Projects: Tannery Operations

Zambia – Contamination of the Kafue River Basin

The Problem The Kafue River Basin in the Chingola District, Zambia has experienced heavy polluting over the past several decades. Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is the primary source of this pollution, disposing of industrial waste products and various bio-chemical substances directly into the reservoirs. They are not the only polluters, however, as the region is […]

Philippines – Meycauayan Tannery Center

Meycauayan, a town about 12 miles (19 kms) north of Manila, is the tannery center of the Philippines. First established in 1903, there are now around 120 tanneries employing about 8,000 people in the area. As part of broader efforts in the area, the Tannery Association has been working with its members to reduce the […]

Philippines (Marilao) – Industrial Waste Contamination

Summary The Marilao, Meycauyan and Obando river system is home to hundreds of thousands of people and numerous industries, most of which drain their wastewater untreated into the river. Carcinogenic hexavalent chromium, lead, and human sewage are just a few components of this toxic stew, which the local population relies on as a source of […]

India – Aruputo Chromium Contamination Assessment

The Problem Aruputo lies to the east of Kolkata near Science City. There are around 40 large unlicensed facilities processing leather trimmings. The scrap leather trimmings, which appear blue from chromium tanning, are processed into fertilizer by boiling them in large pots; and the water is then dumped into local water bodies. The resulting black […]

India – Ranipet Tannery Waste

Tamil Nadu

Ranipet is a medium-sized community located about 100 miles from Chennai, the fourth largest urban area in India. A factory in Ranipet manufactured chromium salts used locally in the leather tanning process. The process waste is stored in an open area and has been leaching into the underlying groundwater system. Blacksmith has been in dialogue […]

India – Muthia Village Vermiculture


Summary Hazardous wastes and sludges were dumped in fields beside Muthia village and impacted both the adjoining fields and the water system. As a result of discussions initiated by Blacksmith, the major part of the waste was removed to a secure landfill, with the assistance of the local industry association. The underlying contaminated soil was […]

India – Kanpur Groundwater Pollution

The Problem: Kanpur is the ninth-largest city in India, and one of its most severely polluted. Its eastern districts feature about 350 industrial leather tanneries, many of which discharge untreated waste into local groundwater sources and the Ganges River. These pollutants include toxic levels of metal contaminants such as chromium, mercury, and arsenic. Chromium is […]