Timarpur-Okhla Waste incineration project

Project full name

The Timarpur-Okhla Waste management Company Pvt Ltd. (TOWMCL) integrated waste to energy project at Delhi

CDM Project number

1254

Description

Pulp and paper manufacturing industry is one of the major consumer and generator of water and wastewater respectively. Generally, the pulp used for paper manufacturing is produced from raw materials containing cellulose fibre, generally wood, recycled paper, and agricultural residues. The project activity aims at conserving huge amount of natural resources (in the form of trees) using bagasse.

The project activity is the installation of a closed anaerobic system that will produce and collect consistently high quality methane-rich biogas from bagasse wash wastewater (BWW) generated at the TNPL (bagasse based pulp and paper mill).
The BWW is diverted from TNPL’s existing wastewater treatment system, open lagoon under anaerobic conditions, into a closed anaerobic digester. The project activity also includes a system for utilization of collected biogas as a fuel in a lime kiln, which had been using furnace oil (fossil fuel).
By extracting and capturing biogas in a closed digester, the project reduces the CH4 that would have otherwise been emitted into the atmosphere from existing open lagoons. In addition, the use of collected biogas as a fuel in the lime kiln will displace fossil fuel (furnace oil) and its associated GHG emissions.

Report summary

Key promises made by project proponents:

  • the use of domestically available biogas as an energy resource helps conserve foreign exchange, apart from creating local rural employment opportunities, by reducing the need to import fossil fuels to meet the country’s growing energy requirements
  • the replacement of the current wastewater treatment system by a closed anaerobic digester will mitigate large quantities of CH₄, a potent GHG, from being emitted into the atmosphere
  • analysis of the environmental impacts:
  • project will enhance the socio economic scenario of the surrounding area by providing direct and indirect employment opportunity to the local people

Situation on the ground:

It illustrates how the local recycling economy is threatened by the CDM’s incinerator projects. This incinerator depends on dry waste such as paper, plastic and cardboard that burns well and sustains combustion. One of the promises given in the Project Design Document (PDD) towards sustainable development benefits regarding social well-being is the creation of creating local rural employment opportunities. However, these are precisely the materials which recyclers target and which support their livelihoods.
Waste pickers recover recyclable material from the waste stream, clean it, sort it, and sell it through middlemen back to manufacturers. In doing so, they provide a triple service to society: the municipality saves significant waste management costs, greenhouse gases and toxic pollution are dramatically reduced, and large numbers of the urban poor who would otherwise be destitute are able to earn a living.

It has been further outlined in the PDD, that the project activity will contribute to a reduction of GHG emissions. Opposing this promise, findings show that the project does not reduce emission reductions, but has negative impacts on human health due to toxic chemicals that are released into the air by burning recycling materials.

Also, this kind of projects can violate international treaties: It violates international agreements like the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants that calls on countries to stop open and other uncontrolled burning of waste. Also, it goes against the Dhaka Declaration on Waste Management adopted by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) which states that the country cannot opt for incineration and other unproven technologies.

Other

Project participants

  • India:
  • Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited (TNPL)
  • Netherlands:
  •  Shell Trading International Limited
  • Switzerland:
  • Mercuria Energy Trading SA

Registration date

14 January 2006

Carbon credits issued to date

none

Exact location

Kagithapuram
Karur district
Tamil Nadu
India

Relevant links at UNFCCC website

PDD
host country letter of approval
validation report

Sustainable development benefits

social well-being

sustainable development benefits according to claims made by project developers:

  • the use of domestically available biogas as an energy resource helps conserve foreign exchange, apart from creating local rural employment opportunities, by reducing the need to import fossil fuels to meet the country’s growing energy requirements

sustainable development benefits according to reports:

Jobs

  • income generation:
  • incineration of recyclable materials removes potential employment of local communities
  • waste pickers recover recyclable material from the waste stream, clean it, sort it, and sell it through middlemen back to manufacturers; therefore burning recyclable materials decreases their ability of income generation
  • several demonstrations and rallies have been organized to draw attention to the fact that this project activity endangers the livelihood creation of the nearly 100,000 waste pickers that are in Delhi
  • project activity threatens local recycling economy

environmental well-being

sustainable development benefits according to claims made by project developers:

  • the replacement of the current wastewater treatment system by a closed anaerobic digester will mitigate large quantities of CH₄, a potent GHG, from being emitted into the atmosphere
  • the controlled environment in which the BWW is treated will reduce strong odours being emitted from putrescible and degradable component of BWW
  • by recovering the resulting biogas in the form of CH₄ and using it as a renewable in-house fuel for heating equipment, the project activity will contribute to the development of renewable sources as per India’s Sustainable Development objectives the furnace oil which would be replaced by the biogas has a sulphur content of 3.49; this would result in the emission of sulphur dioxide (SO₂) gas which is responsible for acid rain
  • furnace oil saving will reduce the associated CO₂(GHG) emissions

sustainable development benefits according to reports:

Air

  • reduction SOx, NOx:
  • waste incineration produces toxic chemicals, such as dioxin and heavy metals
  • pollution from these activities is highly toxic and harmful to human health

Sources and Materials

Organisations working on project

  • GAIA

Last update

03.12.2014


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