Expert Visit on Solid Waste Management to Coimbatore

Under the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation supported project CapaCITIES, ICLEI South Asia facilitated the visits of two solid waste management experts. Mr. Raphael Fasko, from Rytec AG and Mr. Stephan Textor from Textor Engineering Ltd visited the city between June 12 and 16, 2017.
As part of the visit, ICLEI South Asia organized The Strategy Workshop for Solid Waste Management for Coimbatore with the solid waste officials of CCMC on the 13th of June. Mr. Fasko facilitated the workshop engaging with senior officials in the CCMC as well as field level staff who were responsible for Solid Waste Management. During this meeting, the entire process of solid waste management of the city of Coimbatore, including collection, transportation, treatment, financing and monitoring and evaluation for the solid waste in the city was discussed in detail, assessed and evaluated.

CCMC has a plan of 100% segregated waste to be collected from the households through door to door collection. Since organic and inorganic waste would be collected separately, it was suggested that the organic waste should be treated at a zonal level through biomethanation plants – that is also part of the existing plan for CCMC. The inorganic recyclables can be taken away from the zonal material recovery facilities and the non-recyclable can be transported to the existing treatment facility at Vellalore or to a new treatment facility that is planned for the city. It was stressed that the RDF content must be retained in the waste that is going to the treatment plant, particularly if the waste would be incinerated to produce energy from it.

Technologies such as the biomethanation plants and waste to energy plants were discussed in detail to outline the feasibility of introducing them in Coimbatore, considering the quality and quantity of waste generated. Consideration was also given to the possibility of increased waste generation in future and capacities of treatment facilities were identified on the basis of the same. 

The outcomes of the workshop were discussed in detail with the Municipal Commissioner to get his buy-in to the whole process and strategy that was thought of. The financing and policy changes required were also discussed with him so as to arrive at a realistic strategy.

From June 14 to 16, site visits were conducted to the existing Vellalore Landfill site. Mr. Stephan Textor visited the site with ICLEI staff to review the existing and old landfill sites and understand the process of dumping of waste in the landfills. Since the current waste is being dumped in the open at present, the existing process was studied carefully. The visit also helped to guage the process of removal and redumping of old waste that is to be conducted and the process of closing the old dumpsite. 

It was observed that the waste from the city was being partly sent to the Vellalore processing plant and partly dumped in the open. The city now plans to remove the waste from this open dump and put it on the old dumping site, which can then be capped. Mr. Textor visited the old dumping site to assess the feasibility of putting the existing waste on it and capping it. A rough plan was drawn up for this and shared with the CCMC officials. Detailed drawings will be based on a LIDAR assessment of the waste dumping site. The CCMC is in the process of getting this assessment conducted by a local company. 

The expert visit will produce a strategy for Coimbatore to address their long term solid waste management as well as deal with the existing dumpsites in an environmentally friendly manner. 

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