From bio-mining of legacy waste to setting up of waste-to-energy plants, the three civic bodies of the national capital are striving to flatten and shut landfill sites, which have turned into huge garbage mountains.
From bio-mining of legacy waste to setting up of waste-to-energy plants, the three civic bodies of the national capital are striving to flatten and shut landfill sites, which have turned into huge garbage mountains. The three municipalities — North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations — have set deadlines of June 2022, December 2023 and December 2024, respectively to shut landfill sites in their jurisdictions.
According to civic officials, the city cumulatively generates around 11,400 metric tonnes of garbage, out of which nearly 6,200 metric tonnes is dumped at three landfills i.e. Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalaswa. Remaining 5,200 metric tonnes garbage is processed locally with the help of compactors and waste-to-energy (WTE) plants.
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The issue of garbage mounds and waste processing also surfaced in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 on Friday. Modi had said that “mountain of garbage” in the city should be removed.
He was referring to the Ghazipur landfill site that has grown into a mountain and was touted as tallest garbage mound in 2019. In 2019, the height of the Ghazipur landfill was 65 metres, which was only eight meters less than the height of Qutub Minar. In 2017, a portion of the landfill had fallen on an adjacent road in which two people were killed.
The Ghazipur landfill falls under the jurisdiction of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), which had started the process of bio-mining at the landfill in 2019 to reduce its height by processing legacy waste dumped there. The EDMC officials claimed that the height of the Ghazipur landfill site has been reduced by 15 metres and they have processed 7,75,000 tonnes of waste dumped at the site since 2019. Currently, 140 lakh metric ton waste is lying at the Ghazipur landfill site.
“We have set a target of closing the Ghazipur landfill site by December 2024. We have deployed 20 trommel machines to process the legacy waste but current processing capacity is about 3,000 metric tonnes per day, which will be enhanced further,” EDMC mayor Shyam Sunder Agrawal told PTI.
He said that from December the overhauling of Ghazipur WTE plant will be done, which will help in processing 1,500 metric tonnes garbage. Agrawal said that the municipality is also making efforts to appoint a single agency to process the legacy waste and dispose off the residual inert material.
“The company will have to process and dispose 50 lakh metric tonnes of legacy waste in 27 months. Tenders have been issued for the same,” he said.
The authorities at the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) said that nearly 60 lakh metric tonnes garbage is lying at the Bhalswa landfill site, which they said, will be processed by the end of June 2022.
A senior official of the North Corporation’s Department of Environment Management Services (DEMS) said that currently 24 trommel machines are engaged in processing of 6,000 metric tonnes legacy waste per day. The official said that bio-mining capacity will be enhanced by engaging 24 more trommel machines.
“By October 15, we will have 48 trommel machines processing 15000 metric ton solid waste per day at Bhalswa landfill. We will build one more WTE either at Bhalswa or in Rani Khera with 2,500 metric tonne capacity. By all these measures we will be able to shut the Bhalswa landfill in June 2022,” the official said requesting anonymity. He added that the tenders of new WTE have been floated.
The north municipality has one WTE at Bawana which processes 2,500 metric tonnes garbage per day. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has set a target to stop dumping of waste at the Okhla Landfill site by June 2022 and scientifically close the landfill by the end of 2023.
According to SDMC officials, around 3,600 metric tonnes of garbage is generated in south Delhi every day, of which only 50 per cent is processed by the SDMC and the rest is dumped at the Okhla landfill. A senior SDMC official said that the civic body will start operation of a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant in June 2022 in Tahkhand area. It will have a capacity to process around 2,000 metric tonnes waste material.
“After the plant is operational, we will be able to stop dumping of new garbage at the landfill as we will be able to fully process our waste,’ the official said.
SDMC Mayor Mukesh Suryan said the civic body, other than bio-mining at the Okhla landfill site, is taking a number of measures for waste processing.
These measures include setting up of a WTE, an engineered landfill site, development of manure from waste, among others. “Through all these waste processing measures, we will be able to shut the Okhla landfill site by the end of 2023,” Suryan told PTI.
He said that the municipality has also tied up with some government and private organisations for waste segregation and processing.