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Season 4 Highlights

Ek Swachh Kadam: Can Food Waste Be Converted Into Fuel For The Future?

India is producing a whopping 62 million tonnes of garbage and around 31 million is being sent directly to landfills every year. To overcome waste related woes in India, it is the duty of each and every citizen to take necessary steps

Can Food Waste Be Converted Into Fuel For The Future

India is wasting more and more with each passing day. The urban Indian citizen generates about 700 grams of solid waste per person per day which is nearly 250 kg in a year. Most of this lands up in our already overburdened landfills. The situation is so bad that many landfills in our country are way past their advisable limit but because of the unavailability of any other site, we still continue to use them. If this situation continues, then our waste generation will increase from 62 million tonnes to about 165 million tonnes a year by 2030 and we will soon run out of landfill space. To change this worrisome reality, Mahindra Group’s Mahindra World City (MWC) has set up a Bio-CNG Plant at MWC Chennai which is capable of processing around 5 tons of food and kitchen waste daily.

A Step Towards Swachhta

Close to 50,000 people working in 64 companies in Mahindra City consume at least one meal a day at the campus, and it is estimated that about eight tonnes of food waste is generated every day. Mahindra Group through its Bio-CNG plant is effectively managing the leftovers and is making sure that no waste goes directly into the landfills.

Also Read: Can Fuel Created From Sewage Be The Future?

The plant set up there has been equipped to convert the eight tonnes of food and kitchen waste generated every day into 1,000 cubic meter of raw biogas. Moreover, the raw biogas can yield 400 kg per day of purified CNG-grade fuel which is equivalent to a 200 kW power plant. Not just that, but up to four tonnes of organic fertilizer is also produced per day.

The green energy (bio-CNG) is also used to power street lights at MWC Chennai.

Also Read: This Mumbai Housing Society Generates Zero Waste Thanks To One Simple Trick

Can Food Waste Be Converted Into Fuel For The Future

Apart from the bio-CNG plant, Mahindra Group has also pioneered in effective solid waste management and composting. They have adopted a simple ‘Swachh’ mantra – Our waste is ours and we should treat it at the source itself. Following this thumb rule – Mahindra Group has made sure every single person within their complexes is doing their bit towards Swachh India. How? Simply by educating each and every one.

Also Read: From Garbage To Garden: Learn The Art Of Composting At Home

Swachhta – A Game Of Changing Mindsets

Even though waste segregation has been made mandatory by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in the Solid Waste Management rules 2016, its implementation still remains poor. To overcome waste related woes in India, it is the duty of each and every citizen to take necessary steps.

From school children to housing complexes to corporate houses – everyone living within the Mahindra Complex is being educated on the importance of waste management.

Reuse. Reduce. Recycle – All this is taught to us from lower classes only and that’s why I think we know how to manage our own waste effectively, says a student from Mahindra World School.

The Current Issue

Can Food Waste Be Converted Into Fuel For The Future

India produces a whopping 62 million tonnes of garbage every year. Solid waste comprises a staggering forty-three million tonnes of this, out of which only 11.9 million, that is 22-28% is treated. About 31 million tonnes of untreated waste lands up directly in our already overburdened landfills. The Mahindra Group has shown that a simple rule Cleanliness | Segregate the Waste | Compost can help solve India’s growing waste woes. This is also NDTV-Banega Swachh India’s 3-step agenda for the current season of its campaign.

Also Read: Change Begins At Home: 5 Simple Ways To Reduce Waste

Expert Speak

Talking about the importance of waste management and why India desperately need to have one in place, Swati Sambyal, Programme Manager, Environmental Governance (Municipal Solid Waste) from Centre for Science and Environment added, Everyone should aim to make waste segregation a part of their routine. Just like brushing our teeth.

She also cautioned that “We will need a landfill as big as the size of Mumbai, Hyderabad and Greater Noida combined together by 2047 if we do not do anything about it now.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. wastenvironment

    April 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Biogas generated from anaerobic digestion of food waste can be used to generate electricity, cooking and lighting. Although the replication potential for these biogas plants is huge, replication on ground has been low. I hope with NDTVs campaign we would be able to generate more interest in this method of treating organic or wet waste.

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