After a recent meeting with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), the civic body wants to use the cleaner method of gasification for bio-medical waste management instead of incineration.
The Chembur residents have been opposing the use of the incinerator since a long time because it produces harmful gases as a result of burning of waste products. However, in gasification, the waste is heated at such a high temperature that it is destroyed completely.
“The cost of setting up the plant would be higher but the method is greener and environment friendly,” said R. A. Rajeev, Additional Municipal Commissioner. However, he added that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) would not mind the expenditure. “Mumbai is a densely populated city and one has to take care of the health of its citizens.”
“There is no compulsion for the BMC to treat the waste generated by private hospitals, so they will have to bear the expense for waste disposal,” he added.
The cost of waste disposal would go up by 100 per cent from the current cost.
In a report by MPCB, three locations that have been suggested to set up the plant are, Malad, Worli cemetery and Deonar dumping ground.
Here the bio-medical waste generated from municipal and private hospitals, and medical institutions would be stored, treated and disposed off at a common bio-medical waste treatment facility. The city currently produces 10 tonnes of bio-medical waste per day.
While the BMC has asked MPCB to modify its rules for bio-medical waste management to accommodate the need to set up the plant using this new method, the Central Pollution Control Board has no norms for the gases that would be emitted in the process.