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Tags Current Affairs

Landfill fires

Date: 02 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A fire incident in Ghazipur landfill resulted in a landfill fire that remained for more than 48 hours, emitting poisonous smoke.

 

Background

The government of Delhi has ordered Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to impose a fine of Rs 50 lakh on East-Delhi Municipal council.

 

Details

  • The Ghazipur landfill is not scientifically planned site. It is located over 70 acres in East Delhi area.

  • Currently, the Solid Waste Management Rules issued by the MoEFCC in 2016 says that only non-recyclable, non-biodegradable and non-combustible waste should go to a sanitary landfill.

 

Reasons for fires

  • The biodegradable waste dumped at the site decomposes through anaerobic decomposition. This organic waste generates methane gas and heat.

  • Methane is a highly combustible gas and its concentration at landfills is high. Any combustible material can catch fire easily.

  • Old landfills are more vulnerable to fires as there are more chances of methane buildup, combined with high temperatures.

 

Uncontrolled fires

Most landfills are constructed unscientifically, with no access to all locations. Once fires start, it becomes difficult to douse it.

 

Methods of treating landfills

  • Waste to Energy plants

Waste-to-energy plants burn municipal solid waste (MSW) to produce steam and generate electricity.

 

  • Bio-remediation

It is a process in which microorganisms are used to treat harmful chemicals and compounds to repair a given area.

 

  • Compost and segregation

Organic and inorganic waste has to be segregated. Organic waste can be composted and inorganic waste be destroyed.

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