Shortage of staff affects door-to-door collection, say officials

The practice of burning garbage in the open air has once again surfaced in Erode town, causing irreversible damage to the environment and leading to serious health hazards.

Sanitary workers and miscreants stayed away from burning of garbage for the last few months after the Erode Corporation streamlined the garbage collection to some extent. But the workers once again started burning the garbage at several parts of the town as the process of waste collection turned poor.

As heaps of garbage remain uncollected on the streets, workers follow the simple way of eliminating the waste by burning it on the street.

“In Ashokapuram, the garbage bins overflow as the collection vehicles do not turn up regularly. So the workers burn the garbage on the streets. On Tuesday, a thick cloud of smoke emanating from burning garbage covered our area,” S. Venkatesh, a resident says. The air pollution caused by the practice poses serious health hazards. Frequent exposure to such polluted environment may even result in severe asthma and other serious problems, doctors here say.

“The town has already faces serious environmental issues because of the presence of tannery and textile processing units, which release huge amount of untreated, toxic effluents in the water sources. Now, the failure of the civic body to ensure proper garbage collection pollutes the air,” said R. Radhakrishnan, another resident. People urged the civic administration to implement door-to-door collection of garbage in all the parts in the town and prevent its workers from burning the waste.

Civic officials said they were facing problems in garbage collection because of shortage of sanitary staff.

“We have already written to the government for the recruitment of more sanitary workers. Once we recruit adequate number of workers, we can ensure proper garbage collection,” a senior official said.

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