Proper and sustainable waste management is something which most of the urban areas in India lack. With a waste management system which is chronically degrading towards the environment, urgent steps need to be taken by the government as well as the citizens towards curbing this menace.
One such team of concerned citizens, students from the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, Mumbai and Universal College of Engineering, Vasai are putting up their steps forward towards tackling this challenge. Their team named “INFURZA” which grabbed the 3rd position across the state, in the Chief Minister initiated statewide competition “Transform Maharashtra” have designed an efficient at-the-source waste management model which they plan to implement in every society in the city.
Says team leader Aditya Kamat, “Our basic idea was to treat the waste at its source. Everyone knows about the landfilling issues faced in cities, especially like Mumbai. Dumping grounds like the one at Deonar are always in the news with an endless list of mishaps.” With this motive, they made up a plan of a Biogas Energy Service model which they had submitted as a presentation for the Transform Maharashtra competition. “So our idea was to install a biogas plant at every building in the city which would treat the wet waste from every household and produce gas which can then be used for cooking, generation of electricity and other things. We also envisioned a highway biogas model wherein biogas plants in villages situated around the national highways would be connected together to produce gas which would then be used as a fuel for vehicles as a substitute to CNG and be delivered at specialised biogas fuel stations on the highway. I guess the judges of the Transform Maharashtra competition liked this idea a lot and I hope we can implement it someday in the near future”.
Their highway biogas model might be difficult to implement but that sure ain’t the case with their building biogas model. Having conducted meetings with society members, secretaries and corporators of his area he says, “We got positive responses for our model and also many suggestions from various people. Actually, biogas as a technology is difficult to commercialise. We envision on doing just that through our service model”. As he said, biogas comes with its own set of challenges. “According to the biogas project implemented in our college, a single plant cannot provide enough cooking gas for all the households in a building. Hence we temporarily dropped the plan of utilising biogas for cooking and considered other options like the generation of electricity from biogas and bottling of biogas. However, we are yet to do proper research and data analysis which would then give us an idea so as to which option can be feasible practically. The needs of the end user, how beneficial does it prove to be for him on a financial basis, as well as our own financial profit if we are to implement it as a business matter a lot.”
Their options are not however limited to biogas only. “If our biogas plan doesn’t actually work out, we can implement other wet waste management techniques as well, such as a composting machine in each society which creates compost from wet waste, something which has been implemented at Vijaynagar Society in Andheri. Apart from that, treating dry waste and electronic waste has also been on our minds. E-waste management is something which is totally absent in India. So we thought of creating an online portal for E-waste wherein consumers could contact us and we would then provide the recycling facilities for them. Ideas are many, but converting them into a successful business model is the main challenging task”, he says. “Business kept aside, the primary aim of our team has always been to do something for the society and the environment. Sustainable waste management is the need of the hour and something which if we fail to do, our future generations will pay the price for.”
We wish their team good luck and hope they are able to turn all their ideas into implementations. For ideas are easy, implementation is hard. And the successful implementation of waste management techniques would surely be a boon for our society. After all, waste is not waste until it is actually wasted!