How to become a waste-free town (learn from Mahabalipuram)

Tue, 2017-07-18 11:20 -- SCC India Staff
Waste free mahabalipuram
Tackling waste is a problem of plenty. However, by just implementing comprehensive waste segregation and management plan, Mahabalipuram, a temple town in Tamil Nadu, has shown the entire country how to be 100 per cent waste-free. Surprisingly, the temple town managed to accomplish this by segregating 85 per cent of town’s waste at the source, avoiding landfills. In addition, since Mahabalipuram generates average daily food waste of three metric tonne, the city authority with the help of private player converted into organic manure in the town’s new compost park.

In Mahabalipuram, each and every house is equipped with a green coloured bin for biodegradable waste, a black coloured bin for non-biodegradable waste and a white bag for recyclable waste. To assist and spread awareness, city authorities have deployed “green friends” to each household who educate them on the importance of waste segregation and to collect the segregated waste.

That said, to make the entire city sustainable and self sufficient, bio-methanation plant was installed to efficiently manage bio-degradable waste, especially food waste, generated by the hotels in Mahabalipuram.

With a daily capacity to handle 500 kg to 800 kg of food waste, the plant converts food waste into methane before converting it into electricity of up to 10 KW per hour. Currently, the electricity generated is used to light up 30 streetlights on the East Coast Road.

Since biodegradable and recyclable waste makes up the major chunk of waste and only 15-20% is actually non-biodegradable. The way Mahabalipuram worked its waste management plan, authorities from other cities can also save up on transportation costs, which are huge.