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‘Call for research in waste management’

According to reports, waste management has turned out to be a major issue in India, including Kerala, mainly because of the lack of scientific study in this issue, according to power plant and energy management expert, Dr P V Aravind, assistant professor at Delft University, the Netherlands.

“I have noticed that engineering research on waste management is low here though experts say that globally waste management is a multi-billion dollar business,” he said during a national conference on System, Energy and Environment, at the Govt Engineering College in Mangattuparamba.

“In order to address the issue of waste disposal, we have to think out-of-the-box and approach it as an energy resource. We should graduate from mere waste management to resource recycling.”

The next generation power plants are being designed in such a manner that it can be used for waste disposal to generate energy, he said.

“We are working on a project based on microwave assisted plasma gasification, with the support of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, how toilet waste can be used as an energy resource and we would hold a demonstration in Delhi in the coming months,” he said. Unlike the European countries and other developed nations, we don’t have the habit of segregating waste and this is a hindrance to waste recycling, he said. “Compared to many other nations that have the same GDP as we have, India is much behind in waste management and this should change and we should develop models for our needs instead of copying the once used in developed nations because the nature of waste is different.”

While local process of waste is part of town planning in many places it is not seen here, he said, adding that decentralized waste management is the best way. But unfortunately, in places like Kerala, scientists do not get much research support in such niche areas, he said.

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