SMC’s waste segregation experiment promising dividends

SMC’s waste segregation experiment promising dividends
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NGOs involved say scientific treatment would solve the Achan crisis

Srinagar: It was neither the lack of space at Achan dumping site, nor paucity of garbage collection manpower at Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) but unscientific collection and treatment that was responsible for mess at the landfill site and the city.
These observations have been made by a group of NGOs looped in by the SMC two months ago to help tackle the garbage crisis in Srinagar.
The shrinking space at Achan landfill site, where 500 metric tonnes of waste is dumped every day, is a major problem for Srinagar. The issue was so grave that the landfill sites would survive only half of their age.
“It was because the waste was dumped without scientific treatment,” an engineer working at the site told Kashmir Reader.
Experts from the NGOs have identified unscientific treatment as a main problem for which they have found a solution, which seems to be succeeding.
SMC has tried to resolve its dumping site crisis since 2015, but failed despite spending crores. First it gave money to a Koklatta based so called expert who let the garbage scattered for converting to ashes with a chemical. The idea failed terribly.
Then a segregator machine was brought in to separate dry and wet waste, it too failed.
“So SMC was literally in a mess as it had no idea what to do next. Moving to another landfill site was not a solution unless the segregated waste was dumped into it,” the engineer said.
The NGOs after the flagging segregation as a remedy have begun to work at the household level in selected wards.
In just two months, the results are promising.
“Out of the 3000 households in my ward, 800 have already begun to segregate, the rest have begun to show willingness,” an official of one of the NGOs told Kashmir Reader. The NGOs and their officials asked not to be named.
“In another ward, 80 percent of the households throw garbage in segregation,” said another NGO official. “The situation is by and large same in rest of the areas.”
The NGOs are now working to collect the segregated waste and transport it to landfill at Achhan.
“We have vehicles without provision for taking two different types of waste. We used gunny sacks to divide the waste, and it was successful. This it is then taken to the site,” an expert working with an NGO added.
“Though we are working at a small level, but it will be replicated. We are also going to identify a site where the waste is dumped locally which can later be used as fertiliser. We are also creating awareness among the households how to reduce the waste by reuse of the material,” he added.
The segregation is done in both the zones of the city on pilot bases. Another NGO said that they had to do a baseline survey about the number of households, understand their pattern of treating waste, get the maps of the areas. All this has been procured which was not available with the SMC, they said.