The thin shred line


BBMP’s plan to buy 122 tree and plastic shredders at Rs 20.60 cr leaves a lot to be desired, say solid waste management experts


The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to invest Rs 20.60 crore towards purchasing, operating and maintaining 122 small and large shredding machines for reducing the volume of tree branches, leaves and plastic waste among others. However, the civic body does not have proof to justify its investment as similar shredding machines that were purchased in the past are lying idle or defunct. Even solid waste management experts do not approve of this large scale expenditure.

As per the official documents, the BBMP has estimated Rs 14.99 crore as capital cost f or procuring these machines and setting up infrastructure while the cost of operations and maintenance for a year is estimated at Rs 5.54 crore. The BBMP has floated tenders for the project and the lowest bidder who clears the technical evaluation and has maintained a minimum of ten similar equipment for at least three years gets the contract for three years. The funds were earmarked in the Shubra Bengaluru

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programme announced in 2019.

There will be around 122 machines of different shredding capacities. Of these, 90 machines can each shred 1 tonne per day, eight shredders can each shred two tonnes per day, 16 shredders can each shred five TPD and eight shredders can each shred 10 TPD. They will be put to use for purposes such as shredding or chopping tree

branches, leaves, all kinds of plastic, trash, coconut shells, organic waste, pipes, drums, cardboards, etc.

Officials say these machines are being procured in line with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The BBMP also promises to reduce the value of solid waste by shredding or chopping, resulting in reduced transportation costs. Officials say that shredded plastic will be used for road construction and shredded organic waste will be used as direct manure.

The plastic shredders will be of help only if the BBMP comes up with the system where the shredded plastic is used for road construction or in factories to produce cement or coal. There is no point in just shredding plastic waste

– Nalini Shekar of Hasiru Dala

Sandhya Narayan, a solid waste management expert, is not happy with the purchase plan. “The BBMP had purchased at least 10 such shredders three years ago. They are either defunct or unutilized as nobody is taking the responsibility of maintaining those machines,” she said. “The shredding machines do help in reducing the cost of transporting dry leaves out of the wards,” she added.

While the BBMP has floated tenders to purchase shredders, officials have not put in place a system or identified locations where the shredded dry leaves can be converted into manure or soil.

Nalini Shekar of Hasiru Dala said about 40 per cent of the dry waste generated in the City is non-recyclable, which lands up in the cement factories or landfills. “The plastic shredders will be of help only if the BBMP comes up with the system where the shredded plastic is used for road construction or in factories for the production of cement or coal. There is no point in just shredding the plastic waste,” she said.

As the BBMP is currently in the stage of transferring all solid waste management related work and programmes to a new company, officials were not willing to comment on the project but agreed that tenders had been floated to buy the machines.



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Sagar Biswas

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