Aurangabad: A civic body at Badnapur town of Maharashtra‘s Jalna district is rewarding children who collect and deposit plastic waste at their schools. Students, who collect plastic waste, are being given books, pencils, pens and notebooks for their contribution. The Badnapur Nagar Panchayat started this initiative in November last year with a view of involving and educating children about the hazards of plastic waste, which takes hundreds of years to degrade.
As many as seven schools have taken part in the programme and each of them has collected at least 100 kilograms (kg) of plastic waste in just three months, chief officer Dr. Pallavi Ambhore of Badnapur Nagar Panchayat said. She said,
Headmasters and teachers of schools were informed about the hazards of plastic waste and they conveyed the same to students.
Although children didn’t take to the concept in the first month, they were given study material and small rewards, which kindled their enthusiasm, she said. She further said,
Since December, we have been collecting 80 to 100 kg of plastic waste from each school and as of now, seven schools are actively participating in the initiative.
Schools and the Nagar Panchayat fix a date on which a vehicle from the civic body collects the plastic waste. The move has also helped the civic body to cut down on the expenditure for waste segregation. Dr. Ambhore said,
We have saved a lot over garbage collection and segregation. It would have taken us a week and we would have had to employ four more labourers to segregate plastic waste.
Now as a next step, the Nagar Panchayat plans to start a competition for schools, wherein the school that collects the largest amount of plastic waste will be rewarded, the official said. The civic body is also in talks with a few companies to see if the collected plastic waste can be recycled, she added.