City Corporation of Belgaum (CCB) has recently received the “Green Leaf Award” for the best municipal corporation for effective and scientific garbage disposal. The award constituted by Sukuki Exnora (Hyderabad) and assessed by ASCI (Administrative Staff College, of India), Hyderabad, is given to individuals and organisations contributing to solid waste management and demonstrating practical solutions & actions. The criterion for the ‘Green Leaf’award was on primary segregation, secondary segregation and plant maintenance.
With a population of over five lakh, Belgaum city did not have a proper street sweeping, waste collection and transportation system till a few years back. The garbage was seen on the road, lanes and in open areas. It did not have a landfill site and the entire garbage of the city was dumped in seven acres of land at Khasbag. The city did not even have a separate biomedical waste plant and the waste was mixed with street garbage.
Speaking to CIJ, S G Patil, Municipal Commissioner of City Corporation of Belgaum , said, “ We managed to achieve only 50% in the primary segregation of waste/segregation at the source process. But now the primary collection or door-to-door collection is being done by five-six agencies. These agencies collect `20 from every household. The waste collected is then transferred to a container mounted on a vehicle. CCB operates these containers and takes it to the disposal centre at Turmuri in the outskirts of the city.”
Scientific disposal site
From 2006 onwards, Belgaum has been disposing the MSW at the landfill scientifically, ie, by putting sand, clay, HDPE liner and leachate collection facility. Till then the MSW was neither treated nor converted into manure. Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Limited (IDeCk) at Bangalore was entrusted to prepare a project report for final treatment of MSW.
As per IDeCk report, tenders were floated and the work was entrusted to Ramky Enviro Engineers, Hyderabad, for treatment of MSW and convert the waste into manure (which is now sold in the market under the brand name Godhawari Shakti). A unit was established by Ramky for treating the waste and the final disposal. They constructed components like a weigh bridge, security room, electrical panel room, underground reservoir, storm water drainage, water provision, a windrow platform, screening machinery and a leachate treatment plant.
The waste generated from the hotel and restaurant is collected in a huge blue barrel which is transported to the garbage disposal centre. This waste is transferred to different platforms for further segregation and then sent for further processing. Patil said, “We also have a separate bio-medical treatment plant in the corporation wherein medical wastes like scissors, gloves, needles and POP are burned in a very high degree temperature with the help of incinerator. CCB is also planning for a plant which will convert the plastic waste into pellets, which will be then sold in the open market.
Bio medical waste treatment plant
CCB did not have a separate bio medical waste treatment plant. It initiated talks with office bearers of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and medical practitioners who were running hospitals with indoor and operative facilities. Patil said, “After a series of meetings, the doctors formed an association and installed the incinerator at their own cost. The corporation helped the association with three guntas of land at Khasbag on lease basis to install the plant.
From 1999 onwards, the association has been doing the collection, transportation and final disposal of bio-medical waste on its own. The association has 184 hospitals & nursing homes, 42 clinics, eight dental clinics, nine pathological labs, one government district hospital and one government-run forensic lab as its members. All the medical institutions are trained to segregate and store their garbage in colour-coded bags.
Collection & transportation of BMW
Belgaum city is divided in to eight zones for the purpose of collection and secondary storage of BMW from various hospitals. There are eight people who collect and transport BMW from various hospitals which is then stored in the secondary storage points. Patil explained, “The secondary storage is done in a big cement box covered with metallic top door which is kept locked. The association has one vehicle which collects BMW from the secondary storage point to the incineration site.” There are five such secondary storage points in the cities
Speaking about the cleanliness and hygiene at CCB, Patil said, “We still face resistance from people. Even the educated people are unwilling to pay `20 for garbage disposal. To initiate any kind of programme, people’s participation plays an important role. If people are unwilling to participate and co-operate with the local body, the purpose/mission fails. We take help of NGOs to educate people on cleanliness and hygiene. These NGOs go door to door distributing pamphlets and explaining about the importance of keeping the city clean.”
Besides manual sweeping of the roads, the Corporation has also procured two sweepers from Kam-Avida for cleaning the main roads and highways. For cleaning the sewer, the corporation has JCB’s gutter/sewer cleaning machine.