Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Zero waste management gets rooted
Navneeth, a Chennai-based landscape consultant, with ‘khambas’ consisiting of three modular pots that are used for home composting of garbageNalini RavichandranFirst Published : 04 Nov 2008 CHENNAI:
‘Minimise, Reuse and Recycle’- the mantra of solid waste management could soon be on the lips of the residents of Kalashetra Colony (KC) if the initiative taken in some pockets in this South Chennai colony snowballs into a movement to cover its entire 2,000 households.
KC, in Besant Nagar on the Elliots beach, is the pilot site selected by the Madras High Court for zero waste management about three months back.
A meeting of the the KC residents, members of the Expert Committee and all the concerned members is due to be held on November 11 to chalk out plans for implementing the concept of ‘minimum solid waste’ in its second phase.
In the first phase, work in segregating the garbage into 5 bins had already started in some pockets with only the recyclable materials handed over to the garbage collectors, mostly members of the Narikurava community. There are separate bins for food and other biodegradable waste, e-waste, medical waste, dead rodents, and for diapers and napkins.
Nityanand Jayaraman, resident of the colony and an environmental activist told to this website's newspaper that the plan was to implement zero waste management in phases, with minimal work initiated already at ground level.
He said a small group of people from the Narikurava community would be involved in the entire process of segregation of waste. It would be a joint work by the garbage handlers and Neel Metal Fanalca, the Columbian agency in contract with the Municipal Corporation handling the entire garbage in Chennai.
Jayaram said the garbage would be composted at a small-centralized level with a biogas reactor for treating organic waste. For people who were unable to compost their waste at home, it would be done at the biogas reactor at the colony.
An unused playground and a metro water area had been selected for the construction of the compost yard. Plans were also on for a ‘Discard Resource Centre’, which would receive the organic discard.
The Centre would have a clean platform for those working with the garbage, including those from the Narikurava community and other ragpickers.
Recognising the role of the members from the Narikurava community in the efficient recycling, the Committee wanted to involve them right from the beginning for an effective system. Majority of those who collected garbage belonged to the Narikurava community.
They would collect the recyclable waste like paper, plastic, glass, and metal house to house and the rest of the types of waste like e-waste would be collected by the NMF, which will also take care of the discard centre.
Jayaraman said the main purpose of employing Narikuravas was not to perpetuate the stereotype image that they were ragpickers, and instead provide them with a livelihood of their choice.
They were willing to be involved because they were already engaged in the process of recycling. Persons from other communities were also welcome to join hands, he added.
The objective was to improve their work conditions and later ensure that their children were given education. “It won’t just end up being a livelihood option but a social option too,” he says.
Chairperson of the Expert Committee, Sheela Rani Chunkath had invited the ragpickers of Perungudi dump yard to join the project in KC. But Saidai Anbu Dasan of Thooimai Thozhilalargal Nalasangam maintained that it was not feasible as they could not travel so far and there were already people in Besant nagar who were involved in the work
5-BIN CONCEPT AT KC: In places like Besant Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur, the collection of garbage was being done house to house by members of the narikurava community. The residents did not segregate it. These persons will then recover valuables and the remaining garbage would go to NMF..