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India’s first of its kind garbage plant gets going in Goa

Trial runs conducted; Waste from Calangute, Candolim being treated; Operations to gather pace in days to come

Story: AGNELO | PEREIRA | 23rd May 2016, 12:00 Hrs

The machines are in place. The administrative and residential blocks are also up. And the few good men, who will take care of at least a part of Goa’s waste, have taken pole positions.

The state-of-the-art solid waste treatment plant at Saligao-Calangute plateau is fully operational and is expected to gather pace in days to come.

“The trial runs are on. At the moment the speed is slow, but we shall gradually increase the load after some time. But yes, the waste treatment plant is fully operational,” said Saket Dhandorya, Director of Hindustan Waste Treatment Pvt Ltd and the man in charge at the plant.

For the moment, fresh waste brought in from Calangute and Candolim village panchayats is being treated at the plant.

Around 30-odd staff are actively associated with different jobs in waste segregation at the plant, while others are giving finishing touches to leftover civil works at the site.

Presently, work at the garbage treatment plant (GTP) is being conducted in only one shift from 9.30 am to 6 pm.

“The local staff has to get trained. Officials from Germany and Italy have been training our staff,” Dhandorya informed.

He further said that once work at the GTP gains full steam work at the plant will be undertaken in two shifts. “We require 30 staff per shift,” he added.

The plant relies on a combination of state-of-the-art waste treatment technologies borrowed from different parts of the world. The machinery that has been installed has come from Germany and Italy. It’s a fully automated process where machines will be used to sort and separate garbage.

In a whirlwind tour around the country's first of its kind treatment plant, the HR and Administration official, Nathan Vaz, who is well acquainted with the functioning of the units at the GTP, gave a detailed explanation of various processes involved in treating the waste at the state-of-the-art plant.

The process to treat the waste begins right from the time the vehicles enter the gate of the GTP, where two weighing bridges access the amount of waste brought.

The vehicles then empty the mixed waste at the tipping floor. A wheel loader later sweeps the waste from the floor and tips it into a conveyor belt, which further leads it into the bag shredder.

Another conveyor belt then takes the waste further to the ballistic roller screen, where technology separates the garbage into dry and wet waste.

Wet waste is channelled into the Orex machine and the dry waste is led to the manual sorting station.

In the manual sorting station, 20 persons on either side of the conveyor belt manually separate dry waste into separate compartments – metal glass, coconut waste, PET bottles, plastic, paper, card board, thermocol/foam, clothes, rubber and RDF.

A chain belt conveyor then feeds dry waste such as wrappers, paper, cardboards etc into a bailing machine, which compresses and bails the stock in uniform size. All the bailed scrap is then wrapped into a bail wrapper, which is now ready for transport and sale.

In the Orex machine, the pre-sorted organic or wet waste is compressed and the liquid fallout is routed to the fermenter, where it is further processed to extract methane gas, while the ‘dry’ part of the sludge like the plastic, chips packets etc is further treated and sent to be used as Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).

All waste water that is accumulated from various sources while treating the garbage will be treated at the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) at the site. The treated water will then be used for cleaning and gardening.

From the fermenter, the waste liquid is routed to the ETP, while the dry compost waste is routed to three composting tanks in the composting shed, which dries it further. The compost is then further dried in the open. Later the compost is put into bags and is ready for use.

The more than 50,000 tons of old waste that was stacked near the GTP is being sorted and capped by the authorities.

“Most of this waste has turned into compost and could be good manure for plants. But since it was mixed garbage, some glass pieces and metal may find its way in it,” an official said. “It can be used as compost for lawns at roadside dividers and places where people don’t walk,” the official added.

Trial runs of the plant began around nine days back. Initially, only dry waste was treated at the site for first four days. For the last five days, mixed garbage has been treated at the plant.

“All the machines at the GTP are working perfectly. We are trying to synchronize these machines. Everything is being finalized and fine-tuned,” Vaz said.

The plant will need 100 tonnes of waste per day to function to its optimal level and it is expected to handle waste from the entire North Goa coastal belt.

According to the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation, which is entrusted with the project, the plant has been built at a cost of Rs 146 crore. GSIDC is executing the project which is contracted to SMC Infrastructure Pvt Ltd of Thane, Maharashtra.

It may be recalled the foundation stone for the Saligao-Calangute GTP was laid in November 2014.

A total of 1.46 lakh sq mt of land was acquired by the government to set up the garbage treatment plant. Of the total area, 8,080 sq mt has been acquired from Saligao comunidade and 1.38 lakh sq mt from Calangute comunidade.

The GTP will also have a gym, health centre, administrative block, gents and ladies rest room, guest room, canteen, fire-fighting unit and other allied facilities.

Elaborate space has also been earmarked for truck, car and two-wheeler parking facilities.

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