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Dirk Walther, Project Director
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Innovative concept for treating combined waste - septage and organic solid waste

Two of the most pressing issues in Indian cities are solid waste and sanitation. Combatting climate change and greenhouse gas emissions are a global priority. The Waste to Energy project offers a technical solution, now being piloted in the city of Nashik, Maharashtra, which helps address all of these challenges.

The demonstration plant being built in Nashik follows the principle of the HAMBURG WATER Cycle®, which was developed by Hamburg Wasser, one of the oldest and largest water utilities in Germany. Solid organic waste is mixed with faecal sludge and left to ferment,

producing methane. This is converted to electricity, which can be fed into to the grid. The city earns revenue from the energy produced and reduces the amount of waste that ends up at landfill, cutting municipal costs and also reducing environmental pollution.

The old adage ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ is certainly true here: waste that no one wants, and that costs money to dispose of, is turned into a valuable commodity, energy. Plants such as this are financially, as well as environmentally, sustainable. Cities like Nashik are ideal locations: it has large quantities of organic waste and a forward-looking administration that engages with all of the parties, , from the

hotel industry that supplies food waste, to technical experts and engineers building and operating the plant.

The project’s national partner is the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, which sees waste-to-energy projects as an innovative solution to solid waste and sanitation challenges, and will be able to promote the Nashik approach in other fast-growing cities in India. Implementation is key, however, and the GIZ project is able to provide technical experts and targeted capacity building to ensure the process goes smoothly from planning to implementation to operation and maintenance.