As an essential part of its Rs. 96-crore Integrated Solid Waste Management Project, the Coimbatore Corporation is trying to generate awareness among the people on the need for a clean city and the segregation of waste and storage in separate bins at home as an essential requirement towards that end.

While the health wing of the Corporation is also involved in the sensitisation exercise, the civic body has enlisted the services of the students to take the message of waste management, especially segregation of waste at source, to the community.

The Corporation is implementing segregation of waste at source (at houses where garbage is generated) in nine model wards: Nos. 3, 6, 16, 23, 24, 25, 43, 49 and 63.

Door-to-door collection as a pilot project has begun in all these wards. In all these, student volunteers of the National Service Scheme from colleges near the wards are being involved in generating awareness among the people.

The Corporation says that awareness creation is made mandatory under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Under this, the waste management and a number of infrastructure development schemes are to be implemented in the city. The Corporation has chosen Green Mother Trust as the consulting agency to create awareness among the public of the nine model wards on solid waste management.

Based on the requirements listed by the Corporation, the trust trains the student volunteers in carrying out the sensitisation programme.

Assistant City Health Officer R. Sumathi says the Corporation wants the message on segregation to reach every section of the community.

The student volunteers will not only give the message in the model wards, but will also take it home, she points out.

Project Head of Green Mother Trust T. Priscilla said her organisation had formed a participatory committee in all the nine model wards with the help of the Corporation’s Sanitary Inspectors who are the Nodal Officers of the committee.

The ward councillor is the head of the committee. It has as members, representatives from the residents’ association, the Corporation’s health wing and educational institutions in the locality.

These members have also been trained by the trust to regularly monitor the waste management system in their wards and submit reports to an apex committee.

Ms. Priscilla says the trust has trained the women Self- Help Groups in the model wards on solid waste management practices.

Training has also been given to sanitary workers and sanitary inspectors of the model wards, headmasters of all the Corporation schools and Corporation health workers. The trust uses methods such as puppet shows, street plays and songs to drive home the message of environment protection, segregation of waste at source waste minimisation.

As door-to-door education is found to be an effective method, NSS volunteers from Avinashilingham University, K.G. College of Nursing and Coimbatore Medical College will play a role in the sensitisation component of the waste management project.

Nearly 500 volunteers from these colleges are being involved, she says.

Students from the medical college fanned out across five model wards in the city on Thursday where the final phase of the door-to-door collection pilot project began.

As many as 140 students from the medical college took the message of segregation to the public, along with the NSS Co-ordinators from the college R. Arun and P. Murugesan.

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