BMC sets up expert committee to study solid waste management
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The panel includes the zonal director-general of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) Mumbai office, officials from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, professors from IIT Powai and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and some social activists and legal advisers.
A discussion on alternatives tops the panel's agenda and this may lead to the cancellation of the landfill management contracts awarded to United Phosphorus Ltd (UPL) for delays in the partial closure of Deonar dumping ground, and the setting up of a bio-methanisation plant at the Mulund dumping ground. On November 21, Newsline had reported that the civic administration, tired of these lags, has been forced to consider cancelling the company's contracts. "I have looked at alternatives but in this decision we need technical support. The committee will meet in the next eight-ten days to see what can be our future course of action," said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner in charge of solid waste management.
The technical advisory committee has been formed on the lines of the corporation's Standing Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) that draws recommendations for the engineering departments of the civic body — especially the roads department.
The new SWM panel of experts will also recommend alternative methods for treating municipal solid waste (MSW).
"For this we will have to look at the composition of the garbage and the extent of segregation carried out. We will also have to take into account the land available for treating the garbage," said Adtani. The department is considering a composite of garbage treatment technologies. "If we have a composition of technologies, around 1,500 tonnes of garbage will be processed through one technology. Hence if one technology fails, we can at least rely on the other technologies and we are not left stranded."
Newsline had reported that the corporation had sent notices to over 70,000 residential societies to mandate segregation of dry and wet waste. The civic body said failure to comply could lead to fines ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1000.
However now with a number of MSW treatment technologies being considered, the corporation is particularly keen one that will treat mixed waste.
"Some technologies may work only for wet waste when we have a lot of mixed waste. While our aim is to achieve 100 per cent segregation for which we need the cooperation of the citizens, if we can have a technology that can treat mixed waste we will not have to force segregation at the source," said Adtani.