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Bangalore future with no landfills

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Public Health

Came upon this ad in the ToI today.

Thereafter, I browsed through

1) Recommendations of the Expert Committee (accessible here), and
2) Recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee report (accessible here),

and was wondering if Prajagalu could go on adding their comments/ suggestions on this blog, at the end of which exercise, we could possibly compile them all into one document and present it to BBMP.

Muralidhar Rao


 

Comments

kbsyed61's picture

Thanks Murali Sir!

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Murali Sir,

Thanks for pointing this out. Will take a look at it and post comments if any.

-Syed

murali772's picture

mail exchanges on the subject

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Interesting exchanges on the subject on "One-Bengaluru Google-group":
TV:
In the last two to three years, I must have attended at least more than 20 presentations on SWM, and contributing my thoughts, and visited several places where some kind of SWM is being practised. It is time to execute the action plan, and schedule implementation. Expert Committee members have had many discussions already. So, let us plan action. Corrective measures if any can be taken up after we go through the teething problems of implementations, particularly when we have large lethargic population as against small active groups.

KA:
I just wanted to inquire what efforts have been made possible for the actual "disposal" of the garbage the city produces? As far as everyone is concerned -- everything is going to the landfill sites -- besides the SWM movements that are occurring (and should def not be stopped) -- what is being done on the technology front to "get rid of the garbage in the landfills"?

Are we incinerating the garbage? Are we creating a landfill container such that in few years we will be able to obtain landfill gas from it to be used for producing energy?

can anybody give any clarity?


AM:
For any of this to work, there has to be a 'model contract' that derives from the policy document. Otherwise, anything said in the policy can be over-ridden in the contract. I will ask the EC to make a short ppt that is janata-friendly, explaining the various aspects of the new proposals - for citizens, BBMP staff, companies, hotels, etc.

NS:
Well, the theory at least on paper is that in the ideal world, segregation will achieve its objectives, and the only landfill material will be inert and a very small percentage of the total garbage generation. Segregation is the best approach -- the problem is in an undisciplined society like ours we will never come close to perfect compliance.

The problem is too serious to do an "either or". We need all approaches. In that respect, Waste to Energy is getting an unnecessarily bad rap. We have the theory articulated that Indian Garbage is somehow uniquely different from that of every other country in the world and has such a low calorific value that we cannot extract energy from it.

Well, when foreign players are queueing up to set up plants here that certainly does call into question this theory. There are modern approaches including plasma gasification that will not produce dioxins, that is relatively clean and will take care of the unsegregated portion of Bangalore's garbage.

There is no reason why the existing stuff in the landfills also cannot go through this and similar processes.

 
VM:
I have 2 main issues:

For such an important issue, it is not enough to just state that wte, waste to enegry, does not work. For a white paper such such as this, there should be a detailed justification of that statement. I tend to think that the wte option is being pushed out because of personal biases.

More importantly,the paper does not acknowledge that current state of affairs has arisen because of the transport/ garbage Mafia. The landfills are in such an awful state because they have been mismanaged by the Mafia, not because of the existence of landfills itself. In other words, it is possible to have landfills that do not contaminate if they are scientifically handled.

No new great initiative will suceed till the Mafia is acknowledged, handled and neutralised. Otherwise it will be business as usual.



NS:
@VM - Could not agree with you more. I do think the paper is extraordinarily well written. However it does suffer from the Waste to Energy personal bias -- when one of the authors has a definitive view on the subject articulated emphatically in public, in all fairness she should have recused herself from the panel when the WTE discussion came up. Besides who says WTE does not work in India?
 
For an unbiased paper see: < http://www.waste-manageme.... Key take away from this: Recycling, composting and WtE are integral parts of the solution and they are all required - none of them can solve the India's SWM crisis alone.  
 
A study that shows that the composition of Mumbai's garbage at any rate is suitable for WTE. How unique can Bangalore be?
<http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/print/volume-11/issue-5/features/the-potential-for-waste-to-energy-in-india.html>
 
And in Pune, headway has already been made. See:
http://www.thehindu.com/t... and http://articles.timesofin...
 
And a Youtube video on what Pune is doing in WTE is here:  http://www.youtube.com/wa...
 
The danger of letting our personal biases affect recommendations is exemplified by no less a person than Lord Kelvin declaring confidently in 1895 that 'any machine heavier-than-air cannot fly'.


AM:
So far I can see three points of reply ...

(a) The acceptance of what is wrong is not included in the report.
(b) The 'WTE does not work' argument is not established
(c) There needs to be a model contract in place, reflecting the new approach



NS:
I think that summarizes it very well. The 'WTE does not work' argument is at best only an argument. When there are people actually queueing up to start a WTE plant here the 'does not work' argument does not appear to hold water. Why would a businessman invest money in a project that has no chance of success ?

VM:
@AM - nice sum up. What happens now??

AM:
The Committee has sought certain other inputs on

  • The terms for the empanelment of vendors, and the process for empanelment
  • A certification system defining the norms and standards for generators, transporters, vendors, and others

and also a mechanism for identifyng and adopting best practices as they emerge around the country/ world. I am preparing some inputs on that. I'll add the three points we have identified in our discussions here.

Muralidhar Rao

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