Kozhikode: Plastic wastes have been a problem for long for city residents even though several projects have been initiated by now for its management. Since Kudumbashree stopped taking plastic wastes from the city residents, the only option to get rid of plastic waste was closed, even though the Corporation had been emphatic about implementing several projects to curb the menace.
It was due to this improper system to manage plastic wastes, Niravu came forward to restart the functioning of the plastic waste unit at Westhill, but unfortunately, officials say that, only 30 percent of the total waste from the city is coming to the unit. This situation is mainly due to the lack of a proper system to collect plastic wastes from the residents.
“At some point, a few residents association started collecting plastic waste from the houses on an assigned day in a month, which was later taken to Niravu”, said Ramachandran N, a member of the Chungam-Westhill residents Association. As Kudambashree stopped taking plastic waste, these activities of residents association also dwindled.
This has prompted city residents to throw plastic waste wherever possible, he added. It was after the Corporation decided to move ahead with the project to promote home-based garbage processing, Kudumbashree decided to gradually stop waste collection, especially plastic waste.
“We have already arranged a facility for city residents to dispose plastic waste but people are not using it effectively”, said city corporation Health Standing Committee Chairman K.V. Baburaj. He washed off his hands saying the residents association must come forward to take initiatives to collect plastic waste and dispose it in the plastic waste recycling unit launched by the Corporation.
‘Residents assns should work as statutory bodies’
“Residents associations should work as a statutory body and need to take responsibilities in collecting and transporting wastes from their locality”, said Project coordinator of Niravu, Babu Parambath. NIRAVU Organic Village is a farmers collective specializing in organic farming and waste management.
“Each resident must be responsible to clean their house and learn to segregate the waste properly. People have the habit of putting waste in their neighbour’s surroundings and roadside. That mentality should change. People should be habituated to give the waste to recycling units” he added.
Niravu has said that there is no proper measure to collect and carry the non-organic waste to the plastic recycling unit at West Hill.
The plastic recycling unit at West Hill was opened with an aim to clear the heaps of waste that were deposited in various parts of the city. At present, in the locality near Thadambattuthazham, each family cleans and segregates the waste daily. Later the segregated waste is taken for shredding and supplied to the Public Works Department or any other agency for road work. Hence the non-biodegradable waste would turn into a useful raw material. The unit at west hill has the capacity to recycle two tonnes of plastic waste per day.
“At present, there is no proper planning to collect the waste per day. First of all, we should audit the waste. Through this method, we would be able to identify the source of the waste. And next, we should segregate the types of plastic. Through this proper system we can easily convert the city into a plastic-free zone with the support of the Corporation” said Jabir Karat, a Social Entrepreneur.
He also mentioned the monitoring system. “Authorities should give proper instructions and awareness to people about the recycling units. Right now most of them have no idea about this” he added.