Civic body markets compost at mall

At the entrance of Ampa Skywalk, a ten-year-old boy tugs at the hand of his father, in a request to check out a small stall. A bit reluctantly, the father allows himself to be dragged to the stall. After a few moments taking in the contents of the stall, the man smiles in a manner that suggests a bit of surprise.

The stall offers packed organic compost packets, arranged in neat rows. The compost had been made by composting vegetable and fruit waste generated at households in the region.

Malls are the latest space Greater Chennai Corporation has chosen to drive home the message that waste has to be segregated at source.

“We want to reach out to more people and shopping malls see good footfall during weekends and holidays, so we will be putting up our stall here more often,” says a Corporation official.

Around 460 tons of waste, collected from 1.65 lakh households, is generated from Zone-8 (Anna Nagar) every day, say officials.

Apparently, Anna Nagar has been the first zone to take waste management lessons to shopping malls in the city. Some of the wards in the zone have been championing the cause of source segregation and the need to compost in a big way.

For example, around 26.5 tons of waste is generated every day from Ward 100. Out of this, eight tons is kitchen waste collected from 38 hotels and eight hospitals.

Since June, when source segregation was made mandatory, this is being composted. On an average, 8.5 tons of organic compost is being generated from this waste every day. Much of the compost is used in parks like Bonganvila and Tower parks, the median on key stretches such as Second Avenue Road and a part of the compost is sold to residents.

“Demand for such organic compost from residents is on the rise. We sell at least one ton per day from Anna Nagar zone,” says Anna Nagar zonal officer P. B. Vijayakumar, who inaugurated the awareness campaign at Ampa Skywalk.

The awareness drives will continue, say officials. They are also being organised at parks, playgrounds, rallies and government schools.

Civic officials say that the Corporation plans to approach other malls like Express Avenue (EA) in Royapettah, Forum Mall in Vadapalani and Phoenix Market City in Velachery to market the compost as well as to create awareness among residents on how wet waste is being put to good use by the civic body.

This will encourage more people to hand over only segregated waste to the Corporation. Shoppers are also shown how they can maintain a small pit at their backyard to compost waste.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 4:11:41 PM |

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