‘Waste To Energy’ Could Spell Environmental Disaster If Not Done Properly

Unlike Delhi’s three towering landfills – in Okhla, Bhalaswa and Ghazipur – the pit at Tajpur Pahadi, located in the nether regions of Delhi’s Badarpur area, is used specifically to hold the ashes of burnt trash from a nearby waste-to-energy (WTE) incinerator that is owned by Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited.

Waste is dumped into it without regulation from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), which is in charge of the city’s waste management.

It’s a big concern that the ash has just been left out in the open without treatment. It should be ideally dumped in a hazardous materials facility because it’s full of half-burnt garbage and heavy metals.

Simply put, a WTE plant burns combustible waste of high calorific value to produce power. But it also produces two other byproducts: ash and smoke/gas emissions.

These emissions, called furans and dioxins, are considered deadly for human life and environment. Not only do they settle in the body and lead to reduced fertility, growth defects, immuno-suppression and cancer, but they also considerably reduce air quality.

It is a fact that WTE technology is severely under researched in India. In the West, where it is widely adopted, it has been thoroughly researched and vetted, with stringent emission standards and recycling rules, none of which are enforced in our country.

The Jindal plant is an example of how, when unregulated, WTE can have disastrous consequences.

Reference- The Print, SEPA wesite, Down To Earth