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Waste Management in Smart Cities

Surat’s Smart Underground Garbage System

The Silk city generates about 2,100 tonnes of garbage per day, of which 800 tonnes is processed and treated. The civic body has deployed 425 vehicles on 900 routes for door-todoor collection of waste, each of which is equipped with Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and GPS for real-time tracking and to prevent leakage of waste.

For the waste generated through sweeping, night brushing activities and some commercial areas there are about 1100 containers throughout the city. Everyday filled containers are replaced by empty containers.

Unlike many leading metros that continue to grapple with issues of overflowing public dump yards, exhausted landfills and foul air, the diamond city has installed 43 underground garbage bins to manage its waste. Surat Municipal Corporation has installed theses bins under Smart City Mission.

The bins are also equipped with sensors to alert the control room as soon as 70% of the container is full and have been installed on footpaths. Each of them has two openings or inlets. One is for individuals to throw waste, another is for the municipal carts that bring collected waste. These humongous metal bins are being lifted with the assistance of cranes, thus emptying the entire waste mechanically, without any direct human involvement. All the bins are equipped with two compartments – one for the general public to discard their litter and the other one for municipal workers who collect waste from that area. To ensure efficient waste segregation, the bins are further divided into dry and wet waste. The size of the underground dustbin is 3 cubic meters and each bin can hold up to 1.5 tonnes of garbage. Cities like Mumbai and Chennai are currently in their respective planning stages. Other small cities which have a similar technology include Dharamshala, Panchkula and Dehradun.

Besides the monetary benefits, the bins are also solving other issues related to cleanliness. The automatic bin lifting, emptying and washing of underground dustbins ensures that no garbage is spills out while transferring the waste and the bins can be reused. The problem of overflowing is also resolved in the areas where these bins have been kept.

Moreover, the bins are helping to put an end to bad odour from dirty smelly bins and stray animals feeding on waste. As there is minimal human effort required, the workers don’t come in contact with the garbage thus giving them a clean working environment.

In last three years, total solid waste collection is increased from 1200 TPD to 1600 TPD. Door to door waste collection coverage is increased from 80% to 100% resulting in better livability conditions. Municipal Solid Waste collected through primary collection system reaches to the semi-closed body transfer station of the respective zone from where it is transported to the final disposal site through compacter in a close body container. Centralized Bio- Medical Waste treatment facility is being operated currently. Apart from this, night scraping & brushing activity of all major roads and Hotel kitchen waste management & disposal is also practiced. Cost recovery through user charges is 100% for SWM.

With regards to wastewater, the city treats 57 million litres of sewage every day and converts it into 40 million litres of potable water. This water is then supplied to the Pandesara industrial estate which houses several dyeing and printing mills.

One of the challenges in Smart City projects is the planning and executing a comprehensive waste management programme into connecting the various sectors like residential buildings, commercial & industrial establishments, hotels, healthcare institutes, transport sector, public places, tourism spots and many others. Smart City consultants play a major role in evaluating and formulating a waste management strategy that can be incorporated in the development plan of a smart city. The challenges are less in Green field projects. Gaia Smart Cities Solution Private Limited, the Project Management Consultant (PMC) for Agra Smart City has envisioned and proposed a definite end to…

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