Plastic waste collection in the city could come to a standstill soon, if the city Corporation’s Health Standing Committee continues to go slow on the tendering process to choose the agency which would transport the collected plastic waste. Since February this year, when the contract expired, the plastic waste collected from households in the city has been piling up at various resource recovery centres and the plastic waste shredding facility at Muttathara.

According to officials here, the project secretariat had informed the Health Standing Committee in advance about the upcoming expiry of contract with the Tamil Nadu-based agency and even sent a report in January on what needs to be done. But, these were ignored, as plastic waste continued to pile up at the resource recovery centres.

“Over the past one year, we had built a very effective waste collection system, with everything properly segregated. This was achieved through the periodic collection of specific kinds of wastes, like carrybags, footwears and bottles. But now, with all the waste piling up, the segregation work has all gone to waste, with the footwears and bags slowly getting mixed up with plastic carrybags,” says an official.

A crisis was averted only because an NGO Thanal helped out by carrying away large quantities of waste some weeks back. The new contract also had a proposal for a shift from a model in which the Corporation was paying money for the waste to be carried away, to a model where it would make money by selling the waste.

“Since we didn’t have proper segregation earlier, we couldn’t make revenue out of it. But now with periodic collection programmes, we are thinking of generating revenue out of the collected footwear, bags and other material. But, with the tender getting delayed, we are not sure how this will work out now,” says the official.The Corporation had begun the daily collection of plastic waste through collection points set up near aerobic bin units and at the material recovery facilities of the local body in September. The Corporation had in 2016 banned the use of plastic carrybags.

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