Two new faecal sludge treatment plants in Tamil Nadu are in operation!

Two faecal sludge treatment plants (FSTPs) have been constructed under the programme for the purpose of co-compost production; the first one is at Ketti Resource Recovery Park and the second one, recently commenced, is at Addigaratty Resource Recovery Park. The treatment plants consist of vertical and horizontal constructed wetlands. The main rationale of selecting these technologies is its simplicity, the effectiveness of natural treatment and low operational and maintenance cost. The inputs to the treatment plants are faecal sludge from households collected by private ‘honey sucker’ operators. In addition, the organic solid waste inputs come from market and kitchen food waste. The estimated production capacity of co-compost at Addigaratty Resource Recovery Park is 260 tonnes/year, while it is 100 tonnes/year at Ketti Resource Recovery Park.

Both Parks are Government-owned waste management sites. The sites are operated by women workers from women Self-Help Groups hired by the Government. The women workers are trained to undertake co-composting activities in a more efficient and safe manner. The end-goal is to organise these women workers into a Women Cooperative so that they can increase their income and run the co-compost business operation independently while in cooperation with the local government.

Composting activity (without faecal sludge) was already existing before the programme intervention. Under the SWFF-FINISH programme, we add faecal sludge into the equation for production of co-compost, build capacity of women workers to operate the sites more efficiently, increase the quantity and quality of product with regular testing and explore business models for the sustainability of the site. The co-compost produced from the sites are sold to Women Farmers Producer Companies and Women Farmers Groups organised by RDO Trust. And the crops grown by the farmers under the programme are procured by an agri-marketing company named LEAF in which advance purchase order has been agreed upon to establish direct market linkage for the farmers.

Securing Water For Food (SWFF) is a programme to promote science and technology solutions that enable the production of more food with less water and/or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution. Financial Inclusion for Sanitation and Health (FINISH) is a programme supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands that aims for the scaling of sanitation services across India, Kenya and beyond. The programme has achieved construction and use of 730,000 sanitation systems in India and Kenya (and has leveraged € 120 million of local financing).

Want to know more about this circular economy initiative? Contact for more information.

[1] The joint programme is named ‘Circular economy with blackwater recycling for co-compost production and greywater recycling for irrigation for cultivation of exotic vegetables by women farmers in the Nilgiris District, India’. Want to know more? Contact or explore the SWFF website for more details.