Decentralised waste and wastewater technologies

Louise Davis

Adopting technologies in solid waste and wastewater treatment will improve the quality of compost and treated effluents

Stringent government standards for effluent, a population boom, growing industrialisation in isolated locations, and excessive volumes of waste and wastewater generation have highlighted the need for sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective wastewater and solid waste treatment technologies.

Decentralised waste and wastewater treatment technologies are being considered because of their low maintenance, economic and environmental advantages, as well as ability to enable the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, relieve the stress of landfills, generate soil amendments, and preserve aquatic ecosystems.

Frost & Sullivan’s research, Decentralized Wastewater and Solid Waste Treatment Technologies, identifies the key technologies, market drivers and challenges, global and regional trends, innovators and innovations across treatment technologies that enable sustainable treatment practices, namely material recovery facilities; aerobic, anaerobic, rapid and vermicomposting systems; sequential batch reactors; upflow anaerobic sludge blanket systems; septic tanks; trickling filters; and biomethanation plants.

“Decentralised solid waste management models and technologies can be installed with the separation of organic, recyclable, and residual solid wastes at source,” said Frost & Sullivan TechVision Research Analyst Sharath Thirumalai.

“This will reduce the amount of solid waste transported to landfills by 60 percent and play a significant role in improving the quality of compost and treated effluent.”  Innovative companies active in the decentralised composting and wastewater treatment market include:

Ecoganix – An aerobic composting company currently handling about 30,000 tons of green and food waste per year through open windrow and in-vessel composting.

Ecobin – A waste management solutions provider providing segregation of waste, Bokashi custom-made anaerobic composters, and community composting that can be implemented in apartments, schools, and restaurants.

The Urbanworm – A company that specialises in supplying tiger worms that are effective in vermicomposting systems and are excellent in breaking down organic matter. The vermicasts obtained from the degradation is a superior-quality, nutrient-rich soil amendment that can enhance soil fertility and increase crop yield.

Ecoteam’s Constructed Wetland – Low-energy-intensive ecosystems designed to treat sewage, storm water, and agricultural runoff. Ecoteam specialise in the design, construction, and maintenance of wetlands.

Worms Downunder - Manufactures vermiculture and vermicomposting systems known as the Worm Habitat Junior. Worms Downunder operates extensively throughout the Australian territory and has distributors stationed in several states in Australia. The firm also manufactures a range of composting equipment named OSCA (On-Site Composting Apparatus).

“The adoption of decentralised wastewater and solid waste technologies is restrained by a lack of financial support and incentives,” noted Thirumalai. “Governments of developing countries are also not actively working with non-governmental organizations to form public-private partnerships nor educating people in rural and semi-urban areas about the importance of decentralised treatment systems.”

Recent Issues