While devotees across the city pay their floral tributes to Lord Ganesha, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) uses this occasion as a vermicompost opportunity. Every year, the BMC with the help of certain NGOs produce compost gathered from floral waste during the 11 days of Ganeshotsav. This compost is then used as fertilizer in various BMC gardens.
Last year, the BMC collected 2,300 metric tonnes of waste consisting of flowers, thermocol, polythene bags, garlands, necklaces, footwear, photo frames, glass, foam, wires, nails, wood and other decorative materials. With assistance from the NGOs, the waste is segregated into degradable and biodegradable waste. The 2,300 metric tonnes of waste collected by the civic body generated only 300 tonnes of compost.
The BMC is in dire need for NGOs and other support groups to come forward to help them implement their vermicompost project on a wider scale. “We may get a lesser generation of compost this year as only 2-3 NGOs have approached us for the implementation of the vermicompost project,” said Seema Redkar, officer on special duty for Advanced Locality Management (ALM) who handles this project.
Explaining the reason for the low response rate from NGOs, Redkar said, “There is no adequate space for the project to be implemented as it requires a few acres of land for about 35 days.” There are about 90 immersion points in the city and suburbs. The BMC has placed 257 nirmalya kalash (bins to collect floral waste) at major immersion points like Girgaum, Chowpatty, Dadar, Mahim, Juhu, Marve, Aksa and Versova beach.
To ensure the smooth operation of the collection and dumping of waste, about 650 tempos will make 936 rounds and 320 dumpers will collect the floral waste daily from the respective immersion points during the 11-day festival beginning from September 9. “We would know about the collection of floral waste and the expected generation of vermicompost only after 11 days of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival,” said Redkar.
The tonnes of waste collected by the BMC last year.
The tonnes of compost generated from the 2,300 tonnes of waste collected
Number of immersion points in the city and suburbs
Number of nirmalya kalash (bins to collect floral waste) placed at major immersion points
Tempos on duty to collect the floral waste
Dumpers on duty to deposit the floral waste