Staff Reporter

Drive to promote source-level segregation

Aim is to reduce volume of

plastic waste

Rs.3 lakh set aside for awareness drive

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city Corporation will launch a campaign to create awareness and emphasise on source-level segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, as part of an initiative to reduce the volume of plastic waste being transported to the Vilappilsala garbage treatment plant.

Corporation Health standing committee chairman G.R. Anil said the civic body was planning to launch the campaign by January 2010.

“We are yet to formulate a detailed programme. It is basically intended to make segregation of garbage at source level compulsory in order to reduce the volume of plastic transported to Vilappilsala and also recycle the reusable plastic waste at different units in the city,” he said.

Clean City programme

Source-level segregation was a major feature of the ongoing Capital City Clean City integrated solid waste management system launched by the Corporation in 2006. The Corporation had provided two buckets, green and white, to every household to collect biodegradable and plastic waste separately.

However, garbage segregation is now not being practised strictly in many households. The onus of segregating the garbage has fallen on the Kudumbasree Clean Well unit volunteers, the primary garbage collectors of the project, who have to sort the garbage and separate it manually.

Clean Well unit representatives have been raising the issue with the Corporation officials for a long time.

They also complained that in most households, the free buckets provided by the Corporation were being used to grow plants and for other purposes.

Health hazard

“As of now, we are insisting only on segregation of waste at the lorry level entry point when Clean Well volunteers unload the waste into Corporation garbage vans.

“However, this is a cumbersome process for the volunteers and also poses health issues. Besides, the entire project itself was meant to lay thrust on segregation of garbage at source level. That is why we decided to launch such a campaign,” said Corporation health officer D. Sreekumar.

Awareness drive

The Corporation has envisaged a direct door-to-door awareness campaign involving Kudumbasree sanitation workers, residents’ associations and Corporation officials.

The campaign will also include distribution of pamphlets and use of other media to send across the message of the need and importance of source-level segregation of garbage.

“We have to work out the final modalities. Campaigning will mostly be through direct interaction. We will form groups in specific residential areas to report on whether all the houses in that area segregated garbage at source level,” Mr. Sreekumar said. He added that an amount of Rs 3 lakh has been set apart for the campaign.

Meanwhile, the Corporation has already initiated a scheme to install bailing machines at select health offices in the city to segregate and bail plastic wastes.

The shredded plastic will again be segregated depending upon their microns. The Corporation plans to sell the shredded re-usable plastic to plastic products’ manufacturing units.