Vasai: In a significant move to address the mounting waste crisis, Vasai Virar Municipality has issued a directive to contractors on Monday to commence the process of bio-mining the landfill on the municipal waste ground. This marks the beginning of a long-overdue project aimed at clearing the accumulated waste on the sprawling landfill covering 15 lakh metric tons. The process, set to start post-2013, was stalled, leading to challenges in waste management over the past years.

The increasing urbanization in the Vasai Virar region has resulted in a daily rise in the amount of waste, reaching approximately 750 to 800 metric tons per day, deposited on the Bhoyadapada landfill. The municipality had to suspend its waste management project in 2013, and since then, the landfill issue has persisted due to the absence of an alternative project.

Meanwhile, the escalating waste situation has now necessitated the complete utilization of available landfill space. Consequently, a series of mounds have formed due to the continuous accumulation of daily waste and the existing landfill hills. To address this challenge, the municipality has decided to employ bio-mining, a process involving the use of microorganisms to decompose the waste naturally. This initiative is in line with the Clean India Mission 2.0, which allocates a fund of 46 crore for bio-mining projects.

The responsibility for executing this project has been assigned to Sai Utilities, a specialized company chosen for its expertise in bio-mining projects. The directive, issued on Monday by the Municipality’s Solid Waste Management Department, signifies a long-term contract extending over the next twenty years.

Bio-mining Process and Timeline:

The initial phase involves the meticulous process of bio-mining over 15 lakh metric tons of waste accumulated on the landfill. The estimated timeline for completion of this phase is two years. During this period, essential infrastructure, machinery procurement, and human resources are expected to be organized by the contracting company. The total project cost, which includes all associated expenses, will be conveyed to the company after the commencement of the project.

Dr. Charushila Pandit, the Municipal Commissioner, explained that the project would involve the systematic decomposition of the waste, resulting in the reclamation of valuable land. The first-ever environmental report by Vasai Virar Municipality highlighted the pressing waste issue, emphasizing the need for prompt action. The report disclosed that in addition to the daily waste removal, significant areas in various localities were also affected due to overflowing landfills, with approximately 50% of the areas facing waste accumulation issues.

With this new initiative, the municipality aims to tackle the persistent waste problem effectively and contribute to a cleaner environment. The bio-mining project, once completed, is expected to alleviate the burden on existing landfill spaces, providing a sustainable solution to waste management in the Vasai Virar region.