Innovation in waste: It’s advisable not to waste the waste


    When the nation talks aloud about ‘Swaach Bharat Abhiyan’, and the issue becomes the biggest agenda both politically and environmentally, a few young entrepreneurs pitch in to provide the solutions. Bright ideas spark in the industry respond to innovation.

    Among many, a young and an energetic advertising professional, Alok Gupta, Director, Graphisads, brought innovation in waste. In a short span of seven years, he has brought in accountability and professionalism in all functions, especially in media relations and client servicing. In an exclusive interaction with Khusnuma P Ahmed, Gupta talks about the innovative waste management solutions for a better tomorrow.

    Tell us a little about yourself, your expertise and the range of work you do.

    I always was keen to work or add my contribution in nature. After the completion of my education, I started my company. My core areas of expertise are waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy and sustainability. I am an entrepreneur, a consultant and a speaker. Green Waste Reprocessor (GWR) was launched to increase environmental awareness and encourage community participation in sustainable development initiatives in the different parts of the country. I am seriously and sincerely involved in spreading mass awareness on organic waste management, renewable energy and resource conservation through different ways.

    Tell us briefly about the GWR technology. How does it work?

    GWR machine unit is capable of reprocessing up to 3 MTD of green waste on site. The end product is a solid biomass, and liquid compost for various usages, primarily in energy and organic manure. GWR is a one stop solution for ‘Total Elimination’ of the entire organic reject at the place of its generation. The by-product of this machine can be used for green energy solutions. Once the capex is met for the installation of unit, the entire operation is self-sustainable. The unit is capable of recovering the cost of manpower. It is very small size of 10’x10’x10’ with less than 4 ton of weight.

    GWR unit is presently available in three different variants for re-processing different type of wastes viz. vegetable mandi waste, temple waste and garden waste. Not restricting just to these, company is very soon going to launch machines for domestic kitchen waste, hotels eateries waste etc.

    How is the waste being treated?

    The plant works in the reprocessing mode to take continuous input and gives a continuous selectable output. Manual worker segregates all inorganic materials from input content and put into a bin ready to go at machine input. Workers put input content at hopper by checking the right mix contents to maintain moisture balance. It takes load of more than 2 ton per day in 8 to 10 hours at top loading input hopper manually feed through stairs. Sensors inside reprocessor unit check and maintain right moisture into granules and tiny particles at input and process within by providing right temperature and steam into all content therein.

    There is provision of optional add-on-content also. Since one section of processor works continuously, and other works in interruption mode to allow timings to worker to provide input and works to conserve electricity as well. Within this time, processed output is available at reprocessor output to feed into low noise densifier unit, through operator friendly AQC unit to control and minimise the frequent trip time of advanced densifier and to minimise the operational load of operator, with the help of sensor controlled electronic modules.

    What happens to utility of the waste products?

    Nothing is wasted. The nature happens to be very kind. We just need to understand and recycle products according to its chemical composition. When we talk about the temple waste, the unit produces liquid fertiliser, havan samagri made from flowers. In a way, Puja waste is again utilised for religious purpose.

    On the other hand, the machine for garden waste consumes dry leaves and tree branches from parks on the roadside and forests to produce fuel sticks which provide smokeless energy. Organic manure can also be produced. In case of vegetable mandi, waste the machine produces solid animal feed, liquid fertiliser and organic manure/compost.

    What are the waste management programmes implemented by your company?

    Our main focus now has been purely in the organic waste management system. Our vision is to be regarded globally as innovative and highly sustainable organisation, creating a greener today and tomorrow. And our mission is to create innovative solution towards a better tomorrow for everyone.

    It’s notability seen that various agencies are engaged in the collection of waste. The corporation has implemented green bin for collecting the organic waste and charges a very nominal amount. It has also equipped the rag-pickers with hand-cart, push-cart, buckets and safety gears.

    In our projects we don’t have to transfer the waste from one place to another to recycle it. In parks or vegetable mandis the organic trash is collected and recycled in the same place. It curtails a lot of other expenses including time.

    Lodi Garden is among one of the successful stories of our company.

    What are the barriers of and drivers behind organic waste management policies?

    Barriers are sometimes the lack of national priorities and existing commercial interests. Motives are obvious durability but also shortage of raw materials and respect for future generations.

    Proactive sustainable of organic waste management policies are necessary to utilise waste as a resource. Our country has considerable experience in implementing measures to stimulate recycling. However, much remains to be done in relation to hazardous substances. 

    What do you think can add to the solution to the trash problems: the government policies, new technologies or shifts in attitudes?

    A sustainable waste management system demands high degree of public participation, effective legislations, sufficient funds and modern waste management practices/technologies. The region can hope to improve waste management scenarios by implementing source-segregation, encouraging private sector participation, deploying recycling and waste-to-energy systems, and devising a strong legislative and institutional framework.

    According to your experiences, what are the best practices of how not to waste the waste?

    Not to dump waste on landfills. High quality recycling as much as suitable. The remaining waste should be turned into energy in efficient waste-to-energy plants, thus contributing to climate protection and security of energy supply. This provides local, cost-effective and reliable energy from citizens’ waste generated in decentralised waste-to-energy plants. At the same time it reduces the country’s dependence on fossil fuels from other nations.

    What are your future plans?

    In order to regard waste as a resource, innovation will be necessary to ensure that waste streams can be sorted, cleaned and prepared for recycling at a competitive cost. This will need financing means and existence of markets for recycled materials.

    In the future, there will even be waste. But, the nation will increase the percent of reuse and recycling. All the materials with a positive value will be reused. Residual waste is greatly reduced.