At a time when leftover food in most homes, food joints, and clubs lands up in garbage dumps, a club in Mumbai is turning the tide.
Known for being one of the largest waste generators in the eastern suburbs, Club Emerald has decided to trudge down the road less taken by converting over 30,000 kg of organic waste into biogas in two months.
Located in Chembur’s Swastik Park, the club installed a biogas plant with the help of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
Once the wet waste (mostly food waste) is weighed and segregated, it is added to a crusher where it is broken into fine particles and transferred to a feed tank. The next step is to pump it into a bio-digester. This refers to a chamber where fast decomposition takes place. The digester uses water to facilitate the methanation process, to release biogas, which is then stored in a huge balloon in a storage room to be used for cooking.
With over 500 kgs of kitchen waste being converted into 30 cubic metres of biogas every day, the entire process takes about 25 days. The cooking gas generated is used from time to time to cook food for over 100 staff members.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Nikhil Mehta, Executive Director of Emerald Club said, “We save Rs 250 each day on the expenses previously incurred on purchasing cooking gas. The entire project, patented by BARC, was installed at a cost of Rs 11 lakh, which we expect to recover over the next four years.”
Mehta added how as a bulk generator, the club was under pressure from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to ensure their daily waste was treated at source. This helped the club adopt 100% segregation.
Speaking to Mirror Now, Jaideep Mehta, the Director of the club added how they came across the BMC exhibition about waste segregation which had various projects on display. “The one project that caught our interest was the biogas plant,” he said.
It was only a matter of time until the authorities decided to adopt the technology since they had the space for installing the plant.
This has helped the club generate minimum waste and ensure maximum utilisation of it.
Apart from reducing the huge amounts of waste from overflowing landfills, the club is ensuring that the extra manure generated is used for gardening and maintaining the lawn and other green spaces in its premises.
Now, all that the BMC vehicles have to do is to collect the dry waste, which is segregated and also sent for recycling.
“Prior to waste management efforts, our dumper used to go to the club thrice a day but now it goes only once. Bulk generators like Emerald reduce a large amount of transportation cost, and the model can be replicated across various educational institutions and office complexes,” a BMC official told HT.
Club Emerald has set the trend for other bulk waste generating clubs in Mumbai. Let’s hope that its positive step towards a greener tomorrow helps many others follow suit.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)