Environmental Technology Directorate

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Environmental Technology Directorate Services
Creating favorable conditions for industrial sectors to play a key role in the economy is one of the seven pillars of the Ethiopian Growth and Transformation Plan. Furthermore, Ethiopia has signed and/or ratified various international environmental agreements (protocols) which necessitated the industrial effluents to comply with international standards. In addition, the five years grace period that the EPA has given to the Ethiopian industries to meet the national industrial effluent standards is over which urged the government of Ethiopia to seek solutions to the devastating environmental conditions caused by the industrial sectors more specifically by the leather industries.

During the Production Process of any industry different types of wastes are generated. If the waste generated is not properly handled pollution problems will occur. Pollution can be divided in to three categories air, water and land.

Tanning industry uses a lot of water in the process and since hide and skins are natural raw materials during the tanning process a lot of solid and liquid waste is generated. Ethiopian Leather Industry Development Institute has established Environmental Technology Directorate with the vision of mitigating pollution problems and to see the possibility of converting the waste to useful products.

The directorate comprises three teams; Industrial consultancy & technical support team, Research development and training team and Information and project management team. Since it’s the establishment in 2006 E.C, the Environmental Technology Directorate has been making gap assessment and taking sample from effluent waste treatment plant of tanneries and checking the pollution load and providing technical support. Beside this twining program with CLRI (Central Leather Research Institute) and Benchmarking best practices has been transferred to the industry.

The Environmental Technology Directorate is also responsible for conducting problem solving research and awareness raising trainings for the man power of the leather sector in the area of environmental protection, management and pollution reduction and mitigation options.

Training has been conducted for tanneries employees and management in the following areas:
  • Effluent treatment technologies for tanneries – this training covers the preliminary, primary and secondary (biological) treatment processes of tanneries including the theory of treatment technologies, operation of effluent treatment plant machineries, dosing of chemicals employed in the treatment processes and sludge handling & disposal.
  • Solid waste management- deals with tannery solid waste reduction, byproduct utilization and disposal. It includes waste reduction options, production of possible byproducts from tannery solid wastes and safe disposal mechanisms of solid waste (secured landfill).
  • In addition the directorate provides awareness raising trainings on: Sustainable development, Environmental law, Eco-friendly leather manufacturing and its impact in the global market competitiveness.

Apart from those trainings research has been conducted on solid waste utilization for compost preparation with different formulations. There are also researches undergoing on soap & Gelatin from fleshing waste, and incineration leather solid for energy recovery.

Ethiopia-china Leather Industry Joint Laboratory
In addition the Environmental Technology Directorate focuses on different projects. One of the projects is the Modjo Leather City Common Effluent Treatment Plant that will serve for 23 tanneries located and new tanneries that will be established in Modjo. The feasibility study, Environmental and social impact assessment study, clean development mechanism studies are already finalized and after preparing the resettlement action plan and detailed project has been conducted and regularly under the prime minister office decision. The project would be implemented by IPDC (Industrial Park Development Corporation) through its standards & norms.
Besides this huge project, the directorate has prepared project proposal on recycling of solid wastes and now we are looking for financial support from government and nongovernmental organizations for its implementation. Some of the sub projects under the umbrella of recycling of solid waste project are:
  • Recycling of De-dusted Salt.
  • Production of Chicken Feed from Fleshing Waste.
  • Production of Leather Article from Crust & Finished Trimmings
  • Gelatin Production from Raw Trimming
  • Leather board production from Chrome Shavings
  • Organic Fertilizer Production from raw and Pelt Trimming, Fleshing waste and from hair