Nairobi News


NMS to set up a waste to energy power plant in Dandora

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has announced plans to set up a waste to energy plant at the Dandora dumpsite.

In an elaborate project that could commence later this month, NMS says it will employ street children to separate solid waste before it is taken to the dumpsite.

NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi said that the tendering process for the power plant, which is being implemented by NMS together and energy firm KenGen, will commence this month.

The project was supposed to commence in December but encountered delays in the tendering process following the completion of feasibility studies by KenGen.

Badi further explained that initially NMS had projected a public-private partnership but noted that the Ministry of Energy took it upon itself to build the factory at Dandora to harness energy.

“The process is out and we have set an agreement between us and the ministry; they will set up the factory and NMS will supply them with garbage,” said Badi.

As part of the deal, KenGen said NMS will make available the land within or around Dandora dumpsite in addition to solid waste, while KenGen shall finance, develop, and operate the power plant.

In the run-up to this project, KenGen last year invited expressions of interest (EoI) from eligible consultancy firms to conduct a feasibility study for the development and operation of the waste to energy plant.

Badi said the power plant is expected to solve the county’s garbage problem and at the same time be a benefit to Kenya’s renewable energy pool.

The Dandora dumpsite is over three times full holding more than 1.8 million tonnes of solid waste against a capacity of 500,000 tonnes with over 2,500 tonnes of waste deposited daily.

If the project succeeds, Nairobi will be in the same league as Durban in South Africa and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia that also generate large-scale electricity from garbage.

And in a related development, the NMS boss said plans are afoot to change the garbage collection model in Nairobi from a linear to a circular system.

The linear system involves all sorts of garbage being collected together and put into disposal bags then collected by garbage contractors.

However, the circular model will see residents required to separate the waste decomposable garbage from plastic, papers, metals will be indifferent bags using the reduce, reuse, and recycle approach.

Once the garbage will be collected from households, will head to the sorting area before it is disposed of.

It is at the sorting area where street children will be engaged to separate the solid garbage before they are taken to the Dandora dumpsite to be burnt to produce the energy.

“We are waiting for a law on the new system to be passed by the National Assembly. This will then make it mandatory for city residents to separate waste materials from recyclable materials,” said Badi.

“By using the circular system raw materials will be recycled to high standard and resources used will be minimized. Things like plastic and papers will go to recycling plants because you cannot burn plastics,” he added.