Can a Waste-to-energy Plant Address Pile Concerns from a Landfill Site?

Environmental News from India:

  • In India, Waste-to-Energy (WTE) plants are being considered the ultimate solution for the country’s burgeoning waste. However, there is strong opposition from the public to the recently proposed WTE plant at Bandhwari.
  • According to waste management experts, the waste generated in India is not fit for incineration owing to its composition, low calorific value, and moisture content.
  • Many countries across the world have realized the limitations of WTE plants and are now shifting focus to reducing waste and segregating at the source.
  • The video discusses Bandhwari’s WTE plant and its expansion, the lack of waste segregation in Indian cities, and a hopeful example in waste management from Gurugram.

On June 13, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the Haryana government regarding inaction over hazardous waste contaminating the groundwater near the Bandhwari landfill.

The waste dumping site, located near the Delhi and Haryana border, has been in the news for many years now. To deal with the many health, environmental, and waste management challenges, the Haryana government has proposed a Waste-to-Energy (WTE) plant. In 2018, Haryana’s Chief Minister M.L. Khattar laid the foundation stone for a 15 megawatt (MW) capacity plant. Later, when a proposal was mooted to increase its capacity from 15 MW to 25 MW, it received intense opposition from the local people.

“On August 31 last year, a public hearing was organized regarding the increase of the capacity of the proposed WTE plants. Around 300 people were present there. Everyone opposed the plan vehemently,” informs Neelam Ahulawalia from Aravalli Bachao Citizens Group which has run an online campaign against the proposed WTE plant which has received support from more than 34,000 people. In their petition, they argued, “Despite the fact that waste incineration is a completely failed model in India, the Haryana government is in the process of setting up a waste-to-energy plant in our Aravalli Forest at the Bandhwari landfill site, which is not only a complete waste of huge amount of money but is another environmental disaster in the making.”

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Source: Mongabay

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