Home >Politics >Policy >An exchange for Ganga waste management in the offing

Mumbai: A spot exchange to buy and sell waste that would otherwise find its way into the Ganga is in the works, thanks to a tie-up between London-based GMEX Technologies Ltd and a government think tank.

The trading platform will provide a spot market for trading waste. GMEX is a provider of multi-asset exchange trading and post-trade technology.

In a statement, GMEX said it is collaborating with the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (CGanga) to launch the biomass exchange. CGanga comes under Namami Gange, or National Mission for Clean Ganga, a flagship project of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

An agreement was signed this week at the India Water Impact Summit organized by the Clean Ganga Mission, the GMEX statement said.

“Generators of waste, irrespective of quantity, can bring their waste to collection centres and get paid on the spot based on quantity and quality. This will enable a downstream waste-processing industry which relies on consistent and reliable supply of waste," the statement said.

“The exchange is expected to start functioning on a pilot basis in select districts mostly in northern states in the first half of 2018," Hirander Misra, chairman and CEO of GMEX Group told Mint.

“In parallel, as these facilities become operational, we would start deployments in other locations over the next 18 months. We are looking at a wider national rollout in the middle of 2019," he added. 

An expert who consults with exchanges said the task won’t be easy.

“An exchange to succeed requires enough buyers and sellers, considering that waste collectors are largely scattered and unregulated. The exchange may have an uphill task in having enough participants on the platform," he said.

Manoj Mishra, an environmentalist who has spent a decade spearheading the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, a campaign to save the river Yamuna, was sceptical.

“The local waste collectors and processors are doing a far better job without government intervention. Something like this is far too complicated for waste managers," said Mishra. 

GS Bioenergy, a start-up which creates innovative solutions for waste handling, has developed a waste collection and segregation methodology for the spot exchange.

“The company will act as an enabler for waste processors like biogas generators or refuse-derived fuel (RDF) generators," said the press statement. 

“As far as buyers are concerned, we already have interest from local level, state level. We have done similar projects in Africa and think this will succeed," he added. 

Several commodity investors and traders are looking to back the biomass exchange, the statement added.

“Such an initiative needs a policy push on both the national and international level. In India, the stakeholders are realising that this project is about monetizing the waste value. We need sellers at local, district and state levels. We are pitching this as a financially viable, economic model, where the waste dealers will get price transparency for their waste collection," said Misra of GMX. 

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