Shortage of Waste Shuts Biogas Units

Corporation fails to supply enough segregated wet waste; nine of 12 plants closed down

Published: 03rd December 2015 05:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2015 05:27 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has not been able to supply segregated wet waste to the Biogas and Organic Waste Converter (OWC) units. Reason, segregation is not being done enough.

There are 12 biogas units and two OWCs in the BBMP limits, and each of them needs one to five tonnes of segregated wet waste. While electricity is produced at the biogas units, manure is produced at the OWCs. Each OWC needs an investment of `20 lakh.

The Jayanagar OWC, which was set up in 2011, needs a ton of wet waste. Vennar Organic Fertilizers Pvt Ltd runs this unit in Pattabhiramanagar Ward. V Narendra Babu, director of this agency, told Express that the unit needs wet waste from 1,000 houses.

“Initially, along with local elected representatives and BBMP authorities, we went to some of the streets in the ward and distributed two kinds of garbage bins. We used to get a ton of waste. But later, the pourakarmikas used to mix it up during transportation. The contractors blame it on the BBMP, as many pourakarmikas have left due to non-payment,” he explained.

According to Narendra Babu, the OWC can produce 250 kg of manure out of one ton (1,000 kg) of wet waste. “But we are not even getting 300 kg of wet waste, which can hardly produce 50 to 60 kg of manure,” he said.

“After the University of Agricultural Sciences approved the product, the demand for it has increased. Farmers are ready to buy the manure, which we sell at `3 per kg,” he added.

Shortage.jpgAshoka Biogreen Pvt Ltd, the agency that runs the biogas unit next to the OWC, has taken the contract to run 10 different units in BBMP limits. It has shut down nine of them after the BBMP stopped paying their bills.

A staff member from the unit in Pattabhiramanagar said the unit started functioning in June and was closed down in the first week of November. “We required five tonnes of wet waste but only got around three tonnes. Our people used to segregate waste to get pure wet waste. We have produced biogas that can be used to generate 50 KV of electricity,” he said.

Another biogas unit run by Ashoka Biogreen at Yediyur Ward in Pattabhiramanagar also gets only three to three-and-a-half tonnes of wet waste from markets, hotels and individual houses. “Streetlights on six roads around South End Circle are lit by electricity generated here. If we get five tonnes, the unit can provide six continuous hours of electricity to the lights,” an employee told Express.

The biogas unit at KR Market generates electricity that lights 100 bulbs within the premises. “They are not getting enough raw material to work with. Ashoka Biogreen is not maintaining the unit well either,” alleged Diwakar of KR Market Vendors’ Association.

Another unit that is operational and generating electricity is located in Singapura Layout in Kuvempunagar Ward of Byatarayanapura constituency. The unit of BBMP, which is located close to Aveksha Hospital, has both dry and wet waste segregation units.

Wet waste is used for the generation of biogas near the plant. Five tonnes of wet waste from local hotels and choultries is collected by BBMP contractors. “Since waste is generally not segregated at homes, we have an agreement with hotels and other establishments who provide us.” said an employee at the plant.The biogas produced is used to power a generator, which supplies power to 50 sodium lamps.

Where are the biogas units?

Kuvempu Nagar (Byatarayanapura constituency), Aramane Nagar (Malleswaram), Gandhinagar (Gandhinagar), Pattabhiramnagar (Jayanagar), Begur (Bengaluru South), Nagapura (Mahalakshmi layout), Yediyur (Padmanabhanagar), Domlur (Shanthinagar), Hemmigepura (Yeshwanthpura), Singasandra (Anekal), Varthur (Mahadevapura).

Commissioner’s take

There was a gap between demand and supply. We had called a meeting on Wednesday with technical experts, BBMP officials and the agencies that run these units. The issue has been sorted out. The units will get the required segregated waste from markets and hotels.

 — Kumar Naik, BBMP Commissioner


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