Mining landfills potentially eco-friendly, though BBMP attempts to kickstart it

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It has been six years post Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)’s promises to the Karnataka High Court about its initiative towards ‘bio-mining’ of landfills, and even presently BBMP is just making attempts to adopt the eco-friendly concept.

Post the statement given in October 2014, BBMP worked on formulating an expert committee committee for reviewing the proposal to clear the landfill. However, it was not successful to get the companies who will implement the recommendations of the panel. The experts also constituted a Supreme Court committee for waste management.

The suggestions by experts were to conduct bio-mining at Mandur, Mavallipura, Lakshmipura and Bingipura landfills, but BBMP was focusing on Mandur where as much as 18.91 lakh tonnes of legacy waste is all geared up to mined ever since the garbage dumping came to a halt in December 2014.

An expert from the solid waste roundtable said biomining was a scientific process for clearing out the waste deposited in the landfill through splitting organic and non-organic waste and further process the recyclables. He further explained, “The recyclables include plastic, metals, glass and similar substances. With the organic materials, we could have obtained methane gas, compost or refuse-derived fuel (RDF) used for various secondary purposes.”

N Ramakanth, from the SMW committee said, “We have been after the idea for almost a decade. But till this day, not a single kilo of waste has been removed.”

Meanwhile, Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, SWM, BBMP iterated that they were trying to implement the project from 2016. He said, “But the response for the tender is poor.”

He added, “Some bidders are technically strong, but don’t have the financial stability to carry out biomining in a vast area we have. They don’t have the required revenue turnover as desired under the KTTP Act. We will soon be floating another tender.”

D Randeep, Special Commissioner for SWAM revealed the tenders were not having a good response as companies were not fulfilling the required conditions. He said, “Now, we are mulling to increase the period to 24 months, call for a pre-bid meet and listen to the bidder’s requirements,” he said. “If nothing works, we may have to identify an experienced agency and send a proposal to the government for approval, besides convincing the agency to accept government-approved rates.”

After analyzing the landfill,the experts revealed that around 20 per cent of the materials at the landfill need to be scientifically disposed off.

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