Mumbai B-School recycles 100pc student housing and canteen waste to manure

7 Mar, 2022 12:48 IST|L Manisha

As of January 2022, Mumbai’s Universal Business School- the first management college to release its own ESG report- has taken its commitment  towards a circular economy a step further by recycling campus waste to become black gold; thereby providing compost to keep growing more trees. Currently the business school is recycling 100% of food waste.

Universal Business school Mumbai was launched as India’s first green B-school. It is in their DNA to keep looking for sustainable practices which make them ‘Walk the Talk’, so that students imbibe the culture of protecting the planet.

Their latest initiative called Wellbeing out of Waste (WOW)- mentioned in their 2021 ESG report- features a holistic solid waste management program. 

Chairman of Universal Business School, Mr Tarun Anand says, “WOW is a UBS flagship initiative, focusing on providing an end-to-end sustainable and scalable solution. Our recycling plant became operational in January 2022. All students and faculty on campus (550 students and 30 faculty members) segregate the waste at source.The idea is to seed this thinking in the students DNA, so that they can actively participate in wet waste segregation and take this as a lifelong practice.”

Mr Anand further adds that the initiative has already enabled significant reduction in wet and organic waste generated on campus through the cafeteria by converting it into black gold. "The entire process is economical and saves the environment. It ensures a high grade manure for growing vegetables, plants and trees on campus. The additional income generated through selling the rich compost, pays for the investment in the long run. This is our contribution to the circular economy."

How does it work? 

The steps are as follows-

  1. Wet waste from student apartments is segregated by using different coloured dustbins along with the kitchen waste from the Cafeteria. This includes leftover food, meat, fish and poultry, vegetable and Fruit peels, leaves and gardening waste, egg shells and bakery items.
  2. This is then transported to the Recycling plant, where there is a recycling machine. There are sieves to ensure that no plastic or solid waste goes into the machine
  3. The machine first shreds all the waste.  Its current capacity is 500 kg of waste.
  4. The shredded waste is moved to the conversion chamber under extreme heat to decompose the material, remove any water and dry the waste after the process. 
  5. When organic waste is fed into the converter, the increase in the moisture levels are detected by the sensors, which triggers the heating systems. As the temperature rises it activates the bacteria which breaks down organic waste into fertile compost. Simultaneously the water in the waste is converted into water vapour which is vented through a blower into a drain. This results in converting organic (food) waste into 70% - 80% mature compost. The constant temperature and air flow prevents odor and pest problems.  
  6. Within 48 hours dry odourless manure is created.    

In addition to the benefits of the manure, the composting process reduces landfill waste and incineration, and therefore carbon emissions. It also saves garbage removal and transportation costs to landfills, which further reduces the carbon footprint. The composting leads to soil enrichment and saves critical water resources and cultivates healthier plants. 

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