Waste to Energy : Kazakhstan: 255 tonnes of food waste diverted from landfill

food waste wrap wwf EU

An oilfield in Western Kazakhstan has composted 255 tonnes of food waste destined for landfill.

Situated in the Burlin region, the facility is a major oil and gas producer, with 4,000 employees working on site at a time.

Each year, the workers camps and canteens on the oil field generate a kiloton of waste. Prior to the adoption of on-site composting as a solution, generated food waste would end up on landfill or be incinerated.

Since Kazakhstan implemented a new law as of January of this year, prohibiting the burial of food waste, this practice is not feasible anymore. The measure is intended to curb the proliferation of solid waste sent to landfill within the country, which amounts to as much as 5 million tonnes.

Composting equipment from UK based waste-to-energy plant Tidy Planet, consisting of four composters and a dewatering system, now serve to process generated food waste.

The Burlin oilfield is an example in practice for how businesses are responding to changed legislation. The new equipment sets the course for a circular economy model on a macro level, the intent being to cut carbon emissions.

In a press release commenting on the new project, Tidy Planet’s sales manager Huw Crampton, said: “There’s hardly any infrastructure yet available to process food waste in Kazakhstan, so when the law recently changed around how it could be dealt with, this prompted our client to invest in a process that treated it as close to its source as possible.”

Crampton continued: “Demtec is a waste management contractor to the oilfield, so when the law changed, the team built a new composting facility a stone’s throw away from where the waste is produced. As a result, this avoids excessive transportation – reducing the firm’s carbon emissions and eliminating off-site disposal costs.

“The nutrient-rich compost will also enable the site to sequester 70 tonnes of physical carbon into the surrounding soils each year – removing the CO2 from our atmosphere. It’s a better solution than any off-site process could ever have offered.”

Kazakhstan is set to reduce environmental pollution and increase recycling volume by 40 and 50% in 2030 and 2050 respectively.