Best Practice 1
Solid waste management to achieve sustainable Zero waste Future
Solid waste Management is becoming a major global problem. This practice aims at co-composting of food/fruit/green waste, to mitigate carbon leakage. It attempts to produce biostable, organoleptic and agronomically feasible organic compost. Basic objective was to achieve de-carbonization target to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5OC, as per the Paris agreement. The concept of circular economy, restorative and regenerative system by design has contributed to a paradigm shift in the transformation of Waste-to-Energy (WtE). The practice entails to ascertain how WtE can serve as a circular economy tool toward carbon foot print benefits and climate change mitigation.
The raw material used in the present study is dry and wet waste in equal proportion (1:1). The kitchen waste from all food preparations of college campus(Canteen, Mess and Juice corner) is used as wet waste to meet the requirements of nitrogen while carbon requirement is satisfied with the use of dry garden waste(grass, leaves).The dry and wet waste for the composting is collected daily in composting pile(3x4m). The organic compost generated in 8months is used in agronomic practices to have sustainable Zero waste future. It increases yield of agronomic and floriculture crops. The practice ensures “Zero waste Campus ”, as: (i) Solid waste is managed through windrow composting and (ii) The use of Plastic waste, foils for wrapping, containers and of reusable commodities products will be discouraged. The segregation of the waste at the source and sensitization of stakeholders was a major challenge.
The paradigm of ‘waste to energy, mitigation of carbon and its sequestration is relegated to a secondary level which conversely results in India discarding 68.8 million tonne in landfills and comes third after China and US in total GHGs emission. The windrow composting plants are indigenously made, financially cheap and easy to make with reproducibility. The windrow pit of 0.2 TPD costs Rs 14,500, which has capacity to bio-convert 200 kg/day solid waste generated into organic compost. As the concept of Circular Economy is fundamentally built on the three pillars of sustainability, environment, economy and society; this practice analyses and evaluates the possible Circular Economy integration with impacts on these three aspects.
The practice monitors the physico-chemical parameters (temperature, moisture content, pH, electrical conductivity, C: N ratio) to produce stabilized compost in 110 days & 3 LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) cycles of TSC. A membrane covered windrow composting system generating micro-positive pressure was used to investigate the odor emission, microbial degradation acceleration with reduction of GHGs.
In single-stage windrow composting, 74% less CO2 gas was emitted in comparison to landfill, whereas in two-stage composting, the CO2 emission was 88% less. This carbon mitigation would eventually become tradable carbon credits with carbon conscious projects .The project prevented 346.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and generated 346 carbon credits, besides this, 564 quintals organic compost is saved annually.
The practice helped in the resolution of:
- Unscientific land filling
- Avoiding breeding grounds for mosquitoes/ casual organism of many diseases.
- Saving precious Farm yard Manure (FYM), which are used in Agriculture fields and in Biogas Plants for sustainable development
This practice provides better insight on the feasibility, applicability and reproducibility of the single stage windrow composting and two stage composting technology to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of TSC in producing bio-fertilizer and reducing landfills.
The organic compost generated increased yield of agronomic and floriculture crops. They also protect human race from bio-magnification of pesticides and weedicides in particular and meeting the parameters of Sustainable Development in the wider interest of nation.
Evidence of Success
- United Nation SDG Action Award-2020 was won in Individual category (“Environment Sustainability”) for Solid waste management (UNDP).
- 66th SKOCH AWARD :Skoch awards, instituted in 2003, is the highest honour in the county, which recognize projects and institutions that go extra mile to make India a better nation. These are competitive awards, which recognize excellence in accelerating socio-economic changes and benchmark of best practice in the fields of technology and inclusive growth. The College had the distinction to be one of the 66 Skoch order of merit-Semi-finalists in the select group of finalists like CM Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, HAL, SAIL, Ministry of Rural Development, GoI.
- Regional(47 and 48th Rose festival of Chandigarh): Rose festival, Chandigarh is the biggest rose show held in UT and evaluates organizational efforts towards sustaining diversity and heterogeneity and spreading awareness about the need to preserve nature. The College won Best Maintained Campus Award in 47th ,48th and 50th Rose Festival ,using the organic compost produced through windrow composting using the college generated solid waste.
Problems Encountered and Resources Required
- Solid waste auditing: The first and foremost is the solid waste auditing, which plays an important role in devising the composting strategy i.e Layout designing , sizing and capacity.
- Segregation: The segregation at source presented a major challenge, as composite culture from various sources is dumped in landfills which results in Greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission and hampers the composting process. This needed manual segregation of the waste before putting into compost pits.
- Misconceptions: The major obstacle regarding composting was the misconception that this practice generates foul odour and attracts flies and maggots.
- Maintenance: Due to financial constraint the institution had to resort to manual turning on every 6th and 11th day.
- Standardizing the Compost: Another challenge was the standardizing the compost monitoring the physico-chemical parameters (Temperature, pH, Moisture content, Electrical conductivity and C/N ratio) to make compost feasible to floriculture and Landscaping operations
The practice was extended and replicated at-
- Judicial Academy,Sector-43 ,Chandigarh generated 30kg Solid waste per day for which windrow plant of 0.2 TPD (Tones per Day) has been installed.
- In Post Graduate Government College, Sector-1, Panchkula, a plant of 0.4 TPD (80kg/day) was installed in college campus.
Best Practice 2
ICT was initiated in tune with the objectives of Good governance and updated periodically as per the advancements in technology and needs of the institution with the following objectives;-
- To make the institutional governance efficient and effective.
- To streamline and systematize the admission and examination process
- To make the study material and other relevant information accessible to the students anytime anywhere
- To ensure effective management of physical and digital resources of library
- To ensure transparency and accountability in administrative matters and financial transactions
- To make the Human Resource Management precise and easily accessible
Owing to the growing popularity of the institution and strength of the students, the admission, examination and general administration process was becoming file-ridden tedious and cumbersome. Up gradation of academic resources and library management was the need of the hour. Information dissemination became complex and time consuming, and financial transactions necessitated higher transparency and accountability as per the requirement of administrative reforms. Management of Personnel records and its accessibility was a herculean task which needed automation.
Being a government institution and adhering to the governmental provisions eGovernance were initiated in new millennium and is being upgraded subsequently till date. This upgradation was operationalized in a phased manner, each phase posing its own specific bottlenecks. The institution faced issues related to ICT, necessary infrastructure, financial resources, training of personnel and sharing the reforms with the students. This gradual transition has proved fruitful for all the stake holders.
E-governance has been facilitated in the following areas of operation.
- Website: It serves as an interface between the college and the stake holders including general public. The information regarding Infrastructure/additional facilities, Library, Faculty, Courses Offered, admission, Examination, study material, Events/Activities, Notices/Instructions, downloadable formats, relevant resources and useful links have been consolidated on one platform gcg11.ac.in.
- WiFi enabled campus: Wi-Fi facility is available on campus with a lease line of 100MBPS. There is a state-of-the-art IT network in laboratories and 42 smart classrooms. The college has subscribed to Google Suite (educational) and many other tools.
- Admission: All admission related processes are online. Prospectus is available online, students login and fill the form, and pay the fee online once they qualify the merit requirements. During pandemic, the admission process was completely online and contact-less.
- Course Content in Digital Format: The relevant course content is available in the form of e-content in PDF format on the website for the students.
- Examination: The marks of Mid-semester examinations are uploaded on the DHE Portal for the students. The students can fill the examination forms/view the date sheets/ instructions/ results of semester exams online. The examination process was totally online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Library: The fully automated Library carries out contactless issuance/return of books facilitated by RFID. It is equipped with LIBSYS Software, free internet facility, INFLIBNIT, Web-OPAC to check the availability of books online and institutional membership of the National Digital Library of India (NDLI). Library Blog gives access to open resources via online links.
- Administration: Office administration is fully computerized and maintenance of all records of students, infrastructure, teaching and non-teaching faculty is done online.
- Financial Management: All the Financial transactions like salary, fee and other bills, IT/GST returns are managed and filed online. The procurement is carried through the GeM portal.
- Human Resource Management: Employees can login to the eHRMS portal with assigned codes and file their APAR and accept reported appraisals online. Annual property return is also filed online.
- Distribution of Laptops to the faculty: Majority of faculty members have been issued Laptops for carrying out academic and administrative tasks.
- Safety and Security: CCTV have been installed on the campus for ensuring safety and security of life and property.
Evidence of Success
The practice aimed at ensuring transparency, accountability, ease of doing work, increasing efficiency and effectiveness and overall streamlining of college functioning.
The visitors counter on the College website displays that it is accessed by large number of interested persons for information.
IT facilities have made Teaching-learning process more resourceful and interactive. The Laptops issued to the faculty ensured higher commitment/ greater efficiency in their academic and administrative works. During Pandemic online teaching was conducted successfully.
Admission process is Transparent and economic as students from faraway places can apply, view the merit list and pay the fee online without visiting the institution.
Presentations/lectures hosted on college eContent Portal has served as a repository as the students can browse and download the course content.
Examination process has become student friendly due to easy accessibility.
Library processes have become smooth and secure.
Maintenance of records has been simplified and well preserved. Transparency and accountability has been strengthened in Financial Transactions.
Personal activities related to government dealing have become easier and reliable. The employees can view the progress of their appraisal process.
The e-surveillance in the college campus has assured the safety and security of students and of college property.
Problems encountered and Resources Required
Shift from conventional mode to e-mode of functioning required skill enhancement of faculty for content generation, structuring and dissemination through an appropriate medium.
Accuracy and precision required in dealing with new portals/software related to Human Resource and Financial Management was a challenge for the concerned personnel. Training was also needed for Library staff and administrative/technical personnel for up gradation of their ICT proficiency.
Digital mode of operations requires a whole set of latest and upgraded electronic infrastructure in terms of equipment/gadgets, hardware and software. Ours being a government institution, up gradation of e-infrastructure and related equipment required necessary sanctions and permissions for funding.
Students, backbone of the institution needed to be sensitized about the ongoing restructuring and made aware about its optimum utilization. They too faced problems due to the vast digital divide in the country and took time to learn and gradually got used to the new e-processes.
Sustainable Development and Zero-waste Future
Ever since its inception in 1956, Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11,Chandigarh has established incredible traditions and legacies by shaping young, impressionable minds, and nurturing them as discerning individuals and empowered nation builders. The tree of our guiding principle, “Courage to Know”, now has deep roots, producing fruits of excellent quality. Living upto the guiding force of the “TREE”, the college has taken all possible steps and initiated all measures aimed at environmental conservation, ecological preservation and sustainable development.
Our record of our overall brilliance is reflected from the assessments and acknowledgements by various authorities – selection under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan by the MHRD, Govt. of India; provisions of grants under DST-FIST; award of Four Star Status (2021) to the Institution Innovation Council; selection by Department of Industries, Chandigarh Administration to conduct Entrepreneurship Development Programmes; Best NSS Unit Award by Panjab University; Best Environment Society Award by the Chandigarh Administration; “Eat Right Campus” certification by FSSAI with Bain-marie, simplest technique where food being heated with hot water to preserve nutrients during reheating, our impeccability has found approvals from local, regional, national and international agencies.
Taking a note of the deteriorating condition of the environment, Government of India is a signatory to many international agreements/declarations/conventions. Our college has been exhibiting sincere commitment to contribute in this direction for the contemporary mankind and for the coming generations as well. Following are the mechanisms that were initiated and have been successfully operationalized subsequently:
- Floristic composition of the campus has more than 88 species with 4,235 trees and shrubs with tree basal cover of 55%, prominent varieties being Banyan (Ficus benghalensis), Gulabi Kachnar (Bauhnia purpurea), Harshingar (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis), Maulsiri (Mimusops elengi), Palash(Butea monosperma), Pilkhan (Ficus infectoria), Silver Oak (Grevillea robusta) and Sitaphal (Annona squamosa). The college also boasts of eight green lawns.
- The demarcated unused land is used for plantation, and mini-forests are created on the campus.
- The total greenery area and Environment services including Rain-water harvesting, Vermi-composting and Windrow composting and Bio-reactor is 52.85%. The fresh water availability is 3,84,600 litres which is twice the availability (189440liters).
- The college is doing Vermi-composting in four beds (10x3x2ft) with output of 2200 kg/annum.
- Under dynamic modelling of converting a conventional energy building to Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) through integration and adoption of new strategies to minimize carbon foot print benefit, a step forward to fight climate change, the college has analysed three aspects to maximize on site renewable energy to reach the net zero energy target. The three aspects are: (i) Solid Waste Management (ii) Solar Grid System (iii) Rainwater Harvesting.
- We have highlighted the mechanism of source waste segregation, adopt schemes for successful co-composting of food, fruit and green waste in 64m2 Windrow composting plant, to mitigate carbon leakage in the campus micro-climate, hence improving building resilience, to achieve de-carbonisation target to limit the campus temperature rise, to meet the goals of the Paris agreement to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change.
- The concept of circular economy, restorative and regenerative system by design has contributed to a paradigm shift in the transformation of Waste-to-Energy (WtE) by management of municipal solid waste. It entails ascertaining how WtE can serve as a circular economy tool toward carbon foot print benefits and climate change mitigation.
- After solid waste auditing, the wet waste is composited and the organic compost is used in floriculture and landscaping operations. The institute has become organic and successful in achieving carbon footprint benefits.
- In order to improve building resilience, the ‘No Plastic Day’ is celebrated on every Saturday in the institution. We organized a rally in which fifty thousand stakeholders (students, faculty, gardeners, workers) participated and administered oath on July 3, 2021, International Plastic Day. Various competitions (Poster making. slogan and essay writing) were organized to achieve community outreach.
- A 495 KV Solar roof top system was installed on college campus, reducing the electricity usage by 55%, saving 42 metric ton of carbon dioxide. The grid interactive SPV power plant is with 2 battery banks of capacity 120V.
- Solar photovoltaic street lights are also installed in the campus.
- Rainwater harvesting area of 21666.5 Sq.ft generated 140050.6 litres of water recharged to water table through 22 trap units.
- The college has hygienically-maintained toilets with Vendigo-vending machine for sanitary napkins, and incinerators for safe and sustainable disposal of sanitary napkins.
- The college has adopted five villages under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan.
Our initiatives on Environment Sustainability have been recognised nationally and globally which is reflected through the following accolades won by the institution:
- 26th International Congress of IFHE-International Award 2020 in Italy
- United Nations SDG Action Award 2020
- Finalist in UN Green Gown International Awards 2022.
- Innovative Environment Project by CII; 2021 (8th edition) of National Awards
- Green Champion Award–Swachhta Action Plan- Exemplary Performance Award-2020-2021 by MGNCRE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Government of India for contribution to Swachhta aspects and practice.
- Recognized as ‘Best Covid Campaign Institution’ in ‘Each one Reach one mission’ by MGNCRE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Government of India
- Best Maintained Campus in 47th, 48th and 50th Rose Festival in Section H (Category H3) since 2018 till the present 2022. It is noteworthy that the flowers in the all competitions are raised through waste generated compost, justifying ‘Best of Waste scenario’.
- Recently, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation conducted Swachh Ward Survey on the basis of indicators such a waste segregation, adoption of composting, principles for sustainable zero waste micro-climate. Our college was adjudged Rank 1 with highest Score (95.5%) in all categories of 35 wards of Chandigarh.
The college will continue to practice this dedication towards sustainable development in all its future endeavours.