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Located in East Delhi, the Ghazipur landfill site has been operational since 1984 (DIMTS and IDFC, 2010). The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), responsible for landfill operations at Ghazipur, has long sought to address the capacity constraints at the landfill. Since at least 2001, municipal officials have explored a number of options to address these capacity concerns (Response to Showcause Notice, 2017).
On September 1, 2017 a portion of the Ghazipur landfill’s slope failed. Waste from the landfill slid 110 meters across an area adjacent to the landfill, including a road, the Hindon Canal, and the Escape Canal. As a result of this incident, two people died and five were injured. This incident spurred a renewed immediacy to improve operations and management at the Ghazipur landfill, explore alternative waste management options, and identify future landfill sites. The EDMC and its counterparts including the other Delhi municipal corporations, the Delhi Development Authority, and National Highways Authority are required to complete a series of actions. These action call for the EDMC and partners to develop action plans for waste management, begin bio-stabilization and compaction activities, begin waste segregation activities, identify new landfill sites, revisit environmental management practices, inspect augmenting the capacity of existing waste-to-energy (WTE) plants, develop new WTE plants, and create a pilot project using waste as a component of embankment filling at a nearby national highway (NGT, 2017a,b,c).
SCS Engineers, Abt Associates, and The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) conducted a site visit of Ghazipur landfill site and met with staff of EDMC on November 1 and 2, 2017. This report is based on information gleaned from the site visit and additional information provided by EDMC. It provides a preliminary assessment of the Ghazipur landfill structure and operational practices that contributed to the September 1 slope failure. It also addresses three topics of concern to EDMC – (1) lowering the risk of future slope failure, (2) mitigating landfill fires and (3) identifying capacity at the current landfill until an alternative landfill is developed. For each of these topics, this report provides best practices for actions and identifies additional detailed analyses to inform specific actions to be undertaken by EDMC.