HYDERABAD: The state generates around 1,82,500 tonnes of plastic waste each year of which not more than 6,000 tonnes are recycled. This atrociously low recycling rate is a direct result of the substandard segregation process which is a major reason why plastic waste gets dumped along with the municipal solid waste and ends up choking the environment and harming public health.
According to a TSPCB official, at present recycling mainly suffers due to poor segregation of waste at the source. “People mix their waste. Even then the GHMC segregates the waste at multiple levels but it is not enough. There should be an awareness among people about waste segregation.”
Apart from being recycled, the plastic waste that is less than 50 microns thick and cannot be recycled, is burnt in cement kilns, being used up in the construction of tar roads, etc, and disposed of. As per the TSPCB, around 300 tonnes of such low-quality plastic waste is disposed of in a year.
As the single largest contributor to the entire state’s plastic waste, Hyderabad has a major role to play if authorities were to look at ways to improve the recycling rates. On a daily basis, nearly 500 tonnes of plastic waste is generated in the state and at 400 tonnes, the capital city of Hyderabad contributes 80 per cent of it all.
The local body authorities in the city have begun segregating the plastic waste generated in the city at multiple levels. However, there is a long way to go still.