Bandhwari waste unfit to be burnt for generating power: CPCB report
MCG’s plan to used waste processed from the Bandhwari landfill to fuel its upcoming waste-to-energy (WTE) plant may be jeopardized as a report submitted last month
MCG’s plan to used waste processed from the Bandhwari landfill to fuel its upcoming waste-to-energy (WTE) plant may be jeopardized as a report submitted last month before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) stated that the quality of processed waste/refuse derived fuel (RDF) was unfit to be incinerated to generate electricity. The report further said that arrangements, for which MCG’s waste management concessionaire Ecogreen Energy, made to derive such fuel were “inadequate”.
The report further adds that though the concessionaire of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has started processing untreated municipal solid waste at the Bandhwari landfill site—promising to clear all legacy waste in about two years—it has failed to account for fresh waste being dumped daily.
Between October 2019 and January 2020, the MCG and its concessionaire for waste management, Ecogreen Energy, processed 4,690 tonnes of untreated municipal solid waste at the Bandhwari landfill site, of which 1,913 tonnes was legacy waste and 2,777 tonnes was fresh waste. In addition to this, 17,087 tonnes of fresh waste and 17,223 tonnes of legacy waste was bioremediated, and is awaiting further processing. The information was submitted last month before the NGT by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which inspected the Bandhwari site on February 4.
As per the inspection report (a copy of which is with the HT), both legacy and fresh waste are being stabilised and segregated at Bandhwari, at a capacity of 600 tonnes per day. The MCG estimates that it will take at least two years for the landfill’s 27.5 lakh tonnes of legacy waste to be reclaimed entirely. However, the CPCB report also points out that 1900 tonnes of waste per day is being dumped at the site presently.
“Fresh waste... has not been considered in the plan,” the CPCB report states, pointing out that at the current rate another 14 lakh tonnes of waste would have accumulated at the landfill in two years. That is half of the total legacy waste, which has accumulated at the site since 2008.
The report also points out that the quality of RDF, does not conform to parameters specified in the ‘Guidelines on usage of RDF’ by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs’.
The RDF produced at Bandhwari was found to have high moisture content (when derived from fresh waste) and ash content (when derived from legacy waste), making it unfit for incineration in the WTE plant.
“Proper arrangement for preparation of RDF has not been made... no process control measure is implemented for improving quality of RDF with respect to ash & moisture content to ensure its utilization for the intended use,” states the report. The bio-remediation process is also being carried out in the open due to which “work may be hampered during rain”.
Haryana is expecting thunderstorms over the next three days, as per a warning issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Ecogreen Energy said, “The quality of refuse derived fuel from legacy waste is poor because of a lot of mud and leachate is mixed with the waste, making it harder to process. As per guidelines, we will not be incinerating this waste. We are planning to sell or give it for use in construction or other activities which do not require incineration. All RDF to be used in the upcoming WTE plant will be derived from fresh waste.”
However, the spokesperson did not mention how they will reduce moisture content from fresh waste to ensure that the RDF is fit for utilisation.
Responding to the CPCB’s concern that 1,900 tonnes of waste were being dumped daily, the spokesperson said, “We are working to reduce this number by improving decentralised segregation, composting and recycling. We are also getting a third trommel machine to process greater amounts of incoming fresh waste. Within the week, we will start processing 600 tonnes of legacy and fresh waste per day.”
An MCG official privy to the matter, said, “A total of 12 trommel machines are required to meet the two-year deadline for clearing legacy waste. At present there is no room for them. By December, about 42,000 tonnes of waste will be processed with two trommel machines to create room for additional trommels.”
MCG commissioner, Vinay Pratap Singh, did not respond to requests for a comment on Tuesday.