Developing countries are still working towards better waste management. We need proper waste disposal, managing and minimising the hazardous waste, and recycling to implement this well. While many nations are working out their waste management methods, a small town in WestBengal has exhibited its ways to manage solid waste in an eco-friendly way.
Uttarpara, a small city of 10.09 square km in West Bengal is administered by a 163-year-old municipality which helped the Kolkata Solid Waste Management Improvement Project win a global award. In the C40 Mayors’ Summit held recently on December 1 in Mexico City, Uttarpara defeated its contenders Milan and Auckland.
It is a matter of pride for the entire nation to get this recognition.
Waste management has been a massive problem in the country. 31% of the population living in cities and towns generates 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per year. Of this, the civic bodies collect only 43 million tonnes. They treat 11.9 million tonnes, and dump the remaining 31 million tonnes of garbage in landfill sites, as reported by Hindustan Times.
Uttarpara city reveals waste free roadsides and marketplaces. The Municipal workers gather bio-degradable, and non-degradable solid waste from households. The waste is then carried in vans having separate chambers and dumped separately at the transfer centre. Once there, the non-degradable waste is compressed in compactor machines and dumped at sanitary landfills.
Rag pickers collect things and sell those to waste dealers. The local civic body provides them with masks, gumboots, gloves and uniform. It is mandatory to wear all the paraphernalia before sifting through garbage. They segregate the remaining bio-degradable from the non-degradable waste. The bio-degradable waste goes to the compost plant, and municipality sells the bio-manure produced through marketing agents.
The city makes 3-4 tonnes of manure daily from the 12-14 tonnes of waste gathered. However, the capacity to produce fertiliser is up to 10 tonnes per day. In the award ceremony in Mexico, Dilip Yadav the Civic Chief briefed about a plan to cover all drains across the town, as reported by Hindustan Times.
C40 group website mentions that poor sewage management and constant waste dumping into the River Ganges resulted in the extinction of several aquatic animals.
The adoption and promotion of the 3R principle of reducing, reusing and recycling have positive effects on the environment. This has reduced the dumping of waste in the city, as reported by Hindustan Times.