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Kerala to adopt bio-bin to treat waste

The Thiruvananthapuram city corporation, which has been looking at solutions to address the increasing garbage treatment issues in the capital city, is planning to introduce bio-bins in residential apartments in the city. This follows the various schemes undertaken to implement source-level waste management, following Vilappilsala not allowing dumping of waste in their area.

The bio-bins to be installed by Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) are a set of two boxes made of fibre with a dimension of 180x90x75cm. These bins use aerobic microbial composting technique by which the bacterial solution will dilute the garbage. The solution turns the waste into compost which can then be stored in two boxes. One box takes 15 days to get filled. By the time the next box is filled, the first one would have turned into compost.

Except paper, plastic, coconut shell and diapers, the bio-bins can be used for degrading any kind of waste. The bins are already in operation in Kochi and have been working successfully for the last five years. The model is customised on the number of residents in an apartment. A single unit of bio-bin costs around `50,000.

According to the corporation sources, the residents share will not cross beyond `1,500 to install a bio-bin in an area. A low cost biogas plant costs `6,500. The corporation has already issued notices to all flats to install any of these source-level waste processing units before February end.

Meanwhile, the City Corporation is also planning to tie-up with a private firm based in Kochi to process the plastic waste generated in the city. The Corporation has two options for plastic processing. According to the first one, the company will collect soiled plastic waste as such and will transport it for recycling. The second one proposes people to wash the plastic waste and keep it till it is collected by the Clean Well workers, which will then be handed over to the company for recycling. The Corporation is looking at both options.

A plastic shredding unit at the industrial plant at Kochuveli is in the pipeline to complement this project. While, the land has been identified, the Corporation is shortlisting the proposal before commencing work on the construction. Earlier on, similar proposals to set up shredding units at important market places in the city like at Manacaud met with stiff resistance from the locals.

The Corporation has also been trying out several experimental models for waste management solutions in the capital. It recently tried out the biotech model of waste management in three select centres in the city. The experiments were carried out in the Chalai, Peroorkada and Manacuad markets. This model has been successfully adopted by the Mysore City Corporation.

Operated by the NGO Olena Mahila Sangham, the process involves spraying of organic lotion into the garbage heaps of the three markets. This turns the garbage into organic manures within 35 days. The spraying of this liquid also makes the waste stench-free, rid of flies and other bacteria which is a common problem in the accumulation of waste.

This biotech method of waste management operational for the past two years at the Mysore Corporation, has been developed by city-based JMS Biotech and marketed by Olena.

About 450 tonnes of waste accumulated in the City every day is being successfully converted into organic manure using this technology. The same method was also experimented in Irutty in Wayanad.

If the city corporations are able to identify select centres to store garbage, with this method garbage can be converted to manure dust within 35 days and bring the garbage menace under control.

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