From a stunning new waste segregating robot to cost-saving garbage compaction machines, from service providers who use digital platforms to monitor their waste management programs to the latest innovations in organic waste converters and waste-to-energy plants – not to mention specific solutions for specialised streams of waste like biomedical waste and C&D waste, the Waste Technology India Expo 2022 has it all. Here’s a preview of what’s in store.
This vast subject includes a multitude of challenges and solutions. The good news is that urban local bodies have started to tap the potential of expert service providers as well as rely on the superiority of machines compared to manual cleaning.
At the Expo: Truck chassis-mounted mechanical road sweepers which are robust, have high fuel efficiency and low operational cost, and use only mechanical conveyors to transfer the dirt from road to dirt collector. Their high-hopper dumping capability increases productivity, eliminating long and costly trips to and from the landfill.
Battery-operated ride-on-cum-walk-along litter-picking machine, and a patrolling pod that caters to municipal corporations, government bodies, corporate houses, industries, railways, industries, army campuses, institutions/universities with large campuses, etc.
Environmental hygiene service providers who offer integrated city cleaning, horticulture and landscaping, bell-mouth & catchment basin cleaning and maintenance.
Integrated City Operations and Maintenance Systems is a Smart Governance tool. ICOMS is a combination of tracking, supervising and monitoring municipal waste management initiatives under one module.
Mixed waste segregation robot
You read that right. Every conversation about the many obstacles in the path of effective waste management begins with the difficulties authorities face in enforcing waste segregation norms and collecting different kinds of waste separately for different paths of disposal. The mixed nature of this waste makes the most advanced solution ineffective, since there is no single, all-encompassing method of treating diverse kinds of waste together.
At the Expo: AI-powered automatic waste sorter. Meant for dividing mixed but recyclable waste into the required streams, this product uses Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and IoT to create a fully automated material recovery facility. The solutions use computer vision to make sorting more efficient at different stages of the waste value chain.
With a proprietary algorithm, it achieves automated high-volume and better-quality sorting in a fraction of time as compared to human sorting. The features of gathering data for waste classification and behaving like a self-learning tool are the cherry on top.
Urban solid waste also includes inert waste that needs to be stored at source, then transported and stored again before final disposal. This component contains a lot of air, reducing its density; the less dense the waste, the less cost-efficient it is to transport and/or store it. Many retail and service businesses such as fast food, restaurants and hotels also need to tackle the associated problems of rodents and smell.
At the Expo: Garbage compactors, which are classified according to their loading location as ground-access, walk-on and secured indoor chute. One innovative product on display is a machine designed specially to support the collection and transport of waste from remote regions of the country to landfills.
Wet waste is a heterogenous aggregation of garbage that has vastly variable sizes and chemical composition. Whether it is temporary storage, transportation or pre-treatment we are talking about, smaller the size of the garbage ‘units’, more efficient is the waste management process.
At the Expo: Food waste shredders reduce the size of waste items, making their transport more economical, accelerating their conversion to compost or making them more suitable for use in waste-to-energy plants.
Nearly 50% of the waste generated by India is organic in nature. Produced at the household, community, commercial or industrial level, this waste tends to be clubbed with other kinds of waste, or – where segregated – is collected separately by municipal authorities who do not yet have the capacity to adequately treat and process this waste component.
Decentralised management for organic waste is the need of the hour, which will need solutions that can be implemented at the ward or zonal level in the case of large cities, or at the city level in case of medium-sized ones.
At the Expo: Compact organic waste converters, which occupy less space than the mammoth models of yore, and biogas generators are the perfect solution for Smart City waste management. With over 500 projects up and running in conjunction with government ministries and municipal corporations, these success models are apt to be adopted.
A common complaint of some who operate organic waste converters is that they take a long time to completely process wet waste. Rapid digesters, which can accelerate the process while consuming minimal energy, will also be on display.
According to the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, the total estimated energy generation potential from urban and industrial organic waste in India is approximately 5690 MW. The government has recently notified the Green Open Access Rules 2022 to further accelerate India’s renewable energy programmes; these rules are notified for promoting generation, purchase and consumption of green energy, including through waste-to-energy plants.
As per the rules, green open access is allowed to any consumer and the limit of open access transactions has been reduced from 1 MW to 100 kW for green energy, in order to enable small consumers also to purchase renewable power through open access. Apart from financial benefits, consumers will be given certificates if they consume green power.
At the Expo: Customised plant sections and turnkey plants, covering planning, design and engineering, construction and operation, as well as maintenance and overhaul of waste-to-energy plants. With over a century of experience and 950+ plants installed across the world, this market leader has several installations in India as well, and has firmed up on sourcing almost 95% of plant equipment from domestic pre-approved vendors, adhering to Make-in-India.
C & D waste
India generates 100-150 million tonnes of Construction & Demolition waste per annum. Currently, less than 1% is recycled. Contrast this with the fact that 70% of India is yet to be built. A huge amount of construction is in our future. From the C&D waste point of view, we are already at an unsustainable level by a huge margin.
Urban local bodies have taken note, and are mounting solutions to process and upcycle this component.
At the Expo: Turnkey recycling solutions and equipment for construction & demolition waste, asphalt recycling, screening and washing equipment including varying sizes of stationary and mobile jaws, cone and impact crushers, heavy duty screens and mobile plants for recycling construction & demolition waste.
Biomedical waste management
The ongoing pandemic has brought to the fore the pressing need for 100% safe methods of disposing of biomedical waste.
At the Expo: Safe inactivation of infectious waste on site through shredding and decontamination, and automated biomedical liquid waste treatment systems.
Manual scavenging is officially a thing of the past; the National Action Plan for Mechanised Ecosystem lays out a roadmap for urban local bodies to compulsorily adopt mechanised cleaning of sewers. This injunction also extends to industries like mining, oil and gas, automobiles and more, where regular sewer cleaning is a must.
Tracing and inspecting sewer lines, displacing obstacles and cleaning rivulets-turned-nullahs remain concerning challenges.
At the Expo: The Waste Technology Expo will showcase over 300 types of tools and machines, including piping tools, inspection devices and utility locating devices, pipe diagnostic systems, drain maintenance equipment, jetting and suction machines, super suckers, nullah cleaning machines, solid and liquid waste handling equipment and more.
Waste tracking systems
Despite stringent rules governing the disposal of various categories of waste, there are many ‘leakages’ in the waste chain between the site of generation and ultimate disposal. Increasingly, municipal funds for waste management are tied to measuring waste collected, and the documentation of its appropriate disposal.
At the Expo: The complete chain of waste management is covered through ICT based tracking and monitoring systems which can be managed and controlled centrally, with complete traceability of waste across the chain.
As is apparent from the above, solutions for every link of the waste management chain will be available under one roof.