As Gurugram struggles with the problem of waste management, some housing societies here have taken it upon themselves to implement the de-centralised municipal solid waste management project in a bid to move towards zero waste.
As per records of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), as many as 13 group housing societies have set up such waste management plants in their complexes to convert wet waste into compost.
However, it has not been an easy journey for them, especially in the absence of support from the authorities.
“With media reports of open dumping and burning of waste and its effects on health, we felt the need to do our bit. Setting up the plant was not easy. It involved a financial burden and the challenge of persuading residents,” said Regency Park-II resident Priya Mehrish, the driving force behind the now successful waste management plant of a grouping housing society in DLF Phase-IV.
The governing council of the society began by distributing pamphlets among flat owners and answering questions on the need for waste segregation and types of waste. The residents were told that waste collectors would not take their garbage if it was not segregated into wet and dry. It was then made mandatory for the helpers, who are also stakeholders, to attend a brief training session. Those who did not attend were warned of losing their jobs.
“We faced minor hiccups initially, but soon everything fell into place. We ensured that no additional financial burden was put on the residents for setting up the plant,” said Ms. Mehrish.
Almost eight months after the project was initiated in February, the society, which houses around 500 flats, has cut down waste generation by up to 70 per cent. More than 300 kg of wet waste generated daily is converted into compost. The dry waste, which is around 30 to 40 per cent of the total waste, is sold to recyclers.
“The operational cost for the plant is around Rs.20,000 per month, of which a quarter is recovered by selling compost to Green Bandhu, a start-up that runs the plant. Also, the residents are given 12 kg of compost free per year,” said Estate Manager R.P. Kaushik.
Ms. Mehrish, however, lamented that there was little support from the government. “The authorities should offer incentives such as rebate in property tax, buy-back offers for compost or sharing operational cost. Even a little recognition in terms of appreciation letters helps motivate RWAs and residents.”
Around 13 housing societies have set up solid waste management plants in their complex