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Being free of Old Waste

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December 08, 2021

What is the issue?

The recently released Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 (SBM 2.0) guidelines add some important dimensions to solid waste management.

What SBM 2.0 tells on solid waste management?

  • The new dimensions go beyond collection and transportation of waste.
  • SBM2.0 focus on processing all types of waste like plastic, construction and demolition waste
  • It also provides budgetary support for remediating old waste disposed in all dumpsites in India before March 2023.
  • Its components include source segregation; door-to-door collection of waste; separate transportation of different types of wastes; processing of wet waste, dry waste, and construction and demolition waste.
  • Fresh waste processing facilities and bioremediation projects will be setup across all the ULBs.

What were the shortcomings of SBM 1.0?

  • Urban local bodies (ULBs) in several States had prepared detailed project reports (DPRs) for setting up waste processing systems for wet and dry waste as part of SBM.
  • Setting up these facilities was delayed due to lack of funding and techno process knowledge, and delayed DPR approvals.
  • Funding - 35% GoI irrespective of the population size of cities.
  • 23.3% by the State governments
  • Remaining 41.6% by the ULBs.
  • This resulted in unprocessed waste being dumped in several sites, which needs to be processed through bioremediation before space can be created for new waste processing plants.

What is Bioremediation?

  • Bioremediation - Bioremediation of old waste is the process of dismantling old waste heaps, sieving the material to recover bio earth (enriched soil) and refuse-derived fuel which can be used as heating material in cement kilns.
  • As per the SBM 2.0 guidelines of total waste generated by urban areas in India only 25% is being processed.
  • The rest is disposed of in landfills every year. All these needs to be processed.
  • In Karnataka, all the 200-plus municipalities had planned to take up bioremediation over the last two years, but the projects did not kick off due to lack of funds. This is where SBM 2.0 could be an important intervention.

How SBM 2.0 is funded?

  • Of the total funding for SBM 2.0 a major portion is set aside for solid waste management.
  • Financial assistance to set up construction and demolition waste processing facilities is limited to a chosen 154 large cities such as Bengaluru, Mysore, Davanagere, Hubli, and Kalaburagi which have a population of over 5 lakh.
  • The financial assistance committed by the mission varies by State. It is
    • 90% for ULBs in the Northeastern and Himalayan States
    • 100% for ULBs in Union Territories without legislature
    • 80% for ULBs in Union Territories with legislature;
    • 25% for other ULBs (population>10 lakh)
    • 33% for other ULBs (population 1 lakh to 10 lakh)
    • 50% for other ULBs (population<10 lakh)
  • The remaining project cost will be paid from the 15th Finance Commission grants.
  • The SBM 1.0 funding was provided to buy efficient vehicles for door-to-door collection and transportation of waste, provide bins for segregation of waste at source, and set up waste processing facilities.
  • SBM 2.0 allocates funding only to set up waste processing facilities.
  • Requests for buying vehicles for collection of waste, issuing bins for source segregation or modernising the collection and transportation system are not in its scope.
  • Now ULBs are likely to take up projects by matching the shortfall with their reserved funds

How it benefits Fertilizer industry?

  • There is a hope to achieve the GoI target of waste disposal sites being free from old waste by March 2023.
  • Also, the transformation of waste disposal sites to processing sites is likely to produce 72 lakh tonnes of organic compost per annum
  • Organic compost recovered from the wet waste can be used to enrich the soil quality and can meet about 10-12% of the country’s fertilizer demand.
  • That will reduce the amount of chemical fertilizer imported and save about Rs. 2,600 crore of subsidy paid by the government.

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/being-free-of-old-waste/article37891296.ece
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