Chandigarh produces around 450 MT of solid waste per day.
Chandigarh produces around 450 MT of solid waste per day.

Chandigarh MC exploring option of multiple small waste plants

The small waste plants , if set up, will use plasma arch gasification technology, which employs a combination of electricity and high temperatures to turn municipal waste into usable by-products, without burning it
By Munieshwer A Sagar, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON JUN 24, 2021 12:31 AM IST

The municipal corporation is exploring the option of multiple small sized waste processing plants to process the city’s solid and dry garbage, rather than one big plant.

Such plants, if set up, will use the plasma arch gasification technology, which employs a combination of electricity and high temperatures to turn municipal waste into usable by-products, without burning it.

Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma said, “Plasma arc gasification (PAG) is the latest technology for municipal solid waste processing. But, as per the presentations made to us by the firm which expressed interest in setting up a plant in Chandigarh, capacity of such a plant is only 25 MT per day.”

Chandigarh produces around 450 MT of solid waste per day. Of this, more than 250 MT is solid dry waste. For this, the MC is exploring different technologies which can be used to upgrade the existing waste processing plant in Sector 25.

“One such plant requires only around 400 square yards of area. So, instead of a big plant, we can have around 10 smaller sized ones. These can be located even in facilities like material recovery facility (MRF),” added Sharma.

A team of councillor and MC officials have visited three waste processing plants – two in Delhi and one in Ambala so far. “We are yet to first-hand see the operation of the plasma technology. We are also exploring if greater capacity plants can be constructed with plasma technology,” the mayor added.

Earlier, 13 companies had come forward to run and upgrade the city’s sole waste processing plant in Sector 25. One of them had offered the plasma technology for processing waste.

A committee comprising experts from Punjab Engineering College, MC officials and councillors had examined proposals of the 11 companies, which made the presentations. After the committee’s report was tabled before the MC general House, it was decided that these companies will also make presentations before the councillors.

After the presentations were made to councillors, it was decided that they will visit some of the plants using this technology.

Existing plant working at 10%-30% capacity

In the meantime, the city has been struggling with processing solid waste. The existing plant in Sector 25 is working at 10% to 30% of its capacity of the 450 MT. Consequently, most of the city’s solid waste is being dumped in Dadumajra without being processed. As per MC officials, more than 1 lakh MT of waste has been dumped at the eight-acre landfill site in Dadumajra, threatening not only local population, but also posing serious environmental danger. The sites have repeatedly witnessed major and minor fires in the last one year.

On the final choice of technology, Sharma said, “We don’t want to repeat the Congress’ mistake and setup a plant in a hurry. So, we are exploring all options, including the latest plasma technology.”

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