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| Last Updated:17/03/2020

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Solid waste management earns Pune invite to UN coalition

PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has been invited to be a member of the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP)Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).

If the membership is granted, the civic body could have easier access to funds from international agencies like the 
World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for projects that mitigate environmental degradation.

"The process was set in motion two months ago when we were invited to attend a UNEP conference in Japan. The PMC was the only civic body from India that was invited. Based on our projects, particularly in solid waste management as well as others such as the setting up of the environment cell, reviving lakes, riverfront development we were invited to join the coalition," said additional municipal commissioner Rajendra Jagtap.

The approval of the standing committee has already been obtained and a letter of expression of interest to join the coalition has been sent to the CCAC, civic officials said.

This will be followed by an assessment by experts from the CCAC and the formulation of a work plan, Jagtap added. "Becoming a member will enable us to have access to expertise and technology on environmental issues," he said.

The CCAC was launched in 2012 to reduce short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon, methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). According to the CCAC website, while carbon-dioxide remains in the atmosphere for approximately a century, these pollutants have a relatively shorter lifetime - from a few days to a few decades.

Actions to reduce these emissions will quickly lower their atmospheric concentrations yielding a rapid climate response. "Fast action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, especially methane and black carbon, has the potential to slow down the warming expected by 2050 by 0.5 degree Celsius," it states.

Activists had recently demanded that the waste-to-green energy project in Hadapsar be scrutinised by an experts' committee. Mumbai-based Rochem Separations Systems (India) Pvt Ltd, which was operating the plant on a build-operate-transfer basis to process 700-tonne dry waste and generate 10 MW electricity every day, has failed to run the project to its full capacity, they said.

No open dumping

The Pune Municipal Corporation claims there has been no open dumping in the city since June 2010.

About 1,500-1,600 tonnes of waste is generated in the city every day

1000 tonnes

Composted into refuse-derived fuel, pellets and biofuel at two plants in Uruli Devachi and Fursungi

200 tonnes

Converted into vermicompost at plants in Hadapsar

60 tonnes

Converted into biogas at 20 decentralized plants

300 tonnes

Converted into electricity through pyrolysis

"Solid waste management is an important aspect in reducing emissions because improper disposal of waste results in the production of gases like methane."

Mangesh Dighe, environment officer of PMC

Huge carbon footprint

Municipal solid waste landfills are the third largest source of global methane emissions, while the practice of open 
garbage burning emits black carbon and other toxic compounds as well as greenhouse gases

Source: Climate and Clean Air Coalition

The Times of India (04-12-2013)