|Payatas: The Power Producer|
In Payatas, Quezon City, garbage has now generated electricity which is being sold to Meralco and powers up the surrounding areas. The source is the first Biogas Emission Reduction Project located at the Controlled Waste Disposal Facility in barangay Payatas. The project was registered with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the country’s first Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
As host to the facility, the QC government benefits from the sale of greenhouse gas emission reductions or “carbon” credits (CERS), which are used to fund the city’s socio-economic and livelihood programs for the Payatas community. The project, which is being operated in partnership with Pangea Green Energy, is composed of a plant which extracts, recovers and flares biogas produced in the city-owned waste disposal facility. Biogas dispatched to the generating set is purified by thermal exchange and allows the production of electric power.
As of August 2013, the project has been able to supply 1,639,505 kilowatt-hours of electricity to the Meralco grid and free electricity of 156,892 kw-hr to its surrounding community. The value of this electricity generated is Php 2.26 million, thus far. With the upgrade in the plant’s generator capacity last February 2013, the project is now generating more than 40,000 KWh monthly.
Meanwhile, the city government is looking into a more advanced and long term technology that will address the problem of waste management. This is aside from the 400-ton capacity Refused Derived Fuel (RDF) pilot plant also in Payatas which helps ease the accumulation of the city’s garbage, by giving waste a second life as fuel for cement production. The operation is a partnership between IPM and La Farge Cement.
The city government is studying the setting up of a Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facility project. The WTE project will help clean the city by providing a good method for solid waste disposal with 90% reduction of trash volume. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by open dumps and landfills. It will enable the QC-LGU to own a power plant which can be a power generation source to help the city subsidize its electrical expenses, and it will be a pioneering venture in the Philippines. The projected timetable for the estimated Php 8 – 10 billion project is two to three years.
Even the scavengers are now having a second life, as hair dressers, computer operators, appliance and cellphone repairers, and welders. Some have gone back to school through Alternative Learning Modules or as college scholars, through City government livelihood programs and scholarships.