Chennai: Policies to manage solid waste and business models, which are focusing on clean environment, face a common obstacle: non-reception from public.
It has always been a tough struggle for activists to change people’s attitude towards waste and get them to segregate it, a basic step towards waste management. Take Triplicane or Pammal. Both localities serve as best models to waste disposal, thanks to the efforts of activists.
The famous no-bin culture at both the localities had days of failed trials. Explaining the challenges, Lalithaa of Pasumai who imposed the three-bin culture at Triplicane said, “People in apartments were so convenient in throwing the garbage in vacant lands. It took more than six months to streamline the habit of segregation, tolerating the abuses and indifferences from people.”
Echoing the same, Mangalam Balasubramanian, the woman behind Green Pammal said, “It is all about motivating people through back to back campaigns. The moment they see the change, they would change their habits.”
Even after sensitizing the public on waste disposal, a start-up company, Waste Winn Recyclers, which is now composting in two apartments of Sholinganallur face similar challenges. The company nurtures the idea of proper waste disposal, by providing the two-bin-one bag to segregate biodegradable, biomedical and recyclable waste.
Putting forth the problems they face, CEO of waste-win Recyclers Priyadharshini Raguraam, said, “We have trained the maids and house staff on segregation; but many are impatient to do so. While org-anic waste is composted, recyclables are sold, the money of which is given to owners.”
They have set up a volunteer in each block of the apartment, who inspects the residences to implement the vital step: segregation. “It takes time to change people’s mindset. They are still not used to - put the waste in the right bin and cleaning the bins.
Ten per cent of the 135 flats is yet to get accustomed to the segregation methods. But we are optimistic to witness the change,” said Sumitha Iyer, a homemaker and an active volunteer....