NEW DELHI: The Delhi government will study a system installed in Mumbai to capture methane from the rotting waste and replicate it in the capital to prevent fires at landfills, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Thursday.
The decision was taken at a meeting of experts from the Centre for Science and Environment, The Energy and Resources Institute and IIT-Delhi to find out a technological solution to the problem of fires at landfill sites. The meeting came a day after a massive fire broke out at the Ghazipur landfill -- the third such incident since March 28 this year -- sending a dense plume of smoke into the sky and exacerbating the already polluted air in nearby areas.
“We have asked the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation to study the system installed in Mumbai which can capture methane generated at landfills. Officials have been asked to implement it in Delhi soon to prevent incidents of fire,” Rai said.
The wet waste dumped in a landfill produces methane when it rots. In hot weather conditions, methane catches fire spontaneously and the blaze spreads as it feeds on combustible material like textiles and plastics.
Last year, authorities reported four incidents of fire at Ghazipur landfill. In 2017, a large part of it broke away, crashing onto a road and killing two people. Commissioned in 1984, the Ghazipur landfill site is spread across 70 acres. In 2019, the garbage dump site had grown 65 metres high.