Dismantling of Mount Garbage begins
Machines All Ready To Flatten Three City Landfills; Waste To Be Segregated Into WTE Fuel And Recyclables
New Delhi: The countdown for processing the 28 million tonnes of waste accumulated at the overused Bhalswa, Ghazipur and Okhla landfills has finally begun after three decades. This week, the three municipal corporations initiated work to bio-mine the trash and lower the heights of the garbage mounds.
East Delhi Municipal Corporation took the lead and put up a trommel-cumballistic machine earlier this week. It is capable of segregating 640 tonnes of waste daily. The other corporations too have started work on their projects. “We will take 2-3 days to finish installing the machine. We have flattened some sites at the Ghazipur landfill to put them up,” an EDMC official said. “Storing the segregated inert material will, however, prove a challenge.”
The machines are basically gigantic cylindrical sieves that sort the waste into detritus of different sizes and types for suitable treatment. The EDMC official explained, “To begin with, the ballistic separators divide the entire trash into three segments: material for refuse-derived fuel (RDF); construction and demolition (C&D) waste bigger than 40mm in size; and material smaller than 40mm. The last will be fed into the trommel which will then separate the material into inert waste bigger than 6mm in size and soil particles smaller than that."
When TOI visited Ghazipur on Friday, it noticed work under way to install two additional trommels, each capable of consuming 300 tonnes of waste daily. In a month, EDMC hopes to segregate and process over 20,000 metric tonnes of the 14 million metric tonnes at the landfill.
At Bhalswa, North Delhi Municipal Corporation officials assured that nine trommel machines were being installed, with four of these likely to be functional in the next two days. TOI observed on Friday how concrete slabs had been installed to support the weight of the machines. “The area where the machines stand was marshy, uneven and full of garbage. We cleared it and put the concrete slabs there,” an official overseeing the work said.
The official added they would start with nine machines and add more as work progressed. Each trommel
Legacy waste at
machine will process 300 tonnes of waste daily. But the official also pointed out, “The machines will together handle 2,700 tonnes daily, but, frustratingly, 2,000 tonnes of new waste reach Bhalswa landfill every day. This means that we will eventually need more machines.”
Unlike EDMC, the north corporation has found a fiveacre space at the landfill to store the inert material. Long-term options are being considered too. The official explained that RDF would be consumed by the waste-toenergy plant there and also by the cement industry. C&D waste will be processed at the plant in Shastri Park for creating tiles and other products.
At Okhla, South Delhi Municipal Corporation will start operating one trommel machine from Saturday. It will segregate material like brick and tiles from plastic bags, lighter items and mixed trash smaller than 30 mm in size. When space can be created, SDMC plans to install more machines.
The SDMC official said that the trommel screen would segregate material sized 30mm or above, while a blower would separate material that could become RDF for wasteto-energy plants. However, an EDMC official argued that without a ballistic machine, segregated material less than 30 mm in size would be of no use. “We need to install a screen capable of sorting soil particles 6mm in size,” he said.
Dr Asad Warsi, a consultant expert who was earlier involved in the dismantling of the landfill at Indore, said that of the 9-10 trommels at the three landfills, eight would have screens with a bore size of 30mm. The rest would have 8mm screens. “The conveyer belts have been deliberately kept long to allow manual processing of the C&D waste,” Warsi explained. “Plastic waste and rags will be separated by the trommel while metal scraps will accumulate in a separate metal trap.” Fine soil will emerge at the end of the trommel and it can be used or taken elsewhere.