The Bisasar Road Dump in Durbans Clare estate is Africas largest landfill.
The dump processes 3000 to 5000 tones of (hazardous) waste daily.
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.
It burns toxic methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into carbon dioxide and electricity.
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.
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.
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.
In March 2009, the municipality registered it on the United Nations list of CDM projects, as active through at least 2014.