EVEN as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is in the process of setting up three solid waste disposal plants in the city, the H West ward officials have taken a different approach to minimise the amount of waste generated in areas like Bandra and Khar.
Promoting the idea of processing waste on site as recommended in the draft Development Plan 2034, the ward is targeting the bulk producers, including hotels like Taj Lands End as well as hospitals like Lilavati and Surya, encouraging them to set up a processing plant within their premises.
The H West ward produces around 300 metric tonne of solid waste every day which is collected and transported to the Deonar dumping ground. Since the last six months, Sharad Ughade, the assistant municipal commissioner of H West ward has taken up the initiative of motivating the bulk generators of solid waste like hotels, hospitals and gymkhanas to process it on their own. Earlier this year, the Bombay High Court had stayed new constructions owing to the civic body’s poor performance in solid waste management.
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The H West ward officials have set up a bio-digestor plant with a capacity of processing 50 kg of waste per day in the ward office and have connected also the Bandra police station. “People are coming forward and are positive about processing their waste. We are creating role models and we hope to reduce the daily solid waste output by around 15-20 per cent in the next six months. We are working towards a goal of becoming a zero-garbage ward,” he said.
A plant of this capacity costs around Rs 60,000.
Ughade stated that H West is among the wards with the highest number of restaurants which generate a large amount food waste making it imperative to include them in the plan. “Olive restaurant in Khar is in the final stage of setting up a 50 kg bio-digestor plant on its premises. We are now trying to work out a plan with around 215 restaurants which are associated with the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR),” he said. With the help of Corporate Social Responsibility funds, the H West ward officials have set up a bio-digestor plant with a capacity of 400 kg of solid waste at the Bhabha Hospital and the electricity generated from the plant will be used in the hospital canteen. Composting pits have been dug at two civic schools — one at Gazdarband and another at Khar Danda. The Khar Gymkhana has similarly set up a plant of their own and are using the manure generated from the processed waste in their gardens.
The initiative has picked up momentum and other gymkhanas, including Bandra Gymkhana, Otter’s Club and Willingdon Club, have also agreed to follow suit. Among hotels, Taj Lands End produces two metric tonne of waste per day — the highest in the ward. “They are willing to set up a plant. We are working with them to come up with the most efficient way of processing their waste,” said Ughade. The list also includes education institutions like MET and IES colleges.
The ward officials are also working out the logistics of setting up a waste-processing plant in the Kantwadi slum in Bandra and use the electricity generated by the plant supply the connection for the community toilets in the vicinity. Housing societies like the Mount Mary Society, which includes 14 buildings and produces around 280 kg of waste per day, has also come forward to take up the initiative.