CHENNAI: The Greater Chennai Corporation made source segregation of solid waste compulsory from October 2 last year. It has been ten months but none of the wards located in the vicinity of the Perungudi landfill have implemented the order. Proximity to the landfill is being cited as one of the primary reasons.
Almost all the households in wards 194 and 195 in zone 15 of Shollinganallur, which are situated 1 km away from the landfill do not segregate their waste. Conservancy workers deployed here, also, do not collect waste in separate bins.
Conservancy workers from ward 194 said that residents refuse to segregate waste and insist on disposing of directly in the bins themselves. “They tell us that they can’t waste time segregating waste. Only large apartment complexes practice this regularly,” said the worker, who assists in transferring waste in ward 194.
Though the conservancy inspector claimed that waste collected is brought to the local ward office for segregation, workers said that it is not followed in their ward. “Secretariat colonies, Mountbatten Street, Choolaiman Nagar always give us segregated waste. Every day around 21 tonnes of waste is generated from our ward. We send waste to the landfill only after segregating,” said the inspector from ward 194.
Similar scenarios can be found in wards of 193 and 195. “People living in Ezhil Nagar, Kannagi Nagar and Tsunami Resettlement Colony never segregate their waste. There are only 10 streets in our ward which follow this practice, and the waste from them is only around four tonnes,” said the conservancy inspector from ward 195.
A similar pattern is found in wards 183,184 and 185 in zone 15 of Perungudi. “Only a handful of streets regularly segregate waste. But as the rest directly dump it, everything gets mixed. It’s the same case in other wards, next to mine,” said a worker from ward 185.
Experts said the corporation’s ineffectiveness in creating awareness also led to the initiative’s failure. “Communication between the corporation staff and the residents has to improve to save the marshland. Despite a composting yard inside the landfill, mounds of unsegregated waste can be seen from Thuraipakkam Outer Ring Road,” said Kripa Ramachandran, member, Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group
What a waste
Ward 195 which has the maximum population with 13,044 households among all nine wards in zone 15 generates nearly 28 tonnes of waste every day, of which more than half is unsegregated waste.