Finally the waste from hotels seems to be finding a useful way of disposal. The Bruhat Bangalore Hotel Association (BBHA) and Nobel Exchange Environment Solutions (NEX), a company working on waste management solutions, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BBMP to develop a garbage treatment plant at Kannahali, 161 km away from the city, on 28 May 2013.
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At present 1,300 hotels are registered under the government-recognised hotels’ association. Hotels, catering units and other food-related organisations come under the purview of BBHA. They generate almost 1000- 2000 tonnes of waste every day. Out of this, 250 tonnes will be sent to NEX, said Ramakanth, member of the Solid Waste Management Round Table, who has been a part of the discussions on solving the problem of managing hotel waste.
As per the agreement, a plot of 5 acre would be given to NEX by the BBMP for constructing a waste processing plant. The Founder and CEO of the NEX, Nuriel Pezarkar, who spoke to Citizen Matters, expressed his gratitude towards the BBMP for entrusting them with such a massive project. "We are delighted with the opportunity presented at BBMP and I’m confident our actions in the future will only repose the confidence placed in us. This project is one among the many steps being taken by BBMP in the right direction to resolve the garbage crisis at Bangalore," he added.
He said that the cost of production will not be shared by BBHA but, "the members will pay a service fee (90 Paise per kg) that to cover the waste pickup and transportation costs.
This project is expected to be completed in a span of 12 to 14 months from the day when few formalities get completed by BBMP and as agreed in the MoU.
Nuriel Pezarkar affirmed that the 90 paise per kg was mutually decided by the three parties. However he also mentioned that it will be revised in future with the consent of Hotel association members.
Waste to be used to produce biogas
The waste will be used in biogas production. NEX will be using bio-methanisation technology to produce methane gas compatible enough to replace the use of LPG gas in the kitchen. "The biomethanation technology is fairly established in India. The gas upgradation system is unique and critical components are imported from European nations, " says Pezarkar.
NEX says this is not a first-ever project for them. NEX has developed Compressed biogas plant at Pune and also at Satara. "Two of our key team members – Jorg and Klaus – both Germans – have designed, built and operated more than 300 plants of 250 TPD+ (Tons Per Day) capacity in many countries world over," said Pezarkar.
Pezarkar further explained the process. "In the biogas process, many microorganisms participate in a complex web of interacting processes that result in decomposition of complex compounds such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins to the final product of methane and carbon dioxide. The overall conversion process is often described as three-stage process that may happen simultaneously in a fusion of aerobic and anaerobic digesters."
To generate a high quality biogas and to upgrade it to 95-97% purity of Methane in order to replace fossil fuels including LPG, CNG, Diesel, etc. the waste is required to follow three stages:
- Hydrolysis of insoluble biodegradable organic food matter
- Production of acids from smaller soluble organic molecules and,
- Methane generation
One tonne of food waste has the capacity to generate 70 nm3 of Biogas. This gas has high calorific value of about 5500- 5600, said Pezarkar. "When upgraded to Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) level through a water-based gas upgradation system, the calorific value of CBG will match that of LPG."
NEX will compress the gas into cylinders. It has the option to transport it to hoteliers or to sell it in the open market. Pezarkar is confident that the selling price of the compressed methane will be competitive as compared to LPG. He also assured that the quality will be superior as the gas will have cent per cent methane content with high calorific value.
Pezarkar pointed out the unique feature of their technology which requires zero freshwater and zero effluent discharge. "This is one of the most unique propositions of our proposal." He said.
NEX will use barcoding system on garbage bags to identify the hotels that give garbage. This will ensure that all the hotels follow the rule of segregation wet waste. "If bags are found to be containing in-organic waste, then such bags will be sent back to the waste generator and we will levy penalty for the same. This system has been discussed for merits with members of the BBHA and they appreciate utility and importance thereof," said Nuriel.
Since the project based on advanced and automatic technology Nuriel is afraid that it will not be labor intensive. "However, the waste segregation system will generate employment amongst less privileged sections of the society and bring such jobs into the organized sector," he said.
He concluded by saying, "We will be looking to set up similar satellite plants in the future – preferably covering all four corners of Bangalore.
No responsibility of unauthorised hotels:BBHA
There are more than 1,300 licensed hotels in Bangalore who are yet to be registered with the association, informed BBHA Secretary Ram Murthy.
In the next session to be held in February 2014, it would be made mandatory for all the licensed hotels to register themselves with BBHA. Ram Murthy said, "BBMP Commissioner will make it mandatory to all the hotels to register with us as it will facilitate any changes or modify any rules related to waste produced by hotels."
When asked about the unauthorised hotels, he refused to take responsibility of such hotels. He said, "Unauthorised hotels are not our concern. They will have to send their segregated waste to the BBMP."⊕