Ask any long time resident of Saibaba Colony, K.K. Pudur, Rathinapuri or any other locality how they suffered because of the old Kavundampalayam dump yard. They would say they constantly lived amidst smoke, odour, dogs and pigs. In short, unhygienic living conditions.
Former Mayor R. Venkatachalam, a resident of the area and also a former councillor, said that the residents always kept their doors and windows closed to avoid the smoke. Still they suffered. Constant exposure to the smoke, made a number of residents asthmatic. The residents also had irritations in the eye.
This smoke would go as far as Rathinapuri and Ganapathy.
There were also instances of children getting killed or injured while trying to look for resalable scrap among burning garbage in the yard, Mr. Venkatachalam said and added things went out of control towards the end of 1990s and early 2000.
The residents staged protest, petitioned the authorities and finally succeeded in having the dump yard shifted out in 2003.
The then Mayor T. Malaravan said that the reason for the Corporation shifting the yard also had to do with the increase in quantity of garbage dumped and the lack of space in Kavundampalayam.
The yard was spread over only 32 acres.
But when the Corporation began using the Kavundampalayam land for dumping waste, it was not so.
So effective was waste processing that farmers from Karamadai, Annur, Thondamuthur and other villages arrived at the yard to buy the manure.
Things deteriorated in the 1980s when the use of plastics began to grow into a menace and mixed waste made it impossible to process into manure or to pull out recylables.
In the face of a sustained protest by the residents, the Corporation shifted garbage dumping to Vellalore. And, with it, a host of problems invaded residential colonies around the yard.