Electricity generated by processing organic household waste is being used to light up the streets of Pune in Maharashtra. The city's many as 225 streetlamps have been lit up by power generated by biogas plants.
The initiative, which was taken by the local municipal corporation, has been aimed to set up five more power plants towards the end of 2011.
According to officials, biogas from organic waste can be effectively used to generate electricity.
"The Municipal Corporation started this biogas plant a year ago in the city. Every day we supply about five tonnes of organic waste to the biogas plant, from which we can generate near about 300 cubic metres of gas, and that gas can be utilized to run the genset (generators), gas engine to generate electricity. After electricity generation, electricity is utilized to light up the streetlights," said Suresh Jagta, a systems engineer.
As much as 40 percent of domestic garbage is processed every day in 12 biogas plants in the city.
Statistics reveal the city produces 1,200-1,400 metric tonnes of waste, out of which only 200-250 tonnes is organic waste. Out of that, 50 metric tonnes of organic waste is processed to generate electricity.
According to officials, the waste is collected from different sources for further treatment.
"The plant uses green waste from households, vegetable and markets, which is called wet waste. We collect it here for treatment," said Sanjay Nandre, a project developer.
The first biogas plant in the city was set up in 2009.
About 2,400 tonnes of organic waste has been processed since the project was started, and 48,000 kilowatts of power has also been generated.
India has an estimated two million biogas plants in use since 2000.