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Setting up Bio-gas plants and Compost Units to Scientifically Manage Urban


Waste management in the  metropolitan and other cities of India has become an intractable problem. Door-to-door collection of waste and its segregation at source and their environment-friendly disposal is one of the many targets of the Swachch Bharat Mission inaugurated by the Government of India in 2014 on the Gandhi Jayanthi Day (2nd October 2014). But, in its four years of existence and operation, the Swachch Bharat Mission has failed to deliver much on the waste management front.  In view of these, we propose to undertake setting up of

 (a) Bio-gas plants

 (b) Composting Units

with the objective of managing the problem of scientific waste management in urban centres of India.  We proposed to begin this project first in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Delhi produces 10,000 tonnes of waste a day, out of this more than half (about 5155 tonne) is organic or bio-degradable waste. The rest are construction and demolition (C&D) waste (about 4,000 tonne); plastic and polythene waste (800 tons); electronic waste like TV, computer, batteries and appliances (30 tonne), and biomedical residue (15 tonne).

Delhi at present lacks adequate arrangements for scientific and proper collection of waste generated. Dhalaos (waste collection receptacles) are full most part of the days as they are not emptied promptly and regularly. Most such dhalaos also overflow and the garbage spill into roads/streets and other public spaces causing environment and health hazards and also making Delhi unclean, thus defeating the objective of Swacch Bharat Mission. Since the official Dhalaos are few and far between, most people deposit their household and other waste in public spaces, either in the corner of roads, streets or vacant plots. The municipal authorities are unable to clean and clear these waste dumps on the roads and streets timely and completely. The places where the waste is picked up continue to be unclean, smelly, dirty and unhealthy, covered with flies and vermins, and street dogs and cattle rummage through the garbage piles.

At present the waste picked from Dhalaos and other spaces is transported to landfill site at Ghazipur which is far away. The Ghazipur landfill site is officially saturated long back in 2000, but it continues to receive about 1600 metric tonnes of waste daily even now.  This is an illegal activity and this is done because there are no other landfilling sites.

Benefits of Setting up Biogas Plants

If bio-gas plants are set up in different places, the organic waste such as food waste and vegetable waste from households along with the waste from vegetable and fruit markets, commercial establishments etc. can be used to make bio-gas (Biomethane, a mixture of CO2 and Methane) in the bio-gas units.

Bio-gas can be used as energy for cooking, lighting and even for producing electricity. Bio-gas is a non-polluting and renewable source of energy. Setting up of biogas plants wherever feasible will lead to improvement in Delhi’s environment as the bio-degradable part of the garbage from households and commercial establishments will go to bio-gas plants; the non-bio-degradable parts like plastic and metals contents can go to recycling plants/units.

Bio-gas plants can be set up in residential complexes, community establishments like local community halls, religious establishments, local schools, hostels, commercial complexes etc.

Depletion of natural gas reserves and the increase in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions has prompted European countries to increasingly adopt alternative sources of fuel including bio-gas. By this way the European countries in general have been able to become, to a considerable extent, independent of the oil-providing countries for their energy needs. The added advantaged of bio-gas compared to other alternative sources of energy like solar energy and wind energy is that the use of bio-gas can also help tackle the problem of urban waste management, leading to better environment health and better cleanliness and aesthetics for the cities.

Benefits of Setting up Compost Units or Organic Waste Converters

The bio-degradable or organic waste can alternatively converted into compost. The waste can in a 15-minute process be made odourless and after a few a days of curing, it becomes compost to be used as manure of high quality, which can be sold in the market or used for gardening and landscaping.   There is also new technology for converting organic waste into compost in just 24 hours.  We are seeking support from Municipal Corporations to set up compost units in some corners of large parks or near the thick forest covers. The manure generated from the compost units can be used for the vegetation in parks, plant nurseries etc.

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