WATER AND SANITATION PROGRAM - SOUTH ASIA
Case study of solid waste treatment technology options (2006)
At the behest of the Water and Sanitation Program – South Asia, (WSP) we carried out a unique case study of 12 different treatment and disposal facilities across the country. The technologies covered in the study included windrow composting, biomethanation, NISARGRUNA small-scale biomethanation, refuse derived fuel (RDF), mass burn, sanitary landfill, etc. The study was initiated based on our own concept paper emerging out of our experience of high end technologies which supposedly promise to convert waste into wealth through biogas, RDF or energy. The objective of the study was to exploring the sustainability dimension of the ‘waste to energy’ and ‘waste to wealth’ paradigms which apparently have taken over the universal paradigm of ‘protection of public health’ on which MSW treatment and disposal projects are ideally required to be formulated. The study identified a consistent pattern of diverse risk factors associated with underperforming and dysfunctional treatment plants which can be grouped broadly into institutional, technical, financial and social categories. This has been a unique study with findings having a key bearing on the evolving policy in the country. Subsequently, the findings of the study were disseminated within the sector community at the two national level workshops organised by the WSP in the month of January 2007 at Jagannathpuri and Chennai respectively. Based on the experience of this study we are in a very strong position to conduct a training programme cum study tour for solid waste treatment and disposal facilities across the country.