Hatyai, a bustling city in southern Thailand near the Malaysian border, is concentrating on land use issues to speed up sustainability. With limited landfill areas, the community is working to separate waste and nearly halve the amount of trash sent to landfill. Solid sorted waste will be transported to a waste-to-energy gasification plant in Tambon Kaun Lang. The plant has the ability to turn 250 tons of trash a day into six megawatts of electricity. The plant can also help reduce the city’s 2.4-million ton backlog of garbage.
Converting used cooking oil to biodiesel is another citywide initiative: the municipality implemented strict measures to ensure the quality of used cooking oil supplies and also purchases the used vegetable oil. In collaboration with the local university, the municipality sends the used oil to a local biodiesel production plant, after which is it sold locally and powers the local public bus service.
Hatyai has also run a campaign that rewarded municipal units for reducing their energy use, and the city is also working with the private sector on a waste-to-energy project.
Photo © WWF.