Encouraged by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation-led (BMC) initiative of residential societies in segregating solid waste in the city, many educational institutions, hotels and restaurants are coming forward to process wet waste generated by their establishments in a bid to become zero-garbage entities.
While many are opting to set up bio-methanisation plants on their campus and intend to use biogas generated from processing the wet waste, others are setting up composting pits with the help of women self-help groups like Stree Mukti Sanghatana and Shree Aastha Mahila Bachat Gath.
At least two educational institutions are setting up bio-methanisation plants on their campus and will use the biogas for cooking purposes in their canteen. They are composting their green waste. While Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech and Hearing Disabilities in Bandra Reclamation is in the process of setting up a bio-methanisation plant with a capacity of 100 kg, St Paul Institute of Communication Education in Bandra has recently set up a plant with a capacity of 60 kg.
Schools like Auxilium Convent School, which generate a smaller quantity of waste, have set up a composting pit of 30 kg. Assistant Municipal Commissioner Sharad Ughade said, “The self help groups act as a bridge between citizens and the civic body and they help to facilitate the solid waste management system. With their contribution, composting pits have been set up in many residential societies and commercial establishments.”
Hotels and restaurants produce a much higher quantity of waste daily and their involvement in processing waste at the site removes a significant portion of the wet waste transported to the city’s overflowing dumping grounds. Taj Lands End in Bandra, which produces 2.5 metric tonnes of waste per day — the highest bulk generator of wet waste in H west ward — has set up an organic waste convertor which processes as much as 1,000 kg wet waste every day. The organic waste converter produces at least 400 kg of manure which is used as fertilizer for the plants and nursery set up on their premises. Similarly, Le Sutra Hotel in Khar, Otters Club and Executive Enclave in Bandra, have all set up bio-methanisation plants to process their own waste.
A bio-methanisation plant with a capacity of 20 kg costs between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh. Composting pits, however, are a more economical option which has been taken up by American Express Bakery in Byculla, one of the city’s oldest bakeries. It produces waste ranging from 80 kg to 180 kg depending on the food being prepared.
The bakery has taken the help of Stree Mukti Sanghatana, a non-profit organisation which has tied up with the BMC to help with the collection and disposal of dry waste in the 13 administrative wards in the city.
“Apart from the American Express Bakery, the Stree Mukti Sanghatana is working with several offices, hospitals and educational institutions in Bandra Reclamation, among other parts of the city, with the ultimate goal of making them zero-garbage premises,” said Deepika D’Souza, a member of Stree Mukti Sanghatana.
The city’s government hospitals are also pitching in their efforts to reduce the quantity of waste transported to the dumping grounds. Apart from Bhabha Hospital, where the H West Ward officials have recently set up a bio-digestor plant with a capacity of 400 kg of solid waste, a composting pit with a capacity for 250 kg has been set up at Masina Hospital in Byculla as well.