When looking through the lens of sustainability within the food service environment, there are myriad interrelated issues, ranging from local purchasing, to waste management, to energy conservation, to green building design. In order to sufficiently address any of these issues, food service managers and facility managers must take into account potential changes to operational processes, education and marketing needs, and processes for measuring costs and benefits. The guide on Sustainable Practices in the Food Service Environment designed by IFMA focuses primarily on inputs, operations and outputs. Areas addressed include responsible procurement, green buildings, energy conservation and waste stream management.
In the recent years there is a significant shift in handling solid waste with Municipal Corporations across the country adopting various models of disposing and recycling waste. Pondicherry Corporation has successfully adopted door-to-door collection, transportation and processing model. Coimbatore Corporation has adopted house-to-house collection model and outsourced secondary collection and processing to private parties under PPP mode. In certain other cities, the processing has been outsourced on PPP basis. Besides waste collection, various technologies like composting, bio-methanation/gasification or high-temperature incineration and waste-to-energy are being used for waste management. For example, the service provider in Coimbatore Corporation had started with compost plant, now they are seeking permission to put up a waste-to-energy plant at their own cost. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike has forked out certain areas to be cleaned by sweeping machines. All Corporations are experimenting innovative methods to collect and treat waste. Ajit Patil, Secretary, Corporation of Cochin, in an exclusive interview with Clean India Journal, talks about how solutions to keep the city clean has been successfully implemented.
Mumbai has been facing a solid waste management crisis for years. In order to move towards a sustainable future by adopting integrated solid waste management approach, the Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has joined hands with private contractors. The municipal corporation spends roughly र1160 per tonne on collection, transport and disposal of MSW. Collection and transport together constitute roughly 80% of the cost. In India, the average municipal expenditure on solid waste management is र500 to र1500 per tonne. B P Patil, Chief Engineer-SWM, MCGM, explains to Preeti Swaminathan the various projects lined up for integrated SWM.
The Zero Waste strategy says no to incinerators, no to mega-landfills, no to the throwaway society and yes to a sustainable society. While it may sound like an idealistic goal, we can put it into a realistic time frame. We do not expect to reach zero waste next year, but we can anticipate that some communities could be very close to Zero Waste by 2020.