A news item on US public service broadcaster, PBS’s News Hour, has explored the waste management situation and the role of waste to energy in Delhi, India.
Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro explains that in India’s capital, new housing is sprawling as the the country becomes the fastest growing major economy.
Covering some 70 acres in a low-income area, the Ghazipur landfill site is one of three in the city and towers 10 stories tall thanks to the accumulation of more than 10 million tonnes of waste.
Mahesh Babu, Managing Director, IL & FS Company, an infrastructure company contracted by Delhi’s government to tackle the waste problem, says that it is not possible to continue to use the site for waste disposal.
He also notes that Delhi is located on the seismic zone and notes with dread the potential for catastrophe.
Methane from the site self combusts daily while heavy metals and organic and inorganic pollutants washe in the landfill leachate leak into the soil and into Delhi’s main river.
Babu’s approach is a $60 million waste to energy which ramping up to process 2000 tonnes of waste per day.
According to Babu, with close to 50 cities which are more than a million people waste to energy of this kind makes a lot of sense in India.
However, Delhi-based environmental activist Sunita Narain from the Center for Science and Enviornment says that waste to energy has been tried in the city before, with the key reason for failure being the inability to sort and segregate the waste.
The repoort, which can be viewed below, is part of a partnership with the Under-Told Stories Project at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
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