Mangaluru

Compost from city waste ready for sale

Bags of ‘city compost’ made from municipal solid waste of Mangaluru being prepared at the compost plant of Mangaluru City Corporation at Pachchanady.— Photo: H.S. Manjunath  

More than a year and half after the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) handed over the operation and maintenance of its compost plant and landfill site at Pachchanady to a private company, it has now begun sale of bio manure called “city compost” manufactured from municipal solid waste.

The State Department of Agriculture issued licence to Unique Waste Processing Company Ltd., a unit of IL & FS Ltd., the contract company of MCC, to manufacture city compost on July 15, 2014. The licence is valid till July 14, 2017.

Subsequently, the government on August 25, 2014 permitted the company to market the compost till August 29, 2017.

The MCC had handed over the operation and maintenance of both the facilities to it in July 2013.

According to Rajeev Joseph D, project in-charge of the company at Pachchanady, the compost manufactured served as a soil enriching agent. The company sold four tonnes of compost locally since November 2014. Now there was demand for 500 tonnes, mainly for 280 tonnes from Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd. and 210 tonnes from Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation Ltd.. Though Mangaluru Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd. had expressed willingness to purchase the compost, it had not confirmed the demand, he said.

Mr. Joseph said that currently the plant produced 20 tonnes of compost daily, though the quantity declined in the rainy season. Quantity of garbage collected daily required 60 days of processing to convert to compost.

Product prices

He said that the company sold the compost for Rs. 3,500 per tonne for private parties and for Rs. 2,100 to Rs. 2,700 per tonne to government agencies as they purchased it in bulk. The retail rate, for someone willing to purchase 10 kg or more, it is sold at Rs. 3 per kg.

To a question, he said the company was yet to get feedback from those who had purchased it.

An official in the health department in the corporation said the company would have to give either Rs. 1.28 lakh to the MCC monthly or half of the total proceeds of the sale, whichever was higher.

Almitra Patel, whose landmark public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court in 1996 against open dumping of municipal solid waste was instrumental in the drafting of the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, visited the compost plant and landfill site on December 23, 2014.

She suggested re-using leachate collected from heaps of garbage by spraying it on the segregated garbage again for fast de-composing. The plant was following the method now. She has also suggested to plant vetiver on the landfill site covered with soil, which was yet to be done, a corporation official said.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 4:53:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/compost-from-city-waste-ready-for-sale/article6863732.ece

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