Letter of Mahesh Pandya of Paryavaran Mitra, Ahmedabad, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the latter’s campaign of segregating wet and dry waste:
Paryavaran Mitra is a Gujarat-based voluntary organization working on socio-environmental issues since 1997. Our organization is active in bringing awareness in matters of environmental and climate change issues and imparting education on the same.
We would, firstly, like to appreciate your vision and initiative towards the protection of environment, especially about the waste management, about which you spoke in the latest talk of “Mann Ki Baat”. You mentioned about waste management in the Talk, and, how you are going to start a campaign all over India regarding waste management. We agree with your words and spirit, as our goal is the same.
“One thing I would certainly like to say is that we should always consider these waste as resources and wealth. Do not see it as just garbage. Once we start looking at garbage and waste as a wealth, we shall also find newer, techniques of waste management. Young persons connected with Start-ups will also come forward with newer schemes and also come forward with new equipment.
“The Central Government has along with State Governments and with the cooperation of municipal representatives of cities decided to launch a massive and important campaign of waste management. On the occasion of World Environment Day on 5th June, there are going to be litter bins made available to collect solid waste and liquid waste in 4000 towns of the country.
“Two types of waste bins will be available, one would be of green colour and the other blue. There are two types of waste generated, is the liquid waste and the other is dry waste. If we follow discipline, then the waste bins that are going to be placed in these 4 thousand towns will collect dry garbage in blue waste bins and liquid garbage in green waste bins. The waste from our kitchens, be it vegetable peels, leftover food, egg shells or leaves are all part of liquid waste and are to be placed in green litter bins.
“This waste can be utilized in fields, and if you will remember that fields are green then you will remember what to place in the green litter bins. The second type of waste is like old newspapers, cardboard, iron, glass, cloth, plastic, leather, polythene, broken boxes, rubber, metals and other kind of waste are all dry waste or litter which can be recycled by machines but cannot be directly used and has to be placed in the blue waste bin.
“I’ve a firm belief that we will develop a culture and the new steps that we take towards achieving cleanliness will continue, only then will we achieve the dream of Gandhiji, achieve the kind of cleanliness that he dreamt of, today. I must admit with pride that if a single individual decides it in his heart then a huge Public campaign can be launched . Cleanliness is also one such drive.”
However, before launching of the movement, our observation of the different municipal corporations tells us that it is important to take some precautions before starting.
- The vehicles, which collect waste from different societies, should be not be used any more. Current vehicles are in very vulnerable conditions. Half of the waste, due to the poor condition of the vehicles, drops on society or regular roads, which creates uncleanliness and traffic problems. There is a need to deploy separate vehicles for wet and dry wastes.
- Both, people who collect waste from door-to-door as well as people who are in-charge of vehicles, should be given health-safety materials such as mask, gloves etc.
- Immediately, new facilities should be developed for the efficient disposal of wet waste. In the same manner, dry solid waste should be dumped in new dumping sites developed by the Municipality.
- Instead of wasting money in useless photo-sessions, awareness programmes should be held in every society, so that, people get to know the importance of segregation of wet and dry wastes.
- Both, people who collect waste from door-to-door as well as people who are in-charge of vehicles, should be given enough knowledge about the importance of segregation.
- Responsibilities of segregation of wet and dry wastes should be put on Chairmen and Secretaries of different societies.
- The containers of different colour codes indicating wet and dry waste should be put at various places in the city.