Ananthoo's updates

When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

CMC vellore- an unique project

Amidst so many jokes like the fight within a family- between thatha and grand nephew, blessing of another new channel (hey, what else do u think they can contribute?) to the tamil speaking good world, a rowdy sheeter’s wife made a central minister (ofcourse w/o portfolio), bangla and India playing cric on level plane, selection of coach drama, great international sop operas of perverted mushy and bushy, there seems to be no end to all this drama..
There are guys who are unmindful of all these distractions and doing some phenomenal works for the society. One such gentleman is Srinivasan of vellore who has done so much to revive greenery in vellore- esp on the hills and to recycle and handle solid wastes. In an unique tie up with CMC, vellore he has devised an excellent and innovative way to handle all the wastes generated within the 5 campuses of CMC and is converting them to a zero waste community, what more as money!
From all the 5 campuses of CMC (incl the college hospital, docs quarters, hostels and the separate eye hospi) the waste is separated at source by collecting the organic and inorganic wastes separately. (The human parts and other biomedical wastes and instrument wastes are handles separately). Some 8000 people generate about 8 tonnes of garbage each day. The organic wastes are put to aerobic or wormi waste treatment and what one gets after a month is organic wormi compost fertilizer which is in good demand these days. The inorganic- which will not decompose is segregated (manually) in to some 180 items (for eg. Diff grades of plastic, pet, paper, cardboard, pin, alu, glass etc). The whole set up needs to be seen to believe the immaculate work carried out. The ladies (from self help group) are carrying out a phenomenal job and keep smiling. Hats off to them! There are many places where the zero waste management is in action these days (ok ok..not in as many as I wud like, still) but what this place scores on is its innovation!
Innovation in segregation and various actions. One such is the way the sewage waste (ya, excreta and such like) handling. All that is pumped to an open area – pond like lagoon! Then some step like gradation separates in to 4 more squares. They are all connected but there is a small level difference. Some 100 ducks have been introduced in to this lagoon which eat off all the wastes one can see that the water is almost fresh at the last square. One can notice the water being very dark and thick in the point of entry and fresh enof at the last point and then is used to recharge the water table! Sun and ducks act here free of cost and convert waste to useful water!
Did I mention of the 30 days taken for organic waste to decompose? Here srini’s unique and innovative idea comes up, esp to treat the plantain wastes coming in loads from hotels, messes and marriage halls. These typically take >45 days to decompose. He buys off the cows that are taken to slaughter houses, thereby saving them from being killed for food sake and feeds them these plantain leaves. So u have cow dung which is the main ingredient in wormi comospting! The dung is also used (gobar gas) for the stoves in the canteen. Enviro friendly in every possible way! Hats off to such guys that some redemption is happening inspite of the reckless garbage generation and the damage done to the ecology by majority of us. That I shall be associated in some way in this project and try n add value is another matter, another write up for another day..


  • At May 24, 2007 3:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ananthoo Sir, Appreciate your effort to ponder such activities around and spreading the details about it. Eager to know about your role/ association in this noble project, I mean other than your organic/inorganic waste contribution :-).

  • At May 26, 2007 6:44 AM, Blogger Ananthoo said…

    sir?? thx for ur comment! wud appreciate if u leave ur name too.
    about role etc shall brief soon..

  • At May 28, 2007 10:29 AM, Blogger Krish said…

    aNanthoo, this is sandeep here. Quite a blog you have going up here. been following your write up for a while.

    Regarding the CMC vellore project you highlighted, I would like to comment on a particular issue. I believe burning cow dung (in a solid form) is not eco friendly. Although, in comparison to burning wood and charcoal, it seems efficient it still releases the same old carbon-di-oxide and carbon monooxide. The key culprit is the 'carbon' contained in the material. If only one could eliminate the carbon, we could have a 'clean and eco friendly' burning 'fuel'. The upcoming industry technologies are focusing on 'syngas' which is obtained by eliminating elemental carbon from the fuels such as coal/natural gas/oil etc...

    I understand that this project in itself is a great step forward towards the socio/economic development of rural communities. In that vein, we have to set our standards high because we cannot forsee into the future based on what we have already done but only on what we hope to accomplish.

    Sorry, couldn't resist the combustion engineer in me.

  • At May 28, 2007 8:21 PM, Anonymous S Kannan said…

    Good to see an healthy debate here.. leave the last one though :-).. honestly not being an engineer or a scientist helps in a way.. I believe that carbon release in itself is not the only culprit and hence if this is from renewable / natural sources it is still okay.. there will always be evolvement all the way.. as is normally the case only the tip of the iceberg is visible (1/3) and the rest is mostly under water! Awarness in itself is the key and the debates can continue.. would like to be involved in someway.. so in case u come across thing that I can contribute please do tell me...

  • At May 29, 2007 10:44 AM, Blogger Ananthoo said…

    krish/kans - thx for those comments..
    krish - not burning, the dung by itself releases methane am told!here though there is no burning of the dung involved! as for the other info- its news! shud come to u for more..congrats on ur grad doc! pump more info..shud help..
    kans- shall get in touch if help needed..but awareness for all these enviro issues do help..spread them as u hera among friends and slowly lets have an impact..

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