Training-cum-exposure visit on the issue of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste management and dust mitigation

The habitat team conducted a five-day long training-cum-exposure visit on the issue of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste management and dust mitigation. This took place from 8th to 12th of May 2023. The five-day programme was designed to provide a balanced and holistic learning experience from classroom expert lectures, group exercises, field visits and cross learning from other cities as well.

Around 40 officials from various state pollution control boards, municipalities, urban directorates and government construction companies participated in this event. The objective of the event was to bring together the key stakeholders and the concerned departments/institutions from the construction sector with and sensitizing them on the practical knowledge about on-site management of dust, C&D waste and developing an entire ecosystem for segregation, collection, transport and recycling of C&D waste.During the five days,a mixture of site visits, expert lectures, exercises and interactive sessions took place in Delhi, CSE’s Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute (AAETI) culminating in Indore. 

On Day 1, the participants gathered at the India Habitat Centre where Ms. Anumita delivered a presentation expressing her concern regarding the current practices of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste management. She shed light on the issues of dust generation and the impact of waste generated from construction and demolition practices. She emphasized the lack of information available with Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in quantifying C&D waste. Ms. Anumita stressed the need for focusing on resource efficiency and recovery and discussed the hurdles that have hindered progress in this area. Finally, she proposed an agenda for action that ULBs can follow to manage their C&D waste more effectively.  

To guide on a complete ecosystem approach for C&D waste, experts from different parts of India brought their experience. Mr. Bharat Makkar, Retd. Special Director General, CPWD shared his experience on use of recycled C&D waste products in Supreme Court Annexe building. The office complex of supreme court utilized 18 lakh C&D recycled blocks saving close to 25 thousand tonnes of fertile soil. He also said that this construction can come out to be 5 to 10% cheaper compared to normal brickwork.

Mr. Pradeep Khandelwal shared his perspective in creating an ecosystem for C&D waste management, drawing from his experience as Ex. Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (East). Mr. Dinesh Kumar, Associate Director atArghya Engineering Private Limited explained the various components and processes involved in C&D waste recycling system and how the latest technologies are making this process easier. 

Post lunch, participants were given a field visit to the C&D waste management plant in Bakkarwala, New Delhi to observe the intricacies of C&D waste recycling techniques in practice. During the visit, the plant operator provided information about the different products and materials produced through various C&D waste processing methods. These products included sand, concrete blocks, and paver blocks, each with different specifications. The engineer also demonstrated the quality-control methodologies and process. The day concluded with a visit to the lab at the same C&D waste plant. 

Day 2 was dedicated to live construction sites across the city. Participants were divided into two groups, one of them saw a construction site by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) near Anand Vihar while the other visited the Delhi Metro Transportation Corporation (DMRC) site in Tughlaqabad. Both the teams observed and noted the best dust mitigation measures applied at their respective sites. The teams converged together at a DMRC batching plant where they were given a tour of the facilities which focussed on the best dust mitigation practices for storage of construction material, C&D waste, transportation etc. The participants were then taken to a New Delhi Municipal Council C&D waste transfer station where the participants were exposed to the infrastructure employed by the municipality for effective C&D waste management. At the end of the day, participants were taken to the Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute (AAETI). 

On Day 3, sessions began with participants sharing their experiences and expectations, this was followed by a session on ‘Circularity & Resource efficiency’, by Mr. Rajneesh Sareen, Programme director, SBHP. He explained the participants about the ecosystem of construction and demolition waste management with illustrations of C&D waste flow from source to dumping sites or recycling facility. He also presented CSE’s investigation, wherein CSE has mapped the value and trade chain of C&D waste in informal setups. He also introduced the existing management rules, mandates, challenges and solutions for waste management. Ms.Mitashi Singh presented a stock-take on C&D waste and dust management in the non-attainment cities. While cities have started developing system like mobile app and helpline to place request for collection of C&D waste, the progress on notification of C&D waste by-laws and commissioning of recycling plants is largely slow. This data was extracted from Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution in Non-Attainment cities (PRANA) created under NCAP. The last session of the day was dedicated to explaining the waste treatment, circularity, and green features of the AAETI campus followed by a walking tour of the same, by Mr. Sugeet Grover, Programme Manager, SBHP.

Day 4: The next day began with Mr. Rajneesh Sareen explaining the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) framework that exists for construction projects, and how it helps to identify and mitigate potential environmental impacts. This was followed by a session by Mr. Sugeet Grover in which participants were introduced to a session on dust abatement at city & building level, the processes involved, management, and safeguards for material handling. A roleplaying exercise helped the participants build clarity on operations, roles & responsibilities of generators, ground challenges and the measures to mitigate construction dust and manage C&D waste. In the evening, participants were taken to Indore.

Day 5: Indore has an advanced collection, transportation and processing waste management system, in order to showcase this, participants were taken tothe Indore Integrated command and control centre. The municipal representatives explained to the participants how the waste management system of the city functions and how each waste carrying vehicle is monitored and tracked using GPS. The representatives also explained how a citizen can approach the municipality using the Indore 311 app wherein, generators can place collection request, pay user charges, file complaints and report any non-compliance found in the city. The participants were then taken to Indore’s 100 TPD processing capacity C&D waste processing plant along with other waste treatment facilities. Indore’s C&D waste processing plant is different from the one in Delhi due to it’s smaller scale. This provided the participants a good opportunity to compare the varying infrastructure possibilities for C&D waste management. Post lunch the participants met with the Superintendent Engineer from the Indore Municipal Corporation where the participants indulged in an interactive session with the municipal officers.