The Attingal municipality will set up seven high-capacity biogas plants in various public places as part of its efforts to treat biodegradable waste at source.

Work had commenced on the plants at the waste treatment yard at Chudukad, public market, Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Government Girls Higher Secondary School, District Institute for Education and Training, Industrial Training Institute and Government College, municipal vice-chairman M. Pradeep told The Hindu.

“The government has sanctioned a sum of Rs.57 lakh towards installing the plants. The private agency entrusted with the task of constructing the plants has been given six months’ time to complete the work,” he said. While the plant being set up inside the waste yard could process 1,000 kg waste a day, the plants at other places could process 300 to 500 kg a day, he said.

Though the civic body had not yet decided on how to utilise the gas produced from the plant inside garbage yard, the construction on the rest of the premises was being done in a way that the useable methane could be used in the stoves in kitchen, health supervisor of the municipality Ajaya Kumar said.

The municipality, which has won several awards from the State government for putting in place a mechanism for collection and disposal of waste, has drawn up an action plan to involve private commercial establishments in its decentralised garbage management plan.

Setting up of biogas plants or other decentralised garbage management methods would be made mandatory at commercial establishments to get their licences renewed, Mr. Kumar said adding that once commercial establishments adopted source-level waste disposal method, the flow of waste to the dumping yard could be reduced considerably.

As of now, 14 to 16 tonnes of waste per day was generated within the municipal limits, he added.

The civic body’s effort to distribute biogas plants to households has yielded good results.

So far, as many as 115 applications were received and 68 of them had been given a biogas plant and stove. By the end of this year, 300 persons would be given the plant and stove. The plants, which could process 5 kg of solid waste, would cost Rs.8,800.

The Suchitwa Mission had provided Rs.24 lakh as subsidy for the programme, he said.

Seventy-five per cent of the total cost of the plant would be borne by the Suchitwa Mission and the municipality. The decentralisation move was aimed at lessening the burden on the existing treatment plant, he said.