If the BMC is serious this time round, citizens will soon have to pay a fine
if they dispose of their waste in a single waste bin without segregating dry
from wet. The civic body has come out with draft bylaws which makes segregation
of waste mandatory for every household.
Accordingly every household will now have to collect their wet waste (kitchen
waste, vegetables,leaves) and dry waste (plastics, paper, glass, metal, cloth)
in separate bins. The civic body’s previously feeble attempts to get people
to segregate waste at source has failed repeatedly. It didn’t help matters much
that the Municipal Solid Waste Rules 2000 only ‘recommends’ segregation but
doesn’t impose any penalty on offenders.
As per the new by-laws, which will become fully functional in the next four
months, first-time offenders will be charged Rs 1,000 and Rs 100 subsequently.
The BMC also plans to impose user charges for collecting waste on the same lines
as water tax.
The user charges are expected to act as an incentive to encourage people to
dispose of their wet waste through vermiculture and sell dry waste to rag-pickers
on their own, thus reducing the load on the civic dumping grounds.
“The charges will be minimal and related
to the service rendered. Also the residential charges will be less than the
commercial charges. But we are yet to decide whether it will be levied based
on the built-up area of housing societies or on the amount of waste generated,’’
said additional municipal commissioner Subrat Ratho.
Presently around 8,000 metric tonnes of waste is haphazardly dumped at the three
dumping grounds at Mulund, Deonar and Gorai.
The result is that about 35-feet high mounds of garbage lies scattered at the
dumps with no scope for recycling.
The BMC-appointed private consultant ILFS is expected to submit a report on
scientific management of waste soon.
“We cannot implement the suggested methods like incineration, bio-composting,
sanitary land-fills unless the wet and dry waste is brought in separately to
the dumping grounds. Our vehicles will collect the wet waste on a daily basis
while the dry waste will be collected only once a week,’’ said deputy municipal
commissioner P Sanglikar.
However, officials admit that asking people to segregate waste is futile unless
door-to-door collection of waste is ensured.
The effective implementation of the plan is still suspect considering that only
20% of Mumbai is presently covered under the scheme.