Thousands of devotees from the city visit St Michael’s church in Mahim to attend prayers. They carry flowers with them and leave them as offerings. The mound of flowers are thrown into trash cans and carried off to dumping grounds the next day.
Mahim church is the first in Mumbai to have a biogas plant that converts flower waste to fuel. In a year, the plant converts more than five tonnes of flower waste into around five gas cylinders worth of fuel.
The church set up a 1,000-litre/one cubic metre water tank on the terrace of the church where they store the flowers. The gas generated out of the decomposing waste is collected into a 500-litre gas tank positioned above the flower tank. The gas is eventually used as fuel in the church’s kitchen.
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The project was designed and executed by Emmanuel D’silva, an environmental scientist who is an expert in setting up biogas plants across the country.
Emmanuel D’silva stated that in a church we get 50-60 kg flowers what about temples like Siddhivinayak wherein 200 kg of flowers are offered on daily basis. If the flowers are used in converting biogas, 50 BEST buses can run regularly from the energy generated by the renewable source.