Modern garbage bins to replace old ones by March in Chennai

New bins will have lids and be fixed to concrete surface: Official
The replacement and maintenance of  the bins have been outsourced to private contractors | Express
The replacement and maintenance of the bins have been outsourced to private contractors | Express

CHENNAI: If things go as planned, Chennai may get reprieve from garbage dumping along roadsides. The city Corporation is all set to replace the current outdated garbage bins with modern ones by March next year. “The replacement and maintenance of the bins have been outsourced to private contractors. The process of issuing tenders is in final stages,” said a senior corporation official.

Unlike current ones, the new bins will have lids. “We are planning to fix the bins on a concrete surface, to make them immovable. Lids will prevent stray animals from feeding on the garbage,” the official added. Currently, there are more than 2000 bins in the city, and most of them are in bad condition.

This has caused several problems for both residents and sanitation workers. Around five bins kept at Cemetery Road at Royapuram have big holes at the bottom. As a result, the garbage dumped falls outside.’’Any time of the day, one can see dogs, cows and goats here, even standing on top of the bin. The whole street is sullied because of this,’’ said Rajesh Kumar, a resident.     

Strewn garbage increases chances of rodent-borne diseases, say doctors. ‘’The lesser Bandicoot  rat (Peruchali) breeds in the garbage. In many areas of north Chennai, these rats enter houses and look for food,’’ said a senior doctor with Stanley Hospital. He added that when people come in contact with the contaminated food, chances of leptospirosis, which can cause kidney and liver damage, are very high.

The story is the same in many areas of the city, such as Korukkupet, Washermenpet, Alwarpet and Nungambakkam. In some places like Tondiarpet, these rusted bins are abandoned and kept upside down too, but have not been removed from the roads. Wherever the bins have been broken, the door-to-door sanitation workers allegedly dump the garbage on the road itself or just park their tricycles filled with garbage on the road and leave the place.

Meanwhile, sanitation workers said there is a delay in taking waste from the community bins to the resource recovery centre.’’Garbage remains uncollected in the bin for even one full day. There are also insufficient bins as waste generation keeps increasing at a good pace,’’ said S Srinivasan, a worker in Washermenpet.

To transport waste from the bins to the RRC, there are currently 411 odd battery-operated vehicles. But these vehicles too are unevenly distributed. For example, while there are 44 for Thiruvottriyur, there are only 9 for Tondiarpet. Corporation officials, however, said 1600 more vehicles will be purchased by mid-2020 to ease the garbage collection process. ‘’By next year, none of our corporation workers will be pulling tricycles. All the 4000 cycles will be phased out and workers will be trained to operate the battery vehicles,’’ said a top corporation official.

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