CHENNAI: The Chennai corporation’s efforts over the last 5 years in reducing and segregating degradable and non-degradable waste have helped in reducing 150 tonne of garbage every day. Different coloured dustbins are placed around the city to differentiate different kinds of waste like plastic, wet waste and dry waste. The corporation has decided to levy fines on those who litter, starting from Rs 50 to Rs 25,000, based on the quantity and the area, Rs 500 for littering around the city, and Rs 2000 for debris.
Vidya, Assistant Executive Engineer of the solid waste department, corporation of Chennai, says, “Everyday, 5250 metric tonnes of garbage is generated in Chennai out of which 75 per cent is plastic waste. Weekly collection of plastic garbage in Chennai is 440 MT. Garbage has reduced in the last 5 years, it used to be around 5,400 MT but steps taken like conversion of composed wet waste from fruit and vegetable markets and hotels, by being sent to the bio methanisation plant to generate bio gas, helped in reducing 150 tonne per day. People too are very cooperative.”
Waste is segregated everyday and degradable waste is sent to the decentralised processing unit for biodegradable waste of 202 units while non- degradable waste is sent to garbage dumping yards like Perungudi, south Chennai, Kodungaiyur, North Chennai, and a few other places.
Recent steps have been taken by the corporation for easy accumulation of waste and segregation by using battery operated vehicles for door to door collection of waste. This was recently started in Perungudi and will be slowly implemented in other parts of the city. Mulch pits have been made in 159 parks in the city using bamboo for composting of leaves.
Garbage in Chennai has reduced to a large extent but some areas are still affected by overflowing garbage everyday which is dumped around the street corners, making it difficult for residents and pedestrians. Navrathan, a resident of Triplicane, says, “I have been living in this area for the last 20 years but I feel that the garbage clearing process has not improved. It is a little better compared to last year but due to the garbage in the streets, lots of cows and dogs eat food waste in the garbage, messing up the road and making it difficult to walk.”
Koyembedu market, the hub for fruit, vegetable and pulses wholesale selling, generates approximately 150-160 tonne of waste everyday of which a small percentage is plastic waste. The wet waste is sent to the bio methanisation plant which generates bio gas used in the CMBT and around the area and the plastic waste to dumping yards. A godown owner in Koyembedu says, “It might look that the fruit and vegetable market is messy but it is doing way better than it was in the previous years. They periodically collect and clean the premises twice/ thrice a day.”