Says waste management at source concepts catching up

The Corporation is pushing hard the concept of managing waste at source by the citizens as no alternative has yet been found to the Vilappilsala plant and installation of new garbage treatment plants. The civic body had found part success in materialising the idea with apartments, hotels, and households installing compost units and biogas plants on their premises to treat solid waste.

Data available with Corporation officials revealed that around 120 apartments had installed compost units with capacity to process 50 to 100 kg of solid waste per day. The units installed by government-approved service providers were eligible for a subsidy of Rs.500 per units, said an official.

As many as 226 houses had set up small biogas plants and the gas generated was being used to meet a part of their cooking needs. The plants had the capacity to process 2.5 to 7.5 kg of waste per day and the Corporation offered 75 per cent subsidy, the official said. After the subsidy, a household would need to spend Rs.2,000 to set up the plant, the official said.

“The cost involved is a hindrance factor in pushing the idea. But the feedback we get is that those who installed the biogas plants manage to marginally reduce the dependence on LPG,” he added. Among the hoteliers, the concept of setting up biogas plants was slowly catching up with around 60 hotels in the city already installing the facility, the official said.

In the scheme of things that formed part of the civic body’s decentralised garbage management plan, the pipe compost was the most ambitious. After rolling out the scheme, around 50,000 pipe compost units had been installed in houses, but, of late, the scheme was getting less patronage. Presently, the request for application has come down from 1,000 to around 200 a week, the official said.

The programme lost its sheen after residents complained of slow decay of garbage and sighting of worms inside pipe composts. In certain areas, the corporation tried inoculation but it did not find much success as it needed a minimum moisture for the garbage to decay. The programme was but running well in Chettivilakkara ward, which was one of the first areas in the city to experiment with pipe compost.

Around 3,000 residents in Chettivilakkara hade installed pipe compost units and in a few months all houses in the ward would be provided the facility. The residents there dumped small quantities of mud inside the pipe and that facilitated easy decay, the official said.

Mayor K. Chandrika told The Hindu that 10 biogas plants had been installed in government schools, markets, and public places. The civic body was in the process of setting up 20 more such units. The Corporation had incurred an expenditure of around Rs.4.30 crore as subsidy component towards installing waste treatment units, she added.

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