Suryapet Municipality in Telangana adopts the best practice in solid waste management in the country where wet waste does not mix with dry waste during handling, said member, Supreme Court Committee for Solid Waste Management, Almitra H. Patel.

Ms. Patel, a national expert, Swachh Bharat Mission, said that problem faced by most of the cities in solid waste management is the failure to keep apart wet and dry waste. Stating that Suryapet Municipality has shown the way, she said wet and dry waste are handled separately right from door-to-door collection, transport and disposal.

She was here to inaugurate green skill development programme by Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre at the Thiagarajar College of Engineering. Among the 196 cities she had visited, Suryapet has zero land filling. Over and above, the city makes Rs. 45,000 out of the compost yard used to dispose off wet waste and Rs. 55,000 by recycling dry waste every month.

Tracing the menace of solid waste management taking a perilous proportion in the urban regions, she said the advent of plastic and unmindful disposal of plastic waste in open had led to the problem.

Traditionally, the wet waste was taken by farmers as manure for their farm operations. But when plastic waste gets mixed with wet waste, they stop taking them as plastic materials spoil the soil. So, people start dumping waste on streets. Later, local bodies find road margins, which is a no-man’s land, a better place to dispose off waste collected in towns and cities.

Outbreak of plague in Gujarat in 1994 revealed to the world the adverse impact of lack of proper solid waste management. As plastic waste blocked rat holes in drains, rodents came out and led to outbreak of plague.

This environmental pollution had led to Indian produce being rejected and burnt by foreign countries. Businessmen incurred huge loss and Indian economy suffered, she said.

Ms. Patel advocated use of two bins: green one for kitchen and garden waste that could be used for composting, and a red one for sanitary waste, bio-waste and a bag for recyclable waste like plastic, metal and glass.

“With regard to glass materials, residents could collect them for a year in a bucket and the local body could have a particular day to collect such materials,” she said.

K. Hari Thiagarajan, Executive director, Thiagarajar Mills, said that waste management could produce six lakh jobs in the country. He warned that several rivers in the country were getting polluted.

The pollution caused in the Noyal by dyeing units have their impact in the drinking water in Chennai. It is the price paid for overlooking waste management.

TCE Principal, V. Abhaikumar, Head of Department of Chemistry, M. Kottaisamy, spoke.

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