How Denmark turned Dumpsite into Tourism Product

Kiteezi land fill in Kampala – Uganda, is East Africa’s largest fill where hundreds of trucks from Kampala metropolitan deposit their garbage. Christian Gewiese, a tourist to Uganda in 2020 found it worthy to visit the landfill following a report earlier about the same.

…… a tour of the Kampala garbage dump is of course not included in a travel guide as an excursion tip. But I found the tour of the Kiteezi Landfill totally exciting…” Gewiese started his story.

What he found

According to Gewiese, Kiteezi landfill is not fenced. “A large number of people; men, women and children found at the garbage dump, with sacks looking for cans, bottles and other material. And at the same time, numerous animals from domestic goats to wild Marabous were also busy looking for food,” he states in his memoir.

Kiteezi landfill

The stinging odour, is one thing the writer could not skip because this is smelt meters before one makes it to the landfill. Gewiese however, describes Kiteezi landfill as an office to many who work there and earn a living.

A take from Denmark

Unlike Gewiese’s unplanned visit to Kiteezi, mine to Amager Bakke combined heat and power complex in Copenhagen -Denmark, was a planned one with intentions  to learn how waste in managed at a landfill.

The Amager power complex on the Copen hill is a magnificent building that was constructed and opened on March, 03, 2017. In 2021, this Denmark’s waste magnificent building, found at the outskirts of the Danish capital Copenhagen, was recognized as the world’s best architectural building.

The Author at the top of the Amager, near the old waste plant

The facility is not only a waste management plant but also a recreational center where citizens and other visitors do dry ski running, hiking and wall climbing. The 80metre-high artificial climbing wall, which is the tallest artificial climbing wall in the world is found here, plus a café, and a grove of trees.

This has made Amager a unique center that despite its dealing with waste, has become one of the most tourism products of Denmark, attracting between 40,000-50,000 visitors annually.

Amager burns waste collected from between 500,000 – 700,000 inhabitants and 46,000 companies as well as importing 10% of European’s generated wastes.

Hanna Thornval who works at the waste facility explains that they make it a point to the waste providers to have their waste sorted before delivery so as to ease the reuse and recycling process. “This also goes to the imported waste from other countries,” she remarked.

The importation of wastes from other European countries is a blessing in disguise because it’s a source of income, as countries pay to have their waste into Denmark and at the same time an addition to the production of energy” says Thornval.

The waste content delivered is mainly; plastics, Asbestos and polluted concrete among other different forms of solid wastes which come sorted and deposited in a  well built safe landfill from where the journey begins; to turn it into energy and other benefits that are good for mother nature.

Ann Andrea sharing how waste is turned into energy

Some of the advanced technologies used include, combustor grate water coolers, flue gas condensation technology that optimizes the heat production to the  final stages that enables households to use the energy from the wastes.

The Copen rooftop park which is a general description for the plant coverage areas, is greened up to continue absorbing the Carbon dioxide within the surroundings and at the same time act as natural habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies.

The United Nations Environment Protection Agency give basics of what would be considered as a healthy and harmless land fill for Municipal landfills. Uganda (Kiteezi), do you hear me?

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