Micro-composting the best bet for City Corporation

Micro-composting centres (MCC), now a key ingredient in the overall waste management in the city since its inception in 2017, have been taking the stink away from the Ariyamangalam dumpyard.

They would also have a pivotal role in achieving the goal of doing away with the Ariyamangalam dumpyard in a span of two years.

Thirtyone MCCs were created based on a similar model in Vellore two years ago. "The Vellore model was emulated on a larger scale, and Tiruchi Corporation took the initiative to test it out. As a pilot project, the civic body chose one ward each in four zones - Abhishekapuram, Ariyamangalam, Golden Rock and Srirangam, where MCCs were set up. Following their success, in the span of a year, a total of 31 were set up across the city," said Sangeethapriya S, Assistant Executive Engineer, Tiruchi City Corporation.

Within the city limits, a total of 460 metric tonnes (MT) of waste is generated daily, of which 245 MT is biodegradable. MCCs now handle as much as 155 MT. “The MCCs are equipped to take all the biodegradable waste generated. They are also equipped with incinerators to process sanitary napkins and diapers," says N. Ravichandran, City Corporation Commissioner.

According to data furnished by the Tiruchi City Corporation, 58 wards in the four zones have been covered so far. "Three more units will be set up soon. They are caught up in a land dispute now," said Ms. Sangeethapriya. Although the MCCs are being set up on Corporation land in all the wards, some residents are iffy about their management.

Residents in the surroundings of the Ariyamangalam dumpyard have been protesting against the setting up of an MCC apprehending possible lack of maintenance in the future. "The dumpyard is terribly maintained. How can one be sure that the MCC will be any different? We do not want to fall ill and contract infections because of the Corporation's apathy," said one resident.

After source-segregation of waste from households into bio-degradable and non-biodegradable, garbage collectors send the organic waste to the MCCs while dry waste of about 60 MT is sold off to hawkers. "There is combustible waste too, such as beds, clothing and sacks, which are sent to a cement manufacturing company, after a Memorandum of Understanding was inked. They use it to make their packaging," Ms. Sangeethapriya said. About 40 MT of combustible waste has been sent to the cement factory so far.

To remove the eyesore of large garbage bins that more often than not have garbage around them than inside, the civic body, in 2016, made it mandatory for residents to hand over domestic waste directly to garbage collectors of the Corporation.

In order to ensure that all sources were covered, the collection was monitored using QR code-based system. The move has led to 95.1% of domestic waste being collected at its source. However, some complain that sanitary workers fail to turn up regularly to collect the waste, forcing them to dump it on the roadside.

Further, in a bid to encourage public participation and achieve 100% source segregation by 2020, the Corporation has introduced a lottery scheme to boost voluntary source segregation. As per the scheme, residents who effectively segregate their waste would be rewarded with a one gram gold coin.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 10:09:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/micro-composting-centres-to-play-pivotal-role/article26905988.ece

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