Chandigarh: Waste segregation from today but no fines in the first week

Hina Rohatki
Waste Plastic spread next to River Yamuna near Sonia Vihar in New Delhi. (Express file photo)

THERE WON’T be any fines for not segregating waste at least for the first one week beginning Saturday, the day when Chandigarh implements mandatory waste segregation. Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, Mayor Rajesh Kalia said, “In the first week beginning tomorrow, the sanitation staff has been directed that fine will not be imposed on people. Yes, but waste collectors have been told that mixed waste will not be collected.”

Even as city residents say that they will give segregated waste from Saturday, they wonder if the corporation is prepared to collect and dispose of waste in a segregated manner itself.

Vinod Vashisht, convener of the City Forum of the Resident Welfare Organisations (CFORWO), said, “I personally feel that now when there is another attempt to make segregation mandatory, extensive awareness campaigns should be carried out. Not only residents but all other stakeholders should also ensure that segregated waste reaches its final point of waste processing in the same segregated form only. Any waste handler (including residential or commercial waste collectors or deployed municipal corporation staff), whether at door-to-door level or at Sehaj Safai Kendras (SSKs) or Waste Recovery Centres, found re-mixing the collected segregated waste should also be suitably fined.”

Chairman of Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh Baljinder Singh Bittu said, “We residents may give segregated waste but these collectors and MC workers will mix it. Will that serve any purpose when the segregated waste becomes mixed at Sehaj Safai Kendras?”

The corporation has also advised residents that any anomalies in this chain of segregation process be immediately uploaded on Swachhata app or MC’s WhatsApp number at 7380033322.

“Till all the clauses of the UT department of environment notification come into force on the 27th December 2019, an extensive awareness drive by MCC in collaboration with city’s RWAs and MWAs be carried out concurrently while waste collection in segregated form kicks off and continues,” Vashisht said.

The garbage collectors are not under the corporation. They work independently. This is the biggest hurdle for the corporation as they cannot impose fines on the collectors or penalise them because they are not legally bound with the civic body.

Although garbage collectors have started informing city residents to give only segregated waste from Saturday, they have voiced their concern about hindrances as well.

“Most of us do not have two-coloured bins and we have been asked to make a partition in our waste carts. We feel complete infrastructure should have been there before rolling out this mandatory segregation,” said a member of the waste collectors union on condition of anonymity.

Mayor Rajesh Kalia said that directions have been passed to the sanitation officials that if the two-coloured bins overflow at the Sehaj Safai Kendras, a small compound be allocated for green and dry waste at the SSK until the bins are emptied at the garbage processing plant.

“The company carrying out the garbage processing always had this excuse that we don’t give segregated waste. Now there are strict directions at every level to ensure that only segregated waste flows from the residents to the plant,” Kalia said.

From the residents, segregated waste will be collected by the waste collectors in segregated form and from there it will go to SSK and be disposed of in green and dry waste only. From the SSKs, the waste will go in a segregated manner to the garbage processing plant.