Zero-garbage plan: Two Mumbai societies start segregating 90% of their waste within four days

Mumbai: As housing societies in the city struggle to meet the standards for waste segregation and recycling, two residential buildings in Goregaon (East) have done it in just four days. The 192 families living in the buildings have been able to segregate 90% of their dry and wet garbage.
Residents of Vidya Sankalp and Vinay Sankalp housing societies in Goregaon (East) stepped up their efforts to ensure their daily waste is tackled properly with the help of city-based NGO I Care For Tomorrow and achieved their goal between October 31 and November 3. The BMC has called their zero garbage project a ‘pilot example’ that should be replicated in other housing societies.
The societies produce around 56 kg waste per day, 42 kg of which is wet and the rest is dry, which includes recyclable items like plastic, glass and paper. Earlier, all of their waste was going to dumping grounds but now majority of the families have started composting organic waste at home by resorting to basket composting.“By the end of this month, we expect the entire 42kg of wet waste to be treated at source,” said Amlan Dutta, secretary, I Care For Tomorrow.
The NGO conducted a day-long awareness program that was attended by at least one member from each family. “After explaining the two bin segregation process, we mapped the amount being generated per day from each household by visiting each of the 192 families,” said Dutta. “Over the next three days, we ensured that their understanding of what was wet and dry waste was clear. By the fourth day, the societies managed to segregate 90% of their waste accurately.”
Residents said they will soon start recycling dry waste as well. “It took us some time to understand the basics of segregation, composting and recycling dry waste. Once we got used to the technique, we realized that it is not only our buildings that are reducing waste but we are also contributing to an environment-conscious society,” said Jitendra Jadhav, secretary of Vinay Sankalp.
The Municipal Solid Waste Management, Rules, 2000, which was notified last year after 16 years of delay, makes it compulsory for all local bodies to scientifically treat waste, and provide infrastructure for its segregation, collection and transportation. Also, the BMC has said it will stop collecting garbage from January 2, 2018 from housing societies, educational institutions and office complexes.
According to the Environment Status Report 2016-17, Mumbai generates 9,400 metric tons (MT) of waste daily, which is divided among the Deonar, Kanjurmarg and Mulund dumping grounds. The dumps are, however, running out of space, forcing Mumbai to look at faraway places to dump its garbage. “We monitored the progress of increasing segregation to more than 90% in four days. Both housing societies are pilot examples for BMC’s zero garbage mission and we welcome more citizens coming forward for a pollution free Mumbai,” said Daya Prasad Srivastava, solid waste management officer, P North municipal.
Suhash Wadkar, local corporator, said under the Swachh Bharat mission, the BMC is carrying out awareness drives. “But the real challenge is to reach every home. This NGO has managed to sensitize every individual within these housing complexes,” said Wadkar.
As part of the zero garbage mission, the NGO will involve another 900 families from different parts of Mumbai’s suburbs to segregate and treat waste at source.

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