While the debate on who should manage the garbage crisis is still on between the Corporation and the State government, the city residents are struggling to find alternative ways for waste disposal.

K. Valsala, member of the cleaning staff at the State Bank of India, Palayam, has to bundle up the plastic waste that she collects from the bank premises and dispose it near a corner that once was a parking area for vehicles.

“Previously, we use to burn the waste other than plastic, but now with the heavy rain, that too is not possible. Plastic bottles could be traded with scrap dealers but the rest of the waste just gets accumulated,” she says.

Several Kudumbasree workers find the problem a struggle. But the ones who find it a daunting task are the owners of hotels and wayside eateries. Their problem is a daily one and dealing with disposal of huge amount of food waste from their kitchens.

“It has become a headache for us now. We have to transport the waste to the outskirts of the city daily. This is an additional cost. As of now, this may sound practical. But how long we can continue like this, we are not sure,” says Ajith Jose, a hotel owner from Vazhuthacaud.

A. Vinod, who owns a stall near AKG centre, feels it is time the Corporation took “some responsibility” on the issue of waste management.

“The public is paying tax and the Corporation has to do its duty. They do not even want to do a simple thing like using bleaching powder on the waste. They just want to play dirty politics,” he says.

Members of various residents’ associations in the city, who tried solving the crisis by installing pipe compost units in their houses, are facing a fresh set of problems.

“In many of the houses, the unit remains unused because there was no awareness given on how to manage the unit properly. People were put off when they saw worm-infected pipes and experienced the smell. The Corporation should have at least given adequate awareness on how to manage the units. But as usual, this was done in a hurry. It was more of a crisis management step than a long-term solution”, says an official of Federation of Residents’ Associations, Trivandrum.

R. Chandran, autorickshaw driver, feels that unless the public and the authorities come together to solve the issue, the crisis is never going to end. “Instead of blaming each other, make a collective effort to implement one project neatly,” he said.


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