Councillors must meet residents and explain to them waste segregation at source before separate bins to dispose of waste are handed to them, the mayoral council member who heads the solid waste management department of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) said on Tuesday.
Putting up posters and banners and distributing leaflets cannot match councillors’ interaction with their constituents in spreading awareness on an issue, Debabrata Majumdar, mayoral council member in charge of the KMC’s solid waste management department, told councillors on Tuesday.
The KMC is set to start distribution of separate bins for disposing of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste to houses from Wednesday or Thursday.
“Green bins are meant for biodegradable waste such as food and vegetable waste. Blue bins are for non-biodegradable waste such as metal, paper and glass,” said a KMC official.
People living in standalone houses will be given two bins. As for apartment blocks and housing societies, Majumdar said, large blue and green bins will be provided to the residents’ associations and kept on the ground floors of the buildings. Residents of the apartments will dispose of their degradable and bio-degradable waste in those bins. KMC personnel will collect the waste.
“Involvement of councillors is important in making waste segregation at source a success. Organise small meetings with 50 or 100 or 200 residents. Tell them about waste segregation,” Majumdar told the councillors at a briefing session on waste segregation.
Councillors of Boroughs I to VII were briefed on Tuesday and those from Boroughs VIII and XVI will be briefed on Wednesday.
“Do not try to distribute the bins across an entire ward all at once. It will take some time. But remember, bins cannot be distributed before you have held meetings with residents,” Majumdar said. Officials of the KMC’s solid waste management department have been asked to attend those meetings.
Several officials stressed the need to explain to the residents the concept of waste segregation at source. “The process will become easy once residents have a clear idea of which waste to put where,” said an official. The KMC plans to collect biodegradable waste every day. The non-biodegradable waste will be collected after a gap of one or two days.
Ward-level officials will decide on the schedule of collection of biodegradable waste.
Councillors have been told to refrain from distributing the bins and leave the job to officials. “You supervise the work but do not get involved in the distribution,” Majumdar told councillors.
Each household will have to sign a register once they are handed the bins.
For houses where tenants live, the owner and the tenants both have to sign. “The landlords have to ensure that the tenants do not take away the bins with them when they leave,” Majumdar said. “We cannot give bins to new tenants every time.”