Mumbai: Taps without water, floors that are dirty, no electricity and an unbearable stink– this is the plight of many regular public or community toilets in India. While the central government is on a toilet building spree under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, maintaining the newly constructed toilets is another vital aspect for a Clean India that gets ignored. The situation was no different in a community toilet in Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur city a few days ago. The toilet, which was once A dumping spot, is now clean and hygienic, thanks to the alumnae of Indian Institute of Technology (ISM), Dhanbad.
After passing out from ISM, Saurabh Kumar and his peers founded ToWaSo, an acronym for Total Waste Solution, a startup to give waste management solutions to companies, municipal bodies and residential complexes. The organisation has developed a toilet cleaner as a solution for dirty toilets. The cleaner is completely eco-friendly, chemical free and is made from discarded citrus fruits.
There are a total of 58 community and public toilets in the steel city and the Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) found it difficult to maintain the cleanliness and sanitation of the toilets with regular chemical cleaners. The reason was that use of such cleaners reduced the bacterial growth in the septic tank or fecal sludge treatment facility required to degrade the human waste. When JNCA approached ToWaSo to find an eco-friendly solution, the team came up with the idea of converting fruit waste into a cleaning agent.
Talking to NDTV about this one-of-a-kind solution to curb waste generated and clean toilets, Saurabh says,
This initiative is to convert the fruit waste into a useful bio-enzyme toilet cleaner. It will help to curb the waste being generated in the city. It will ensure a microbe-friendly medium in septic tank. In an era where we are dreaming of going organic in all areas, this initiative is a step taken towards it.
With logistical aid from JNAC, the team collects fruit waste and transports it to their unit. 10 plastic drums each of 200ml capacity of waste, are placed near the JNAC town hall, a place given by the corporation to the team. One contains the microbes while the others store fruit leftovers collected from roadside vendors. After adding water and essential microbes, it goes through several process like the hydrolysis anaerobic digestion. It takes less than four weeks to achieve the results.
The chemical is not only eco-friendly but also helps in increasing the rate of degradation of waste. It also requires less preparation and is easy to process.
Since bio-enzyme is a natural cleaning agent, it is unique from the traditional chemicals we used to use to clean toilets. Fruit wastes are easily available, and the process adopted to prepare this cleaner has no negative environmental effect, says Saurabh.
Talking about the investment cost and financial returns on the cleaning agent, Saurabh says,
It can be a source of income generation as toilet cleaner is required for every household. Producing Bio-Enzyme is financially viable for producers as well as the buyers. For a batch production unit of 100 liters per day it requires an investment of Rs 20,000 for the setup apart from the space. Since no such skilled workers are needed to produce this, anyone can make this cleaning agent.
The team, which is presently supplying the agent to JNAC for free, has managed to convert 200 kilos of citrus fruit waste and produced nearly 1,800 litres of cleaning agent.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.