Saturday, Apr 16, 2005
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Garbage dump at Uthiramerur. Photo: A. Muralitharan
KANCHEEPURAM: The conventional method of disposing domestic waste is still in vogue in rural areas despite efforts to create awareness on the harmful effects of burning garbage.
Though burning of domestic waste is usually done by civic bodies, there seem to be a lack of interest among the public to segregate bio-degradable and non bio-degradable waste at the source itself.
At the same time, the civic bodies, especially in semi-urban and rural areas, have not shown any involvement in the exercise of segregating non bio-degradable waste such as `use and throw' plastic products and batteries.
The practice of dumping un-segregated domestic waste in open grounds and setting them on fire once or twice a week goes on. On the other hand, a `use and throw' plastic bag /sheet cutting unit run by a women self-help group (SHG) in Thamal village, near here, is facing raw material shortage problem as the main supplier of used plastic carry-bags and milk covers to them the Kancheepuram Municipality was not able to meet the requirement of the group.
On an average, the unit gets an order of about 4,000 to 5000 tonnes a month through the Block Development Office, Kancheepuram, apart from retail sales of around 100 kg to individual customers (for giving outer coating to their products) twice a week.
The SHG's efforts to import plastic waste from the municipalities, situated in nearby Vellore district, had not fructified as it involved huge outgo of funds in the form of transport charges compared to the meagre profit they used to get from the business.
The SHG members at Thamal suggest that women SHGs in villages coming under Kancheepuram, Wallajahbad and Uthiramerur Blocks, may be allowed to act as middlemen between them (the group at Thamal) and respective civic bodies for supply of raw materials to the cutting unit.
This way, the groups in rural areas might also get some income in the form of commission, they pointed out.
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