On Monday, 12 students from De Montfort University, in Leicester, U.K. landed in Coimbatore on a 11-day visit. They are here to visit villages, study waste management practices, and introduce new processes for better waste management.
“But, in four days we have learnt how a small village (Kurudampalayam) could take waste segregation to a different level,” says Tanvir Allidina. She and her friends were awe struck when they came to know that the village segregated organic wastes into 21 categories and recycled it accordingly.
The students were from various streams – mechatronics, mechanical engineering, business administration, etc - and are members of International Development Engineers club in the university. They are here as part of an initiative by Siruthuli to implement best solid waste management practices at Kalampalayam village.
They took part in waste collection and segregation from the houses in Kurudampalayam, and learnt how organic waste is recycled as cattle feed and manure. They have also visited Kalampalayam and the Vellalore dump yard.
On Thursday they visited a micro-house level compost unit and terrace garden of terrace garden expert Chitra Krishnasamy in the city. There, they learnt the art of optimum use of wastes generated from home by converting it into manure.
Having learnt a lot, the students pointed out how garbage dumping and collection is different in Coimbatore from the U.K. “We are taught waste segregation at home and school at a very young age. We had separate bins for different types of wastes at school. We practise it now in public places where we have separate bins, which facilitates segregation at source,” says Jibil Mathew John.
“Garbage will not be collected from our houses if it is not segregated. Even fines are imposed on those who fail to segregate waste at home,” he adds. This in turn helps keeping the city clean.
Laura Rydlewicz suggested pictorial representations on the bins so that they villagers can identify what type of waste should go into each bin and what should be segregated.
“They also need awareness, as many villagers even at Kurudampalayam did not know what was done with the segregated wastes. Making them know that will make the project successful,” she said.
“Siruthuli took up a solid waste management initiative at Kalampalayam, located on the banks of the Noyyal, where villagers dumped wastes and sewage into the river. While we have started with waste segregation, we will soon establish a micro sewage treatment plant there. Students from De Montfort have come to help us with these initiatives,” Sangeetha Suresh, an apex member of Siruthuli said.