PMC recycles 70% garbage

The Environment Status Report (ESR) for 2011-12, exposes the administration’s claim of achieving 100% processing. The city’s garbage collection is going up by 5% every year. The ESR states that the processing units function up to 70% of their capacity because of the gaps in garbage collection, electricity problems, machinery breakdown, maintenance and other local issues. The report states that the PMC has 11 biogas and three mechanical composting projects in the city to treat 50-55 tonnes garbage daily. Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) processes only 70% of the city’s garbage, while the remaining 30% remains untreated as the existing mechanism cannot take care of 1,300-1,400 metric tone garbage the city generates every day. The ESR has urged the civic body to set up more processing plants.

The civic body in June 2010 claimed to have completely stopped open dumping of garbage in Urali Devachi and Phursungi. Since then, the civic body has been claiming that it processes all garbage – about 1,000 tonne at Hanjer Biotech Company in Urali Devachi, while the remaining is taken care of at the biogas, mechanical compost and vermicompost units.

Suresh Jagtap, head, solid waste management, said the civic body has speeded up the process to set up five tonne capacity biogas projects in the city and a budgetary provision has been made. A senior PMC official said the civic body has failed to implement garbage segregation. Many biogas projects are facing problems because of non-segregated garbage. Overall, about 30% of the collected garbage remains untreated. It is treated the next day and incoming garbage piles up in containers and also at plant sites. A study by the Nagrik Chetana Manch says the civic body does not follow the mandated procedure for handling and managing garbage. President of the manch, Maj Gen (retd) S C N Jatar, said, “There are inherent defects in the site selection and design of the Hanjer plant and in its preparation of organic manure. It is a continuing health hazard not only to the residents, but to those who consume crops cultivated with Hanjer organic manure.” the study report prepared by the manch states that as the Hanjer plant is capable of processing mixed garbage, the civic body neither has any compulsion nor the incentive to ensure garbage segregation at source, which is mandatory. The capacity of the plant would increase 25 to 35% if it gets only wet garbage. The civic body is not adhering to the regulations regarding segregation of garbage at source. It does not have a record of the quantity of garbage used for generating gas or garbage collected from restaurants, hotels, etc. The PMC is not covering all such units even now due to shortage of vehicles.

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