Gurgaon,the city of aspirations apart from its infrastructural woes is the child withmultiple stakeholders leaving the residents of the city forever confused oncharter of responsibilities.
Thecurrent growing concern in the city is the execution of proper waste managementsystem. With the active interest of the MCG (Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon)and some Samaritans in the city, awareness and some serious work has started inthis direction.
In conversation with Yashpal Yadav, the Commissioner MCG
2019: The Year of Execution & Results
Gurgaonhas earnestly been looking into the aspect of waste management and wastesegregation over the last some years and breakthrough measures have been takento be able to deal better with the city’s waste. Yashpal Yadav, who took overthe role of Commissioner, MCG last year is a man with a mission to steer clearGurgaon of its garbage dumps. With an action-oriented plan, he is pulling outall stops to focus on every issue that requires immediate attention in this direction.
“We havediscussed internally and formulated many plans to tackle issues and concerns ineach and every field which have been brought to our attention over the lastmany months,” says Yadav. This year plans shall see enforcement we are told.
“2019 isthe year of execution of many such plans to bring about necessary improvementsin all required areas. If we talk about basic necessities; liquid and solidwaste management are of utmost importance and there is a dedicated team engagedfor this purpose only. I have done a decentralisation of powers and duties inmy core team, making each team responsible for one kind of task. This has gotefficiency and responsibility internally,’’ he said emphatically.
Developing Green Cover
To curboverflow of sewage and provide recycled water for green belts and parks, aswell as to save potable water the MCG has conceived a plan of erecting microSTPs in areas of large greenbelts which will treat sewage locally and provideenough recycled water to maintain greenery and improve air quality as well.
“We are focused on the elimination of open dumping of garbage and eradicating the practice of garbage burning in the city apart from transforming the waste management system across the city.”
Yashpal Yadav, Commissioner MCG.”
Moreover,it is a legal mandate for buildings with rooftop area of more than 100 sqmeters to have a proper rain harvesting system installed in their homes. “Forsmaller houses, we have made a cluster of 20-50 houses and set up commonharvesting systems to save capital cost. It will take 1.5 – 2 years to coverthe entire city,” adds the commissioner.
Solid Waste Management System
Thiscompasses of segregation of waste in Non-Biodegradable / dry waste andBiodegradable / Wet Waste.
“Forsolid waste management, door to door waste collection is taking place acrossthe city,” informs Yadav. Ecogreen, one of the prominent companies implementingthe integrated solid waste management projects across the country is managingthe same in Gurgaon. The city has four dumping transfer stations where thesegregated waste is collected and there is a dedicated team deployed to lookafter its day to day functioning.
“We haveidentified 800 rag pickers who have been employed by Ecogreen to collectmunicipal waste from 250 houses each and help in localised composting,” heinforms. Though the system is yet to get smooth before it gets regularised bythe daily collections.
“InSector 29, we have proposed to create a common compost plant close to a dumpingstation to process the bulk waste being generated by the umpteen number ofrestaurants in that hub,” adds Yadav.
By 1st February 2019 onwards only segregated waste will be accepted and by June 2019 the aim is to consume 50 per cent of the waste generated within the city itself productively.
The Corporation will only collect the segregated waste from households after January 31 2019.
It is acommon sight to find Construction & Demolition Waste (CDW) dumped in theopen spaces across the city. A treatment plan has been set up in Basai whichwill process 300 tonnes of this waste every day. There is a heavy penaltylevied by the MCG on dumping CDW waste on the roadside.
Multipleagencies, teams, individuals have to be involved as overloading work does notreap the best results, believes our commissioner. So separate teams of the MCGemployees have been formed to raid the shops using polythene bags.
Toutilise the polythene waste which is still being generated in ample in thecity, a company from Bangalore has been identified by the MCG to utilise thispolythene waste by shredding it, and use it in the construction of roads. “A100-metre road as a trial project has already been made and is proved to be asuccess. These roads are durable as the bitumen that is mixed with plasticmakes the road stronger thus reducing the maintenance costs,” says thecommissioner with a smile.
SharingMahatma Gandhi’s famous quote, the commissioner says, “Be the change you wantto see.” He further adds, firmly, It is not singularly possible for MCG or anyone person to bring results, the community has to get involved and support theinitiatives which the government is trying to take. To enjoy the rights, thecitizens must fulfil their duties too and the MCG will extend its support inall aspects to those who wish to bring about a positive change in Gurgaon.”
Individuals take the baton
Nirvana Country in Gurgaon has been managing its own waste since 2016. Spanning across 135 acres with over 900 homes and 16 parks, Nirvana Country has managed to keep 300 tons of organic waste away from rotting in the landfills since November 2016.
Kala Samman Awards Evening to commemorate excellence in Art and…
“Unlocking the Mind-Body Connection: Understanding the…
“The biggestchallenge to practically and totally implement the waste management policy inthe city is lack of waste “segregation at source.”
Monica Khanna Gulati, a resident of Nirvana Country has been composting her own waste at home for seven years. She then wished to take this practice beyond her home to the community and now with the support of RWA she leads the waste management and compost set-up in the society.
“Why should the kitchen waste go waste?” asks Monica. “It is gold for enriching the soil. Waste being burned recklessly also harms the air quality. Nirvana follows the natural composting Aerobic process wherein after extensive research, we decided to go for a combination of in-vessel composting and metal wireframe composters,” explains Monica. “The fresh kitchen waste (Greens) would be crushed and horticultural waste (Browns) shredded before being added to the Continuous Drum Composters together to maintain the optimum balance. Microbe powder is added to further speed up this process.
We have installed composting bins which breakdown and convert organic kitchen waste to generate close to two tons of compost every month,” informs Monica. “Our composting infrastructure now comprises five 2000-litre composters, one 2.5 HP horticulture shredder, 10 metal bins and one food crusher. We also have a reverse vending machine that has processed close to one Kg of empty plastic bottles in the last three months,” she continues with a lot of pride.
A squadof young children took charge of the auditing of households to check if theywere segregating waste or not. “We have to enlighten the next generation tosensitise them to the environment and not brutalise it like us,’’ quips Monica.
Acrossthe city, many apartment complexes are taking waste management segregation anddisposal very seriously.
The IVY,a premium apartment complex in Sushant Lok 1 with 156 apartments generates150-200 Kgs of waste every day. “It is a mandatory practice that we haverecently introduced in our apartment complex and each and every household heregives out segregated waste to the housekeeping staff who comes to collect thewaste every morning,” says Arpana Dawane, a member of the very proactive WasteManagement group in the society. The house owners have taken keen interest tolearn the waste segregation methods and maids have been trained to do the same.The bifurcation of waste is in three categories-Dry, Wet & Hazardous.” Thesegregated waste is then handed over to Eco Green to recycle.
“We have also installed a machine to compost sanitary napkins which can take up to 100 napkins and reduce them to just about a small handful of ash. Initially while we were met with a little hesitation, even the low wage women earners are now appreciating this hygienic system to dispose napkins.’’
Sanjay Sehgal, Gurgaon One.
Recycling – Need of the Hour
GurgaonOne, Sector 22 is a shining example of adopting changes and habits that lead toa clean and pollution free environment. Sometimes just the idea and convictionof one individual can drive others to follow and start a great cause. ColonelSanjay Sehgal, a resident of Gurgaon One and founder of Smart Pro Foundationstarted the initiative of solid waste management at the source and rely onexternal vendors.
“We area ten year old society with 240 flats/villas and 43 EWS houses and areproducing nearly 250-300 Kg of waste daily,” says Sehgal who then shared hisconcerns with the RWA about their waste filling landfills and creatingpollution.
“Werecycle water and use it in horticulture, washing, etc. All our lights inbasements, staircases, street lights are LED. From 25th February 2017, wehave become a ‘Zero Polythene Society.’Free cloth bags were given to shopkeepers as well as residents and we launchedawareness programmes for residents, maids and maintenance staff in coordinationwith MCG and local urban bodies. In July 2017, PWD Minister, Rao Narbir Singhinaugurated our compost plant. We have also been awarded for best wastemanagement practices by the education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma in January 2018which brought confidence and credibility to our initiatives in the society,” heinforms us with enthusiasm.
Thewaste in this society is segregated in four categories – wet waste which iscompostable, dry waste and rejects sanitary waste and E-waste. The society hastaken another interesting initiative wherein the residents give out their oldnewspapers to convert into paper bags which in turn is supplied to thesociety’s stores for free.
Door to door collection
Thereare also many societies and localities in Gurgaon which do not yet have theirown waste recycling or compost making technology or the infrastructure in theirpremises, but are keen to install the same. They are following wastesegregation practices in their door to door collection from residents. Awareresidents in these societies are making efforts to carry out the best possiblemeasures for waste management.
“Thesegregation plan was started in July 2018 and we got our training from the NGOSaahas. This created awareness amongst our volunteers and maids about the processof waste segregation,” says Vinita Pandey, resident of Emaar Palm Driveactively involved along with fellow residents Achyutam Kallani and SonaliVenkat in this initiative. “The residents have been told to give the waste insegregated categories only. We collect nearly 1000 kg of waste per day fromover 800 houses daily. The collected waste is then handed over to our vendorwho is certified under MCG and has his compost mechanism in place to recycle.Our horticulture waste is mulched within the society and used in the soil inour lawns. We are already into recycled water and are using STP treated waterfor gardening and washing purposes so we are doing our bit for the environmentas best as we can,” she says.
Kuldeep Hindustani, brand ambassador MCG for Swatch Bharat Abhiyaan, is spreading this message across the city by doing rallies and reaching out to school children and their parents. One such awareness rally is being organised on January 22 at Rajendra Park in sector 105.
Talkingon his mission Kuldeep says, “I want to spread this awareness amongst allsections of people and make our city clean and truly a model city. Who can bethe better brand ambassadors for this purpose than the children.’’
Thecurrent challenge is that most of the waste collected in the city at present ismixed and more so, the segregated waste at source many a time get mixed whiletransporting to the Bandhwari treatment plant.
Asresidents let’s all do our bit and approach the problem as a community and notdump.
With over 900 tonnes of waste being generated in Gurgaon daily, it is imperative that the correct systems are put in place to treat this waste judiciously.
Eco Greenechoes healthy eco system drive of MCG
Eco Green is the sole concessionaire forimplementation of integrated solid waste management process in Gurgaon andFaridabad. The operation starts with door to door collection of segregatedwaste which is transferred in covered vehicles having capacity of 400-500 kg tothe three operational transfer stations while four are under setup where thematerial recovery facility recovers the usable waste which is then consolidatedand sent in larger vehicles to plants on Gurgaon-Faridabad road for processing.
“Currently the waste is being managed atlandfills but we are setting up our compost and power plant in Bandhwari whichshould be operational by August 2019,” says Gaurav Joshi, COO at Eco Greens.“Gurgaon generates over 1000 tons of waste every day and we have to use thiswaste productively so that only 10 percent will go to the landfills, rest willbe recycled and used within the city for different purposes. Our appeal toresidents is to only handover segregated waste.”
The Solid Waste Management Rule 2016 states that household waste must be segregated. Dry waste goes in one bin, wet in another and e-waste in a third bin.
This article was first published in the print version of SUBURB January 2019 issue.