Kerala: Doorstep Waste Collection Yield Results, Project Launched for Modern Waste Disposal Infrastructure Building
The Haritha Karma Sena, an army of the Kudumbashree, the pioneer women’s self-help group in Kerala, is carrying out a remarkable job in collecting non-biodegradable wastes at the doorsteps of households and establishments across the state. A majority of the Local Self Governments (LSGs) have achieved record coverage since the ‘Malinya Muktha Keralam’ (Waste Free Kerala) project was launched.
With 33,378 members in the sena, the doorstep collection has covered 90-100% in 422 local bodies, 75-90% in 298 local bodies and under 50% in only 78 local bodies. Besides effective waste collection, segregation, disposal and recycling, the process has come in handy for the members of the Kudumbashree, with their earnings increasing through the sale of non-degradable waste.
Taking the project to the next stage, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has launched the Kerala Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMP) at Rs 2,400 crore to achieve Zero waste in the state by establishing state-of-the-art waste management systems in all the urban local bodies. A blueprint for a material collection facility has also been published to ensure zero waste with the rapid urbanisation in the state.
WASTE COLLECTION GAINS TRACTION
The government implemented doorstep collection in different phases to overcome the disposal of the non-biodegradable wastes generated in households and establishments. The collection was expanded to more wards in the LSGs, with more members of the Kudumbashree joining the Haritha Karma Sena, entrusted with the collection of waste at doorsteps.
“Since the launch of the campaign, the coverage of door-to-door collection has increased from 48% in July to 78% now. We have planned to achieve 100% doorstep collection at the earliest,” M B Rajesh, the minister for LSGD, said while addressing a press conference.
Two Haritha Karma Sena members are deployed in each ward of the local body, with 250 houses/establishments allocated to each member. The members will frequently visit the houses to collect the waste and segregate the non-degradable waste to be transported to the Material Collection Facility and then to the Resource Recovery Facility in each panchayat.
A collection fee of Rs 50 and Rs 70 are collected per house in rural and urban areas, respectively, while Rs 100 is collected per establishment. As per reports, each member of the Sena in rural areas earns between Rs 4,500 and Rs 15,000, whereas their urban counterparts earn between Rs 12,000 and Rs 20,000 by the sale of products for recycling.
The government plans to improve the collection process with 78 local bodies covering under 50%. Alappuzha district leads the doorstep collection coverage at 94.49%, followed by Wayanad (88.46%) and Thiruvananthapuram (87.37%)
The number of Haritha Karma Sena members has increased from 26,000 to 33,378 in recent months, facilitating the expansion of waste collection. The members have also accomplished another task of identifying the waste dumping points. The government has managed to clear 5,473 dumping points out of the 5,965 identified dumping points.
SECOND PHASE TO IMPROVE INFRASTRUCTURE
With the aim of establishing state-of-the-art infrastructure for waste management at the local level, the government launched the KSWMP on August 20. The project is being implemented with the financial aid of the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) exclusively for the urban areas.
The Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, inaugurated the project in Kochi to create the infrastructure in 93 urban local bodies, including 6 corporations and 87 municipal corporations. The challenges of disposing of construction and demolition waste, sanitary waste and e-waste would be addressed through the project.
With the state expected to reach 90% urbanisation in 2035, the project is expected to solve the waste management problem. The blueprint prepared by 31 urban local bodies has been prepared, and the remaining LSGs are expected to complete the process by the end of October 2023, as per the statement of the minister of LSGD.
The ‘Malinya Muktha Nava Keralam’ (Waste Free Modern Kerala) aims to achieve zero waste by 2024. The campaign will intensify waste disposal at the source, doorstep collection of non-degradable waste, disposal of degradable waste, ending waste dumping at public places and preserving water bodies from the threats of waste dumping.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.