India’s Cleanest City Indore Introduces New Plastic Segregation Pilot

After winning this year's cleanest city in India title for the third time, Indore has taken another step to do away with plastic filling its landfills.

Indore has been the poster boy of the campaign for  ‘India’s Cleanest City’ for three years in a row as part of the Swachh Survekshan. This year too Indore upheld its title of being the cleanest city in the country. 

Indore, the financial capital of Madhya Pradesh has been in good news and has been leading in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) since 2014. It has many accolades like constructing toilets and ensuring cleanliness and basic amenities in them, to practicing waste segregation at source, door to door waste collection, 100 percent waste treatment and generating fuel from waste.

Now the city has taken a step further, Indore Municipal Corporation has introduced a separate plastic waste collection system on a pilot basis in 50 colonies in the city for three months. Starting from 5th April residents of all selected 50 colonies in Indore will collect all kinds of plastic waste in a special bag given by Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC).

From plastic carry bags, milk pouches, water bottles, discarded buckets, mugs, tetra-packs, pens, to plastic packaging, residents can collect any and all kinds of plastic and plastic materials. In return of the plastic waste, residents will be paid by IMC.

“We are still at the assessment stage as in analyzing the cost of the project which involves ragpickers who will pick plastic waste from your doorstep, NGOs engaged in waste management under IMC and then the treatment of collected plastic. First month, we won’t pay anything to the users and later plastic will be purchased at Rs. 2 per kg. We might or might not increase the price, it depends on the value of plastic we get”, said Asad Warsi, Environmental Expert, IMC told reporters.

Presently, the waste collection process in Indore involves plastic being collected with dry waste at the household level and from there it goes to a material recovery facility. At the material recovery facility, dry waste is divided into different categories like paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and others.

According to city estimates, the city processes and treats close to 100 tonnes of plastic on a daily basis. The plastic waste is converted into plastic pellets, a raw material for any plastic product. Some amount of plastic waste is being converted into diesel as well. Currently, the treatment plant processes 8 tonnes of plastic every day and generates 3,500 litres of diesel on a daily basis.

100-acre dumpsite in Devguradiya

Another milestone worth mentioning is that Indore has cleaned up its 100-acre dumpsite in Devguradiya which was an eyesore and bore the burden of about 15 Lakh Metric Tons (MT) of waste that accumulated over decades. The Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016 directed urban local bodies to clear legacy waste dumps as well as existing operational dumpsite down to ground level through a process called bioremediation or biomining, which refers to an environment-friendly technique to separate soil and recyclables from legacy waste. This is done by altering the environmental conditions to stimulate the growth of micro-organisms and degrade the target pollutants without using any toxic chemicals. Hence in 2016, Indore Municipal Corporation decided to take up bio-remediation work at the landfill. And after 3 years the city has freed all the 100-acre area worth Rs. 400 crores.

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