What do you understand by biomethanation? Examine its importance in urban waste management. (200 Words)

Biomethanation is a process by which organic material in the waste is microbiologically converted under anaerobic conditions to biogas. Its importance in urban waste management can be reaped in the following ways:-
  • The methane-rich biogas generated during organic decomposition is a source of renewable energy for electricity generation.
  • Solid residue obtained can be utilized as manure for soil replenishment.
  • Reduces land requirements for dumping of wastes in landfills.
  • Helps to address the problem of environmental pollution/global warming through less GHG emission and use of clean technology.
  • Proper segregation of waste will result in easy recycling & efficient resource management.
  • Generates employment opportunities for the local population through enlistment of services of rag-pickers under formal cooperatives.
Though biomethanation requires adequate maintenance which may add to overhead costs, it is an effective measure to overcome the abysmal state of municipal solid waste management which can be achieved through proper research, funding and political will of governments, local bodies & citizens.