PALAKKAD: At a time when other districts in the state are wrapped up in the implementation of decentralised waste management system, Palakkad has been sitting on the drawing board toying with never-to-see plans.
The decentralised waste management system is nothing but the treatment and conversion of garbage into fuel or compost at source through waste treatment plants installed at the houses, colonies, flats etc.
Palakkad Municipality’s plan to install waste treatment plants in all houses, flats, colonies and offices for effective waste disposal has not become a reality so far. Palakkad generates as much as 35 tonnes of waste every day and the Health Standing Committee Chairman Bhavadas K admits that the Municipality disposes only less than 10 tonnes of waste per day.
The Municipality collects the remaining waste and dumps it at the 5.86 acres of land at Theruvushala. The mere dumping of garbage that takes place here is not an effective method of disposal of waste.
The waste treatment plant which the Municipality constructed in 2007 by spending Rs 1.67 crores didn’t succeed in its purpose. IRTC Mundoor, the agency which was entrusted with the operations of the plant, had stopped operating it on January 1,2012 citing lack of profit.
This has further deteriorated the already messy situation and garbage has piled up across the town. “Out of the 35 tonnes of waste that Palakkad generates over 25 tonnes are mixed waste. It contains plastic, rubber, vegetables, slaughter wastes etc. This mixed waste cannot be converted into fuel or compost. This is the reason why waste management here fails always,” said Bhavadas.
He also said that it is the key reason why the Municipality started thinking about waste elimination at source by installing waste treatment plants at all houses in the district.
“Our plan is to install small plants at all houses in the 52 wards and once this becomes a reality people can make use of their waste for generating biogas or compost. This will put an end to the practice of throwing and dumping wastes outside the houses on roadside or public places,” added Bhavadas.
He also said that much of the organic waste can be converted into fuel or energy through this and the remaining inorganic wastes like plastics can be recycled.
“We have constructed a building at Theruvushala and have sought Suchitwa Mission’s help for starting a plastic recycling unit there,” added Bhavadas.
He also said that once these plans become a reality Palakkad will be a zero waste zone. The most backward district Kasargod has also started the works for installing waste treatment plants in as many as 1,450 houses with the Rs 41.26 lakhs granted by Suchitwa Mission for this. Even though, Palakkad had started drawing up plans for the decentralised waste treatment system since a long time ago nothing has been done in this regard.
When contacted Health Inspector Krishnan who is in charge of this project, he said, “Tender has been invited for the project and we hope to be able to make this a reality in two months.”
He also said that in the first phase of the project plants will be installed in 1,000 houses and later on it will be expanded to the remaining houses also.
Decentralised waste management
Decentralised Solid Waste Management (DESWAM) system approach is based on the concept of integrating decentralized waste treatment units to meet the larger waste management strategy. When all houses have waste treatment units it will automatically work effectively and the ultimate aim of a clean district will be attained.
■ Cost of transporting waste can be avoided
■ Waste will be eliminated at source and this will avoid health risks
■ It will be more efficient as each family will take care of each unit
■ Alternative income to the family as they can sell compost and biogas