Chennai

Five municipalities versus landfills

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At Vengadamangalam, they are making the most of garbage and ensuring it does not accumulate in a dumping ground

Following successful implementation of its Phase-I waste-management programme, the Pallavapuram Municipality has now initiated a integrated solid-waste management system with the support of four other municipalities — Tambaram, Pammal, Anakaputhur and Sembakkam.

As part of a public-private partnership programme, Essel Pallavapuram and Tambaram Municipal Solid Waste Management Private Limited (EPTMPL) handles a project to close two garbage transfer stations (read dumping grounds) in Pallavaram Ganapathypuram and Tambaram Kannadapalayam in the long run. As a result of the ongoing project, around two lakh metric tonnes of waste from all the five municipalities have been collected at the two transfer stations. From this, at least 65,000 tonnes of Refuse-Derived-Fuel (RDF) have been extracted and 45,000 tonnes of organic manure produced so far.

On an average, the Municipality produces around 65 tonnes of organic manure per day and 85 tonnes of RDF per day at Vengadamangalam Compost Yard, by treating around 300 metric tonnes of waste every day.

M. Pandi, Infra En Consultant of EPTMPL, says, “The main idea behind the project is to reduce, as much as possible, the garbage going to landfills. Of the total waste collected from the five municipalities, 30% is used for preparing manure, 40% for extracting RDF, 10% will evaporate in the process, and only the remaining 20% of waste (which can not be used either for manure or RDF) will go to the Scientific Landfill (SLF).”

Officials say they take proper care while disposing of the waste. The Vengadamangalam compost yard is spread over 50 acres, of which only 25 acres is used for manufacturing RDF and organic manure. Only six acres of land is used as a landfill. To prevent percolation of toxic substance into the ground, a scientific landfill has been created. Digging up the earth up to 4 feet, a bed of polycarbon sheets is laid on the surface. Different layers are formed over it, including a layer of 40mm blue metal. “We are also planning to create a green cover above the landfill with suitable plantation,” the official adds.

The extracted manure has been sold across the State including districts such as Salem, Trichy, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Coimbatore and Villupuram. Companies such as Madras Fertilizers Limited and SPIC are their regular customers. “The companies pay ₹2,500 for every tonne of manure (without packing) and ₹3,000 for every tonne of manure (with packing). Apart from these companies, farmers and individuals buy the manure, which is certified by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Department, Coimbatore Lab. There is also talk of a proposal from an Andhra Pradesh-based cement company to buy 150 metric tonnes of RDF per day for manufacturing cement,” one of the officials of the Essel Group said.

The Municipality is holding talks with the Tangedco officials for drafting a power-purchase agreement for the production of 5mw of power using the RDF. Unit price negotiations between Tangedco and Essel Group are under way. Currently, the Municipality sells organic manure at a nominal price of ₹2.50 per kg. For details, call M. Pandi at 9443159162.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 4:49:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/vengadamangalam-versus-five-municipalities/article22918002.ece

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