• Big, green, clean machine

    Big, green, clean machine

    A Cape Town shopping centre is generating electricity using food waste.

    N1 City Mall has installed an on-site anaerobic digester that processes food waste from the mall to produce clean methane, liquid fertiliser and hot water.

    This move by centre owner Growthpoint Properties is in line with the Western Cape government’s plan to ban wet waste from its landfills by 2027. Shopping centres can be major food-waste generators, says Gavin Jones, regional retail asset manager at Growthpoint Properties. This makes them ‘excellent locations for waste-to-energy conversion’.

    The digester has a modulated structure and a daily capacity of 6 kVA – power that is fed into the mall’s generator. That electricity is used to power the digester as well as about 10 small shops in the centre. The water is used to clean the plant and waste area, while the fertiliser is distributed to some properties within the Growthpoint portfolio for landscaping purposes.

    As Nardo Snyman, sustainability specialist at Growthpoint Properties, explains, ‘it’s is no longer a case of best practice to re-purpose our waste but rather a necessity’.

    2 July 2019
    Image: N1 City Mall