Burning of solid waste, a cause of concern

February 08, 2021 06:52 pm | Updated 06:52 pm IST - Tiruchi

Waste being burnt on Reynolds Road in Tiruchi

Waste being burnt on Reynolds Road in Tiruchi

Indiscriminate and unmindful burning of garbage, mainly plastic bags, on streets has caused concern among the city residents.

Instances of burning garbage have gone up in recent weeks. It has become a common sight to see garbage accumulated on streets being burnt in the mornings. What is causing concern among the residents is the burning of plastic bottles, carry bags and other hazardous waste mixed with other garbage. In most cases, it is alleged that conservancy workers set fire to the garbage so as to clean up the garbage mounds on street corners.

In some places, local residents, unable to bear the stench from uncleared garbage mounds, set fire to it without realising the danger of burning plastics. Depending upon the size of garbage it takes at least two hours for the fire to die down.

It is a regular phenomenon to see solid waste being burnt on Reynolds Road, V.O.C. Road, Heber Road and Periya Milaguparai. Often, the dark fumes pose difficulties for residents living nearby.

“We encounter the burning of solid waste almost on a daily basis. It troubles the elders, patients, children and morning walkers,” says James, an apartment dweller on V.O.C Road in Cantonment.

“Though the issue has been brought to the notice of the Tiruchi Corporation on many occasions, burning of waste on street continues”, he adds.

Health experts view that incineration of plastic waste poses a great threat to humans and animals. They say plastic waste on being burnt releases toxic gases such as dioxins, furans, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls into the atmosphere. It further liberates hazardous halogens and pollutes air.

“Air pollution caused by burning of plastics increases the risk of heart diseases, aggravates respiratory ailments such as asthma, emphysema and causes rashes, nausea and headaches and damages the nervous system. Under no circumstances burning of solid waste should be allowed,” says M. A. Aleem, former vice-principal, K.A.P. Viswanatham Government Medical College, Tiruchi.

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