Waste to Wealth



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On the banks of the Ganges River in India, Dutch and Indian businesses, knowledge institutions and government agencies are working together to generate electricity, gas, clean water and local jobs. Under the Waste to Wealth program, Dutch knowledge and expertise is contributed towards a significant improvement in the quality of life among local people. Take a look at the video and see how we work!

Need for action

The Ganges is one of the most polluted rivers on earth due to the discharge of urban sewage and chemical waste from paint and paper factories as well as tanneries. These chemicals are strong enough to destroy all life in this lifeline of India. As the Indian government is well aware that this situation cannot continue, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is prioritising the clean-up of the ‘holy’ Ganges.

Social and economic opportunities

The Netherlands is keen to play a part in this through the construction of waste incineration plants and water treatment facilities, based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of Good health and well-being (SDG 3), Clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), Affordable and clean energy (SDG 7) as well as Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8).

This opportunity also provides Dutch businesses and knowledge institutions with access to a promising growth market. Over 250 Dutch businesses are based in India, providing employment for 30,000 local and international people. Conversely, more than 200 Indian businesses are active in the Netherlands. This ‘Waste to Wealth’ program paves the way for new partnerships and growth opportunities for both the Netherlands and India.

Mission for the Netherlands

In 2017, Indian Prime Minister Modi and Dutch Prime Minister Rutte signed an agreement in which the partners committed to cleaning up the Ganges. In 2018, this agreement was followed by the largest Dutch trade mission ever, including 130 Dutch businesses. This mission resulted in €170 million worth of contracts between Dutch and Indian businesses.

Two of the participants, Nijhuis Industries and Gieling Consultancy, subsequently took important steps towards cleaning up the Hindon River (a tributary of the Ganges). With the help and support of the local Indian governments in Ghaziabad and Muzaffarnagar, the Dutch embassy and NLWorks, a suitable area of land for installing the initial facilities has recently been found. This important step enables the partnership to make rapid progress in setting up the first profitable Waste to Wealth projects.


Partnership developer

Private: Karin Bax

Private: Karin Bax

+31 6 10 91 39 85
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Sustainable development goals (SDGs)

1: No Poverty
3: Good health and well-being
11: Sustainable cities and communities
13: Climate action
15: Life on land