Biogas Potential from the Biomethanization of Biodegradable Municipal Solid Waste Generated in Harare

Trust Nhubu, Edison Muzenda, Charles Mbohwa, Mohamed Belaid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The majority if not all of the biodegradable municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in Harare is subjected to official and illegal dumping at official dumpsites or landfills and undesignated areas, respectively. The indiscriminately dumped biodegradables in undesignated areas in the vicinity of Harare City are laden in surface runoff during rainfall events contributing to the eutrophication of water bodies. This brings about increased costs on potable water treatment which when coupled with acute foreign currency reserves to procure water treatment chemicals are contributing to the erratic potable water supplies in most parts of Harare currently being experienced. The dumping of biodegradables in dumpsites and other undesignated areas is also contributing to groundwater pollution. This chapter, therefore, reviews the missed renewable energy opportunity from the anaerobic digestion (AD) of biodegradable MSW generated in Harare. The AD of the over 190, 000 tons of biodegradable MSW produced per annum could potentially produce over 2.29 × 107 m3 of biogas. The biogas could be used for combined heat and power generation channelled to the various sectors of the economy. The chapter builds on the life cycle assessment (LCA)-based study of the various Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Management (IMSWM) options that could be implemented in Harare whose results showed that the least impactful IMSWM option combines the AD of biodegradable MSW with the recovery and incineration of the 20% and 80% of the nonbiodegradable MSW fraction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Solid Waste Management
Subtitle of host publicationSustainability through Circular Economy
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9789811642302
ISBN (Print)9789811642296
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Biodegradable municipal solid waste
  • Biogas potential
  • Biomethanization
  • Combined heat and power generation
  • Harare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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