Kitchen, toilet waste can keep your hearth burning

Alternate fuel

The antidote for cooking gas crisis is in your kitchen. Convert all kitchen waste into gas and keep your hearth burning. If your kitchen does not generate enough waste, turn to your latrine with a septic tank — a treasure trove of gas.

Driven by soaring LPG price and uncertainty of availability, hundreds of households in Kochi are opting for the bio-gas option.

A viable solution for nagging cooking gas problem and littering of the streets with garbage, the bane of Indian cities and towns.

“Since the installation of the portable bio-gas plant at my home, I am free from the tension of running out of cooking gas. I can sleep peacefully now,’’ says Rema Mathew, a housewife at Palarivattom in Kochi.

“A four-member family generates nearly four kg of household waste daily and a portable bio-gas plant which needs a space of 1.1 metres, can produce gas equivalent to 400 gms of LPG (1kg waste/100 gm gas). With 12 kg gas in a month, a small family can manage.

At least, it can run a year without depending on the non-subsidised cylinders,’’ argues Jose Joseph Moonjely,  executive director of CREDAI Clean City Movement, a Kochi-based NGO run by Kerala Chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) for waste management at the residential complexes in Kerala.
A portable four-kg plant costs Rs 25,000 and the state government will pay 70 per cent subsidy, said Moonjely.

He is more confident of the success of common bio-gas plants at residential complexes. “They can be run very effectively as there is no dearth of waste,” he contends.
“For families which are not able to generate enough household waste, the best bet is gas from the septic tank.

Here the closet of the latrine opens into the tank of the bio-gas plant and the water from the closet is collected in the latrine’s tank which can be used to water the garden or for similar other purposes after de-odouring treatment,’’ he says.
Nearly Rs 75,000-80,000 have to be shell out for a latrine-based bio-gas plant for a family of four and the Kerala Government provides 70 per cent subsidy.  

Benny, a cinematographer, vouches for the latrine-based plant’s efficiency. At his home in Kothamangalam near Kochi, he has been fully depending on the gas from the latrine-based plant for cooking for the past three years.

The NGO daily handles 52 tonnes of household waste collected from various parts of the state.

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