One neighbourhood may have the answer to Bengaluru’s garbage management problems. For the past three months, nearly three tonnes of wet waste generated by residents of a few neighbourhoods in Koramangala's 5th and 6th Blocks is being processed and converted to biogas.
The biogas is generated in a unit installed in the Solid Waste Management Centre on Hosur Road. The biogas goes into the kitchen of a popular eatery, which is adjacent to the centre.
Padmashree Balaram from the Koramangala Residents' Welfare Association (RWA) said the Urban Development Department had recently approved upscaling of the unit.
“Koramangala 5th and 6th Blocks generate a total of 20 tonnes of wet waste every day. The level of segregation of waste at source is good here,” she said. The processing unit was set up by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on a public-private partnership with Carbon Masters India Pvt. Ltd.
According to Som Narayan, co-founder of Carbon Masters, the capacity of the unit is four tonnes per day, which will be upscaled to 10 tonnes shortly. “We have been working closely with B.T.M. Layout MLA Ramalinga Reddy, BBMP and the RWAs. Four more units of 10 tonnes capacity will be installed in a few other localities,” he said.
With five units in place, the entire quantum of wet waste generated in the Assembly constituency will be processed in these units.
The kitchen of the eatery is running solely on biogas. “It did not take much convincing to get the eatery on board. We connected biogas to one burner on a trial basis. Now, all burners are connected to the piped biogas from the unit,” he said.
The owner of the restaurant said there are misconceptions about the efficiency of biogas. The calorific value of biogas is as good, if not better, than that of liquefied petroleum gas. “We’ve been told that by switching to biogas, we will be able to achieve 15% savings. We will analyse the spend on energy after a few months,” he said.
The BBMP is hoping to take this model to other neighbourhoods.
BBMP's Special Commissioner D. Randeep told The Hindu that the civic body would push for more decentralised processing of waste, so as to reduce dependence on landfills and quarries.