Chennai Corporations plans to introduce specially-designed bags; move follows study by civic body

The Chennai Corporation has planned to replace garbage bins with specially-designed bags to facilitate better collection of refuse in the city.

The new system is intended to prevent ragpickers from spoiling the area around a garbage bin, according to sources in the Chennai Corporation.

A study by the civic body has found that ragpickers contribute to scattering of garbage on the roads. Most of the garbage being taken out of bins by thousands of ragpickers on a daily basis is strewn all around to facilitate easy identification of recyclable items in the garbage. The ragpickers fail to put the garbage back in the bins, thereby spoiling entire stretches on roads, the study had found.

Under the new system, generated garbage will be collected directly from homes and packed in specially-designed reusable bags by conservancy workers.

The garbage bags will be taken on tricycles to the garbage enclosures set up by the civic body. Trucks will then transport the bags to the dumping yards.

Conservancy workers will ensure reuse by cleaning the bags and using them again for garbage collection. The new system is likely to require more conservancy workers and tricycles than are there under the existing system.

A few years ago, the civic body had initiated similar alternative methods, including ‘bell conservancy.’ The system failed after a period of successful conservancy operations on some streets that were covered by dedicated workers. Bell conservancy was practised in zones that were not covered by private conservancy operators a few years ago. Segregation of garbage was successfully carried out in many areas under the system, said officials, adding that the new system would also be a stepping stone for source segregation.

Other cities such as Vijayawada have successfully shaped systems for garbage collection without placing any garbage bins on streets.

The civic body carried out the study following the recent spate of protest by residents affected by inadequate garbage clearance. The new system is likely to be tried in areas not covered by private conservancy operators.

Ramky Enviro Engineers, which has been collecting, segregating and transporting municipal solid waste in three zones since January 1, will continue to implement its own micro plan of action for conservancy operations. The seven-year contract includes management of 1,500 tonne municipal waste every day in the three zones – Adyar, Teynampet and Kodambakkam.

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