Compost being prepared with wet waste at home by a resident in Tirupati
Compost being prepared with wet waste at home by a resident in Tirupati

Tirupati: Segregation of waste is important for proper disposal of vast amount of garbage produced daily in cities more so like Tirupati, the famous temple city where the garbage generated is more compared to other Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) thanks to the huge floating population of about one lakh pilgrims arriving daily from various places on a pilgrimage to Tirumala. 

However, the waste segregation remains far from accomplished in the city despite the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCTs)’s best efforts largely due to lack of awareness on the part of the residents.

The city generates more than 200 tonnes of waste daily but with no proper segregation of the waste, the solid waste still remaining a tough job for the corporation forced to spend a huge amount on waste management. The civic body after introducing door-to-door collection of waste took up awareness programme for segregation of waste by residents, four years back but with no complete success. 

A health official says that though they achieved almost 100 per cent in door-to-door collection, the waste segregation is only about 50 per cent. But discreet enquiries reveal that it was much less. Against the backdrop, the MCT renewed its efforts to see total waste segregation in the city.

As a first step, the Corporation strengthened the door-to-door collection of waste in the city with three-pronged approach to cover all the one lakh houses in the corporation limits including the newly merged three panchayats. 

In the crowded areas mostly in the old city, the door-to-door collection of waste is taken up through pushcarts, in other areas by tricycles and in the far-flung areas were the houses are scatted in the newly merged panchayats like Thimminaidupalem motor vehicles are pressed into service for collection of waste from the houses. 

The city’s 50 divisions are divided into 370 micro pockets and in each two workers were engaged for collection of waste from houses. However, the corporation is facing difficulty to ensure 100 per cent in door-to-door collection of waste with workers absenting which is significant.

Currently, there are 650 outsourcing workers and 186 permanent staff and also about 50 workers known as Kurnool workers as they are from that area with the Health Department engaged in door-to-door collection of garbage which is going on mostly without segregation of waste i.e wet and dry. 

Municipal Corporation Commissioner V Vijay Rama Raju was candid enough to say that the corporation though spent about Rs 60 crore on solid waste management, including purchase of machinery still grappling with the problem with no segregation of waste at source in many divisions. 

To surmount this, the corporation is hit upon the idea of introducing home compost to overcome to some extent the deficiency in segregation of waste. He said if the home compost succeeds it will help segregate the household waste with the wet waste going for ‘home compost’ leaving only dry waste to be collected by the workers. Already, home compost was taken up by about 1,000 municipal employees while the corporation is preparing to extend it to others also. 

Corporation Health Officer Usha Kumari said the trained women SHGs and also school students will be engaged in to promote ‘home compost’ as an effective mean of handling wet waste leaving the dry waste to be collected under door-to-door garbage collection, which in turn help the Corporation achieve total success in waste segregation, she said.

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