Invited Session: Closing Dumpsites

Challenges for Closing Open Dump Sites in India (1.5 CEUs)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
14:00 – 15:30
Room 314

Moderator: Robert Dick, Vice President, SCS Engineers, Virginia

The rapid urbanization in India offers solid waste management challenges, most visible in the large, metropolitan areas that rely on waste disposal at open dump sites. This practice has resulted in severe environmental and health problems from groundwater contamination and toxic gases from open burning of waste. The panel will discuss their experiences studying and working with communities in India to improve solid waste practices.


Robert Dick, Vice President, SCS Engineers, Virginia

Robert Dick

Robert Dick joined SCS Engineers in 1990 and is a vice president, responsible for SCS’ operations in the Richmond, Virginia, office. With more than 27 years of experience working on civil and environmental engineering projects related to solid and hazardous waste management, he has performed landfill and landfill gas engineering projects (design, permitting, and construction) in more than 15 states and several foreign countries. Between 2008 and 2016, he made several trips that involved spending more than 50 days in-country in India conducting site reconnaissance activities at numerous open dumps and other solid waste management facilities in various cities and mega-cities. Mr. Dick has performed other international project assignments related to landfills and open dumps in Lebanon, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. He previously served as Chairman of the Regulatory and Environmental Stewardship Subcommittee for the Virginia Waste Industries Association (VWIA) and as Chairman of VWIA during 2006–2007. He completed serving a three-year term on the Virginia State Advisory Board on Air Pollution. He is active with SVSWMA, SWANA, NSWMA, ISWA, ASCE, and NSPE and has authored several publications and made numerous presentations on air quality, solid waste management, landfill engineering and landfill gas management/control, design/operations and regulatory compliance.

Ranjiv Gupta, Ph.D., P.E., Project Engineer, Geosyntec Consultants, Arizona

Ranjiv Gupta

Ranjiv Gupta, Ph.D., P.E., is a Project Engineer with Geosyntec Consultants in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Gupta has over ten years of academic and professional experience in the field of geotechnical and geosynthetics engineering. His research work at the University of Texas, Austin included developing soil-geosynthetic interface models for geosynthetic reinforced pavements over expansive clays. Since joining Geosyntec, Dr. Gupta has been involved with the design and permitting of waste containments structures, including solid and hazardous waste landfills, coal-combustion residual surface impoundments and mine tailing facilities throughout the US. Dr. Gupta is the member of ASCE-Geoinstitute technical committees on Sustainability and Geoenvironmental Engineering. He currently serves as a Vice-President and Treasurer on the Board of International Geosynthetics Society’s North America chapter.

Nimmi Damodaran, Principal Associate, Abt Associates, Maryland

Nimmi Damodaran

Dr. Nimmi Damodaran has more than 25 years of experience in in quantitative and qualitative analysis focusing primarily on environmental policy issues. Her current research interests are the mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as black carbon, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons from various sectors, including municipal solid waste (MSW), brick kiln, transportation and residential sectors.

Thomas Frankiewicz, Lead, International Biogas Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Change Division, Washington, D.C.

Thomas Frankiewicz

Thomas Frankiewicz provides technical expertise to promote use of landfill gas for energy production in the United States, and methane mitigation in the waste sector internationally through the Global Methane Initiative and in mega-cities through the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. Previously at EPA, he worked with the combined heat and power (CHP) industry, energy end-users and governmental organizations to encourage deployment of natural gas and biomass/biogas-fired distributed generation and CHP projects. Before joining EPA, Mr. Frankiewicz spent over ten years in the field of air quality working for state and regional organizations, including the Ozone Transport Commission and Indiana Department of Environmental Management. He has a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs and Environmental Management from Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University.

Kamal Raj, Team Member, Infrastructure and Green Initiatives, Infosys Ltd, India

Kamal Raj

Biotechnologist by education, Kamal Raj has six years of professional experience in municipal waste management. Currently, he heads the solid waste management (SWM) initiatives at Infosys Ltd. He is a member of International Solid Waste Management Association (ISWA) and the founding member of Indian Young Professionals Group (YPG) chapter. He is also the co-founder of Reap Benefit, a non-profit organization that works in urban sanitation in India. Mr. Raj specializes in organic waste management, decentralized facilities and smart waste management strategy. He has co-developed two low-cost biotech composting solutions for home and community and is credited for making India’s largest corporate entities independent in managing waste. He constantly engages with the government and industrial bodies as a technical advisor on decentralizing systems. He is passionate about integrating automation and behavioral change techniques in SWM for developing countries. He is passionate about making Clean India Mission a reality.