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Kochi paves way for a holistic system of solid waste management

by Admin
0 comment

Why did Credai take the initiative Clean City Movement?

The year 2007 witnessed a major overhaul in the whole garbage disposal system in Kochi. In order to address the problem of garbage disposal in residential colonies with focus on health, hygiene and safety in high rise apartments, CREDAI Kochi decided to implement an eco-friendly solid waste management system.

So what exactly are you doing?

A suitable technology was identified and approved by Clean Kerala Mission, Government of Kerala and the action on a trial basis started in 2007 in a few apartment complexes. The eco-friendly waste management technique uses the aerobic microbial composting system for solid waste management. The Clean City Movement has implemented the Bio-Bin system to process the bio-degradable waste using the naturally occurring microbes through a scientific process called Bio-trigger mechanism. Consequently, the natural bio-degradation happens and the garbage turns into useful organic fertilizer.

The microbial solution is sprayed on the garbage to initiate the Bio-trigger mechanism, which takes about 10-15 days to convert garbage into decomposed organic manure. Having been convinced of the success of the trial, the system was progressively introduced in other apartment complexes and as of now approximately 20% of the bio-degradable waste in Kochi is being treated at the source itself.

In order to overcome the initial reluctance and achieve certain level of acceptance, a campaign was initiated for housewives by way of audio-visual presentations in the complexes. After successful implementation in a few apartments, convincing others was comparatively easy and 70% of apartments are covered by this scheme as of now.

In order to implement it, two buckets – one for the degradable waste like garbage and the other for the non-degradable waste like plastic – were provided. After having achieved the target of processing the bio-degradable waste, our next target was addressing the plastic menace. A Plastic Shredding Unit at Ravipuram was constructed by the Corporation of Kochi and CREDAI Kochi. Plastic collected from the apartments are shredded and stored for using it along with bitumen for polymerized tarring of roads in the Corporation of Kochi. The plastic when used for tarring helps in enhancing the life of roads. Shredded plastic has been utilized for road tarring on Manappatti Parambu road, Kaloor and Manimala road, Edappally. These roads bears the distinction of first polymerized road tarring done in Kerala. CREDAI Kochi has donated a shredding machine for the project.

The technology to use shredded plastic for tarring the roads has been given by Bharat Petroleum. It took us a long way to convince people about the efficacy of the system. In retrospect, we have almost covered 230 apartment complexes in and around Trivandrum, Calicut, Trichur, and Kochi. The Kochi Corporation is saving almost `2 cr per annum because of this.

Who is making investment on the human resource and maintenance?

Since we have evolved a system, we have got great support from the Corporation. Besides this, because of the rule that the apartment will not get complementary certificates unless garbage system is installed, new flats which have come up have started implementing the concept. Builders are making investments as Residential Associations have also become conscious about the concept. It has now become a compulsion to follow the rule because it ensures costing at the source and not when it is processed at the source as it doesn’t involve any cost in terms of collecting, transporting and processing.

Who is providing the microbial solution?

We have an approved service provider certified by the government of Kerala for the Clean Kerala Mission. He procures the solution from Mumbai and supplies to us. We are promoting an NGO on the Teraclean system, which has a product manager and a supervisor with other people employed as a part of the team. This helps to provide employment to rural woman on a daily basis between 10am and 3pm with a salary package of `3500-4000, depending upon the number of flats.

Are those workers associated with an NGO?

Workers are employed by residential associations. Supervisors and executives who are employed by us visit apartment complexes as per stipulated schedules. We have also hired project executives and auditors to monitor whether the system is working properly and if there are any complaints. The system is taken care of by women and has been perfected and streamlined by a series of trials and errors. Initially, it required a lot of follow-up to convince housewives who were not used to segregating the waste. It has become easier now as housewives segregate waste and municipality has to take it from there, which consumes less time. Most of the builders and Associations are following the system even though the Corporation is aiming at 100% results particularly in highrises.

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