Urban India is now the world’s third-largest garbage generator. However, it’s not the amount of waste generated that’s as much of an issue as the fact that more than 45 million tonnes, or 3 million trucks worth, of garbage is untreated and disposed of by municipal authorities every day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi may want a “Swachh Bharat” (clean India) by 2019, but sweeping the streets does not address the enormity of India’s real garbage challenge. A more collective, structured and institutional approach from all stakeholders will be required to address this menace.
According to World Health Organisation 22 types of diseases can be prevented or controlled by improving solid waste management in India. Hence, people in India as well as local municipal bodies should change their perception towards waste management.
While major municipalities are struggling to find the solution to the issue of waste disposal in India, the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) now has an Innovative solution! It has developed an eco-friendly basket – Nisargdoot – which helps in treating the biodegradable waste at the source, i.e. the kitchen.
Eco-friendly Nisargdoot Basket (Image credit - BARC)
Nisargdoot is a simple processing unit for converting household biodegradable waste resource into good quality manure using a consortium of microorganism. The resource hidden in the waste is returned to nature for a better tomorrow. The technology is to be used at domestic level but has an enormous positive impact on the environment.
Every house can use this basket for processing its biodegradable waste of up to two kg per day. For an entire housing society or complex, larger ones can be developed. The problem of collection and transport of waste in metro cities can be dispelled with by this technology, according to Barc's technology transfer and collaboration division as reported by Bangalore Mirror.
According to the BARC, some of the advantages of Nisargdoot are treatment of biodegradable waste at source, i.e. in the kitchen, no foul smell emanates nor insect or larvae breed in the basket, complete degradation due to a consortium of microbes used within a short time, the chronic issue of collection and transport of waste in the metro cities can be tackled by this technology and small amount of waste can be treated efficiently.
A specific consortium of 13 bacterial and seven fungal isolates, non-pathogenic in nature is used in the Nisargdoot basket. The basket is aeration enabled for easy growth of microbes. The size and weight of Nisargdoot basket can be easily handled at household level.
Of the total waste generated in cities, domestic or household waste collection accounts for about 40 to 50 per cent. Of this domestic waste, a large quantity, that is, 70 to 80 per cent is biodegradable. So, if it can be processed at the source itself, it will significantly reduce waste collection. Multiple numbers of baskets can be generated and used in case of medium level of waste generation.
The technology transfer and collaboration division of BARC has now invited interested parties with engineering and scientific knowledge to set up such facilities for production. Accordingly, it specifies the space required to handle the preparation of 500 to 5,000 baskets. The specifications stipulate aeration-enabled plastic baskets of 5-100 litre capacity. A good supply of fruit and vegetable waste serves as raw material for the growth of the microbial consortium.
“Nisargdoot is already being implemented in over 2,000 houses on an experimental basis and they are working well. We are now in talks with various urban local bodies and state governments. We are also in the process of technology-transfer," said Dr Sharad P Kale, scientist at BARC, who is known for developing Nisargruna, a biogas plant based on biodegradable waste resources. (Source: BARC)