GUWAHATI, Sept 3 - A two-day workshop under the Faculty Development Programme of the AICTE-NEQIP on �Sustainable solid waste management practices� was held on August 31 and September 1, which was organised by the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Assam Engineering College (AEC), Guwahati.
According to a press release, Prof Tapan Jyoti Sarma, associate professor of Chemical Engineering, Assam Engineering College, delivered the welcome speech. Ajay Kalamdhad, associate professor of the Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Guwahati, was the chief guest on the occasion, who delivered the keynote address.
In his speech, he addressed the key issues in solid waste management with reference to the Guwahati city and the North-eastern States.
Dr Kalamdhad, with his vast experience in the field of solid waste management, highlighted the importance of segregation of organic waste at source, and thus preventing it from going to the landfill sites.
�The organic waste is the main culprit behind all the foul smells, and leachate and green house gas emission from the landfill sites, which affects the groundwater and the environment,� he asserted.
In an audio visual, he touched upon the harsh reality of the solid waste management scenario in the city and the pathetic conditions of the rag pickers who are cleaning up the trash produced by the urban dwellers of Guwahati.
He sent a strong message to the urban local bodies that until and unless they restructure the solid waste handling system, dangerous days are ahead of the citizens. In his speech, he also appealed to the citizens to act responsibly in handling waste to save this beautiful city from further damage.
In the second technical session, Dr Kalamdhad elaborated on the biological treatment of organic fractions of the waste to produce compost, which can pave the way for a revolution in organic farming in the State.
There was a practical demonstration on composting, in the afternoon session, which was conducted by Dr Kalamdhad�s Research Group.
The last session of the first day of the workshop was chaired by DR Rajbangshi, retired ACS officer, who has served as an adviser to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC). He delivered his talk on solid waste collection and treatment in the city. He touched upon the core issues in solid waste handling in the city and explained the solid waste handling rules.
The final day of the workshop started with an elaborative talk by Dr Amar Jyoti Kashyap, chief functionary of ENVIRON group, Guwahati. Dr Kashyap put emphasis on practising the art of organic kitchen gardening by one�s own generated waste by showcasing his invention of waste assimilator.
He blamed the multilayered plastic used in shampoo sachets and the like which pose real challenges in recycling. His talk was followed by another interactive session led by Chandan Bhadury, retired engineer of the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA), who gave a detailed account of the proposed waste management plant in Dibrugarh district. He also discussed the policy issues related to waste management.
Partha Pratim Phukan, Director of Fresh Air Waste Management Services Private Ltd, which deals with disposal of biomedical waste (hospital waste) generated by various healthcare facilities of Kamrup (Metro), Kamrup, Nagaon and Nalbari districts, delivered the next lecture.
He gave an elaborate presentation on how to segregate various types of biomedical wastes by referring to biomedical waste handling rules, 1998.
This was followed by a talk by Dr Pradip Baishya, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, AEC, who spoke on various issues related to waste segregation. He showcased his patent on the waste segregator, a vessel of very simple design which can come very handy for segregating the dry waste and wet waste at household level.
The last lecture was delivered by the coordinator of the workshop, Dr Ujwala Hujuri, assistant professor of Chemical Engineering, AEC. Dr Hujuri spoke on zero waste philosophy, which when implemented by an individual can go a long way in waste reduction.