Second engineered landfill in Delhi soon
The new landfill sites will have deep pits and multiple layers to prevent contamination.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is planning to set up city’s second engineered landfill site at Sultanpur Dabas in north-west Delhi to dispose of ash and other burnt material derived from waste-to-energy plants, senior municipal officials associated with the project said.
MCD estimates that the daily waste generation is expected to go up to 14,500 tonnes by 2031 and 19,500 tonnes by 2041
Delhi has three unplanned landfills at Okhla, Bhalswa and Ghazipur for dumping of fresh garbage. All three facilities have already exhausted their capacity even as efforts were being made to separate and cut down the garbage burden at these sites.
Meanwhile, work on Delhi’s first engineered landfill is underway at Tehkhand in south-east Delhi. It is likely to be made operational by November, said officials.
Unlike a conventional landfill where the waste is dumped directly on the ground leading to seepage of leachate and other toxic substances into the ground, an engineered landfill site has seven-metre deep pits that are connected with pipes to collect leachate. Also,multiple layers of earth and gravel are laid at an engineered site with a lining of geo-synthetic material separating it from the ground to prevent contamination.
A senior sanitation department official said that the 45-acre site at Sultanpur Dabas has large number of Kikar trees, and negotiations are underway with the forest department for compensatory afforestation. “We had suggested two alternatives to the forest department for plantation--Ghummanhera near Haryana border and Ghonda Gujaran in east Delhi. The forest department has agreed to the proposal for Ghummanhera where we have a 140-acre land parcel,” the official said requesting anonymity.
The civic body has already completed the tendering process for hiring a consultant for the project. The inert and other processing waste from the upcoming waste to energy plants such as Narela Bawana will be transported by the firm contracted to operate the Sultanpur Dabas landfill site.
Delhi generates more than 11,300 tonnes of waste every day, of which 8,713 tonnes per day (TPD) are processed, with 7,400 tonnes being sent to the four waste to energy plants in Okhla (23MW), Narela Bawana (24MW), Ghazipur (12MW) and Tehkhand (25MW). “After burning in the waste to energy plant, the original waste is reduced to one tenth volume in form of ashes. Right now, this material is dumped on the landfill sites. The material will be sent to engineered landfill site (E-SLF),” official added.
MCD estimates that the daily waste generation is expected to go up to 14,500 tonnes by 2031 and 19,500 tonnes by 2041. With new waste to energy projects in pipelines and focus on closing down the existing dumpsites, it is likely to lead to a storage space crisis for ashes for which these new sites are being planned.
HT had earlier reported on April 13 2023, that the civic body plants to set up three E-SLFs after the completion of biomining and flattening projects at Okhla Bhalswa and Ghazipur landfill sites taking the number of E-SLFs to five.
The concessionaire will need to pay disposal charges to the authority of ₹300 per tonnes. “Right now the ash and burnt materials are being dumped at three landfill sites. The ₹300 per ton fee will be kept to ensure that plant operators send minimal ashes to the e-SLF and its life can be longer,” a second official explained.
The E-SLF at Tehkhand and Sultanpur Dabas will be primarily used to store the ash generated after incineration of the waste, and not fresh solid waste. The Tehkhand landfill is being established on a 32.5-acres plot, and can accommodate around one million tonnes of ash or remnants of the waste-to-energy plants,” the official said. “The site has liners at the bottom and it is expected to operate for 6-7 years. We had designed the facility to cater to South MCD waste to energy plants.”