Downtown

Ward 173 on a zero waste mission

100 kg of organic waste is processed in three pits. Photo: Special Arrangement

100 kg of organic waste is processed in three pits. Photo: Special Arrangement  

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MRC Nagar gets additional vermi-composting pits to process waste generated from the locality

In a major move to make ward 173 of Zone 13 a ‘zero waste’ model ward, the Chennai Corporation has built five additional vermi-composting pits at MRC Nagar.

For nearly two years now, residents of the locality have been promoting source segregation by handing over waste, segregated as organic and inorganic, to conservancy workers who process it in the three pits that have been built on a vacant plot at MRC Nagar.

“Residents have been asking us for additional pits, as the waste that is generated is way above what the three pits can handle,” said a Corporation official.

Currently, 100 kg of organic waste is passed through the three pits and the processing time is around 35 days. The road to convincing residents to segregate waste at source has not been a straight and easy one.

The initiative is led by volunteers at each apartment/ street who campaign among residents to separate the waste as organic, inorganic, sanitary and electronic, for which they are paid by the kilo. “We make a lot of money by selling waste and it is used to provide bins to each household,” says Arul Priya, coordinator of the solid waste management programme of MRC Nagar.

She says nearly 1,000 houses are part of the programme. Sensitisation programmes are being conducted continually to reach out to more residents.

“Some argue why they should segregate waste when the conservancy staff themselves mix the wet and dry waste. In such a situation, we step in and tell them change could begin with them,” she says. However, making MRC Nagar a model ward in the city has been fraught with challenges. “It took more than a year for us to get sanction for five additional vermi-composting pits. Only 100 kg of organic waste is processed in the three pits while around 550 kg of waste is generated a day,” said Mohammed Dawood, director business development, Earth Recycler.

He says MRC Nagar constitutes only four per cent of the total area of ward 173. “The programme has not expanded to the entire ward,” says Dawood. Ward 173 has a diverse population and includes localities in Raja Annamalaipuram, Greenways Road, Srinivasapuram, Kesavaprumalpuram and Bishop Garden.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 7:45:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/mrc-nagar-gets-five-addtional-vermicomposting-pits/article7437997.ece

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