Mumbai civic hospitals to build waste-to-energy plants

BMC will build waste-to-energy plants in five of its hospitals to recycle organic waste and use the biogas.

In an effort to recycle organic waste, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is actively working on establishing five mini waste-to-energy (W2E) plants within the major hospitals of Mumbai, namely KEM Hospital, Sion Hospital, Rajawadi Hospital, TB Hospital, and Nair Hospital. Mumbai generates approximately 6,000 metric tonnes of solid waste daily, with 70% of it being organic waste.

Untreated organic waste is typically sent to landfills, where it emits methane, leading to fires that contribute to poor Air Quality Index (AQI). The proposed “waste-to-energy” plants will function as bio-methanation facilities, specifically designed to segregate, treat, and recycle nearly 2,000 kg of wet garbage generated on hospital campuses. These plants are expected to produce approximately 170 units of electricity per day, post auxiliary consumption, through continuous mesophilic anaerobic digestion.

The phased implementation of these plants is anticipated to be completed in the first half of 2024. The biogas generated will be utilized to power hospital canteens. In the event that the output exceeds kitchen requirements, authorities may redirect the surplus energy to illuminate streetlights within the hospital campus. This decentralization of waste collection and treatment in the Waste to Energy plants aims to save transportation costs and reduce expenses related to cooking.

Each of these Waste to Energy plants, covering an area of over 2,000 square feet, is estimated to cost Rs 1 crore. The BMC has initiated the tendering process, inviting bids for the installation and one-year maintenance of each plant.

About a year ago, the MNRE Ministry held that a total of 90 waste to energy projects under Waste to Energy (WTE) Programme were under various stages of implementation. MNRE is implementing Waste to Energy (WTE) Programme under the umbrella of National Bioenergy Programme.

The WTE Programme has a budget outlay of Rs 600 crore for the period FY 2021-22 to FY 2025-26. This Programme, inter alia, supports setting up of plants for generation of Biogas, BioCNG and Power from urban, industrial and agricultural waste by providing Central Financial Assistance.

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