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Mumbai will process hazardous waste using plasma technology

BMC to deploy e-vehicles to pick up such waste

Besides segregating wet and dry waste, Mumbaikars will now have to separate their domestic hazardous waste too. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Solid Waste Management (SWM) department will now be using the plasma technology to dispose of domestic hazardous waste such as used sanitary pads, diapers, cosmetics, wires, make-up kits, oil paints, perfume and other bottles, waste or expired medicines and kits, batteries and other e-garbage.

The department will also be using e-garbage vehicles to pick up the domestic hazardous waste (e-garbage and chemical waste). The tenders for the same will be floated soon and the department will also be carrying out the awareness programme for citizens to identify the material considered domestic (household) hazardous waste and also explain the importance of the segregation at the house itself.

This technology involves thermal treatment of hazardous household waste. This process does not produce smoke but waste ash. About 7% of the ash is produced from waste.

Such domestic hazardous waste creates and releases toxic gases if they are processed at a temperature of less than 400 degrees Celsius. These gases are carcinogenic (which likely cause cancer). When this waste is treated at temperatures above 400 degrees Celsius, then only those gases are destroyed. This technology uses temperatures of more than 400 degrees Celsius, and up to 1,300 degrees Celsius.

Plasma technology-based plants will be set up at three places in Mumbai – Andheri, Dharavi and Malad. The machines have already been procured, and the project will start in a few days.

The places have been chosen setting up these plasma machines near dry waste collection centers. Mumbai currently generates 6,500 metric tonnes of waste per day. Of this, 70 metric tonnes is hazardous household waste.

The project has been started on an experimental basis with a capacity of one machine to process four tonnes of waste per day. Three such machines with the total cost of Rs 6 crore have been procured and will be used at these three disposal plants/centres.

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