Mumbai institute recycles waste, to generate electricity to reduce carbon footprint
For the last five years, the the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) has been accumulating waste from its canteens, hostels and gardens and converting it into compost. The compost is being used as fertilisers for more than 800 trees on campus...Updated: Apr 03, 2017 09:57 IST
From recycling wastewater to generating its own electricity, the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) is taking strides to convert its Matunga campus into a green zone.
The institute’s 16-acre campus in the heart of Matunga has 11 academic departments, four specialised centres and five hostels that house 800 students. In order to reduce its carbon footprint, the institute is blending traditional and modern methods to treat waste, some of which have been developed by the ICT itself.
For the last five years, the institute has been accumulating waste from its canteens, hostels and gardens and converting it into compost. The compost is being used as fertilisers for more than 800 trees on campus. The dry garden waste, which doesn’t decompose, is pulverised in a crusher, converted into briquettes and used as fuel in the hostel mess.
The institute also segregates its inorganic waste into different materials such as metal, wood and plastic. These materials are recycled and used for constructional purpose. “Nothing is wasted. Everything is reutilised,” said Bhalchandra Bhanage, dean, infrastructure and campus development at ICT.
In the next couple of months, the institute would be installing solar panels to generate 750 kW of electricity. This will take care half of its electricity requirement and save Rs15 lakh annually. This is not the first instance of ICT making use of renewable energy. All the hostels in the institute have solar water heaters. One of the hostels even has an air-conditioning and heating system that runs on solar energy.
With a view of conserving water on campus, ICT has installed ‘auto-indicators’ on the 20-odd water tanks installed on various buildings. These devices prevent the tanks from overflowing. The institute uses a borewell to water trees on campus, instead of relying on the water supplied by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Not content with just conserving water, the institute now wants to recycle wastewater. Currently, it is working to install facilities to treat chemical-laden ‘grey’ water from laboratories and sewage water from residential areas. In fact, the technology to recycle sewage water has been developed in-house by researchers at the institute’s DBT-ICT Centre for Energy Bioscience. Under this technology, various species of algae are used to treat sewage water. The algae treatment plant is expected to treat an estimated 20,000 litres of water daily.
“We started this project in 2009 and have been improvising on it. It is a pilot project and will launch it on a larger scale in the next five to six months,” said Reena Pandit, a research scientist at the centre.
In addition to treating its solid and liquid waste, the institute has installed scrubbers to purify air. “Usually, industries use scrubbers to absorb poisonous gas. But we are the only educational institute to have installed them to purify air,” said Bhanage.
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First Published: Apr 03, 2017 09:36 IST