Old furniture add to waste management woes in Coimbatore

In response to growing public outcry, activists demanded the CCMC for the establishment of a dedicated facility for furniture disposal.
People dispose of their old furnitures on road side on Ukkadam - Selvapuram road in Coimbatore on Wednesday.
People dispose of their old furnitures on road side on Ukkadam - Selvapuram road in Coimbatore on Wednesday.(Photo | S Senbagapandiyan, EPS)

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) is under scrutiny for its lack of an effective plan to manage the disposal of old furniture, causing a significant environmental and public health concern. With no designated system in place, residents are resorting to illegal dumping, leading to an unsightly accumulation of old sofas, used mattresses, and broken chairs near water bodies and public spaces.
The problem has escalated as some residents dispose of their unwanted furniture near dump bins on streets, hoping the sanitary workers will take care of the removal. However, due to the sheer size and weight of these items, they remain abandoned, exacerbating the city's waste management woes.

"The sight of old furniture dumped near lakes and rivers is distressing. It's not just an eyesore but a serious environmental hazard," said Vivin Saravan, a local social activist. "We urgently need the CCMC to devise a comprehensive policy for the collection and disposal of such waste. The civic body should set up a dedicated plant and work with experts to ensure safe and efficient disposal."

The current situation poses multiple risks. Dumped furniture can become breeding grounds for pests and diseases, and the illegal disposal near water bodies threatens aquatic ecosystems and water quality. Social activists argue that without immediate action, the city's reputation and residents' health are at stake.

"We need to create awareness among the citizens about the importance of proper disposal and recycling," added Vivin. "The CCMC must introduce strict penalties for illegal dumping to deter such practices. Also, the civic body must set up an incinerator to burn the old mattresses and other wastes which cannot be recycled or reused."

In response to growing public outcry, activists demanded the CCMC for the establishment of a dedicated facility for furniture disposal. This proposed plant would specialise in dismantling and recycling old furniture, minimising environmental impact and promoting sustainable waste management practices.

With around 1,200 tonnes of waste generated every day in all 100 wards across the five zones of the city, the civic body has deployed over 5,000 sanitary workers for door-to-door collection of segregated garbage. The segregated waste is loaded in trucks and sent to different facilities such as Micro Compost Centre (MCC), Material Recovery Facility (MRF), and biogas plants and finally, the mixed waste is sent to the dumpyard at Vellalore. However, with no action plan in place, the disposal of old furniture has become a huge headache for the civic body.

Despite multiple attempts by TNIE, CCMC Commissioner M Sivaguru Prabakaran was unavailable for a comment on the issue.

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