Bins to segregate waste are being distributed but many residents are still dumping all forms of waste together.
If this habit grows, it will become difficult to reverse it, Debabrata Majumdar, mayoral council member in charge of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC)’s solid waste management department told councillors on Thursday.
Majumdar urged the councillors to talk to residents so they segregate waste before disposal.
The KMC has been distributing bins among residents for segregating biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste since December 1.
But only about 25 per cent of the total number of bins have been distributed yet, said an official of the civic body.
Majumdar said the bins could not be distributed at many places because the councillors were not available.
He had earlier said that all bins should be handed to residents in the presence of the respective councillors and the elected representatives should organise meetings with a small number of people in each locality to explain the basic facts about waste segregation.
“Many councillors are saying they are busy. The bins could not be distributed because they were not available. Please give some time to our officials so the bins can be distributed,” he told the councillors at a meeting of the civic house.
“Many of the residents who have received the bins are still not segregating waste. Please talk to those residents. Keep a tab on how much segregation is being done. If the practice of non-segregation is not stopped now, it will become irreversible,” Majumdar said.
The mayoral council member also urged the councillors not to interfere in the recruitment of staff who will collect waste. “Do not insist on taking people you know. People who work hard should be recruited. Otherwise, we will not be able to achieve success in waste segregation,” he said.
Proper segregation is necessary as the recycling plants for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste are separate. Biodegradable waste is sent to a plant in Dhapa, where the waste is used to produce bio-gas.
The non-biodegradable waste, which includes items of plastic, metal and wood, is sent to recycling plants located at various places.
The civic house started its proceedings late because of lack of quorum. Chairperson Mala Roy mildly rebuked the councillors for turning up late. “The session started 10 minutes late. One-third of the total number of councillors form the quorum,” she later told The Telegraph.
Mayor Firhad Hakim requested all councillors to turn up at least 15 minutes before the proceedings are to start.