Strategy Workshop for Solid Waste Management in Coimbatore

As part of the activities under the SDC supported project -CapaCITIES, ICLEI South Asia facilitated the visits of two subject matter experts to Coimbatore.

Two solid waste management experts, Mr. Raphael Fasko, from Rytec AG and Mr. Stephan Textor from Textor Engineering Ltd, visited the city between 12th June and 16th June 2017. The main objectives of the visit were:

  • To understand the technical details of dumpsite at Vellalore by consulting local consultants and corporation staff
  • Plan the shifting of waste from existing dumpsite to Vellalore dumpsite in a scientific and technically feasible manner.
  • Development of a strategy and timeline for the evolution of the SWM of Coimbatore
  • Conduct a workshop with the CCMC staff to identify issues in SWM and develop suitable strategic interventions
  • Assessment of the DPR for the waste incineration plant in Coimbatore

The first two were carried out by Mr Textor and the remaining were carried out by Mr Fasko.
As part of the visit, ICLEI South Asia facilitated ‘The Strategy Workshop for Solid Waste Management in Coimbatore’ on 13th June 2017. This was attended by the solid waste officials of CCMC and Mr. Raphael Fasko was the technical expert in the workshop. This was a core group meeting including only the SWM officials of CCMC. During this meeting, the entire process of solid waste management of the city of Coimbatore, including collection, transportation, treatment, financing and monitoring and evaluation was discussed.

The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Vijayakarthikeyan, IAS, Municipal Commissioner of Coimbatore, who encouraged a free and open discussion on all issues related to solid waste management in the city, in order to develop a realistic strategy for the city. Mr. Fasko facilitated the meeting, engaging with senior officials in the CCMC as well as field level staff who were part of the meeting. Each phase was discussed in detail to identify the existing situation, main issues and problems with the phase as well as the long term vision for the phase by 2035 as desired by the CCMC staff. This helped to outline the steps that need to be taken to reach the vision and all actions that need to be undertaken in a realistic manner. All policy and planning as well as financing that would be required was also discussed for each action in detail.

CCMC has a plan of 100% source segregated waste to be collected from the households through door to door collection methods. Since organic and inorganic waste would be collected separately, it was suggested that the organic waste should be treated at a zonal level through bio-methanation plants – which 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 aim is to incinerate the waste and produce energy from it.

Technologies such as bio-methanation plants and waste to energy plants were discussed in detail to outline the feasibility of introducing the same in Coimbatore. 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 and feasible strategy.

From 14th to 16th June, site visits were conducted to the existing Vellalore Landfill site. Mr. Stephan Textor visited the site with ICLEI SA 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 exiting process was studied carefully. The visit also helped to gauge the process of removal and re-dumping of old waste that is to be conducted and the process of closing the old dumpsite.

The experts visit will lead to development of a strategy for Coimbatore with the aim to address long term solid waste management as well as deal with the existing dumpsites in an environment friendly manner.