In January this year, the Coimbatore Corporation had authorized the Awareness Association of Coimbatore and Alagana Kovai Residents to operate the Micro-Composting Center (MCC) in Ondipudur.
Three months later, the two organizations started processing dry, wet and yard waste in three MCC sheds in Ondipudur.
Representatives of the two organizations said the MCC receives two tons of dry waste a day, collected from neighborhoods in the East Zone. Fifty percent of the waste received was of the recyclable type and the rest was converted into waste-derived fuel to be sold to industries.
Workers at the dry waste shed separated the waste into 16 categories – various types of paper, density-based plastics, glass, metals, rubber, etc. They grouped together papers for sale to paper and cardboard industries for recycling, recyclable plastics for plastics industries and non-recyclable plastics for industries to use as fuel.
The organizations hired another group of laborers who crushed garden waste to sell large twigs as firewood and processed small twigs and leaves into briquettes to sell as fuel.
Coimbatore and Alagana Kovai Residents Awareness Association used the third shed for wet waste treatment. The 100% pure wet waste that Company workers deliver after collection from bulk waste generators in the East Zone is shredded and dried.
The dried waste was again converted into briquettes to be sold as fuel to industries, the sources said, adding that the two organizations had linked up with industries to sell the fuel. While shredding and drying the waste, they get a slurry that they would use in a biogas plant to power a fan used to dry the waste.
At present, the organizations are in the process of completing the construction of the biogas plant, the sources said and added that the treatment of wet waste is one of a kind in the city where wet waste can be converted into dry fuel within 48 hours and that too in an environment free of odors and flies.
Sources within the Company said that if the model adopted at Ondipudur proves to be a long-term success, the Company may consider replicating it in other MCCs.