Chennai

‘Scrap shops and ragpickers key to waste management’

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Waste dumped in landfills will come down by 70% this year, says study

Over 2,000 scrap shops in the city are set to play a major role in waste management this year, reducing the waste dumped in landfills by 70%, according to data compiled by a private sector player.

Speaking at a session on ‘Past, present and future of waste management’, Kabadiwalla Connect founder and CEO Siddharth Hande said 1,70,000 tonnes of waste is collected by the 2,000 scrap shops in the city every year.

“Hyperlocal collection has to improve for solid waste management. In six months there will be a demand for low-value plastics. Cement plants will use the low-value plastics as fuel. Bigger brands have a bigger commitment for promoting innovation,” said Mr. Hande.

‘Cut out landfills’

The private entities are expected to reduce the waste sent to landfills in Perungudi and Kodungaiyur.

Currently, Chennai Corporation generates 5,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste, including plastics and non-recyclable multi-layered plastics.

“Over 40% of the plastics generated in the city goes uncollected, reaching the landfills and waterbodies. Scrap shops and ragpickers have been roped in.

Smart bins have been placed in 30 apartments in Myalpore. Ragpickers get one tonne of plastic every week. Over 20% of the plastic is multi-layered. It is being disposed. Other plastics are recycled,” said Ganesh Kumar, Chief Operating Officer of Kabadiwalla Connect.

“Urban India is generating 70 million tonnes of waste every year. Over 91% is dumped in open landfills. We have to improve informal waste infrastructure. Microfinance for the scrap shops and ragpickers as a product will improve conditions. It is a very profitable business. Residents should segregate waste to promote such business,” said a participant.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 8:20:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/scrap-shops-and-ragpickers-key-to-waste-management/article30538720.ece

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