In a move that has been long pending, Chennai city corporation officials have set October 2 as the date for residents across all zones to begin waste segregation. This is meant to decrease the amount on non-biodegradable waste dumped in landfills, reports ToI.
According to the solid waste department of the Chennai Corporation, the city generates close to 3,200 tonnes of garbage on a daily basis. This garbage is collected from bins in 15 zones and split between Chennai's two dumping yards - Kodungaiyur and Perungudi. Garbage from zones one to eight are carried by trucks to Kodungaiyur, which has a 270-acre landfill in the northern part of the city, while eight to fifteen arrive at the Perungudi landfill in South Chennai.
While the date has been fixed, there is reportedly no plan yet to enforce segregation. Penalties and rewards still remain a matter a discussion.
According to studies, 68% of municipal solid waste generated is residential waste, 16% is from commercial waste, 14% institutional waste and 2% industrial waste. Majority of the garbage in Chennai is in the form of green waste (32.3%), and inert materials (34.7%) like stone and glass. The rest consists plastic material and other non-biodegradable substances.
An official of the Corporation told ToI that there are composting yards set up in each zone for turning waste into compost that might see an increase once segregation is made compulsory. The Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, had directions to implement source segregation in a phased manner by engaging with residentsâ€™ associations. But people's attitude, argue officials, needs to change to make the rules a reality.