The growth of the city and the garbage it generates seems to have exceeded all expectations.

Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj has said that in 2003, under the Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environment Management Project (KUDCEMP), a plan was drawn up to upgrade the city’s solid waste management capability to 120 tonnes a day by 2020.

“But, already the city produces over 200 tonnes of solid waste a day. By the time the KUDCEMP project achieves its target of managing 120 tonnes of solid waste, the quantity of waste generated in the city will be several times our management capability,” he said.

Main problem

Speaking at the inauguration of a two-day workshop here on Tuesday, Mr. Ponnuraj said that the problem of solid waste management should be tackled at the source. A major problem was that households and commercial establishments did not sort their waste before dumping it, he said.

“A mechanism is needed where households and other establishments can be made to segregate their waste into biodegradable and non-biodegradable material,” he said.

Recommending the involvement of pourakarmikas and non-governmental organisations in planning waste management, he said, “We need a proper system for transporting waste from the source to the main garbage dumping yard. The present system should be done away with.” He said there was a problem with the way waste was transported from Moodbidri, Mulky and even Sullia to the Pacchanady dumping yard. “The garbage generated in these places should be managed locally. There were problems with identifying land for these local collection centres. But we are hopeful of sorting them out soon,” he said.

V. Jagannath, chair of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation, said that in India 1,20,000 tonnes of solid waste was generated every day, even as huge sums of money were spent on its management. (Town municipalities spend Rs. 431, city corporations Rs. 950 and metropolises Rs. 1,500 on managing one tonne of waste)

However, in Pune (Maharashtra), the city corporation was earning about Rs. 14 crore a year from waste management. “Over 7,000 personnel are involved in converting biodegradable waste into manure. Non-biodegradable waste is recycled,” he said.

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