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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Resident group decides to take up waste elimination at Kalyan dump yard

Jagruk Nagrik gets civic body’s go-ahead to use liquid formula at Adharwadi dumping yard to decompose wet waste faster

mumbai Updated: Nov 10, 2018 01:01 IST
Sajana Nambiar
Sajana Nambiar
Hindustan Times
Currently, almost 75-70% of the trash dumped at the ground is wet waste.
Currently, almost 75-70% of the trash dumped at the ground is wet waste.

Residents living near Adharwadi dumping ground in Kalyan have had enough.

Their long-pending demand to close the landfill, where a major fire caused severe air pollution two years ago, has repeatedly fallen on deaf ears of the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC).

Fed up of this, a citizens’ initiative, Jagruk Nagrik, has taken up the responsibility to clear the mountains of garbage — first by segregating dry waste from wet and then decomposing it using a special solution.

Sreeniwas Ghanekar, founder of Jagruk Nagrik , has been trying to get the civic body to use a liquid solution — made of cow dung bacteria, jaggery and water — to spray on the wet waste so that it can decompose rapidly.

He said this was a method he learnt from the National Centre of Organic Farming in Ghaziabad, from where he procures the bacteria in the form of a paste for just ₹20.

Though the KDMC has expressed interest in the method, Ghanekar said the citizens’ group has to self-fund its project for now.

“We have waited long for the civic body to come forward. We will spend from our pockets for the work. The work includes segregation of waste in the first phase. Followed by this, the decomposition work will begin,” Ghanekar said.

To help with the first phase, the group has employed around 10 to 12 women who live in the slums nearby to segregate the waste at Adharwadi.

Ghanekar said they have obtained permission from KDMC to do so.

He said spraying the solution on the wet waste at Adharwadi can reduce it by a third within 40 days.

Currently, almost 75-70% of the trash dumped at the ground is wet waste. According to KDMC, 550 metric tonnes of unsegregated waste is dumped at Adharwadi dumping ground every day.

Priyanka Gavili, a member of Jagruk Nagrik who supervises the waste segregation work at the dumping ground, said the women help them by removing plastic and keeping them out to dry.

“We have managed to clear three to four feet of waste this week,” she said.

The other hazard that frequently plagues Adharwadi dumping ground is fire. The last blaze at the dump yard happened on April 19 this year. A month before that, a major fire broke out across the 15-acre plot and released hazardous smoke, causing suffocation among residents nearby.

People took to the streets demanding KDMC close the Adharwadi landfill.

Ghanekar, who was one of them, wrote to the KDMC commissioner, Govind Bodke, about his residential society’s ‘zero garbage’ project that helps decompose wet waste quickly using the liquid solution.

Bodke, who visited to take stock of the method, gave the go-ahead for Ghanekar and his group to implement it at Adharwadi as a pilot project.

A KDMC official, on the condition of anonymity, reasoned why the civic body could not undertake it.

“We have already initiated a bioremediation project at the dumping ground. The project will also segregate the waste and help clear the dumping ground. The suggestions from residents could not be initiated as we did not have people for the work,” he said.

Ghanekar is still hopeful.

“Once the segregation is over, we will spray the solution over some portions [of the waste] and wait. After we are sure the method is working, we will continue until the entire mountain of waste is cleared,” he said.

First Published: Nov 10, 2018 01:01 IST

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