Exposure visit and capacity building on Construction and Demolition waste management for Urban Local Bodies and Pollution Control Boards

The habitat team conducted an exposure visit and capacity building program on ‘Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste management and dust mitigation from the 12th to the 15th of December 2023. Around 30 officials from state pollution control boards, Urban Local Bodies and town planning departments attended the event. The participating officials represented the states of Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kerala, Haryana, Maharashtra, Chandigarh, and West Bengal.

The objective of the program was to bring together the key stakeholders involved in the management of Construction and Demolition Waste and sensitize them on the practical knowledge about developing an entire ecosystem for segregation, collection, transport and recycling of C&D waste along with associated dust management practices. The exposure visit and capacity building program was a mixture of site visits, expert lectures, exercises, and interactive sessions that took place in Chandigarh, Delhi and culminating in CSE’s Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute (AAETI) at Nimli, Tijara, Rajasthan.

The event began with a one day conference on ‘Construction & Demolition Waste and Dust Management: Learning from Good Practices’ which took place in India Habitat Centre post which participants were taken for an exposure visit for understanding the C&D waste management ecosystem of Chandigarh. Chandigarh has a Construction and demolition waste recycling plant, with a processing capacity of 150 Tonnes  Per Day. It was setup by the Municipal corporation of Chandigarh(MCC) and runs through a public business model.

The plant operator provided information about the different processes, products, and materials produced through various C&D waste processing methods. These products included sand, aggregates, bricks, and kerbstones, channels, and paver blocks, each with different specifications. The participants also visited a C&D waste collection point in the city. The day concluded with a visit to the Smart City Office of Chandigarh and an interactive session with the Chief Engineer (CE), Second Engineer (SE), and other Junior engineers(JE). The CE explained how the city has been effectively managing its C&D waste and runs India’s first public-business model C&D waste plant. The participants had an interactive discussion with the Chandigarh officials on different mechanisms and issues of C&D waste management.

The next day of the program, focused on exposure visits to a construction site of The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) and the C&D waste collection & processing centers within New Delhi Municipal Corporation(NDMC). The participants visited the NCRTC construction site at Anand Vihar where they were briefed about the site and the features installed for dust mitigation by NCRTC, by Mr. Praveen Kumar, Deputy CPM along with the supervising officers who are managing the site. The participants were given a site tour and observed the best dust mitigation measures applied at the live site. They had discussions with the site engineers, regarding techniques and practices which can be implemented on-site during construction; such as wheel washing, covering of materials, dust barriers, anti-smog guns, and sprinklers. After the tour, the details of the project and the dust-mitigation practices that are implemented on-site were presented. The participants were then taken to a C&D waste transfer station of New Delhi Municipal Council C&D where they were exposed to the infrastructure implemented by the municipality for effective C&D waste management after which they proceded to the Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute (AAETI).

 The first day at the Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute began with a session on ‘Circularity & Resource efficiency’, by Mr. Rajneesh Sareen, Programme director, SBHP.He explained to the participants about the ecosystem of construction and demolition waste management of C&D waste flow from source to dumping sites or recycling facilities. He further highlighted the intricate challenges posed by construction and demolition (C&D) waste as well as rules and regulations.  In the next session, he presented CSE’s investigation, wherein CSE has mapped the value and trade chain of C&D waste in informal setups for large ULBs like KMC and small urban local bodies., followed by the existing management rules, mandates, challenges, and solutions for waste management. He further elaborated on the issues and risks associated with construction and demolition waste and the national and international goals linked with C&D waste management. The next session was taken by Mr. Sugeet Grover, Programme Manager, SBHP, in which participants were introduced to a session on ‘An ecosystem approach for C&D waste management: Current city practices & C&D milestones’. The last session of the day was dedicated to explaining the waste treatment, circularity, and green features of the AAETI campus followed by a tour of the same.

 The last day began with a session on waste management in the country and how it has evolved. Key points regarding CSE’s research in the domain were also discussed, by Mr.Rajneesh Sareen. He also moderated a role-playing exercise, which helped the participants build clarity on the operations, roles and responsibilities of generators, monitoring, and enforcement agencies. Discussions were done regarding ground challenges and the measures to mitigate construction dust and manage C&D waste.This was followed by a session on Greening the construction sector by Mr. Harikrishnan C U, Programme Officer, SBHP in which participants were introduced to a session on dust abatement at the city and building level, the processes involved, management, and safeguards for material handling. The day concluded with a session on "Overview of Recycling Infrastructure: Case Studies of various C&D Plants in NCR." The session covered case studies explaining the different types of recycling processes, their infrastructure, and the flow of operations in C&D waste recycling plants.