UltraTech Cement, the largest cement player in India, is supporting municipal corporations in eliminating municipal solid waste (MSW) by burning the waste in cement kilns at its manufacturing units. UltraTech has tied up with several municipalities across India to help them in destroying incinerable non-biodegradable waste in a safe and sustainable manner.
Waste disposal is a big issue in emerging countries like India where limited facilities are available for processing it. Untreated waste can cause contamination of soil, water resources, human health and the environment, if not handled properly. Disposal of municipal solid waste in landfills requires availability of large spaces of land and high cost of construction and operation. Also, co-processing eliminates the problems related to emission of greenhouse gases and liquid effluents that have a negative impact on the environment.
As a cement company, UltraTech Cement has large kilns that operate at very high temperatures, and several types of waste can be co-processed in these kilns. Co-processing is the perfect alternative to land-filling and incineration of waste, as both processes are not environmentally sustainable and are depicted as the least preferred in the waste management hierarchy.
UltraTech’s focus has always been on sustainable environmental solutions. The company is an early proponent of co-processing in India and has been developing support infrastructure since 2005. The company has been co-processing several kinds of wastes including industrial wastes, processed municipal solid wastes, and non-recyclable plastics except for a list of banned items not recommended by regulatory authorities.
Partners for a sustainable future
UltraTech Cement manufacturing units follow all regulatory norms for co-processing, and have authorizations and permissions from State Pollution Control Boards. It has a strong team of qualified professionals for waste analysis and waste handling to partner in waste management. The company has state-of-the-art laboratories equipped with advanced equipment for waste analysis.
As part of its sustainability initiatives, UltraTech has been running a dedicated municipal solid waste processing facility (owned and operated by UltraTech) at Jaipur, which was established in 2007.
Around 250 – 300 tonnes of municipal solid waste is being delivered to this facility and the processed material is used at its cement kilns.
Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are some of the states where UltraTech has partnered for safe disposal of sorted municipal solid waste. UltraTech currently has a tie-up with eight municipal corporations and is in discussion with several others. With a pan India presence through its manufacturing units, the company is now further gearing up to support other municipalities around its plants for safe disposal of waste.
Contributing to a cleaner society
The key challenge for municipal corporations is to ensure proper segregation and deliver segregated and sorted waste to UltraTech. The waste material should primarily contain non-biodegradable and incinerable wastes like plastic, paper, cloth and rubber.
UltraTech ensures pre-treatment of waste and ideal process conditions in its cement kilns to co-process in an environment friendly manner resulting in:
Municipal corporations are engaged in waste collection, segregation, transportation and disposal as per the regulatory policies. Co-processing of this waste in cement plants is a win-win situation for both the society and the cement industry. This also complements the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign launched by Government of India.