Mumbai: Once brimming with garbage, Thane city in Maharashtra all set to give a new meaning to trash. Making the best use of waste, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) will soon start producing electricity from it. The biodegradable waste generated in the city will no longer be dumped on a landfill site, instead it will be deposited in a waste-to-energy plant to generate power. Confirming the news to NDTV, Manish Joshi, Deputy Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, TMC says,
The TMC officials have been exploring several options to treat the waste scientifically and one of the options that we narrowed down is the waste-to-energy plant. The plan has already been approved and the work on the plant has begun. The plant will be functional by early 2020. The step has been taken to comply with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 that clearly states every civic body must treat its wet garbage.
Thane generates 900 tonnes of waste per day of which the new waste-to-energy plant will treat 600 tonnes of wet waste. The capacity of the plant will be increased to 800 tonnes a few months later.
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Under the new waste-to-energy project, which is being developed at a land near the Daighar village, energy will be generated in the form of electricity from the primary treatment of waste. The plant will generate 14 megawatts of electricity which will be given to the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB).
Waste To Electricity Process
Around 50 per cent residents living in Thane currently segregate waste and for remaining 50 per cent the TMC has made a provision of a segregation centre very close to the plant. However, the civic corporation will implement the policy of segregation aggressively in the next one year to achieve 100 per cent segregation which in turn will ensure optimal use of the plant.
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The TMC will use the anaerobic digestion process to treat waste and produce biogas. Under this method, micro-organisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The waste is first screened to identify inorganic waste and then fed into the digestor. Once the garbage is shredded it is transported to the digestion chamber where it takes around 20 days to generate the biogas. Once the biogas is released from the organic waste, it is then channeled through a valve. Now, the gas is useful for cooking energy and gas heat, but it can also be converted to electricity by combusting it. To ensure no waste is wasted, the TMC will make fly-ash bricks and fertilisers from the residue of the plant.
Underlining the benefits of the plant, Mr Joshi says besides reducing the waste going to the landfill, the plant will eliminate methane emissions from the landfill thereby avoiding environmental degradation.
Why Waste Treatment Is Need Of The Hour In Thane
The city, with a population of 18 lakhs, generates 900 tonnes of waste (600 tonnes wet waste and 300 is dry waste) on a daily basis of which 10 per cent gets treated by the TMC. The remaining 90 per cent is dumped in private lands with the owner’s consent, in Mumbra, Khardi Gaon and Diva. The TMC recently got 19 hectare land near Diaghar village for scientific landfill development purpose.
While the Diva land plot has been in the news for past two years for catching fires, landfill sites of Mumbra and Khardi are almost full. Meanwhile there have been several protests by the residents of Diaghar village against the scientific landfill as they fear it will harm their health. In such a scenario, developing an alternative to manage city’s waste has become a priority for the TMC. It is hoping to significantly reduce the waste dumping on these landfills through the waste-to-energy-project.
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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.