Bisasar Rd Landfill Site, South Africa

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Located in the historically coloured and Indian area of Durban, the Bisasar Road landfill methane electricity project converts dangerous methane emissions from rotting rubbish into electricity. It is the South Africas largest landfill and a leading CDM pilot project. Opened in 1980 by the apartheid regime, the dump processes 3000 to 5000 tones of (hazardous) waste daily and has caused an increase in cancer rates. It was set up illegally because it fails the crucial test of validity for raising international funding and has disincentivised the closure of the toxic dump site, despite strong community pressure. Furthermore, it has not been successful at capturing the expected levels of methane. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none"> The project has been characterized by environmental racism, intra-community conflict, municipal fraud, United Nations incompetence, and a failure of the methane extraction system even on its own terms. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Bisasar Rd Landfill Site, South Africa</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/south-africa">South Africa</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>KwaZulu Natal</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Durban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Waste Management</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites<br /> Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste<br /> Other</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/carbon-offsets'>Carbon offsets</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">The Bisasar Road Dump in Durbans Clare estate is Africas largest landfill. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none"> The dump processes 3000 to 5000 tones of (hazardous) waste daily. <br/><br/> It has been dubbed a cancer hotspot by the Cancer Association of South Africa. Despite repeated calls for closure by 6000 community members, the dump gained a new lease on life when it became a pilot CDM project. <br/><br/> It burns toxic methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into carbon dioxide and electricity. <br/><br/> The World Bank initially committed to invest $14.4 million to cover the project set up. According to the municipal agency of Durban solid waste, what makes the project worthwhile is the revenue that they earn from carbon credits, estimated at 3.1 million certified emissions credits worth $15 million along with 6-8 megawatts of electricity over a 20 year lifespan. Initially it was assumed that the R100 million estimated cost of the project would not be justified by the small amount of electricity fed into Durbans municipal supply, and it would have to come from external sources. But at least one official now concedes that the project would have gone ahead without external credits. <br/><br/> World Bank helped to set up the project but refused in 2005 to purchase emissions credits in response to growing concern over Durbans environmentally racist policies and an environmental impact assessment. <br/><br/> In late 2006, the French Development Agency pledged long-term loans of $8 million to Durbans landfill gas projects (Bisasar is by far the largest of three), alongside $1.3 million extended by South Africas Department of Trade and Industry. <br/><br/> In March 2009, the municipality registered it on the United Nations list of CDM projects, as active through at least 2014. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>9100000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Urban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>1996</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/durban-solid-waste'>Durban Solid Waste</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/south-africa'><small>South Africa</small></a><br /><a href='/company/environmental-waste-solutions'>Environmental Waste Solutions</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/south-africa'><small>South Africa</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Department of Trade and Industry, Durban Solid Waste of Ethekwini Municipality, Ethekwini Municipality</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/world-bank'>The World Bank <small>(WB)</small></a><br /><a href='/institution/french-development-agency'>French Development Agency <small>(AFD)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-institution/france'><small>France</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Sajida Khan, South Durban Community</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>LOW (some local organising)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Informal workers<br /> Local ejos<br /> Wastepickers, recyclers<br /> Ethnically/racially discriminated groups<br /> -Abahlali Base Mjondolo, shack-dwellers movement in South Africa</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Blockades<br /> Development of alternative proposals<br /> Media based activism/alternative media<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>-Extract the methane gas through a pipeline<br/><br/>-Retract the CDM<br/><br/>-Close the dump</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Although the World Bank removed its support for the project, the Bisasar Rd Landfill site is still open and generating carbon credits through biogas electricity generation.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Patrick Bond, True cost of Durbans waste strategy, The Mercury, 2 February 2010.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Patrick Bond, Privatization of the air turns lethal,Capitalism Nature Socialism,18,4,2007.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Khadija Sharife and Patrick Bond, False solutions to climate crisis amplify ecoFinjustices,Women in Action, 2009,2. <br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Khadija Sharife</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/04/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>