Activated carbon prepared from agro-waste material i.e. green coconut shell and bamboo using ZnCl2 as an activation agent in an adsorption column (fixed bed) was studied for the treatment of textile industry effluent. The experiment with the fixed-bed column was performed by different process parameters such as 200, 400 and 600 mg/L as different initial concentration of dye, at different bed heights of 100 mm, 200 mm, and 300 mm, and 10, 15, and 20 mL/min as different flow rates. The findings demonstrated that both breakthrough and exhaust times increase, with the height of the bed being increased, but decrease with the concentration of the dye inlet. The breakthrough point was found to depend upon the bed height and flow rate. The maximum uptake capacity was obtained when a 200 mm bed depth was used at an inlet concentration of dye 200 mg/L with a flow rate of 15 mL/minute. It was observed that the bamboo activated carbon BAC has high carbon content, and has a high potential for dyes removal and may become capable substitutes for costly activated carbon. The adsorption capacities of BAC, GCSAC are at par with respect to each other, the overall process scheme may become economical as these materials are available as wastes and practically free of cost. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.