Waste-to-energy plants at three places in city: Manjalamkuzhi Ali

The State government has apparently thrown up its hands saying that there is no effective model to emulate regarding centralised solid waste management.

Even if there is no tailor-made solution for the city, one could take a cue or two from the two-day workshop on the subject being jointly organised by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), a policy oriented, not-for-profit research institute, and the State government. (The workshop began here on Monday).

Various models

The sessions showcased and discussed models from across the country.

The New Delhi-based ICRIER has been focusing on capacity building and knowledge dissemination on urbanisation in the country. During the first few sessions on Monday, representatives of other municipal Corporations, including Surat and Coimbatore, shared their experiences of graduating from a filth-ridden place to an environment that is safe from pollution and manages to process all waste. They offered insights into scientific sanitary landfill methods. The State would need to consider the unique circumstances here in terms of quantity of waste, dearth of land, and people’s movements against the establishment.

Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhy Ali, who was chief guest on the first day, concluded the first session by listing the various forms of government support — subsidies for the installation of decentralised waste management units and or mass communication programmes across the State.

“Processes are underway regarding the installation of waste-to-energy plants in three selected locations in the city under the public-private-partnership model,” the Minister said, adding that the government had been on the hunt for alternatives. The State faced a list of challenges starting from the fact that the per capita generation of waste was higher than other States, he said.

E-waste

“Plastic and e-waste is increasing, management of source is yet to catch up, and the not-in-my-backyard syndrome means that even the measures that were attempted have not been up to the mark,” Mr. Ali said.

The sessions discussed options such as from landfills and windrow composting attempted at Vilappilsala to biomethanation, incineration, waste-to-energy plants, and thermal gasification.

Coimbatore Municipal Commissioner G. Latha said the financial burden on the Corporation was huge and they too were planning source-based reduction.