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Mumbai civic body converts 150 tonnes of Ganpati flower waste into manure, to use it in gardens

If not composted, floral waste is likely to end up at Mumbai’s overburdened city dumping grounds or pollute seawater

mumbai Updated: Sep 05, 2017 00:13 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Ganpati,Ganeshotsav,flower waste
The BMC collected the waste from 69 natural and 32 artificial immersions spots and converted it into manure at 16 composting pits across 24 wards.(HT)

By Monday — a day before Ganeshotsav ended — the civic body’s solid waste management department (SWM) had converted 150 metric tons of nirmalaya or flower waste into manure, to be used in its gardens.

Of the 685 tonnes of nirmalaya collected after the 11-day festival last year, 90 had been converted into nine tonnes of compost in a week.

If not composted, floral waste is likely to end up at the city’s overburdened city dumping grounds or pollute seawater.

The BMC collected the waste from 69 natural and 32 artificial immersions spots and converted it into manure at 16 composting pits across 24 wards.The civic body currently buys compost at Rs8 a kg.

“In light of the Centre’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan, we carried out awareness drives at all immersions spots, asking people to segregate their floral waste,” said Vijay Balamvar, deputy municipal commissioner, SWM.

He said 201 nirmalaya kalash or collection points had been set up for people to deposit this waste into. Each artificial immersion site has an average of two collection points.

About 15 20X6-foot boxes, which remained unutilised during the construction of tunnels, are now being used as compost bins at Mumbai’s 16 composting points. “Excess compost will be sold at Rs10 a kg, as opposed to the market price of Rs40 a kg,” said Balamvar.

Meanwhile, the SWM department has collected 950 tons of waste from various immersion spots till Monday. “While we have been receiving about 18 tons of flower waste daily, almost 100 tons of waste comprising of plastic, thermocol, shoes, clothes and garbage is being collected daily by us,” he said.

Till the eight day of the festival, the city immersed a total of 1,45,170 idols at various beaches and water bodies. However, only 5% of the idols (8,243) were immersed at 32 artificial ponds in 24 wards so far. “We expect maximum number of idols to be immersed on Tuesday. We have 192 dumpers that are operational,” said Balamvar. “What is surprising this year is that very few eco-friendly idols were used this year and the major chunk was Plaster-of-Paris. There is more awareness needed among citizens.”

Benefits of composting

* Helps prevent pollution

* Reduces your carbon footprint

* Decreases your dependency on garbage trucks, which in turn, reduces traffic congestion on streets

* Helps sandy soil retain water and nutrients

* Suppresses diseases and harmful pests

* Low-cost alternative to fertilisers and pesticides

* Encourages community activity

First Published: Sep 05, 2017 00:13 IST