Chennai

Local bodies set up smaller composting units

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Decentralise approach to solid waste management in effort to reduce dependency on dumpyards

As an effort to move towards zero waste , some of the local bodies in western suburbs are setting up on-site composting units that are smaller in size to process waste.

In the past six months, the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration (CMA) has opened 33 micro compost centres in Avadi, Poonamallee and Thiruverkadu. The decentralised approach to solid waste management was adopted to reduce the strain on dumpyards and also save transportation costs.

Each of these compost centres have a capacity to convert up to five tonnes of bio-degradable waste into manure. In a bid to make the local bodies dustbin-free, on-site composting units of less than one tonne capacity are being set up in public spaces like parks to easily transport and process waste, said CMA officials.

Of the 90 tonnes of waste collected daily from these municipalities, nearly 45 tonnes are segregated as organic waste. This is converted into manure weighing 7-8 tonnes. The composting process is done using fermented curd and jaggery. This would accelerate composting in seven days, said an official.

Though the municipalities particularly Avadi continue to have hiccups in garbage collection and source segregation, they have managed to reduce the volume of waste reaching the dump yards in Sekkadu and Parivakkam. “We have tied up with local vendors to sell recyclable waste. Dry waste materials like used mattresses and soiled plastics are given to cement industries in Ariyalur,” said an official.

Source seggregation

Source segregation especially in Avadi municipality remains a challenge and efforts are being taken to create awareness among residents. “We are not collecting debris and it is left as responsibility of the builders. The manure produced is used in parks and also given free of cost to residents and farmers. It is also given for a minimal cost to private agencies that purchase in bulk volume,” the official said.

The aim is to reclaim the dump yards and use them for better purpose. The CMA had entered into a memorandum of understanding with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited that had funded ₹11 crore under the corporate social responsibility initiative.

However, Avadi residents note that much improvement is needed in garbage collection. Door to door waste collection is not done regularly and the vehicles also need to be replaced. The local body must also take measures to clear garbage choking rainwater channels.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:31:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/local-bodies-set-up-smaller-composting-units/article24950903.ece

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