Corporation’s proposal to operate MCCs risks repetition of mistake

The micro compost centre in Kavundampalayam that the Coimbatore Corporation constructed to management waste locally.

The micro compost centre in Kavundampalayam that the Coimbatore Corporation constructed to management waste locally.  

Failure to deliver segregated waste to MCCs might impede the project

In a few months from now, the Coimbatore Corporation could be repeating the mistake it committed in engaging with the waste management contract company that manages waste in Vellalore.

The civic body has engaged Coimbatore Integrated Waste Management Co. Pvt. Ltd. to process 450 – 500 tonnes waste a day. The Corporation collects and delivers the waste to the company in Vellalore.

The agreement between the company and Corporation is that the latter has to deliver segregated waste – wet, organic waste and dry, recyclable waste. But the Corporation has failed to do so, resulting in the two trading allegations. They are engaged in legal battles as well.

Now, the Corporation could face a similar situation if it did not get it right on how to operate and maintain the 69 micro compost centres (MCCs), aimed at processing 300 to 400 tonnes waste a day.

The Corporation is building the 69 centres to decentralise waste collection and management. Of the 69, it had issued orders to start work at 35 places and of the 35, it had completed 12 MCCs.

To maintain and operate the MCCs, the Corporation had planned to engage contractors, who would receive the wet waste the Corporation delivered, process it into compost. The Corporation would provide the infrastructure, bear recurring expenses towards power and pay a fee to the contractor, just as it paid contractors who maintained street lights or parks, said an officer familiar with the development.

If the Corporation were to adopt such a model, it would be decentralising not just waste management but also the problem it faced with the Vellalore contractor and could be opening 69 new battle fronts, said solid waste management experts.

For, the complaint from the contractors of the 69 MCCs would very well be the same that the Corporation was not handing over waste in segregated fashion. This, in short, would be Corporation repeating its mistake committed in Vellalore, the experts pointed out.

They suggested that the Corporation widen the contractors’ role by tasking them with collecting waste in segregated fashion from areas assigned to the MCCs so that the Corporation could hold them accountable.

The officer said such an approach had its own set of problem as the contractors cannot enforce the residents in their service areas to segregate waste just as effectively as the Corporation workers did.

Besides, there was also the possibility that the contractors could blame the residents for non-cooperation to hide their inefficiency.

With the Coimbatore orporation contemplating different approaches to manage the MCCs, the next couple of months would be crucial for the city as what was at stake was not just the ₹ 7 crore investments made in the MCCs but 300 – 400 tonnes waste generated a day in the city, the experts added.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:14:42 AM |

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