Washington, 27 May-2014, IANS: Giving a boost to the growing number of green gazettes, researchers…
Badri Chatterjee, Mumbai: Three-fourths of Mumbai’s garbage in the past year was made up of the food we
waste, an unreleased environment report by the civic body for 2015-16 shows.
The report said 73% of the garbage that makes its way into the city’s dumping grounds was food waste. What makes this a hazard? Only 5% of the city’s waste is segregated, according to the report — which means the rest of it chokes the dumping grounds that have been witnessing recurring fires.
“Three-fourths of the city’s total waste has been demarcated as organic-wet waste. When this mixes with other forms of dry waste such as plastic, debris and cloth, the process of decomposition takes much longer and as a result, the suppressed methane that is generated at dumping grounds easily ignites fires,” said a senior civic official from solid waste management (SWM) department.
“A prolonged monsoon season has reduced such incidents since the Deonar dumping ground fire in February. But with the intensity of sunlight increasing, the chances of another fire cannot be ruled out.”
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s unreleased Environment Status Report (ESR) 2015-16 shows sand, stone and fine earth (construction debris) accounted for 17% of the city’s waste, while the remaining comprised plastic (3%), organic dry waste such as wood and cloth (3%) and paper and other recyclables, including metals (4%). Civic officials said the figures were collated on the basis of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) study and the average of waste generated by citizens was collated and compared. The data was consolidated by the SWM department.
According to a report by the SWM department, only 14,000 of an approximate 2,65,000 housing societies, buildings and gated complexes across the city’s 24 wards segregate waste. “While only 5% waste is segregated, less than 2% is composted privately,” said the SWM official adding that new SWM rules from 2016 make it mandatory for societies and institutions to segregate waste at source or pay a penalty.