Clean Green Campus Program: A Class of 1990 Initiative
The Class of 1990 has instituted two new legacy projects - Clean Green Campus Program and the IDEAS Program with the intent of creating an ongoing movement around ‘Clean and Green’ and ‘Entrepreneurship’. The objectives of the Clean Green Campus Program are - to facilitate creation of a Model Clean, Green Campus at IIT Bombay that will be the Benchmark of every other academic institute in India, and to institutionalizing a legacy project that is inspiring and sustainable for every future batch to contribute. The Clean Green Campus Program has taken up activities under four distinct areas – Clean and Beautiful Campus, Green Energy and Sustainability, Green Cover and Conservation, and Culture Change on campus.
The strategy followed to identify activities was to find gaps where IITB did not have well-identified resources - budgets, manpower, and expertise - allocated. The Class of 1990 wanted to help develop proof-of-concept, such that effectiveness could be measured and reported and that would lead to IITB mainstreaming the activity. A key initiative under the Clean Green Campus Program was the setting up of a 2-tonne Bio-Gas plant to utilize food waste from a set of hostels and to increase the green energy footprint of the campus. The plant would reduce energy costs and drive sustainability. IITB had one precedent of a poorly functioning earlier bio-gas plant and the Class of 1990 had to work twice as hard with the Dean – IPS to ensure that this plant was in the right place, had affordable setup and running costs, and had the appropriate resourcing and systems to ensure that it functioned to capacity. The site is just off H-12/13/14. It is fed food waste from five to six hostels and the energy generated is piped to the 12/13/14 kitchen, where it is replacing a third of the LPG capacity.
The Class of 1990 is grateful to the support from the Dean IPS and his team, especially the Public Health Office of IITB, to make this initiative operational. Some of the challenges we faced included, teething issues with getting the biochemical mix right, working with hostels to segregate food waste, treatment of the effluent to recover solid waste that could be used as fertiliser in the campus and finally working with mess workers to use the bio-gas feed instead of LPG.
We look forward to such bio-gas plants becoming a part of every new hostel that comes up at IITB. We now look forward to moving forward and commissioning a solar energy plant to increase the green footprint.