Though the Chennai Corporation has taken several initiatives to create awareness of source segregation of waste, the concept does not seem to have made much headway among the households in the city.

According to the Corporation, the idea of purchasing recyclable waste through conservancy staff was implemented in 18 wards of six zones under the civic body's maintenance. The civic body plans to cover 75 more wards in a month under the scheme. Nearly 5.56 lakh green and red bins have been distributed to residents of slum tenements.

However, many households still continue to dump non-biodegradable garbage in bins. Some residents said they have stopped source segregation. They complained that though they meticulously segregate garbage, those who collect waste dump in the same colour bin in the tricycles.

N.V. Ranganayakalu, a resident of Kotturpuram, said the conservancy workers often do not pay attention to collecting assorted waste and its proper disposal. The scheme to collect recyclable garbage has been successful to some extent as the residents get paid Rs.2 per kg every fortnight.

Officials of the Corporation said the concept of assorting garbage at household level has been partially successful and only 40- 50 per cent of the residents have developed the tendency to provide segregated waste.

The concept has failed in the wards maintained by the private firm, Neel Metal Fanalca. A logical solution to better solid waste management can be achieved only after the functioning of the projects in Perungudi and Kodungaiyur, which are awaiting approval by the National Green Tribunal and Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, the officials said.

Denying that the conservancy workers mixed the different types of garbage while collection, an official said they assort, sell the recyclable waste and earn a minimum of Rs.50 daily. About 1.63 lakh kg of recyclable waste has been collected in the past 10 months.

But for a few locations in the southern suburbs, the concept of segregating garbage at home and community composting are unknown in areas in the city fringes. Garbage is segregated at source by conservancy staff in Pammal, Mudichur and one of the wards of Tambaram Municipality.

In the absence of noteworthy attempts by the government agencies or elected representatives to reach out to people about the importance of the linkages between environment protection and solid waste management, the concept would remain a distant dream, said K.Arumuga Sami, a resident of Adhi Nagar, East Tambaram.

An official of the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply said proposals to encourage people to participate in the project such as providing incentive or discount on taxes have to be experimented at the grassroots.

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