In the city of Mysuru, Karnataka, changes have been brought about by adopting the decentralised management of biodegradable waste and the cradle-to-grave model.
About the Model
- Before 2014, the scenario of waste generated in Mysuru was not different from that of other cities, as waste collected was not segregated, resulting in a growing height of dumpsites, all of which demanded a sustainable solution.
- The following system has been introduced for the implementation of biodegradable waste management:
- Source segregation
- Processing of biodegradable waste by Aerobic composting, which include:
- Centralised biodegradable waste processing unit, which produced compost from Biodegradable waste
- Decentralised zero-waste management units: To maximise processing efficiency and minimise load on the centralised compost unit, while minimising transfer-related issues such as the spilling of waste, foul smell and leaking.
- This process also reduces the chances of mixing waste at the secondary centre, making the processing of biodegradable waste more accessible and convenient, and material recovery more reliable and efficient.
- The following Impacts have been evident:
- According to Mysuru City Corporation, due to the effort, only 2–4% of inerts, non-recyclables and residues from zero-waste plants go to landfills.
- Solid waste’s biodegradable content is a potent polluter, due to its capacity to generate methane and leachate during decomposition, whose long-term effects include global warming, climate change and groundwater pollution from seepage.
- Environmental and human health has reportedly improved because of decreased pollution levels.
- Employment and Empowerment:
- The manual work in the operations of the model engages more women workers, safaimitras and self-help groups, which helps them achieve dignified lives.
- Considering the impact of the cradle-to-grave model, while realising its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, makes it a perfect model to replicate in small urban local bodies of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, in other parts of India.