Downtown

When Chitlapakkam showed the way to responsible management of waste

Residents have been requested not to throw trash on the road, drains, vacant lands and waterbodies. Photo: G. Krishnaswamy  

The Chitlapakkam Selection Grade Town Panchayat has been segregating garbage and converting it into manure from 2007. 

It has been carrying this out at the Panchayat’s Resource Recovery Centre, located adjacent to the Panchayat office.  

R. Chandra Kumar, executive officer, Chitlapakkam Selection Grade Town Panchayat, said, “The residents cooperate with the conservancy staff in segregating garbage. Over eight tonnes of garbage are segregated every day.” The objective is to make the areas, falling under the jurisdiction of the Panchayat, clean and green and reduce the level of garbage being dumped on Second Main Road, Chitlapakkam.

“Apart from residents, traders, marriage hall owners, women self-help groups, non-governmental organisations and residents welfare associations, participate in this initiative,” he pointed out.

For garbage segregation, stakeholders are given green colour plastic packets for bio-degradable waste (vegetable wastes, garden trash, leftovers of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food); white colour bags for non-biodegradable waste (paper, plastic cover, broken glasses, iron and aluminium products, napkins, bottles, and slippers). Vermicompost produced at the centre is sold for Rs.10 per kg and the bio-compost for Rs. 3 per kg.

“The Panchayat also imposes a penalty on those who sell or use plastic material less than 40 microns of size as prescribed by the government,” Kumar pointed out.

“Anyone using plastic below 40 micros incurs a minimum fine of Rs.100. The objective of this punitive action is to make people realise that it is not legally permitted to use such items,” he added.  

Residents have been requested not to throw trash on the road, drains, vacant lands, waterbodies and burn the garbage. They have also been asked to inform the Panchayat in case of the death of any pet animal.   

Model Roof Garden

The Panchayat has also set up a model roof garden consisting of 200 flowering and herbal plants in pots, paint cans and nursery pots. The herbal plant Adathoda helps treat chronic bronchitis and asthma; and Mudakattran, knee pain.

“We (panchayat) also help people grow their own organic vegetables and fruits using garden wastes and kitchen compost. The practice can reduce garbage at home and going to land-fills.”

“Cultivating a garden is not difficult, one needs interest, that is all. The garden should be maintained, swept, and watered daily. Space is not a constraint for a garden. People can grow plants on thermocol boxes and plastic bottles,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 11:21:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/when-chitlapakkam-showed-the-way-to-responsible-management-of-waste/article7800249.ece

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