Mumbai: Taking a giant leap towards waste management, Himachal Pradesh’s winter capital Dharamshala has become the first city in India to have installed sensor-based underground bins. The Dharamshala Municipal Corporation (DMC) had last year initiated the project of placing underground bins across 140 public locations in the city, to tackle issues like garbage overflow, littering and animals getting sick from eating the littered garbage. Moreover, these bins will also prevent the wastes from developing leachate, hazardous liquid material that leaks from waste and seeps through the soil to contaminate ground water.
Congratulating the DMC on this remarkable move, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan official handle tweeted, “Congratulations to Dharamshala Municipal Corporation for being India’s first city to install sensor based underground dustbins! Having installed these at 140 locations, Dharamshala has made a giant leap in effective waste management.”
Congratulations to Dharamshala Municipal Corporation for being India’s first city to install sensor based underground dustbins! Having installed these at 138 locations, Dharamshala has made a giant leap in effective waste management. #MyCleanIndia #SwachhBharat pic.twitter.com/g7lrz8gSFL
— Swachh Bharat Urban (@SwachhBharatGov) June 25, 2018
Talking about the need to build underground bins before the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan deadline of October 2, 2019, Satish Chaudhry, Municipal Commissioner, DMC, says
The problem of littering has become almost like a culture in India. People litter irrespective of whether there is a bin or not. Thus, we needed to adopt a different strategy and address the issue. The concept of underground bins is new in India and in Dharamshala which has attracted people’s attention towards it. When there is something new in the market people tend use and as anticipated we have got a positive response from the people.
Of the total number of bins installed, about 100 of these have been made functional and are open to people.
A street hawker who sits outside a tea garden has stopped littering waste after he learnt about the underground bin,
I won’t lie by saying that I have never littered. The officials could have just placed simple public bins but seeing them work for an entire year to just install this special bin made me realise my mistake. It’s a two-way street, the government has done its part, it is time we do ours, says Shambhu, the hawker.
The DMC has collaborated with a local private limited company to procure the bins. Per location, the DMC has spent Rs 8.5 lakhs including the procurement and construction cost.
Keeping in mind the concept of waste segregation, the DMC has ensured that every location has three bins for three types of waste – plastic, wet and non-plastic dry waste.
The bins are all placed next to each other, almost giving away the image of one single bin with three compartments. The bins have air tight containers that prevent any kind of foul smell. Since they are underground they occupy less space, says Sandeep Saini, DMC official.
A concrete pit is created first on which the bin is installed and is fenced with tiles around it and finally a lid is placed onto the bin. A sensor is also attached in all the bins to monitor the bins. These sensors will send an alert to the operator once the bin is full, who in turn will direct the civic workers to empty the bin,” explains Mr Saini.
Crane-like vehicles are specially allocated to remove the garbage from the underground bins. All the waste collected will be sent to the nearby dumping ground.