Finding a solid partner to manage Goa’s waste

22 May 2022  |   06:10am IST

Finding a solid partner to manage Goa’s waste

Goa is one of the smallest states in India with a population of barely 1.5 million and a floating population of nearly 2.7 million due to heavy inflow of tourist also faces the issue of solid waste management. However, the positive part in the state is that Goa is prepared to take on this menace. With the electric vehicles hitting the road, the disposal of their ‘hazardous’ batteries in coming five years or so is likely to be one of the most daunting tasks for the waste managers. VIKANT SAHAY takes a look on how entry of private players is going to strengthen the hands of government for efficient waste management in Goa under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Managing waste is a major issue which affects from home to industry and at all places. There are two issues, one is solid waste management and the other is the sewage management. These are very critical for the state of Goa. In both ways, especially sewage pollutes the ground water. Now start-ups entering the arena find solutions to the problems posed solid and liquid waste. Around 6-7 start-ups are already working in this area. 

Managing Director of Solid Waste Management Corporation, Levinson Martins believes that waste management is going to be one of the major areas for service providers in the coming years. It will also generate lot of jobs in this particular sector as there are several types of waste that needs to be tackled, for example domestic, medical, e-waste, batteries, tube lights etc. 

“We are already in the process of setting up of an e-waste and also ee-waste (electrical, electronic waste) disposal facility at Pissurlem. We also already set up hazardous (battery) waste disposal facility at Pissurlem Industrial Estate. However, the setting up of incinerator is at final stages now and it should be operational in one month and all these battery wastes will be treated there,” Martins told Herald.  

“Since land is very scarce in Goa we need to be very careful. In fact, the start-ups can work on PPP mode and should also improve upon their technologies and come up with solutions to mitigate this issue,” he said. 

Co-founder of ‘The Trash Co.’ Rajay Rasaikar believes that trash is a word that is associated negatively with people, a word that suggests something that is not needed anymore and is to be discarded.

“This is exactly where the problem of solid waste management begins. To change this negative perception towards trash we coined our company name as ‘The Trash Co.’ (Company),” Rasaikar said.

He further added that with their background in computer science, polymer engineering and packaging, and having worked in the field of sustainable packaging, the company would be able to contribute towards a better environment.

“The new biodegradable packaging that has been developed, will somehow end up in the same waste stream and this would add to the currently existing problems in waste management, rather than solve them. So we decided to put our efforts to solve the on-ground problems in the waste management sector and hence, ‘The Trash Co.’ was started in the year 2021,” said Rajay Rasaikar.

The company is currently building technological systems and processes that will recover waste through existing supply chain in the most economically feasible manner.

They are running a pilot model on used mattress waste collections in Kerala, where mattresses are collected and responsibly discarded. Similarly, they will be able to take all kinds of materials back and the system will be robust to include any location and any product going forward.

“Waste is an economical problem. If something has an inherent value then someone segregates it, someone collects it and someone recycles it. The waste that has low-value is a major problem as it is not collected for recycling and to solve this, we need to start taking ownership of our own waste and dispose in a responsible manner beginning with waste segregation at home, and this is exactly how our next generation will learn for us,” said that Co-founder of Trash Co. Rajay Rasaikar.

Srishti Lifescience Private Limited is a start-up incubated at Forum for Innovation Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship (FiiRE), Institution Innovation Council and e-cell of Don Bosco College of Engineering in Goa. 

Currently this start-up which is operating from Vadodra in Gujarat is in discussion with hotels in Goa. Soon the start-up will be starting its operations in Goa to make hotels and resorts single-use plastic bottle free.

“Our mission is to become an enabler for the stakeholder to shift their choices from single-use plastics to sustainable and responsible production and consumption with efficient, effective and economical solutions,” said Prateek Patel, Founder, Srishti Lifescience Private Limited, a company which was established in 2017.

The company aims to shift the production and consumption from a linear and recycle economy to a circular economy to create a sustainable supply chain system. 

“We do not manage the waste, instead we prevent the waste from being generated,” said Patel. His company won the Nation Builder Award by United Nations Industrial Development Organisations (UNIDO) in 2021.

He further added: “One litre bottle from our system can prevent 25 grams of single-use- plastic waste and 165 grams of carbon footprint. And there is scope of prevention of 1.88 lakh tons single-use plastic waste and 13.9 lakh tons carbon footprint by using our solution. We achieved proof of concept for HwerbalH2O and Ecossion and our beta was tested successfully.”

The company is now moving ahead to make Indian hospitality organisations and corporate office single-use plastic free and de-carbonisation of supply chain system.

Green Waves, another such start-up at FiiRE is dedicated towards minimising electronic waste along with promotion of efficient zero waste management, awareness creation and conservation. 

They have come up with various eco products like incense sticks, colours from floral waste, seed papers, seed pencils, seed pens, seed flags from recycled paper, bracelets and bags from waste cloth and marine litter, artefacts and decor from coconut waste. 

They are working on improving leaf mulch compost from dry leaf waste and utilising them in seed ball making, creating a native seed bank. 

“We up-cycle glass bottles collected from beach, clean them up into glass candles, water glasses, key-chains and more. FiiRE Goa has helped us connect with stakeholders like Thomas Seva Foundation from Velim in Goa,” says Anil Potluri, the founder of Green Waves. 

Green Waves is associated with Pollution Control Boards as authorized recyclers, mainly on e-waste and zero waste management in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.  

V&G Analab is an environmental monitoring, management and consultancy services company managed by Satyan Vaiude and Suhasrao Govekar who believe that the core of the ‘sustainable’ future depends primarily on understanding the past, present quality of the environment (popularly known as pollutants) and plan for the future.

They primarily work on environmental component testing and analysis of waste –water, drinking water, stack (chimney) noise level survey and ambient air. Also, environmental compliance to varied organizations (viz., hotels, manufacturing, services, etc.) as per the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) requirements by preparation along with submission of environmental statement in Form-V and obtaining statutory permissions viz., consent to establish, operate and renewal.

They also have domain expert support for National Green Tribunal (NGT) matters and they also provide expert services for example Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental Management Plan (EMP), Environmental Audit and Environmental due diligence.

“With these services, we intend to provide expert advisory and assessment services with an aim to minimize or eliminate environmental damage due to various operations and activities of the organization and make them ‘environmentally compliant’ and sustainable future,” said Satyen Vaiude.

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