In a bid to reduce the quantity of waste dumped in landfills, the Chennai Corporation will soon introduce a bin less waste transfer process across 15 zones in the city.
Say Corporation officials, he concept is set to be introduced on a pilot basis in wards in extended areas this month. (We) will be gradually expanded to include one ward of each zone. Removal of large green compactor bins off the streets is the first step. At present, the bins are necessary because compactor trucks transport garbage. In the new concept, there won`t be any transportation. Source segregation will be the next step. Once the waste is collected, a second phase of segregation will be carried out by rag pickers and conservancy workers to fine tune the source segregated material.
At this stage, any recyclable material will be sent out to scrap dealers. Any organic waste will be sent to bio methanation plants. Here, they will be used to produce gas or power. On the other hand, inorganic waste and other inert materials will be sent to the landfills in Perungudi and Kodungaiyur.
The Corporation officials say, Clearing garbage and not having a backlog is still our priority. But reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills is also important. and so that is where the concept of zero waste comes into the picture. Changes can be expected to the conservancy schedule of the local body. Workers will be instructed to collect only wet waste on a daily basis. Dry waste will be collected only once a week.
Experts in the field say, Reduction of waste at the handling point was the only way forward for a city like Chennai. Just by taking out the organic waste, the city can reduce around 80 percent of its total garbage.
Environmental activists and residents seem happy with the move. They say, Source segregation cannot happen overnight. But the corporation has to realise that no plan can take root unless there is significant public participation. Otherwise, these pilot tests may not give the desired results. Then, it will just be a case of giving up on it after trialling for a year. It is good that this effort is coming from the corporation. It will be a big boost for those residents who have always practised source segregation.