Kerala State in India is one among the most thickly populated region in the world. Therefore to meet the needs of the large population, the rivers of Kerala have been increasingly polluted from the industrial and domestic waste and from the pesticides and fertilizer in agriculture.In The biodegradable waste of the urban centres was accepted by the suburban rural areas for composting in the agricultural fields. With increasing content of plastics and non-biodegradable packaging materials, municipal wastes became increasingly unacceptable to cultivators. Apart from number of technology options, following aspects taken into account during the Waste-free campaign in Kerala: (a) Safe disposal of human excreta, (b) Solid waste management, (c) Liquid waste management, (d) Safe handling of drinking water, (e) Home sanitation and food hygiene, (f) Personal hygiene, (g) )Community environmental sanitation.
Fr.Vimal Mammen Cheriyan
Garbage disposal, waste-free campaign, Kerala, India, safe drinking water, Suchitwa Mission
Kerala State in India is one among the most thickly populated region in the world and the population is increasing at a rate of 14% per decade. Therefore to meet the needs of the large population, the rivers of Kerala have been increasingly polluted from the industrial and domestic waste and from the pesticides and fertilizer in agriculture. Industries discharge hazardous pollutants like phosphates, sulphides, ammonia, fluorides, heavy metals and insecticides into the downstream reaches of the river. The rivers like periyar and chaliyar are classical examples for the pollution due to industrial effluents. It was estimated that nearly 260million litres of trade effluents reach the Periyar estuary daily from the Kochi industrial belt.The water quality problem associated with rivers of Kerala is bacteriological pollution. The assessment of river such as chalakudy, Periyar, Muvattupuzha, Meenachil, Pamba and achenkovil indiacet that the major quality problem is due to bacteriological pollution and falls under B or C category of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) classification. Local level quality problems faced by all rivers especially due to dumping of solid waste, bathing and discharge of effluents with regard to groundwater, water quality charecteristics of wells in Kerala are found to be affected by chemical and biological contaminants. The ground water quality problems in the coastal areas are mainly because of the presence of excess chloride.
Almost every house will have a dug well and people are mainly dependent on ground water for their domestic needs. These dug wells have a maximum depth of about 10 to 15 metres and have a diametre of about 1 to 2 metres in coastal region and 2 to 6 metres in the mid land and high land. The open well density in Kerala is perhaps the highest in the country – 200 wells per Sq.km in the coastal region, 150 wells per Sq.km in the midland and 70 wells per Sq.km in the high land. The ground water withdrawal is estimated as 980 Mm3 and the State Ground Water Department calculates the effective recharge as 8134 Mm3. The health profile of Kerala State in India is said to be low mortality-high morbidity syndrome. Poor sanitation and hygiene are the most critical routes of transmission of infectious diseases. Lack of basic amenities compels people to resort to practices such as open-air defection. Acute poverty, poor hygiene and inadequate garbage disposal and drainage facilities have further aggravated the matter. This leads to a high rate of waterborne and water-related diseases like diarrhoea , gastroenteritis, worm diseases, typhoid, cholera, polio and amoebic dysentery.
In this context, we have launched a campaign entitled “ Waste-free Campaign” in connection with the Government initiative on sustainable disposal and management of all sorts waste in the State of Kerala called “ Malinya Muktha Keralam”.
MALINYA MUKTHA KERALAM
Historically, Kerala has been ahead of others in the country in providing toilet facilities and acknowledged leader in the country in reduction of water-borne diseases and sanitation related vector-borne diseases. These successes have contributed to the high human development of the State, achieved mainly through literacy, public action, responsive government and over the last one decade, active local governments. However, the assimilative capacity of environment in Kerala is fast declining due to inadequate attention to environment, in general and sanitation, in particular. Thus, sanitation has emerged as a critical component in the sustainability of Kerala’s attainments. Therefore, it is felt essential to step up the social and infrastructural interventions in the state. Recognizing the past responses in the sector and based on the current status and emerging issues in various components of sanitation, an integrated action plan has been drawn up namely ‘Malinya Mukta Keralam Action Plan’ for a comprehensive intervention.
Apart from number of technology options, following aspects also taken into account during the Waste-free campaign in Kerala:-
(a) Safe disposal of human excreta
(b) Solid waste management
© Liquid waste management
(d) Safe handling of drinking water
(e) Home sanitation and food hygiene
(f) Personal hygiene
(g) )Community environmental sanitation
These are universally accepted as the seven components of sanitation. The guiding principles for sanitation programme compiled by UNICEF highlightthe importance of hygiene, safe drinking water, waste management and latrinecoverage with emphasize on appropriate technology and gender sensitivesocial engineering. Over the years the State has taken various initiatives toimprove latrine coverage and waste management through intensive IECcampaign. However, these initiatives are yet to catch up with increasingpopulation, emerging challenges and evolving environment.
The rapid urbanization and change in life style has increased the waste load and thereby pollution loads on the urban environment to unmanageable and alarming proportions. The existing waste dumping sites are full beyond capacity and under unsanitary conditions leading to pollution of water sources, proliferation of vectors of communicable diseases, foul smell and odors, release of toxic metabolites, unaesthetic ambiance and eye sore etc. It is difficult to get new dumping yards and open dumping is prohibited by law. This is particularly true for Kerala, with severe constraints of land availability, dense population, environmental fragility and expectation for management of solid wastes relies on an overly centralized approach. In earlier days, municipal wastes, comprised mainly of biodegradable matter, did not create much problem to the community as the quantity of wastes generated was either recycled/reused directly as manure or was within the assimilative capacity of the local environment. The biodegradable waste of the urban centres was accepted by the suburban rural areas for composting in the agricultural fields. With increasing content of plastics and non-biodegradable packaging materials, municipal wastes became increasingly unacceptable to cultivators. As a result, the excessive accumulation of solid wastes in the urban environment poses serious threat. Similar scenario is now emerging in rural areas as well due to the urban-rural continuum, typical to Kerala. Now, dealing with waste is a major challenge.
Technology adopted for waste treatment:
It is the aerobic decomposition of biodegradable organic matter in a warm, moist environment by the action of bacteria, yeasts, fungi and other organisms. It allows for the development of an end product that is biologically stable and free of viable pathogens and plant seeds and can be applied to land beneficially. Composting involves three basic steps, that of preprocessing (size reduction, nutrient addition etc), decomposition and stabilization of organic material and post-processing (grinding, screening, etc).
2. Vermi composting
It is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by some species of earthworm. Vermi compost is a nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer and soil conditioner. The process of producing vermi compost is called vermi composting. The earthworm species most often used are Eudrillus eugineae, Eisenia foetida or Lumbricus rubellus. Small scale vermi composting is done in bins of varying size and style and three different types of practices, such as non-continuous, continuous vertical flow and continuous horizontal flow, are adopted.
3. Biomethanation/Bio-waste Derived Fuel
It is a process based on anaerobic digestion of organic matter in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The process is widely used to treat wastewater sludge and organic wastes because it provides volume and mass reduction of the input material (monsal.com, 2007). It produces methane and carbon dioxide rich biogas suitable for energy production and hence, is a renewable energy source. The nutrient-rich solids left after digestion can be used as a fertilizer.
The incineration of MSW essentially involves combustion of waste leading to volume reduction and recovery of heat to produce steam that in turn produces power through steam turbines (Bhide and Sunderesan 1983). Basically, it is a furnace for burning waste and converts MSW into ash, gaseous and particulate emissions and heat energy.
5. Pyrolysis and Gasification
It is a process that converts carbonaceous materials, such as biomass, into carbon monoxide and hydrogen by reacting the raw material at high temperatures with a controlled amount of oxygen (Middleton, 2005; Marshall & Morris, 2006). The resulting gas mixture is called synthesis gas or syngas and is itself a fuel. Gasification is a method for extracting energy from different types of organic materials.
6. Plasma pyrolysis
Plasma pyrolysis or plasma gasification is a waste treatment technology that gasifies matter in an oxygen-starved environment to decompose waste material into its basic molecular structure (Williams & Nguyen, 2003). It uses high electrical energy and high temperature created by an electrical arc gasifier and does not combust the waste as incinerators do. This arc breaks down waste primarily into elemental gas and solid waste (slag), in a device called a plasma converter. The process has been intended to be a net generator of electricity, depending upon composition input wastes, and to reduce the volumes of waste being sent to landfill sites.
7. Pelletization/Production of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)
It is basically a processing method for mixed MSW, which can be very effective in preparing an enriched fuel feed for thermal processes like incineration or for use in industrial furnaces (Chantland, 2006). It is a fuel produced by shredding municipal solid waste (MSW) or steam pressure treating in an autoclave. RDF consists largely of organic components of municipal waste such as plastics and biodegradable waste compressed into pellets, bricks, or logs. Noncombustible materials such as glass and metals are removed during the post treatment processing cycle with an air knife or other mechanical separation processing.
Rural and Urban areas of Kerala State in India
Local Panchayats (PRIs), FANSA-Kerala Chapter, NGOs, Government Departments
Progress as per the schedule.
It was observed that improvement in the quality of drinking water reported to be improved in certain areas especially in Kollam Districts of Kerala ( as per the analusis data). Further, noted a gradual reduction in the prevalence of water-borne and water-related diseases in the area of operation.
The various technological options, their salient features, environmental implications, cost norms and suitability to the biophysical environment of Kerala has been carried out. It indicates that windrow-composting, vermi-composting and biomethanation (anaerobic composting for biogas) are the most appropriate techniques as far as Kerala is concerned. It is pointed out that the efficiency of the above methods depends on the characteristics of waste, such as, vermi-composting to near-homogenous fruit and vegetable wastes, biogas to slaughter house and fish-market wastes and windrow to heterogeneous wastes from any source.
Monitoring will be periodically carried out by the concerned expert agencies.
This initiative is reported to be a model for all States in India and hope to replicate in other areas.
Waste-free campaign is milestone in the history of Kerala in order to reduce-reuse-recycle waste in the State by all concerned.
This momentum will continue .
Malankara Orthodox Church Ecological Commission (MOCEC),
Fr. Vimal Cheriyan,
Kadanthittil, Perissery P O., Chengannur, Alapuzha Dist. Kerala , India.
Tel: 91-9447978015, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presentation on “MALINYA MUKTA KERALAM”