Garbage segregation drive starts but aims overlooked

By Times Of India on 06 Jun 2017 | read

Nagpur: Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Monday launched garbage segregation drive with much fanfare to mark the World Environment Day. However, it still overlooks the main objective of disposing of wet waste at source itself. It also does not address issues like collection and disposal of e-waste, construction and demolition waste and hazardous household waste.

Mayor Nanda Jichkar along with other office bearers and officials distributed green and blue coloured dustbins to selected people in different programmes held in 10 zones to mark commencement of the drive.

Jichkar said the drive would help NMC make the city smart and swachh. "Waste will be utilized for producing compost and power. Citizens should help NMC in making the drive successful by segregating wet and dry garbage daily at their home. The citizens should also keep their wards and streets clean and ensure the same within their home," she said.

NMC distributed dustbins to around 15 people in each zone to mark the project's launch. Hundreds of people started to gather at zone offices for getting the bins. Tension prevailed at Ashi Nagar and Hanuman Nagar Zones for sometime when people started demonstration for dustbins. They even allegedly ransacked Ashi Nagar Zone office complaining they did not get the bins.

NMC health officer Pradip Dasarwar told TOI that private operator Kanak Resources Management Ltd (KRML) has been directed to collect wet and dry waste separately and transport it to Bhandewadi dumping yard. KRML has modified 25 vehicles to collect the waste separately. Process to modify 650 rickshaws and remaining 130 vehicles is on. The central government enacted Waste Management Rules as part of Swachh Bharat Mission in 2016.

As per the rules, all including residential, commercial and housing societies have to process, treat and dispose of wet waste through composting or bio-methanation within the premises. Or the civic body has to make arrangements for the same at source itself.

Around 1,100 tonnes garbage is generated from the city daily of which over 50% is wet waste. Private operator Hanjer Biotech is manufacturing compost using only 150-200 tonnes waste. NMC is planning to dump remaining waste at dumping yard till development of waste-to-energy project that will take at least two years.

Leena Budhe of NGO Centre for Sustainable Development said garbage segregation drive would not be successful unless wet and dry waste were disposed of at source. "NMC's target should be zero garbage city. Compost and bio-methane can be produced through wet waste. Dry waste should be given to ragpickers or scrap dealers at source. Only 20% of total waste is such that cannot be recycled. It will also bring down transportation cost of garbage," she said.

NMC is spending over Rs 30 crore per annum in collection and transporting garbage to Bhandewadi.

Anu Chhabrani of Swachh Association also said there was no meaning of drive unless waste was disposed of at source. "We are making use of all types of waste at our flat scheme for last over one and a half years. Production of compost from wet waste also helps reducing cost of gardening etc. It is a very simple process and just requires a few minor things. There is no need for the NMC to transport at least wet waste," she said.