City generates about 450 metric tonnes of waste daily

The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), assisted by some non-government organisations and citizens’ groups, now plans to rope in the hundreds of waste-collectors in the city to encourage waste segregation at source as part of its plan to de-centralise waste management.

As per extremely conservative estimates, about 450 metric tonnes of solid municipal waste is generated in Gurgaon everyday and is dumped at Bhandwari Village on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Expressway. Also, more than 600 metric tonnes of waste from Faridabad is dumped at the same site. But the waste treatment plant at the site has been dysfunctional for over six months now and is unable to handle the growing inflow of waste.

The MCG is thus mulling promotion of waste segregation at source to ensure that most of the waste is recycled in order to reduce the burden on the lone landfill site.

“Segregation at source is the best way to tackle the growing solid municipal waste. It will help reduce the amount of waste reaching the landfill by over 90 per cent. Several cities like Mysore, Pune, Bangalore and Coimbatore have successfully implemented the same. Segregating waste will not just reduce the burden on the landfill, but can also be put to better like making manure or other products. Mindless dumping of waste pollutes the groundwater and also causes air pollution,” said Clean Gurgaon member Ruchika Sethi.

Besides Clean Gurgaon, several non-government organisations like Indian Pollution Control Association (IPCA) and Prakash Environmental Group have come forward to promote waste segregation at source and held meetings with several residents’ welfare associations to encourage it.

“Though we have received a good response, a waste-collector is the best agent to put across the message. He visits our house every morning to collect waste and if he insists on only taking segregated waste, it could certainly bring about the change in the mindset. Therefore, the need of the hour is to educate these waste-collectors about the benefits of segregation and involve them. They are the real ambassadors of change,” said IPCA secretary Ajay Garg.

Holding one such workshop for waste-collectors at Sheetla Colony here recently, the MCG Medical Officer Sumit Dhankhar revealed that the municipal corporation plans to provide waste-collectors hand gloves, hand carts and even identity cards to encourage them to actively take part in the programme.

“We are also planning to allocate them a piece of land away from their camp to sift through the waste. If they do good work, we could also set-up a bio-gas plant for them running on the wet waste,” said Dr. Dhankhar.

The MCG also plans to hold more such meetings at Nathupur and Wazirabad to involve the waste-collectors. Besides waste segregation at source, these meetings also educate them on how and what to segregate to get maximum value from waste without suffering from health-related problems.

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