Gangtok, 30 Aug:
Gangtok Municipal Corporation commissioner, HK Chettri, addressed a press meet at his office here today to detail steps taken by the GMC for segregation of waste at source and other measures.
Mr Chettri informed that starting September, the GMC will be introducing segregation of waste at source on a compulsory basis apart from enforcing the ban on single-use plastic ban.
Yellow bags are also being installed in GMC trucks to dispose sanitary napkins and diapers which are to be now discarded wrapped in paper and marked red.
He said GMC has initiated all required awareness with respect to segregation of waste at source and also distributed dustbins to Gangtokians a while back.
“Now, from September onwards we plan to collect dry and wet waste separately. We have already conducted sensitization of the Gangtok beautifiers on the collection of waste. For the first two weeks of September we will be considerate but from then onwards we have decided not to collected waste if not segregated at source and in the days ahead, as per the solid waste management action plan of the state government, we plan to impose fines as enshrined in the plan.
Following the waste management we have also started generating awareness among students. We feel that students are the best messengers who can lead the society towards right direction and aware too,” he explained.
The GMC Commissioner pointed out that being a hilly terrain, Gangtok has limited land to develop landfill sites. As for the landfill site that exists, though it has been scientific ally developed, non-segregation of waste has limited its abilities, he said.
“It’s high time for all to extend all necessary cooperation in managing waste in a proper manner,” he said.
He maintained that if wet waste and dry waste were segregated at source itself, and collected accordingly, the same can be managed in a scientific manner at the landfill.
It was further informed that the composting plant at the landfill site was not functioning because waste was not being segregated. Similarly, the composting plant installed at Lall Bazaar was also not in operation due to mechanical failure. The spare parts have however been brought in and the unit should be operational within 15 days.
The Commissioner mentioned that a total of 50 metric tonnes of waste is received at the landfill site on a daily basis and with the help of rag-pickers, the segregation of big plastic items, bottles is being carried out and sent for recycling.
It was informed that 20-30% of the dry waste is segregated at the landfill site and recycled.
The Commissioner also spoke on the E-Waste management too which remains a big challenge and needs to be managed and handled with care since e-waste contains many hazardous elements which needs to be taken care of in proper manner.
He also requested shopkeepers to continue keeping two dustbins in their shops and sensitize customers on their proper use. He mentioned that shopkeepers used to follow segregation of waste earlier but have stopped doing so now.
Meanwhile, GMC plans to carry out an awareness campaign on the ban on single use plastic in the state from 11 September onwards.