Worshipful Mayor, Please dont mandate food crushers #KitchenPulveriserBeda #Food2DrainBeda
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#FoodToDrainsBeda #CompostingBeku #KitchenPulveriserBeda
BBMP Mayor Sampath Raj has announced that he will be making kitchen pulveriser mandatory for homes and hotels to tackle city’s growing garbage issues.
We, members of Bangalore Eco Team, citizens working towards a eco friendly city, feel that there are better and simpler ways like composting to manage wet waste and this can take care of cooked food as well as fruit and vegetable peels. If anything needs to be mandated, like Seattle in USA, Havana in Cuba and closer home Alleppey and Thiruvananthapuram, it should be composting on premises.
We urge worshipful Mayor to reconsider the decision as it will lead to bigger disaster with clogged drains, water wastage.
Dr. Ananth S. Kodavasal [An Environmental Engineer and author of The STP Guide, released by KSPCB] has raised lot of concerns on this implementation as city infra is not built for this. It can only take care of leftover cooked food - this will not eliminate wet waste completely - fruit and vegetable peels will still need pickup and the rest of the infrastructure to manage it.
What is Kitchen Pulveriser?
It is small electric grinder machine installed below kitchen sink. Any food dumped into sink will be crushed in almost liquid. But we need to flush this food paste down the drain using a lot of fresh water.
According to the Mayor, this will divert 1000 tonnes of food waste from going to dump yards. Bangalore generates 4600 to 6000 tonnes of waste by various estimates of which 60-75% is wet waste. So even a most conservative estimate will still leave 1300 tonnes of the wet waste to be handled through other means. As a city, we have already built capacity to handle 3500 tonnes of wet waste daily!
Problems with the “crush-and-flush” approach:
The “crush-and-flush” is fraught with many critical problems, as listed below:
Huge Waste of fresh water for flushing the crushed food
Each kitchen will need between 10-20 litres of extra fresh water every day to flush down the pulverised food. Already Bangalore has a acute shortage of water, which is projected to reach 50% in a few years. We will not be able to provide fresh water for flushing the crushed food down the drain.
The food will kill STPs, thanks to doubled BOD of the sewage. When the crushed food is added to the sewage, its BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) will more than double. That means our STPs have to double their capacity overnight.Our STPs are not designed for this load. They will simply fail, and we will have to discharge partially treated sewage to the drains and lakes.
The oil and fat content will cause foaming in STPs, and kill the bacteria
In the new system, people will pour their used oil and fat in the kitchen sink. This will straight away reach the STPs (either belonging to the apartment, or BWSSB). The fat content will cause a blanket of thick, brown foam on the STP tanks, which lowers the efficiency of the bacteria, and also reduces aeration. This is another reason why the STP will be killed.
The food sludge will settle in sewerage pipes, and block them. Our drainage system is mainly gravity-fed, not pumped. In this type of pipelines, when the sewage flow slows down, it leaves sediments behind. Thus the sediment builds up gradually, and reduces the flow even further. Ultimately it blocks the pipe completely.
The flooding of city will get aggravated
Already Bangalore sees regular flooding of some areas. But when drains are blocked with food sludge, the flooding will increase multifold. The raw sewage will emerge out of manholes and flow on roads. When the pipes are blocked, the raw sewage will burst out of the manholes and flow freely across the roads.
Our Lakes and drains will be filled with raw sewage and food mix (stink and foam worsen)
The raw sewage will reach drains and lakes. When STPs belonging to apartments and BWSSB are killed, the raw sewage will reach the drains and lakes.This will kill even those lakes that are rejuvenated recently.The lakes will have a far higher foaming due to oil and fat. When the oil and fat reaches the lakes, there will far higher foaming under windy/rainy conditions. In addition, the smell problem will worsen due to raw sewage.
Cost of handling the wet-waste will be atrocious
Bengaluru spends Rs 62 per kilolitre to get water from far off places. This precious water would be wasted to just push the food waste in a pipe. The total cost of handling wet waste, which is pegged at approximately Rs 7/kg, will simply go up by at least 5 times.
The abundance of food will cause explosion of cockroach population in sewers. If the sewer system has a lot of crushed food, it will result in explosive growth of population of cockroaches. They cause a lot of diseases, including dysentery, cholera, leprosy, allergy, asthma, etc. In other words, we can expect epidemics of these diseases in the city.
What’s the solution?
The solution is to separate solid waste from sewage and compost it directly, which is far simpler and much more economical.
All restaurants must use a simple chamber called “oil-and-grit separator”. This chamber is fitted under the sink, and separates oil and food from the sewage.
In fact, BBMP in consultation with KSPCB must set up a citywide logistics to collect used oil from all restaurants and dispose it off. This will ensure that oil and fat does not reach the drains and lakes.
We have already created 1 Lakh home composters through Swachagraha campaign by encouraging people to take up one week composting challenge. BBMP has done great work by conducting composting Santhe to showcase various ways to compost at home and community level.
While BBMP was mulling over idea to make composting on premises mandatory this June, Mumbai, Chennai, Noida and many other cities made it mandatory. It has been mandatory in Alappuzah, Kerala since 2012 and now they are considered as Top 5 cleanest cities in the country by CSE and now top 5 cities for waste management in the world by UN.
What BBMP Can do?
Alappuzah gave 50% subsidy on bio-gas and 90% on home composting. Indore gives 6% rebate on entire property tax for 5 years for in situ composting. BBMP is already making headways by announcing 5% of SWM cess reduction from property tax. Like Alleppey and now also Thiruvanathapuram, BBMP can provide 50% subsidy on bio-gas for home, 90% for composting kits. This subsidy will pay off with reduction of cost of collecting, transporting and processing wet waste at ward or city level. Divide and rule works best by taking care of small quantity of wet waste at source.
Recently HSR layout went with Alleppey model, by installing lane composters where pickup autos just pickup waste from home and add to lane composters with dry leaves on daily basis. This reduces wet waste transportation cost and time.
If each ward implements same for those who can’t compost at home for some reason, All the food waste will be taken care then and there only. Coupled this will parks and community gardening, we will soon have cleaner and greener Bangalore back to its glory.
Bulk generator who are already composting need continuous consumer of the compost. Government can facilitate buyback program and can provide the rich compost to farmers. All programs were announced but lack the implementation or infra for the same.
Instead of prioritizing ideas like kitchen pulveriser, requesting worshipful Mayor to priorities and invest in subsidizing composting solutions, rebate in SWM cess for those who compost and buyback infrastructure for sustainable solutions.
Formatted Petition Link: #FoodToDrainsBeda #KitchenPulveriser
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