The increased use of plastic in the city during the pandemic has taken its toll on the Kozhikode Corporation’s plastic recycling plants at Njeliyanparamba and West Hill, resulting in bags of collected plastic waste accumulating in every ward. With the plastic bags not being cleared by the Haritha Karma Sena on a regular basis, the public have started raising voice against it.
“There are spots identified in every ward where the Haritha Karma Sena could collect and stock plastic waste. But all those spots are now filled beyond capacity, as the stock is not cleared regularly. If the situation persists, the streets of Kozhikode will soon be filled with plastic waste,” S.K. Aboobakker, corporation councillor representing Valiyangadi division, said.
The plant at West Hill is solely devoted to plastic swept up by the corporation’s cleaning staff from the streets, while waste collected from households and establishments by the Haritha Karma Sena is taken to the plant at Njeliyanparamba.
“Both the plants are filled beyond capacity. We need a permanent solution to the issue,” Mr. Aboobakker said. He claimed that despite presenting the matter in the corporation council, he was yet to get a satisfactory reply.
On the other hand, Corporation Health Officer R.S. Gopakumar said the collected waste was being cleared slowly but agreed that the plants were filled beyond capacity. “Ever since the pandemic began, the use of plastic has gone up. People have also started dumping plastic on roadsides. This has led to overloading at the recycling plants,” he said.
The corporation has plans to open two other recycling plants in the city. A plot has been identified for one next to the existing plant at West Hill, while the second one is yet to be identified. But the process is slow, Mr. Aboobakker said.