Ethiopia Is Turning Its Trash Into Electricity

It’s no secret that we’ve produced a lot of trash around the world. But one African country has found a way to dispose all of it, while creating energy in the process. Ethiopia is turning trash into electricity. The country has partnered with Cambridge Industries to build the Reppie Waste Facility and repurpose trash generated in its capital city.

Ethiopia currently faces a huge waste management problem where garbage is left on the streets of its cities and towns or ends up in landfills. This creates a problem for the environment, as plastic and chemicals enter the ecosystem and methane gas can enter the atmosphere. When garbage goes untreated, the facility works by burning garbage in a combustion chamber. This process produces heat which boils water and creates steam. That steam turns a turbine generator to create electricity.

Reppie is expected to incinerate 1,400 tons of garbage a day, which is about 80% of the city’s total waste. Estimates say this can supply up to 25% of the city’s household electricity, which could serve as a model for other African countries facing similar waste management challenges. Maybe one day every single country will be able to fix their waste problems and get energy via trash power.