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Timarpur-Okhla, Waste incineration project, India

The Timarpur-Okhla Waste management Company Pvt Ltd. (TOWMCL) integrated waste to energy project at Delhi
Status: Registered
Ref #: 1254
Avoided emissions from organic waste through alternative waste treatment processes – AM0025 ver. 6

The Timarpur-Okhla Plant is a waste incineration project in India. 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. However, these are precisely the materials which recyclers target and which support their livelihoods.

The project’s rationale is that if you generate power out of waste, it can be considered as a renewable energy source, just like wind power. But this project is thought to have a number of important pitfalls, including:
•  It does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is simply burning waste to generate energy, and is actually a source of greenhouse gases.
•  Pollution: Waste incineration produces toxic chemicals, such as dioxin and heavy metals. This is clearly against sustainable development.
•  Violation of 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.

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According to the PDD:

“Unique Waste Processing Company” (hereinafter referred as “UWPC”) a subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL%FS) and Andrea Pradesh Technology Development Centre (APTDC) has been incorporated for developing municipal waste projects through public / private framework in various parts of the country.  As a part of it initiative to develop Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) projects through Public Private Partnership initiative, UWPC incorporated Timarpur Waste Management Company Private Limited (TWMCL) as a Special Purpose Company/ Vehicle (SPV) on 20/04/2005, for developing the project for processing the municipal waste and also to produce as by-products, inter alia, refuse derived fuel, fluff, organic manure, biogas and use such products for generating electricity. However, later on, the management took a decision to develop the project with activity at two locations namely Timarpur and Okhla.

Identified shortcomings

• Pollution from these activities is highly toxic and harmful to human health.
• Incineration of recyclable materials should not receive CDM support as it removes potential employment. Read more
• Several demonstrations and rallies have tried to draw attention to the plight of the nearly 100,000 waste pickers of Delhi whose livelihood will be literally set on fire.

What we are calling for:

• Adherence to international waste management treaties.
• Protection of desperately needed income from waste collection in local communities.
• Full assessment of the scale and risk of waste incineration on human health in local population living next to CDM activities. Read more
• Climate finance should be redirected to other waste treatment methods that do not encourage burning.
• Support for waste awareness and incentives in urban regions.

To read more about this project:

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