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Turning garbage disposal into a viable proposition

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An expert in waste management, Svidinski Pavel Aleksandrevich, in a chat with R. Ramabhadran Pillai, dwelt on the prospects of new technology in waste disposal and its applicability in cities in India, including Kochi

Various countries have been following their own patterns in waste disposal. The problems of waste disposal are more confronted by masses in developing countries such as India. Kerala, with limited land availability, has been facing challenges in this area.

As in every sector, new technologies have come up in waste management too. One such technology is being introduced by a Russian expert in waste management, Svidinski Pavel Aleksandrevich. In a chat with R. Ramabhadran Pillai he dwelt on the prospects of the new technology and its applicability in cities in India, including Kochi.

Accumulation of waste material is an accompaniment of urbanisation. As cities grow into metros and mega metros, the garbage heaps start growing at an alarming rate. The menace, if unchecked, may create health hazards. But it needs appropriate space and suitable technology, says Mr.Svidinki.

A doctorate holder in automobile engineering, Mr.Svidinski has devised novel methods for eco-friendly disposal of waste material. Disposal is not merely a solution to a problem, but a means to generate income as well, he says. A consortium of companies he heads has manufactured special automobiles. These vehicles have the facility to compress the waste material even while it is being transported to the site of disposal. The compressing activity provides space for additional load. This is a major attraction of the vehicles. The net result is that a minimum number of vehicles could be pressed into service to clear the garbage. It is estimated that an individual generates 1.5 cubic metre of waste material in an year. This would mean that the waste generated by one million people is 1.5 million cubic metres per annum. Imagine the space required to deposit the same, Mr.Svidinski remarks, in a bid to impress upon the need for compressing the garbage.

Garbage disposal is not a serious problem if the material is segregated at the right time, points out Mr. Svidinski. Separate containers should be used for different kinds of waste material. The general waste material, which is compressed and processed to yield substances that could be used as fertiliser. The sale of the product would be rewarding enough to make the entire operation feasible, according to him.

If segregation is not done at the collection stage, conveyor belt system is used at the plant for separation. Polythene bags separated from the garbage heaps could be recycled for use in PVC material and as ingredient for road-laying works.

Two waste disposal plants employing eco-friendly technologies have been set up in his hometown St.Petersburg. Similar plants have been set up at Tolyatti and Novorossik, apart from various countries in CIS and Iraq. Creating awareness on segregation of waste is a key element in waste disposal, says Mr.Svidinski. This has to be taken up by government and non-government agencies, he says.

The waste disposal is not done systematically in Kochi, he observes. Otherwise, the city has cosmopolitan looks apart from a civilised population. If there is a global expression of interest for setting up a waste disposal plant in Kochi, will he vie for it? "Certainly; we can offer good technology at competent rates", he asserts.

Svidinski Pavel Aleksandrevich

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