Housing societies in the city that have not yet started treating wet waste at source or set up facilities for the purpose in their premises can now prepare to face the music as the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) threatens to cut power and water supply to these residential units.The MPCB has sent notices to 76 large housing societies that have not yet established facilities to treat wet waste in their premises. From the original deadline of October 2, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) extended it to January 2, 2018 for the around 3,200 bulk generators of waste in the city. Once the deadline is passed, the civic body has stated that it will stop collecting untreated waste from the premises of these bulk generators.”We have issued notices to 76 societies for flouting the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. This list was given to us by the BMC… (in case of further default) we will submit a proposal to the Board asking for the power and water supply to be disconnected,” said Madhukar Lad, Regional Officer (Mumbai), MPCB, adding that the notices were sent in the third week of December. Lad noted that these bulk generators must establish facilities like Organic Waste Composters (OWC) for treating wet waste which aims to reduce the burden of solid waste that is dumped at the three dumping grounds in the city. He added that these societies will be given a hearing following which a period of 15 days to a month will be offered to take the necessary measures.The MPCB is in the process of sending show cause notices to more societies, many of which are in areas like Mahim, Dadar and Parel, according to MPCB officials. “These entities must segregate their waste at source and establish vermicomposting or OWC facilities to treat wet waste,” stressed Lad.Meanwhile, a senior BMC official said that the number of bulk waste generators treating their wet waste was gradually increasing. “Some have established OWCs or are doing so. Some societies have already taken permissions from their managing committees,” he explained, adding that an extension for the deadline for not lifting wet waste would be granted based on this progress. The official admitted that the 100kg average was decided on a thumb-rule basis after considering the number of size of families and average garbage generation of 450 to 500gm per head.The Mulund, Deonar and Kanjurmarg dumping grounds see around 7,300 metric tons of garbage being dumped there daily.The official said building projects of an over 20,000 square meter area needed environment clearances with a condition that all solid waste would be processed in the premises. The state had issued guidelines under which premises over 5,000 square meters are to treat their own wet waste. Though this was a condition for granting the occupation certificate, it was breached later with these spaces being used for purposes like parking, he admitted, adding that they would propose action against these violators.MATTER OF WASTEUnder the SWM Rules, 2016, all gated communities and institutions with an area of over 5,000 square meters shall segregate, process and treat waste at source. It defines bulk generators as buildings occupied by the central and state government or local body departments or undertakings, public sector undertakings, private companies, hospitals, educational institutions, hotels, commercial establishments, markets, places of worship, stadiums and sports complexes with an average daily waste generation rate exceeding 100kg.
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