Focus on treatment at source level

The city Corporation Council on Thursday ratified a government ordinance which mandates that commercial establishments including, markets, poultry stalls, abattoirs, hospitals, hotels that can seat more that 20 people, and residential apartments with more than three floors should possess source-level garbage treatment facilities.

The Council resolution accepted the amendments on the Kerala Municipality Act as per the Kerala Municipality (Second Amendment) Ordinance notified by the State government recently.

As per the Ordinance, only those establishments/institutions which had space constraints in processing waste on its premises could rely on the waste processing system set up by the Corporation after paying a processing charge. Segregation of plastic and biodegradable waste had also been made mandatory under the Ordinance.

Corporation Mayor K. Chandrika said the new amendments made to the Act will come into force when the garbage-collection mechanism of the Corporation would be back on track after the Vilappilsala solid waste treatment plant crisis was resolved.

The resolution also included new pricing for plastic carry bags introduced by the Corporation, as per the Ordinance, to discourage the use of plastic. According to this, the minimum retail price for plastic carry bags in the 41 to 50 microns range had been hiked to Rs.8. The minimum retail price for plastic bags above 71 microns will be Rs.10.

Sellers will also have to pay additional fee to the Corporation for the sale of every plastic bag. The money thus collected will be invested in the garbage disposal fund to be set up by the civic body. The new pricing will come into effect on Friday.

The Mayor also informed the Council about the new source-level waste treatment and anti-plastic campaign planned by the Corporation. Under the campaign, two lakh ring compost units would be installed in houses in the city for treating biodegradable waste. The project for setting up biogas plants in houses had been extended to all 100 wards of the Corporation under the campaign. Beneficiaries who would come forward to be part of the project would be given a total 75 per cent subsidy by the Corporation and State government.

Observation of ‘no plastic' day in wards, propagation of paper and cloth bags, organisation of anti-plastic campaign programmes and competitions, strengthening the ban on plastic below 40 microns, and propagation of message against the use of plastic through the media would be among the programmes to be conducted under the anti-plastic campaign.