In Bangalore, establishments and malls are setting up own organic waste composting units

As the one-year deadline approaches, apartment complexes and large commercial establishments in the city have realised that complete solid waste management (SWM) by the civic body is a distant dream. The establishments have started coming up with their own organic waste composting units, and major malls are leading the way.

Atul Kumar, divisional vice-president of City Maintenance Company, said, “We have installed a two-tonne organic waste composter at UB City and by this year, our aim is to turn the mall into a complete zero-affluent discharge unit. With new technology in place now, wet waste can be recycled and composted in large scales and the installation of the machines require lesser space.”

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had mandated last July that apartment complexes with more than 50 dwelling units should have their own solid waste segregation system in place. The order was for buildings that were constructed or had started construction before February 2012.

However, the civic body gave an alternate plan to house owners at apartment complexes generating bulk waste. They could avail the municipality’s services by paying Rs 4 per kg of waste. The service was extended for a period of 12 months starting last July. After the deadline, more than 50 apartment complexes were asked to make their own arrangements for managing the solid waste.

When the orders were passed, many apartment complexes were caught in a tizzy as the rule also mandated that these complexes should have their own composting units and installing such units was a major hurdle due to space constraints. But with new technology in place things are changing.

Irfan Razack, chairman, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI), said, “Most big builders in the city adhered to the concept of zero waste-generating units as they picked up construction after 2012. But with waste segregation and disposal becoming a major urban issue, the federation directed most large apartment complexes built before 2012, to become self-sufficient.”

He added that the impetus put by the government agencies moved them to decide on the matter. At the same time, because of poor overall waste management facilities, they decided to manage solid waste even in buildings built before the by-laws came into force.

Even the commercial bulk waste generators are trying their hands on composting, and either selling the compost or using it as fertiliser in gardens within their own premises. Already, many hotels and big malls like UB City and 1 MG Mall have such composters, and the whole plan was put in place in the last one year.

As for solid waste, establishments are tying up with NGOs and other waste collection companies. The solid waste is picked up and sent to recycling facilities, thus bringing down the burden of waste traveling to the landfills.

Colonel (retd) Sreekumar, vice-president of property management, Prestige, said, “Most composting plants take 15 to 20 days to convert organic waste into compost, but with advent of technology, this process is now completed in 1-3 days. The unit also takes less space for installation. Many apartment complexes are coming forward to adapt low waste generation practices and thereby decreasing the load on the civic body.”

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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