New Delhi: Taking inspiration from Mumbai’s initiative, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) took a stern decision of not collecting garbage from January 2018 from city’s households if it is not segregated into wet and dry waste. SMC’s move is in line government’s nationwide source segregation campaign that was kicked off on World Environment Day (June 5) this year under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
According to Solid Waste Management Rules (SWM) 2016, source segregation is mandatory but due to lack of awareness and implementation, 90% of waste lands up in the trenching ground untreated due to lack of segregation. Despite waste-to-energy and composting plants it becomes difficult to treat the garbage that is unsegregated. Since October 2 this year, the awareness campaigns have been in full swing but with intangible results. With this new move we hope to transform the face of source segregation in Surat, Dr Hemant Desai, Deputy Commissioner, SMC tells NDTV.
Dr Desai believes that 50 per cent of garbage woes will be solved if all the households practice waste segregation. Of the total 1,800 tonnes of waste that the city with a population of nearly 45 lakh generates on a daily basis, 900 is household waste, “At present only 10-15 societies in the city separately give dry and wet waste. If all the households start practising source segregation half our problem will be solved,” Dr Desai adds.
In the next 15-20 days, the civic officials will conduct meetings and update the housing societies, wholesale market vendors, hoteliers, educational institutes and other such bulk waste generators with municipal authorities’ new decision. The officials will be accompanied by the workers as well who will carry a door-to-door campaign and educate people about segregation.
Of the 1,800 tonnes, 700 tonnes get treated either through composting machine or waste-to-energy plants. The organic manure that is produced gets used in public gardens. SMC will soon set up two new composting machines on the landfill.
As for the plastic waste, about 50 tonnes get recycled daily which is then used for road construction. The SMC is turning the landfill, where the entire city’s waste gets dumped, into a scientific one. Complying with the 2016 rules of the SWM, a sanitary landfill cell has been developed. The waste that gets deposited in the cell is layered with soil to minimise soil erosion. Leachate collection system is also installed to prevent leachate percolation through solid waste matter.
To ease the entire waste collecting procedure, the civic body is also taking effective steps. For instance it is distributing blue and green bins in every household. It has also introduced 400 garbage collecting vehicles which have internal compartments for dry and wet garbage, “The vehicle has been internally divided into green and blue compartments so that the segregated garbage doesn’t get mixed on its way to the landfill,” says Dr Desai.
The diamond city, which was ranked 4th in Swachh Survekshan 2017, has already started gearing up for the next cleanliness survey. From renovating public toilets, placing two coloured bins in public areas, increasing the number of sweeping rounds to conducting awareness drives through ‘Bhavai’ (a popular Gujarati folk dance) on Swachh Bharat theme, the SMC is taking numerous efforts to attain the top swachhta spot.