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The holy city of Amritsar is all set to become first city in Punjab to convert its waste dumpsite into an energy plant. In collaboration with globally renowned company Averda, the Municipal Corporation of Amritsar (MCA) has set into motion a process to bioremediate or recycle an estimated 10 lakh metric tonne of legacy waste to reclaim the land and set up a state-of-art waste-to-energy plant. The project is likely to be completed in two years.
Earlier this year, when the world was struggling with the wrath of Covid pandemic, MCA embarked upon an ambitious journey towards modern solid waste management, and Averda started operations of municipal solid waste management in July.
“Averda has started biomining and so far 38,000 metric tonnes of legacy waste has been biomined at the Bhagtanwala site. With this speed we shall be able to operationalise the waste-to-energy plant in about two years. Together with our composting of organic waste, this new plant will allow us to extinguish an estimated 650 tonnes of municipal waste every day,” said Amit Bajpai, Director India, Averda. "We will be able to treat the entire waste generated in the city and the nearby local urban bodies".
With active guidance and participation of MCA, Averda started municipal solid waste management in July this year and has made considerable progress not only in effective handling of waste but also in behaviour change. “We have added 50 additional vehicles for door-to-door collection of waste and increase coverage. All vehicles have dual compartments for collection of wet waste and dry waste separately and fitted with GPS to enable monitoring of the operations,” Bajpai informed.
Along with stepping up collection activities, MCA has also been focusing on behaviour change communication. MCA has asked Averda to carry out Information, Education and Communication activities, for which the company has partnered with NGOs. “We have been spearheading awareness campaigns including door-to-door outreach urging citizens for segregating wet and dry waste at source, organising programmes in market complexes to sensitise shopkeepers, educate vendors in fruit and vegetable markets and training of garbage collection boys, among others,” added Bajpai.
“This has resulted in substantial awareness. Students of all hues are actively participating and so are citizens from all strata of society. Shopkeepers are themselves installing bins and so on,” informed an MCA official.