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What Indian Cities Can Learn From Surat’s Unique Underground Garbage System

Unlike many leading metros that continue to grapple with issues of overflowing public dump yards, exhausted landfills and foul air, the diamond city has installed 43 underground garbage bins to manage its waste.

Becoming a trend-setter, Surat has found a unique way of managing its waste!

Known as the Sun City of Gujarat, Surat also emerged as the fourth cleanest city in India as per the Swachh Survekshan in 2017.

Unlike many leading metros that continue to grapple with issues of overflowing public dump yards, exhausted landfills and foul air, the diamond city has installed 43 underground garbage bins to manage its waste.

Surat underground garbage system (1)
Source: Twitter/Indian Recycle & Waste Management Co.

M Thennarasan, Commissioner, Surat Municipal Commission who is also the Director and Chairman of the Surat Smart City project told The Times of India that the civic body would place 75 such underground bins.

The Silk city generates about 2,100 tonnes of garbage per day, of which 800 tonnes is processed and treated. The civic body has deployed 425 vehicles on 900 routes for door-to-door collection of waste, each of which is equipped with Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and GPS for real-time tracking and to prevent leakage of waste.

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Posted by TheBetterIndia on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Here’s all you need to know about the city’s unique underground garbage system:

  • With a capacity of up to 1.5 tonnes of waste each, the civic body has set these up as a part of the Smart City Mission.
  • The bins are also equipped with sensors to alert the control room as soon as 70% of the container is full.
  • The bins have been installed on footpaths. Each of them has two openings or inlets. One is for individuals to throw waste, another is for the municipal carts that bring collected waste.
  • These humongous metal bins are being lifted with the assistance of cranes, thus emptying the entire waste mechanically, without any direct human involvement.
  • “After this (underground bins) started in a limited area, more and more municipal councillors are making similar demands. Once people have good experience and see the result, they will push for better facilities. We will be expanding this to other areas as well,” Thennarasan told TOI.

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Another exceptional example of the city managing its wastewater is that it treats 57 million litres of sewage every day and converts it into 40 million litres of potable water. This water is then supplied to the Pandesara industrial estate which houses several dyeing and printing mills.

Anand Vashi, Director, Enviro Control Associates, which runs the wastewater treatment plant under the public-private partnership model, told the publication, “The municipal body has been supplying treated water to industry for the past four years. The treated water meets all parameters of high-quality drinking water.”

We hope more cities take a leaf out of the many initiatives Surat is taking to ensure the menace of overflowing waste and littering on streets is tackled.

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

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