Residents to get prizes for waste segregation
Starting Thursday, for a week the Perur Town Panchayat will involve the town’s residents in solid waste management by encouraging them to segregate the waste they generate. And if they do so, they will get a prize.
The top 10 residents from each of the 15 wards will get a prize. The first prize winner will get a gold coin, the second prize winner a silver coin and the third prize winner a silk sari. Those in the fourth to the tenth position, will also get attractive prizes, says Executive Officer M. Tamil Selvan, the brain behind the initiative.
The objective is to engage the residents, help them take responsibility, help them understand the solid waste management programme and their role therein and also reward them for their participation.
Along with students, the Town Panchayat’s conservancy workers and members of the self-help group, who manage the waste collected, will go around announcing the scheme to the residents by asking them to segregate the waste into degradable and non-degradable and only then hand over the same to the workers.
The students will record the pattern of waste generation, the way the town’s residents have segregated wastes in order to arrive at the winner.
Mr. Selvan says that at the end of the week, after analysing the results, the Town Panchayat administration will give away the prizes.
Welcoming the move, the residents say it will help them sustain the scheme, irrespective of whether Mr. Selvan is the Executive Officer or not.
“If the residents get involved and insist that the Town Panchayat take and process the waste in a segregated fashion, it means that the system has been institutionalised,” says K. Jayaraman, a resident.
At present, with the help of the SHG members, the Town Panchayat collects waste and has them segregated on its premises.
The degradable waste ends up as manure at an old dump yard that is more a garden now.
The non-degradable wastes are segregated into milk covers, oil covers, bottles, carry bags, white plastics, black plastics, PVCs, aluminium, copper, etc and sold to recyclers.
The money made from sales - the non-degradables and the compost - goes to the group members, says Mr. Selvan.
But the challenge remains. Resident N. Pradeep Kumar says that being a temple town that sees a good number of pilgrims, the garbage generation is as much visitors as residents.
Plus, there are number of wedding halls.
The Town Panchayat needs to at the job every day. And to do so it needs a strategy — very different from how it has engaged the residents, he adds.