- ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಿ - Krishna Shastry
- ಪ್ರಾಣಿ ಹಕ್ಕುಗಳು, ಶುದ್ಧ ಸಸ್ಯಾಹಾರ, ಪರಿಸರ, ಆರೋಗ್ಯ ಇವೆಲ್ಲವನ್ನೂ ಒಳಗೊಂಡ ವೀಗನಿಸಂ ಎಂಬ ತತ್ವದಲ್ಲಿ ನಂಬಿಕೆ ಇಟ್ಟಿರುವ ಒಬ್ಬ ಸರಳ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗ ನಾನು.
ನನ್ನ ಇತರ ಆಸಕ್ತಿಗಳೆಂದರೆ ನೀತಿಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ, ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ನೀತಿಸಂಹಿತೆಗಳು, ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ಆರೋಗ್ಯ, ಆವಿಷ್ಕಾರಗಳು, ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ, ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷೆ, ಭಾಷಾನೀತಿಗಳು ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ.
I am a simple Kannadiga following veganism, that cares about animal rights, pure vegetarianism, environment and health.
My other interest include ethics, public healthcare, public policies, innovation, science & technology, Kannada language and linguistic policies.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
These days more and more people (or at least governing bodies) are realizing that Waste Management is indeed a big issue. Unfortunately there is only a little focus on waste reduction, instead everyone is trying to see how to better manage the waste that we are creating. Of course, it is one way of looking.
In this context, we can see that many companies are starting up and various products are becoming available in the market. Its really good trend, but at the same time it is natural that some of them focus more on profit than real waste management, and these companies/people might very well twist facts, tell lies etc. to achieve their core objective i.e. money. Those who are trying to do something good for environment, those who are trying to innovate – it wouldn’t be appropriate to always look at them with suspicion, it wouldn’t be nice to spread rumors about them. Hence, I try to be as careful as possible in this regard. Here I am trying to share my review and opinion about a company called NOWASTE http://nowaste.in
Initially I heard about NOWASTE somewhere around July 2012. I learned that they have come up with a great innovative incinerator (they hate to use the word incinerator though), and that they have installed their equipment in many private hospitals in Kerala. I also got some high level feedback that the management of such hospitals are extremely happy with the results. These days private hospitals in Kerala are facing too many challenges, pollution control board is also putting unreasonable pressure on them (this is my personal view) – in this context, no wonder management of such hospitals found this to be a simple solution.
After checking their website, I felt that the effectiveness and magic in this solution is just superficial; even basic level of environment enthusiasts can clearly see that this solution is not solid. Naturally, I got concerned.
I sent them an email and asked several questions. They did reply, but not to my satisfaction. Below are more details:
1) Kindly let me know how do you compare generic incinerator and CORT equipment on various parameters?
Ans: CORT Incinerator also comes under generic category. Only difference is that IT WORKS WITHOUT ANY FUEL due to its constructional technique.
2) Could you kindly quantify least minimum CO2 emission in your equipment? What about emission of other gases?
Ans: Depends upon the waste in put.
3) What would the "Ash" contain? Could you explain it with some typical waste examples? This is very important.
Ans: Ash can be used as "manure".
4) Regarding "Waste to Ash", what kind of quantity reduction we are talking about here and eventually how to dispose the Ash off?
Ans: 100kgs reduces to max. 4-5 kgs of ashes.
5) Would you recommend your product for bio-medical waste also?
Ans: Not recommended for Bio-medical waste. However, almost 80% of the hospital waste are non-bio medical waste and can be burned without fuel if used CORT.
6) Is this product reviewed/recommended by any pro-environment organizations/specialists? Kindly share the details.
7) Is this product recognized/recommended by government pollution control boards? Please share more details.
Ans: It is an energy conserving one. It is acceptable as per rule for general category of solid waste.
This company has not highlighted the importance of recycling anywhere in their website. So, obviously it cannot be one of those companies who are really concerned about environment or green technology.
Alright, lets assume that are just trying to solve an immediate social problem by providing a new kind of incinerator with new technology, which maybe superior to existing incinerators. But they have not attached any scientific data supporting their claims. They have not obtained any quality certification, but went ahead and boldly used ‘No Pollution’ promotion tag. To say that ash can be used as manure is clearly irresponsible and unscientific answer.
Last but not least, check their answer for question number 6, they seem to have no respect or regards towards pro-environment experts and organizations.
Excerpts from personal conversation
Along with initial email reply, they had assured me that they will answer my questions at more depth in person. So, in spite of getting a not-so-positive answer, I decided to meet them personally.
Here are some highlights from the meeting (a gentleman came to meet me, I don’t want to take names here unnecessarily):
- He claimed that government pollution control board doesn’t provide any kind of certification or approval to market-ready product, because everything depends on the input waste. According to him, such checking and certification can happen only “after installation” in real-life setup. This sounded absurd to me, but we never know, government rules can sometimes be quite absurd, isn’t it?
- Another interesting remark: apparently senior officials from Kerala Pollution Control Board gave him an informal green signal to go ahead and sell the equipment throughout the state. Due to limitations of official processes and protocols, they couldn’t help the company more than that, but apparently the board acknowledged that the equipment will help in fulfilling the need of the hour.
- However, I insisted that he shows me scientific data that shows results for various kinds of input. Then he acknowledged that such analysis is not yet done and results they claim were based on visual observations only. He showed me some video that demonstrated the usage, extent of smoke coming etc. and the whole thing looked pretty naïve to me.
- He further claimed that some analysis is being planned and he will share the scientific data within a month
- He then said that the technology was developed by an individual to meet his residential needs and now being marketed at bigger level.
- When I asked about pro-environment experts and organizations, immediately he became annoyed and little bit angry; he claimed that he or his company doesn’t care about what such people/organizations say, because there are so many of them out there who are idealistic and trouble causing, with no respect towards solutions that tackle immediate needs of society in a practical way.
- He also claimed that it is not just hospitals who use their equipment. Apparently southern railway also has started using it. I was bit surprised about this – won’t government organizations have more protocols to follow before installing such a thing?
Conclusion, so far
It is quite clear that what this company manufactures is basically an incinerator. Whether it is better than other types available? Maybe, at least based on high level observations. But I am convinced that this definitely cannot be environment friendly, at least not through small scale equipment. Moreover, collective cost of everyone installing their own incinerator makes no sense at all.
But what other solution do we have really? Check the Kerala State Pollution Control Board’s website: http://www.keralapcb.org/ -> Activities -> Municipal Solid Wastes. Clearly there is lot of responsibility that is currently assigned to municipalities, and they are unable to fulfill these obligations due to various reasons. In their website, they are not even recommending any companies or products specifically, maybe they are not allowed to do so. (I am yet to personally meet pollution control board officials or any government authorities in this regard.)
Overall, in this context, incineration seems to be the only practical way out for most establishments. And further, NOWASTE might not be such a bad deal after all. Meanwhile, I hope everyone continues their efforts towards waste reduction through Refuse/Reduce/Reuse/Recycle techniques as well as effective segregation.