Indian Biogas Association (IBA) has urged the Delhi government to set up biogas plants under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model at landfill sites in the national capital to deal with the problem of mounting solid waste in an environment-friendly manner.
In a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the IBA said, “Biogas plants can be set up under the PPP model.” The government can invite interested entrepreneurs to set up biogas plants at landfill sites, it suggested.
Indore is the best example of how setting up biogas plants at landfill sites can reduce the environmental impacts of landfills and also help municipalities save costs, it added.
The IBA opined that the biogas can help solve the landfill problem in Delhi by reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and producing a clean and renewable source of energy.
Further, it stated that it can help in making savings of Rs 750 crore by cost-effectively using the resources and through the generation of biogas and organic fertilizer.
It is an environmentally-friendly solution that can also provide social and economic benefits to the city.
The biogas plants will not only reduce water contamination but also help the government address other environmental issues plaguing the capital, such as air pollution, global warming, and solid waste management, it added.
The IBA has also urged for further consultations and deliberations on the issue to come up with a plan to set up biogas plants.
The IBA also asked to be a part of the consultation process in the area of landfills and biomass waste treatment solutions.
The biogas generated at the landfills can be used by the municipality to generate electricity or can be further processed to derive bio-CNG, a clean fuel that can be used to run public transportation, it stated.
This can help reduce the city’s dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, it stated adding that moreover, the process of producing biogas also produces a nutrient-rich residue called digestate, which can be used as organic fertilizer for agriculture.
This can be used at public plantations undertaken by the Delhi government for better growth of millions of saplings planted every year by the government to address the issue of pollution, it stated.
Saving transportation costs, all the biomass and other organic materials, such as food waste, horticultural waste, and animal waste, can be directly fed into these plants, it suggested.
Every entry point should have one biogas plant, it also suggested.
It is of the view that the land will not be an issue in the Delhi landfill sites because the Bhalswa landfill is 50 acres, the Ghazipur landfill is 80 acres, and the Okhla landfill is 40 acres.
It noted that the three biggest landfills in Delhi—Bhalswa, Ghazipur, and Okhla have caused approximately Rs 450 crore of environmental deterioration in the city, according to a report by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, the Central Pollution Control Board, and IIT-Delhi.
Bhalswa, Okhla, and Ghazipur cause an environmental harm of Rs 155.9 crore, Rs 151.1 crore, and Rs 142.5 crore respectively, it stated.
Municipalities are engaged in biomining and bioremediation, but the pace is too sluggish, it said.
Municipalities will be able to eliminate legacy garbage more quickly and decrease the quantity of new waste disposed of daily by installing biogas plants at these locations, it added.
A panel tasked by The National Green Tribunal in 2021 ascertained the environmental damage caused by Delhi’s waste dumps to be in tune of Rs 450 crore.