Chennai Corporation falls short of waste source segregation goal by 38 per cent

Even Manali, which has long been touted as the frontrunner in source segregation as a community, in reality, has a little more than half its residents segregating their waste, said data.
Densely-populated areas lag behind in source segregation | p jawahar
Densely-populated areas lag behind in source segregation | p jawahar

CHENNAI: Source segregation in the city continues to remain poor as the habit of segregating waste at houses before handing it over to door-to-door collectors is yet to catch up among residents. The numbers are especially low among residents of Anna Nagar, Kodambakkam, Royapuram, Tondiarpet and Teynampet zones. Source segregation in the city, overall, averages 42%, a long way off from the civic body’s 80% target.

According to Corporation data accessed by TNIE through RTI, in Anna Nagar, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Royapuram and Tondiarpet zones, source segregation is below 30%. Teynampet and Kodambakkam zones are not much better off with numbers just a little over 30% and Ambattur at 30%.

Even Manali, which has long been touted as the frontrunner in source segregation as a community, in reality, has a little more than half its residents segregating their waste, said data. If officials were to inspect the status of source segregation by going door-to-door, the numbers would be lesser, said sources, since the data that is usually gathered by the civic body takes into account segregation by drivers of the battery operated vehicles who collect waste from houses every day.

On the other hand, zones that fared better were Valasaravakkam, Alandur and Sholinganallur. Sholinganallur had the best numbers with 63% of segregation at the source. Waste segregation at the source, where locals deposit wet and dry waste in separate bins, is essential to minimise waste ending up in landfills and improve recycling.

“There are some communities that segregate waste as a habit but the number of households segregating waste is low. We haven’t been able to achieve good source segregation numbers in densely populated areas. Now, awareness is picking up,” said a corporation official. “The city’s population is expected to be around 86 lakh at present with 25 lakh households. Cultivating source segregation as a habit, although a simple exercise, requires time,” the official added.

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