Kozhikode

With no system in place, people resort to burning of plastic waste

The smell of burning plastic permeates the air in many parts of the city, especially during the evenings when the rain takes a break. The lockdown has put breaks on non-biodegradable waste collection in the city, and residents see no other alternative than to burn it. “It is not that we are unaware of the health hazards caused by burning of plastic. But how long will we store it in our houses?” asked a homemaker at Karapparamba.

The Kozhikode Corporation had a smooth system earlier wherein trained Kudumbashree workers would collect non-biodegradable waste from every locality once in a while for a fee. But the Kudumbashree was replaced by the Haritha Karma Sena recently under the new policy of the State government.

The Sena has been deployed in more than 50 of the total 75 wards in the corporation. Sena members were trained by Niravu Zero Waste Management.

However, the lockdown and the pandemic put a damper on the system. Most Sena members refused to turn up for the job out of fear. Also, the training for the rest of the wards could not be completed.

As a result, plastic waste accumulated everywhere for more than two months, and unable to store it for a longer duration, many resorted to burning it.

Corpn.’s promise

The corporation had announced earlier that the Sena would be active again during the first week of June, but there seem to be some glitches.

“The contract with Niravu had expired and it was extended for another year in a recent council meeting to complete the training process,” said K. Sivadasan, Health Supervisor of the corporation.

Also, efforts are being made to sensitise trained members to resume duty.

“We only have a few more wards to cover. The Sena will be active in the rest of the wards soon enough,” he added.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 5:45:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/with-no-system-in-place-people-resort-to-burning-of-plastic-waste/article31774792.ece

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