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From organic waste to electricity

Waste disposal plants and the largest biogas plant in Europe at its construction gave a South African group at the Zweckverband Abfallwirtschaft (ZAW) Donau-Wald in Passau insights into sustainable recycling solutions.

Christian Pietruska, the technical manager of the waste disposal and recycling centre, took the South African managers on a tour of the biogas plant, which was built in 2004, and showed them complex processes and explained background information about the plant. The fact that ZAW is completely self-sufficient thanks to the electricity generated by the biogas plant amazed the South African managers.

Besides the impressive biogas plant, they were also interested in the recycling centre. Recycling processes are still in their early stages in South Africa, so the system of local waste separation was all the more surprising – in Passau, the city’s residents independently drive their waste to the plant and sort it into the various containers. A principle, the entrepreneurs agreed, that would not work in South Africa. At the end of the day, the South African managers not only had the smell of the waste disposal and recycling centre in their noses, but also many insights and sustainable ideas for their domestic waste recycling.