|Plastic and other waste dumped at Kharavela Nagar in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar, Sept. 16: A war has broken out between the municipal corporation and the Odisha State Pollution Control Board over segregation of plastic waste.
While the board has asked the corporation to segregate plastic waste and transport it to a cement factory to reduce pollution, the civic authorities say they lack men and money required for the job.
Not ready to buy the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s arguments, the board has been writing letters to the civic authorities to set up centres for collection and segregation of plastic waste.
A board official said they had asked the corporation in the past to develop their own system for segregation of plastic waste from solid garbage generated in the city. The waste could then be sent to a cement factory in Bargarh for using it as an ingredient to make cement.
The board had also instructed the corporation to set up plastic waste collection centres for segregation of the material from solid garbage.
The Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules (PWR), 2000, issued by the Union ministry of environment and forests, also asks urban local bodies to set up the waste collection centres.
However, the corporation continues to ignore the board’s suggestion.
Last month, the board again shot off missives to eight urban local bodies, including Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation. The board asked them to start segregating plastic waste from solid garbage and sent it to the ACC cement plant at Bargarh for reducing environmental hazards. An officer of the board said if the corporation officials want, they would carry their wastes twice a year to Bargarh to reduce the civic bodies’ transportation cost.
“We hope this time the urban body will follow the rules and make their arrangements for plastic waste management as per the guidelines,” said Smrutiprava Samantray, senior scientist of the board.
|Plastic waste ready to be transported for recycling.
Pictures by Ashwinee Pati
A corporation official, however, said they were trying to follow the norm for plastic waste management and an action plan was being prepared.
“We know that this process will cost us more money and more staff is required for this. The segregation process involves separating plastic materials, cleaning and stocking those till despatch. The waste will then have to be carried 350km to Bargarh,” said the corporation’s environment officer, B.K. Routray.
Routray said earlier it was decided that collection centres would be set up in every ward, but it was not feasible. Later, it was decided that nearly 12-13 centres would be set up across the city.
“Since it is for the first time that the corporation is setting up such centres, it is taking time. Besides, the health department of the corporation has been given charge to undertake a feasibility study,” he said.
At present, the city produces 450 tonnes of solid waste and 10 per cent of which are plastic materials.
As burning of plastic materials generate polluting gases, the waste can only be co-processed in cement factories.
Earlier, the housing and urban development department had directed the corporation to employ rag-pickers for segregation of plastic wastes at different collection centres and pay them incentives. Short on money, the corporation cannot afford to appoint employees to run collection centres. It is now planning to create awareness among residents to segregate plastic items from their garbage, before handing it to the waste collectors.
“We will put up hoardings and circulate leaflets to educate people and it will help us to a great extent,” said Routray.
Besides Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur and Puri are other urban civic bodies that have been asked to set up such centres and effectively co-process plastic waste.
Solid waste generated per day in Bhubaneswar:
To clear plastic waste, number of trucks
cost for eight truckloads of plastic waste from Bhubaneswar