CHENNAI: In a unique and natural way to wash vessels, the Greater Chennai Corporation has started processing orange, mosambi and lemon peels, converting them into dishwash powders in their divisional units. The powder is distributed to Amma Canteens in the respective zones, said a corporation official.
“Since orange, mosambi and lemon have high citrus concentration, they are ideal as dishwashing powders,’’ said the corporation official. This idea was floated a month ago and all the zones have started processing the fruit peels.
TNIE visited the divisional units in Zone 1, 4 and 5 of the Corporation, to see how the process takes place. “Everyday, about 200 kilos of the fruit peel waste is collected from the juice shops and market (in Zone1),’’ said a corporation supervisor of zone 1. The peels are let to dry completely for about ten days in the open. “Once the peels dry, their weight reduces from 200 to 10 kilos,’’ said the officer.
The dried peels are powdered by a crushing machine in each divisional unit. Later, it is packed and given to Amma Canteens. “Since Amma Canteens are already running as subsidized food outlets, cutting down expenses on artificial dishwashing liquids may reduce the burden of the corporation’s exchequer,’’ said the officer of zone 1.
When TNIE visited a few Amma Canteens in the city, the Self Help Group members who run the canteen, said the peel powders were effective in cleaning vessels. “From tumblers to large drums, we use the fruit peel powders for cleaning,’’ said Sathya, a SHG member.
Though this has been effective, the SHG members say the supply is erratic and they jump between detergents and natural powders. “During rainy days, the supply is stopped as the peels can’t dry. That time, we go back to using detergents,’’ added the SHG member.
Meanwhile, Corporation officials said that the production depends upon the stock. ‘’It depends on how much peels we collect from the fruit shops. Some days, we collect as low as 60 kgs and other days, we have collected to up to 200 kgs per day,’’ said the zone 1 officer.