BMC eyes RCF to complete cycle for processing waste

By Times Of India on 14 Apr 2018 | read
MUMBAI: There’s good news for housing societies that treat their own waste but don’t know what to do with the compost produced from it. The BMC plans to tie up with Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (RCF) to collect the compost and transport it to the company.
In a meeting last week, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta directed civic officials to work out the modalities of appointing a nodal agency to coordinate with RCF to utilize the compost produced by bulk waste generators. Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner, said, “Yes, we plan to tie up with RCF. Initially, we will appoint an agency that would be given the responsibility of collecting compost from societies, testing it and and transporting it to the fertilizer company.”

When TOI contacted an RCF spokesperson, though, he said BMC has not approached the company yet. “No discussions on these lines have taken place with us,” he said.

For the fertiliser unit to accept the compost, it will have to be of food grade standard since it has to be introduced in agriculture. Most of the compost generated in the city comes from mixed waste including heavy metals, which raises the toxicity of the compost and makes it unsuitable for agricultural use. However, housing socieites that follow the right practices may be able to produce a better quality of compost.

Ever since the BMC fixed the October 2, 2017, deadline for segregation and treatment of waste for large housing societies and other bulk generators in Mumbai, many had raised questions about what should be done with the compost generated from the treated garbage. Singhal added that the issue had been brought to their notice as well, and therefore this move is being initiated.

“While some societies do have a garden on their premises to use the compost as fertilizer, in those that don’t, questions were raised about what should be done. We therefore planned such a system,” he said. While the BMC is yet to decide on the rates at which the compost should be sold, there are plans to brand it.

Societies that treat waste have welcomed the move. Rupa Divatiya from Andheri-based Shatdal Cooperative Housing Society which treats waste through vermi-composting and bio-composting, said, “In our case, we have a garden. This plan would work for those that don’t.”

“BMC must decide the rate at which compost would be sold, how would citizens benefit from the exercise and how would the compost be delivered to RCF,” said Rajakumar a Sharma, a Chembur-based activist.