Indore: Grit That Deals With 1200 Tonnes Of Daily Waste

Indore: Grit That Deals With 1200 Tonnes Of Daily Waste

The secret lies in about a 100 per cent waste segregation system. In just a year, Indore climbed from 25th position in 2016 to the top in 2017 and has maintained that position ever since.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2024, 11:12 AM IST
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Indore: Grit That Deals With 1200 Tonnes Of Daily Waste | FP Photo

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Imagine a city where piles of garbage were once a common sight, streets teemed with stray animals and the air buzzed with dust of storms. This was Indore, a city grappling with overwhelming waste management issues. But today, Indore is a beacon of cleanliness. The state’s business capital’s seven consecutive ‘cleanest city’ title has made others wonder: What sets Indore apart?

(With inputs from Aastha Nair, Anushka Bharadwaj, Narayani Upadhyay)

The secret lies in about a 100 per cent waste segregation system. In just a year, Indore climbed from 25th position in 2016 to the top in 2017 and has maintained that position ever since. The population here has grown at a rate of 3.18pc since 2020. With the growing population, the volume of solid waste grew from 750 MT/day in 2011 to 900 MT/day in 2017 and to 1,029 MT/day in recent years, so did the pressure on municipal administration to manage it sustainably.

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Currently, Indore handles around 1150-1200 tonnes of waste daily, categorised into 450 tonnes of dry waste and 600-650 tonnes of wet waste, along with four other categories: plastic, sanitary, domestic hazardous, and e-waste. This waste is efficiently managed with a fleet of 800 vehicles and transferred to Garbage Transfer Stations where segregation of collected waste begins. Solid waste management expert Shraddha Tomar said, ‘The transfer station has helped cut secondary and transportation costs.

However, the shift to in-house operations, ageing vehicles and rising fuel prices require additional capital investment in backup transport and workforce.’ The segregated non-hazardous dry waste from households finds its way to Nepra Resource Management Plant, recognised as India's largest Material Recovery Facility. This plant can process 300 metric tonnes of dry waste every day. 20pc of dry waste here is sent to Pollution Control Board (PCB) recognised recyclers.

The remaining 80pc is sent to cement industries as Alternative Fuel and Raw Material (AFR) as a replacement for coal. Segregated wet waste undergoes processing at Gobhar Dhan Plant to yield Bio-CNG. The Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) buys Bio-CNG from the plant at Rs 5 less than the market price of CNG. The IMC has also earned carbon credits for it. This sustainable fuel is utilised partly to refill city buses, contributing to cleaner urban transportation.

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At the same time, the surplus gas is marketed to industrial clients like Avantika Gas Ltd, a prominent CNG supplier in Indore. Gobhar Dhan Plant also generates 100 tonnes of manure as a by-product, sold at a net rate of Rs.1800/tonne. The remnants of domestic hazardous waste that remain after incineration are also disposed of in specially designed hazardous landfills. These landfills ensure that hazardous waste is safely contained, preventing environmental contamination. Not only does the sustainable waste management system improves the lives of residents but also employees who are part of this cleanliness drive.

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They now have clean water, transportation, provident fund and a sheltered workplace. Their health has improved with regular check-up and health insurance. The authorities of Indore have already begun efforts to improve the environment and expand green areas. Notably, the city's air quality has significantly improved, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) ranging between 80 and 90, indicating a moderate level.

This positive change is particularly noteworthy because of the significant decrease in tiny particles suspended in air, called Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), from a concerning 150 to a much healthier 70 to 80. Another critical step was the transformation of Devguradiya landfill, which was once home for harmful greenhouse gases and is now a thriving urban forest. As Indore emerges as the epitome of effective waste management, it paints a picture of transformation that extends beyond cleanliness. The stories of development echo the profound impact of this evolution, not just on the city’s infrastructure but also on the lives of its people.

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