Ahead of COP25, environmentalists in India highlight Waste to Energy plants as problem
Environmentalists and experts complain that Waste To Energy plants -- touted as an easy solution to India’s garbage problem -- are polluting the air and damaging the environment.
Hundreds of Children and adults protested against the Timarpur Okhla Waste Management Plant in Jasola near Sukhdev Vihar in Delhi as a part of the Fridays For Future Climate protest.
These were among the scores of protests held across the globe, ahead of the COP25 -- annual global summit on climate change.
Owned by Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited, the plant stands at the same location where India opened its first such plant in 1987.
According to the protesters, the plant, which burns waste to generate energy, ‘generates poison’ in the name of waste conversion.
In April, the company had received a show-cause notice from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) for environment rules violations.
“WTE (waste to energy) plants are expensive and counterproductive,” Manju Menon, an environment researcher with the Centre for Policy Research.
“The technology is thoroughly unsuitable given the composition of our waste and our climate. the government is a partner in this toxic business - how can we expect regulatory agencies to be objective when reviewing the emissions of these plants?.”
Despite their effect on the environment, the NITI Aayog has proposed setting up of a Waste to Energy Corporation of India, to operate multiple plants across 100 smart cities across the country by 2020.
Environmental activist Bhavreen Kandhari explains that while WTE plants claim to convert waste to energy, they use kerosene and other fuel to burn the non-segregated waste. This, in fact, increases pollution.
Listen to the podcast where she talks about the Okhla plant issue, waste cycle management, and possible solutions to handle wastes.