Maintaining cleanliness in the city and ensuring organised garbage management are challenging. At the same time, when garbage is thrown around the dust bin rather than inside it, the challenge gets magnified. Speaking to Clean India Journal, in an exclusive interview, Tejaswi Naik, Municipal Commissioner, Bhopal, enumerates the challenges before the civic body and the solutions sought from the cleaning industry.
While the capital city of Bhopal wears a clean and green look, the processes involved in cleaning and waste management “can be improved”. Topping the list of cleanliness in any city is garbage collection & disposal. “It gets challenging when the garbage which should be inside the bin is scattered outside it.” Should we blame the attitude of the people or the not so stringent laws?
Talking of bins, overflowing garbage is also a common sight, not just because of scattered garbage around the bin but also due to delay in collection vehicles reaching in time to empty the bins. No doubt, larger bins can be looked at as a solution but they need to match the auto-lifting systems of the collection vehicles for successful transferring of garbage from the bin to the compactors.
“We are looking at technology which will stand us in good stead for the next 50 years. The existing technology, more of a fire-fighting solution, provides means to produce compost from waste. Such solutions, being management-intensive, require high level of monitoring. We are looking for a foolproof system, whereby the contractor ensures proper operations.
“Coming back to bins, the models presently available in the market are not up to the mark. Besides design, the life of these bins is too short. Receptacles should be smart bins which keep the garbage covered with no human intervention or issues of infestation and segregated. We can reduce a lot of green waste from going to the dump yards if the waste bins have separate compartments for different wastes, are sturdy, easy to handle and give value for money. About 60% of our waste consists of bio-degradable waste.”
At present, the Corporation has dumper-placers (ghanta gadis), compactors and other carriers to transport garbage to the landfill sites. “The dumper placer system is not effective, as they are small and have to make several rounds to the dumping ground to empty a single bin. Hence, the number of bins covered by one dumper is much less. This problem does not arise in compact vehicles; however, since the quality of bins is poor, they break very fast and affects the compactor collection system. In either case, we realized that garbage transportation takes much longer and created local collection centres. We are now using only the bigger vehicles for transportation of garbage to landfills.”
Liquid Waste Management
When it comes to drain cleaning and sewer cleaning, not all locations are suitable for mechanized cleaning. “We need solutions for large areas as well as suitable accessories to entre drains in smaller lanes. We can do with a bit of mechanization. We are now using tools to clean drains manually.”
Road cleaning is equally challenging and the mechanized sweepers are too costly with high maintenance costs. “We have a small road sweeper which is truck mounted.”
Similarly, waste generated and disposed off by hotels is unregulated and hence, lands into the drainage systems. “This makes drain cleaning inevitable and we are doing it on a fire fighting basis. We are procuring more and more machines for sewer cleaning to keep the drains clean.”
There are plans to set up localized units for collection of waste and this will in turn reduce choking of drains and reduce bio waste transportation to the landfills. Around three to four such units are being planned, one specifically for hotel waste, two for garden waste and another one model plant for temple waste.
The Corporation team has studied various successful models at BARC and Pune and there are bilateral plans to implement them in the larger areas and commercial spaces of Bhopal.
The forthcoming Clean India Show in Indore will be useful to us to source the right solutions. “Cleaning of lakes and water bodies is a specialized activity and we have a vast experience. But, I am looking forward for cost effective solutions which will improve the quality of water in lakes. We find that the best way to get quality water is through multiple cost effective solutions. We are also importing smaller de-weeding machines for lake cleaning and are creating alternatives like separate pond for immersion and garland collection to prevent such wastes from landing into the lake. To further discourage people from littering, we have made a ‘Wall of Shame’ near the lake where we display photographs of defaulters. People involvement is essential to attain best results in keeping the city clean and garbage-free.”Mohana M