Mysore City Corporation (MCC) comprises 65 wards divided in nine zones. Around 400 tonnes of municipal waste is generated daily in the city of which about half is used to produce manure. The rest is handled by Zero Waste Management centres established in the nine zones under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Mysore City Corporation Commissioner Dr M R Ravi shares his views with Clean India Journal.
Waste management system in place
We have a fairly well established system in Mysore to dispose off waste scientifically and recycle it for further usage. House to house collection is done in each ward and people are sensitized to segregate waste at source itself. In areas where it is not segregated, the Corporation staff takes it to the zero waste management centre for segregation. Currently, zero waste management centres are operational in four zones. Once all the nine zones are launched in full swing, we will be segregating and managing waste to produce manure through zero waste management mechanism.
Landfill activity is going on in an area of about three acres with the help of funding from JNNURM. We would like to upgrade the existing manure plant so that the reject percentage comes down which is currently 35 to 40%. We would like to upgrade the technology and also the capacity of the machinery so that reject gets minimized to 10 per cent. In zero waste management system, reject is less than 10%. Landfilling is not a problem if the reject is minimized to 10%.
Waste to Energy
Our mindset and attitude towards waste should be changed. It should be considered as a resource. With less cost, anaerobic digestion of solid waste will produce manure for agricultural activities. We are also in the process of exploring the possibility of generating bio-fuel or Bio gas. Engineering colleges in Mysore have come forward to offer us the required eco friendly technologies. We have initiated talks with the technocrats for generation of bio gas on a large scale by making use of kitchen waste. We have a bio gas plant with the help of kitchen waste generated in the zoo. The bio gas generated is used for cooking purpose. A similar kind of eco-friendly plant has been established in the Administrative Training Institute (ATI).
The Corporation has appealed to all the hoteliers, restaurants and apartments dwellers that they should establish their own bio gas plant in their own premises so that kitchen waste could be handled at the source itself. The required technology will be provided by the MCC. The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) and Hotel Owners Association have agreed to the proposal. Corporation is not going to receive the waste henceforth from these clients. A waste to energy proposal submitted by some of the companies is also being contemplated. The companies have given us the proposal asking us to give about 150 to 200 tonnes of waste and five acres of land on BOOT basis for power generation. They are trying to use the technology popular in Korea and Australia by the name Pyrolysis Gasification technology. It will be deliberated in the Council and the decision will be taken accordingly based on the technical and financial feasilibity.
Solid Waste Management Programmes and Mechanised Cleaning
Industrial waste and biomedical waste are being given to an outsourcing agency which does the collection and disposal on a scientific basis. MCC has partially adopted mechanised cleaning of roads. We recently launched a cleaning campaign to educate people about cleanliness and hygiene. The Corporation has deployed a mounted sweeping machine costing Rs one crore and two footpath sweeping machines.
Dry waste from dry foliage on streets and in parks is also converted into manure. We have developed compost beds to decompose foliage within a time period of 60 days to produce manure. The manure is marketed in the name of Mysore Gold. Many stray cattle are being housed in a place called Pinjrapole situated on the outskirts of Mysore city, which is a shelter for orphaned and destitute animals run by a charitable society.
The Corporation supplies about five to seven tonnes fresh vegetables collected from markets to this place for feeding over 3000 orphan cattle. Self help group people are benefitted by way of earning some income through this exercise which takes care of maintenance cost as well.
There is a lot of liquid waste (sewerage) generated in the city. Under Ground Drainage (UGD) is a big challenge, which needs to be scientifically tackled. Human entry into manholes & sewage lines has been banned and machines are doing that job. We are using jetting machines for decongesting blockages in Cesspool. We are going to soon acquire four desilting machines. Machines have been procured for the purpose and efforts are being made to see that all the three STPs work to the fullest capacity of 195mld. Out of it, 165mld sewage water is being treated without polluting water bodies. However, pilferages are being addressed on a war footing. About 5 to 6mld treated water is being used by forest department and golf course to maintain their lawns.
Challenges and Solutions
We are conscious about the new technologies on waste management and disposal but we are still in the stage of experimentation. We are not sure about the feasibility and sustainability of technologies, which are popular in the foreign countries because the requirement and challenges in Indian cities are different. We need to understand, study and analyse the problem and look into the scientific aspects of the waste. We need to bring down the burden of the cost because big investment is not the solution towards waste disposal. There is a need to sensitise people about segregating the waste at source so that it could be handled at the secondary level effectively.