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Effective waste management through mechanisation

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation was awarded the “Best City” for 2009-10 for its efforts to improve Solid Waste Management under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The Hyderabad Corporation’s integrated waste management model includes transportation of waste to transfer stations, development of new stations, operation and maintenance, transportation to designated disposal facilities, development of four integrated waste management facilities and reclamation and re-use of existing sites. “Nearly 1,005 dust bins and 2,384 workers are monitored by mobile technology,” MT Krishna Babu, Municipal Commissioner of GHMC told CIJ in an exclusive interview.

Collecting and treating waste…

At the primary level, the corporation has introduced the twin-bin waste collection system in 45 colonies on a trial basis. A ragpicker collects wastes from 200-250 houses at the rate of Rs20-30 per month per household.

The ragpicker then segregates the waste, keeps recyclables aside and deposits the remains in the large waste bin. This collected waste is then brought to the transfer station.

GHMC has seven transfer stations from where the waste is transported in big 25 tonne-capacity vehicles (mostly open truck) for further processing. At present, the transportation and waste disposal are outsourced to Ramky Enviro. On an average, 300-325 trips are made every day by 100 trucks to transport about 4000 tonnnes of waste from the transfer station to the dumping yard. There are five zones out of which two zones are on trial for primary collection. Broadly, the waste from the transfer station is sent to the dumping yard for further processing like leachate treatment, capping, bio-composting or power generation.

We also have door-to-door collection of waste for the commercial establishments like hotels and for restaurants. The compactors collect the kitchen waste and take it to the dumping yard directly.

Leachate issues

The real problem is the leachate that oozes from rotting garbage which could seep into the soil and contaminate the ground water, making it unfit not only for consumption but also agricultural use. Ramky has developed a solar pond for leachate treatment; it is a systematic process where the pond has a poly-urethane lining to prevent the fluid permeating into the soil. The water gets evaporated with the help of solar-energy and only leachate remains at the bottom. The left over is converted into bricks or fuel cakes and the remains disposed off safely.

Power generation…

RDF Power Projects is putting up an 11MW power plant which requires around 700 metric tonnes of garbage every day to generate power from the waste. In addition, there is another 7.5MW Selco plant which is non-functional due to technical problems. Ramky has also proposed a 15MW at the Jawahar Nagar dumping yard. The plant will be operated on a BOOT model for a period of 25 years. The energy generated from these plants would be sold to the grid.

Different waste management programmes …

For effective waste management, there is a need to introduce mechanisation. For this, the waste has to be collected, transported and handled properly at the open points where people tend to throw garbage. It is an intensive manpower exercise and many issues crop up while maintaining the quality of services.

At GHMC, we conduct resident welfare association meetings at regular intervals and give them training. The model colony members are invited to share their experiences with others. It is our way of encouraging people’s participation.

The resident colony gets infrastructure support from the corporation but they have to be maintained subsequently. These resident associations can recruit/engage person of their choice to maintain the area. And thus to support their initiatives, the resident welfare associations were invited to fill applications. An inspection was conducted and the winners were given infrastructure support from the Corporation.

“People participation plays an important role, without their support long-term goals are unachievable. Once the Corporation is able to involve the community in managing the solid waste, these residential complexes can take up projects like bio-composting and use the compost for their kitchen-garden or the gardens in their locality. “

The Associations were judged on 12-13 parameters like solid waste management, door-to-door garbage collection and maintenance of the open spaces, roads, drains and others. Any innovative project like introduction of solar lights or heaters in the colony or in the public spaces entailed additional marks.

The colony which stood first (from each zone) was awarded `15lakh as incentive and was also encouraged to take up developmental works like building day-care centre, construction of community halls, improvement of roads or drains and improving the facilities in the park. The jury included members from civil societies and retired professor who selected the associations in the zonal level.

The objectives of the programme was to

  • Maintain colonies clean, disposal of the solid waste scientifically and proper segregation of waste. These activities were previously undertaken by the Corporation but now the resident associations are showing active participation.
  • With the introduction of this programme, the Corporation has to pay just 75% of the amount on quarterly basis to the resident welfare associations and the remaining 25% of the maintenance is borne by the colony.

People participation plays an important role, without their support long-term goals are unachievable. Once the Corporation is able to involve the community in managing the solid waste, these residential complexes can take up projects like bio-composting and use the compost for their kitchen-garden or the gardens in their locality. If this programme achieves success, the issue of transportation of garbage can be tackled efficiently.

GHMC has also adopted mechanised cleaning in its municipal wards. Four big Kam-Avida sweepers take care of highways and 25 small sweepers run on important roads.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation was awarded the “Best City” for 2009-10 for its efforts to improve Solid Waste Management under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The Hyderabad Corporation’s integrated waste management model includes transportation of waste to transfer stations, development of new stations, operation and maintenance, transportation to designated disposal facilities, development of four integrated waste management facilities and reclamation and re-use of existing sites. “Nearly 1,005 dust bins and 2,384 workers are monitored by mobile technology,” MT Krishna Babu, Municipal Commissioner of GHMC told CIJ in an exclusive interview. Collecting and treating waste… At the primary level,…

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