Greater Chennai Corporation mulls over new initiatives for solid waste management

City Mayor R. Priya and other officials recently took a trip to Rome, Paris and Barcelona to observe waste disposal mechanism implemented in the cities and emulate them in the city

Updated - July 19, 2023 09:18 pm IST

Published - July 19, 2023 09:13 pm IST - CHENNAI

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) is mulling over the introduction of measures practised by Rome, Paris, and Barcelona to improve the solid waste management (SWM) system in the city, following a trip to these cities. 

A report of the trip undertaken by Mayor R. Priya, Deputy Mayor Mahesh Kumar, Chief Engineer (SWM) N. Mahesan, Additional Commissioner (Health) Shankar Lal Kumawat, and others was presented to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin recently.

“Europe’s cleanliness index is high due to strict enforcement and also enthusiasm from the citizens, including the floating population, to be clean. There is a culture of disposing garbage in appropriate bins consciously,” Mr. Mahesan says.

The GCC has proposed a waste-to-energy plant in Kodungaiyur and the one they visited in Paris, which adheres to Euro standards, is the one they wish to emulate. “It is in the heart of the city and produces no odour, and we will work towards adopting Euro standards here too,” he said.

As in Rome, the GCC is planning to install bins with drop holes on the lids for easy disposal of garbage, avoiding spillage and direct contact. They will have coloured bands to indicate the category of garbage to be disposed in them and will be introduced in high footfall areas, such as the beach, for a pilot study. Separate bins for glass bottles will also be placed at the beach for a period of two to three months.

A pneumatic waste system or automated waste collection system is also being mulled based on the one in Barcelona. Refuse is transported by vacuum to underground pipes to nearby temporary storage and finally reaches the processing plant. “This can be implemented in huge apartment complexes with 500 to 1,000 homes, where door-to-door collection is difficult. Through chute pipes, segregated waste will be transported to a chamber, then a processing plant,” Mr. Mahesan says.

Additionally, the GCC has proposed installing a weighing machine on their garbage collection vehicles on a pilot basis to determine weight generated by different users to identify bulk waste generators. The team also looked at the structure of European bins, beach cleaning activities, use of electric vehicles, and other activities similar to Chennai for comparison. 

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