Company to make money by recycling Chennai garbage

By V. Jagannathan, IANS

Chennai : Private conservancy company Neel Metal Fanalca Environment Management Pvt Ltd hopes to earn nearly 15 percent of its revenue by selling recyclable waste collected from Chennai households.

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A 51:49 joint venture between Neel Metal Products Ltd of India and Fanalca SA of Colombia, Neel Metal Fanalca last year bagged a contract to clear municipal waste in four zones under the Corporation of Chennai that included Pullianthope, Ice House, Kodambakkam and Adyar areas.

However, the corporation has asked Neel Metal Fanalca to operate only in Ice House, Kodambakkam and Adyar, while work at Pullianthope would be awarded based on performance in the first three areas.

“We were able to quote low rates only by factoring in the revenue from selling recyclable waste like plastics, iron, paper, glass and others,” said S. Pattabhiraman, vice-president of the company.

Neel Metal Fanalca bagged the order quoting a price of Rs.645 per tonne of garbage cleared for Ice House and Adyar and Rs.670 per tonne for Pullianthope and Kodambakkam.

Pattabhiraman replied in the negative when asked whether the firm would have to share some revenue with the corporation from the sale of scrap.

“There is no such provision in our contract. The manner of garbage disposal – sending it to a landfill or selling it – is our discretion,” he said.

Interestingly, the Pammal Municipality near Chennai and the Coimbatore Corporation have mandated that private parties that clear the garbage have to share some percentage of the revenue generated from sale of recyclable garbage and compost fertiliser.

In Pammal municipality, private agency Exnora Green Pammal (EGP) pays Rs.500 per tonne of compost manure and Rs.100 per tonne of recyclable and inorganic waste sold to the authorities.

Neel Metal Fanalca has no plans to offer small bins to households free of cost to enable garbage segregation.

“Our cost factor does not allow that expenditure. In fact, we will be approaching the Chennai Corporation for a rate hike if diesel prices go up,” Pattabhiraman said.

Speaking about at-source segregation of garbage, which is part of the seven-year concessionaire agreement, William Bendeck, operations director of the firm, said: “On a pilot basis, we have started implementing in (Adyar) and the results are satisfactory. We have also started propagation in (Ice House).”

The segregated garbage is first transported to the transit station owned by the corporation for further classification and sales.

“The biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage is sent to the landfill,” said T. Palanichammy, associate vice-president.

The company collects around 1,200 tonnes of garbage daily, of which the recyclable and biodegradable waste would be 40-45 percent each and the rest non-biodegradable.

The company is also looking for a suitable plot to compost biodegradable waste into fertiliser that would fetch around Rs.10 per kg.

As per industry standards, four tonnes of kitchen and garden waste would provide a tonne of fertiliser in 60 days.

The sale of plastics would fetch Neel Metal Fanalca not less than Rs.4,000 per tonne.