Energy generated by trash will power Mexico City metro

March 30, 2017
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If all the garbage generated by Mexico City was deposited in the Estadio Azteca, in a month it would start to overflow. Mexico City generates 13,000 tons of garbage a day, making it one of the five cities in the world with the highest generation of urban solid waste. The historic solution has been to bury waste in landfills.

According to data from the Urban Management Agency, currently 8,500 tons of garbage every day is dumped and buried in the state of Mexico, whose main sanitary landfills are: La Cañada and El Milagro. Miraculously these places remain open, although the reality is that this is not the best solution to get rid of the waste.

Jaime Slomianski, head of the CDMX’s Urban Management Agency, points out that current trash collection and disposal costs of about 450 pesos per ton, including freight, toll and fare charges at landfills. Given this scenario, for a couple of years he has taken on the task of understanding how other countries have solved the problem and what technologies they have used.

During research, Slomianski found the technologies of thermovaluation, used by 1,440 plants in the world, and promises to bring the technology in Mexico City. According to Slomianski, the bidding for the company in charge of the Thermovalorization Plant in Mexico City will be given in early April.

“Through a highly controlled industrial process the waste is introduced into a sealed chamber and a process is generated that uses these wastes as fuel. The walls of the chambers have tubes with water, it evaporates and the pressure is directed to a turbine that generates energy,” explained Slomianski.

With the power generation from this plant, which will be connected to a substation of the CFE, it is planned to power the 12 lines of the metro trains in Mexico City.

This will be the first plant of its kind in Latin America and one of the largest on the planet. Slomianski comments that while the cost is high, it will pay off compared to current cost of “getting rid” of the garbage, plus the savings that will made in energy provided to public services.





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