics claim that waste generation in the Gulf countries will go up from 22m tonnes in 2010 to 29.07m tonnes in 2017. Sustainable waste management has thus become more of a urgent need than a nominal CSR agenda, and companies like averda have been tackling this challenge head-on.

One of averda’s most notable projects in this regard has been its landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project in Lebanon.

Located at Naameh, the country’s biggest sanitary-controlled landfill serving the Greater Beirut and Mount Lebanon area, the landmark project that converts waste into energy is the first of its kind in Lebanon, and is estimated to generate 637 kilowatts of renewable electricity.

Averda accomplishes this by capturing methane from the landfill gas (which is made up of approximately 55% methane and 45% carbon dioxide), and using that as a fuel to produce electricity. Besides the obvious energy benefits, the project also eliminates the equivalent of about 12,400 tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to the amount of emissions produced by about 6,100 cars in a year.

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