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Potential of the decentralized waste management – Q & A With Yashas Bhand, Director, Yasasu EMS Pvt Ltd.   

 

Few Facts first!!

 

“The first half of 2016 saw significant changes in waste management rules, after a gap of almost 16 years. Almost two years thereafter, the market is currently abuzz with KKR, one of the world’s largest investment firms completing the first PE buyout in India’s environment sector. It is planning to invest in Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd, India’s leading waste management company, valuing Ramky at $925 million. These two interspaced events are a signal of the growing seriousness about pollution and waste management in India and for good reasons. Envistats, a recently published report by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has shown a 72% jump in municipal solid waste generation against a 25% increase in population across the top 10 cities of India in the last decade.  The quantum and complexity of waste generation is only set to increase significantly with higher urbanization and affluence.

 

The waste management rules covering hazardous waste, e-waste, construction & demolition waste, plastic waste, bio-medical waste and municipal solid waste are quite detailed outlining the responsibility of waste generators, waste handlers, recyclers and administrators. It is intriguing however to note that there is no overarching policy on waste management for India. The responsibility of formulating waste management policies has been left to the State Governments under the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016.”

 

Source – https://envint.in

 

Waste Generation in India

According to the Press Information Bureau, India generates 62 million tonnes of waste (mixed waste containing both recyclable and non-recyclable waste) every year, with an average annual growth rate of 4% (PIB 2016). The generated waste can be divided into three major categories: Organic (all kinds of biodegradable waste), dry (or recyclable waste) and biomedical (or sanitary and hazardous waste). Nearly 50% of the total waste is organic with the volumes of recyclables and biomedical/hazardous waste growing each year as India becomes more urbanised (McKinsey Global Institute 2010).

 

With landfills ranking third in terms of greenhouse gas emissions in India, and increasing pressure from the public, the Government of India revised the Solid Waste Management after 16 years. The population of India crossed the 1.2 billion mark in 2013, and now it stands at 1.33 billion. With a population density of 325 per square kilometres, India’s 2.9 million square kilometre of land area holds close to 18% of the world’s population (Census 2011). The Census Department categorises urban India into six tiers, based on population. According to the 2011 census report, there are three megacities holding a population of 10 million or more, 53 urban agglomerations with a population of one million or above and 468 towns with a population of 100,000 and above (Census 2011).

 

With megacities spurting a growth of 30.47% (Census 2011), India’s basic necessities have sometimes been ignored. With an increasing focus towards services such as water, electricity and food for the growing population, the Indian administration has unfortunately ignored another major public service: waste management.

It is important to understand the existing scenario of waste management, impact of poor waste management solutions, policies that have been framed to address it and the major systemic changes that need to take place to ensure this important public issue does not turn into a national calamity.

 

Source – https://www.epw.in

 

Potential of the decentralized waste management

 

The potential of the decentralized waste management system is considered to be immense with the focus now on treating the organic fraction of waste at source across the globe. Whether it is composting or anaerobic digesters, various organisations are working on decentralised products that will make not only make the buyers of these products owners but the owners of the by-product as well! For example, an anaerobic digester ranging between the capacity of treating 1 Ton per day to 5 tons per day organic fraction can yield up to 100-500units if electricity and 150 kg to 800 kg of solid manure.

 

The decentralisation also saves on the transportation cost as well as greenhouse emissions from the transportation as well from the one produced while the decomposition of organic fraction, by treating the waste at source.

 

To know more about this emerging sector, Stoodnt.com got in touch with Yashas Bhand, Director, Yasasu EMS Pvt Ltd. – a waste management solution provider. 

 

Yashas Bhand (29) is a second-generation entrepreneur with a zeal for research and technology development to cater the environmental issues. Yet to complete the third decade of his life he is always on his feet when it comes to developing ideas into plans and implementations. At present Mr. Bhand is handling bigger responsibilities as a Director at YASASU EMS Pvt. Ltd and looks after the complete engineering, project execution and technology development. He played a key role in the development of the decentralization of the biogas technology and creating the product line YASASU Green at Yasasu EMS Pvt. Ltd.  Mr. Bhand also heads Five Elements Environment Ventures Pvt. Ltd (FEEV) as a Director.

 

 

  

Scroll down for a selected excerpt of the interview –

 

Why we should not give up decentralized waste management 

Not all solutions are viable, somewhere decentralised will work and some place centralised concepts will be practical. The biggest advantage is a reduction in waste transportation cost and reducing greenhouse emissions. Also, with growing population and urbanisation, the organic fraction of waste is going to increase by folds and till when can we dump the waste or incinerate the whole waste occupying large fractions of lands, resulting in polluted land and water bodies! Therefore decentralisation should not be given up, rather it makes all stakeholders responsible for managing waste.

 

Challenges and opportunities 

 

Challenges

– Not in my backyard attitude.

– skilled workforce

 

Opportunities  

entrepreneurial opportunities with decentralisation. As the by-products such as biogas can be cleaned and sold for cooking or as vehicular fuel or gas be converted to power which can be further stored in batteries.

 

 

Where can one study waste management in India after plus two?

Well, unfortunately, there is no official graduation course available, but few universities offer optional subjects. One of our associate’s organisation does offer a certificate course in various topics of waste management, “five elements environment ventures Pvt. Ltd. “ for graduates, postgraduates and professional.

 

What are the eligibility criteria?

Graduates, post graduates and professionals can explore opportunities in the waste management space.

 

 What are the job opportunities in the field?

Well, being in the field for 6 years and working with people having almost 2-3 decades of experience, there are various opportunities from lab analyst to design engineers (mechanical and process), operation managers etc.

 

 

Why is a career in waste management a viable option?

 It’s an industry which has now got its credit and sure to develop multifold as the waste crisis of the legacy and daily generated waste still existing at large.

 

Where do you see the waste management industry five years hence?

In 5 years, I would like to see the industry with all stakeholders focusing on managing waste responsibly to create technologies and solutions for treating waste by a technically, financially and environmentally methodology.

 

In India, the SBM and swm 2016 has given a big boost by creating awareness within all stakeholders, which makes the right solution providers feel positive about the next 5 years.

Author: Baishali Mukherjee

Profile- An independent writer and journalist for last nine years; presently working with Education World, Entrepreneur India, Scrabbl.com and Stoodnt.com. Worked as the content head for four books and have articles and features published in leading print and digital media spaces.

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