Educating public on source segregation is the way forward in waste management

Before the government begins any integrated waste management programme, the LAD should direct the municipalities to launch an awareness programme targeting all sections of society as people dumping waste in public places despite the presence of bins in their locality is a common sight, feel environmentally-conscious residents

February 16, 2023 08:17 pm | Updated 08:41 pm IST - PUDUCHERRY

Road littered with the garbage overflowing from the bin at Nellithope in Puducherry on Thursday.

Road littered with the garbage overflowing from the bin at Nellithope in Puducherry on Thursday. | Photo Credit: S.S. KUMAR

With the government embarking on a new plan to dispose solid waste, a section of environmentally-conscious residents wants the Local Administration Department to initiate a mass awareness campaign to educate the people on source segregation.

After engaging a firm to dispose of around 7.42 lakh cubic metre of waste accumulated over the years through bio-mining at the Kurumbapet garbage dump, the LAD, two days ago, had floated tenders to select a consulting firm for undertaking integrated solid waste management in Puducherry and Oulgaret Municipality limits on DBFOT (Design Built, Finance, Operate and Transfer) model.

According to an official, the selection process will start by April after last date of submission of bids on March 16. While bio-mining of legacy waste will continue, the firm to be selected will start processing the daily solid waste brought to the Kurumbapet garbage dump.

“It is a welcome move on the part of LAD to start disposing the waste generated daily along with bio-mining of legacy waste. But before we start any integrated waste management programme, the LAD should direct the municipalities to launch an awareness programme targeting all sections of society. The Municipalities have done so in the past but that has not brought the desired results. People are dumping waste in public places even in the presence of a bin in their locality,” said a retired LAD official.

A few days ago, members of Zero Waste Society, a set of environmentally-conscious residents comprising serving officers, met Chief Secretary Rajeev Verma and discussed ways to tackle the garbage problem.

The suggestions given by the group to the Chief Secretary included launching a campaign on the lines of ‘Your garbage is your responsibility,’ strict enforcement of ban on Single Use Plastics, laying stress on reprocessing of plastic items and source segregation. The group wanted the government to stress on programmes that ensure household waste do not get to the landfill.

Avantika Nirupama, a member of the group, said, “As a society we have neither cultivated awareness nor developed methods to take care of the garbage each one of us generates. Many people want their servants to handle waste who do not understand the importance of segregation before leaving the garbage in the roadside bins. Our garbage is our responsibility. We see that the government is not really being able to effectively handle the monumental garbage we are generating. That’s why the Kurumbapet landfill is leaching chemicals in ground waster, the marine life is ingesting micro plastics and we are breathing toxic fumes.”

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