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State govt mantra: From waste to wealth

The state government has decided to formulate a comprehensive policy to facilitate conversion of various non-biodegradable wastes into energy to give push to recycling.

So far, the focus had been on reduction of non-biodegradable waste through steps such as imposition of ban on polythene carry bags and some other plastic items.

Under the new policy, the waste will be treated as a raw material for generating energy through co-processing to help replace the fossil fuel such as coal as was being done in environment conscious countries -- Norway, Sweden and Germany.

The "Waste to Energy" policy will not only take care of bio-degradable and non-biodegradable garbage, but also aim at co-processing of the used motor oil and other such wastes for producing energy.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh directed the pollution control board to carry out the ground work for preparing a policy on the basis of the report submitted by a team comprising its Chairman Kuldeep Pathania and Member Secretary Vineet who visited various European countries to study co-processing of wastes to produce energy.

In Norway, the thermal substitution to replace coal with alternative fuels in cement plants has been achieved to the extent of 40 per cent and the target was to increase it to 60 per cent.

"The waste-to-energy programme has been so successful that countries such as Sweden are importing non-biodegradable garbage to use it as alternative fuel," said Vineet Kumar.

In Himachal, there was tremendous scope for thermal substitution as there were three cement plants and some more were under way.

Thermal substitution was carried out first in the calciner and thereafter in the kiln. Meat and bone meal (also called animal meal) and waste motor oil were being used in several cement kilns in western Europe, he said.

In cities such as Malmo, 60 per cent of the heating energy and transport fuel was generated from waste. The hybrid vehicles used biogas along with conventional diesel and petrol.

Efforts will be made to set up small facilities to produce energy from non-biodegradable and biodegradable wastes by involving the municipal bodies and power companies which have enough funds to spend to fulfil their corporate social responsibility.

'Gold' from garbage
 Waste will be treated as raw material for generating energy under a policy
 The waste-to-energy programme is successful in countries such as Sweden, Norway and Germany
 In cities such as Malmo, 60 per cent of the heating energy and transport fuel is generated from waste

 

The Tribune (25-11-2013)