Finance Minister K.M. Mani has proposed a two pronged approach to address the state’s worsening waste management crisis with an allocation of Rs 100 crore each for source level waste treatment plants and centralised high tech waste management plants in the state annual budget for 2012-13.

It has been proposed to construct large scale technology oriented waste processing plants in PPP model in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Kozhikode districts with an allocation of Rs 100 crores.

Another Rs 100 crores will be disbursed as subsidies for promoting source level waste treatment units, such as composting units and biogas plants, in households. Mr Mani said that state government will provide 75 percent subsidy for installing composting units while the respective local body will provide a subsidy of 15 percent. Meanwhile, beneficiaries who install biogas plants in their households can avail a total subsidy of 75 percent. The government subsidy share for biogas plants will be 50 percent and that of the local body will be 25 percent of the unit cost.

A special financial assistance of Rs 15 crore has also been allocated for Thrissur and Kollam Corporations for setting up garbage treatment plants.

To address the issue of plastic waste a large scale plastic shredding plant has been proposed. Shredded plastic from the unit, to be established in association with Malabar Cements, will be used for road tarring, Mr Mani said.

In a bid to bring down the sales and use of plastic bags, Mr Mani has proposed tax hike of plastic bags from 12.5 percent to 20 percent. Meanwhile complete tax exemption has been announced for clothe bags which have been promoted as an alternative to plastic bags. As part of promoting innovative technologies in waste management, the tax for electronic- toilets has been brought down by five percent.

Other initiatives in waste management include waste water treatment plants to be set up by Suchitwa Mission in selected districts at a cost of Rs 15 crore. A Green Technology Centre to promote the idea of zero waste has also been proposed to be established in association with the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS).