If they continue non-compliance, action will be initiated

The Coimbatore Corporation has come to believe that encouraging, cajoling and pushing the city’s residents into segregating waste into wet and dry wastes alone are not going to help. For, the result is not at the expected level in that the residents continue to mix the waste and dump the same in the conservancy worker’s pushcart, roadside bin or in the open.

It has decided to wield the stick by warning residents by pasting stickers on their doors, said Commissioner G. Latha. “For long the civic body has dangled the carrot; it’s now time to wield the stick.”

She was addressing representatives of municipal corporations from South Asia at ‘Shunya — Towards Zero Waste in South Asia’ conference in the city on Tuesday.

The sticker says, in Tamil: Despite the Coimbatore Corporation’s suggestion, you for long have not segregated the waste generated into wet waste and dry waste — something that the conservancy worker in your area has reported. From now on, if you do not segregate the waste, the civic body will not collect the same.

The Corporation would not stop with merely warning the residents but also initiating follow-up action, if they continue the non-compliance, the Commissioner said and added that the civic body expected the cooperation of all residents in managing solid waste — an effort into which it was investing time, money and human resource.

As part of the ‘stick wielding’ policy, the Corporation had recently increased the ‘fine’ for manufacturers, wholesale dealers, retailers and users of plastics less than 40 microns.

Though this had angered the manufacturers and traders, the civic body was committed to implementing the plan by slapping Rs. 1 lakh on manufacturers, Rs. 50,000 on wholesale dealers, Rs. 25,000 on retailers and Rs. 200 on users.

The Corporation had also raided warehouses and seized 978 kg plastics.

Ms. Latha said that the Corporation had also collected 25,116 kg plastics from October 2013 to January 2014 in Ward 23, since the launch of the Shunya zero waste management project.

The collection of plastics meant that they did not reach the garbage yard in Vellalore, that they did not mix with the wet waste that could be processed into manure and that the Corporation did not spend on vehicles and fuel to carry those plastics to the yard.

It now proposed to extend the zero waste management scheme to other wards, she added.

At the meeting, the Mayor S.M. Velusamy, representatives of ICLEI, the non-government organisation that organised the meeting, and others participated. Conservancy workers also shared their experience.

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