SMC sits on segregation of solid waste at source

SMC sits on segregation of solid waste at source
Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is still collecting mixed waste from areas. There are also complaints that SMC vehicles meant for transportation of garbage arrive late in several areas.Aman Farooq for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Authorities have failed to start segregation of solid waste at source in the summer capital affecting scientific disposal of the garbage at Achan dumping site.

Segregation of waste at source is one of the important components of Solid Waste Management Rules (SWMR). Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is still collecting mixed waste from areas. There are also complaints that SMC vehicles meant for transportation of garbage arrive late in several areas.

Under SWMR, each house has to keep two separate dustbins, one for biodegradable and another for non-biodegradable waste. Non-implementation of these rules has multiplied the problems of garbage dumping, processing and its disposal.

"The mixture of every kind of wastage is one of the biggest problems. If the garbage is segregated at source it will reduce half of the problems of its disposal," said an expert.

"Throwing waste in the bin is a good thing. However, it is not where the process of managing waste ends, but where it begins. Segregation is the first step of waste management," he said.

The expert said that most people think that it starts once the garbage reaches the huge dustbin vans or the dumping grounds. “It really starts right at your house.”

Waste from a house can be broadly divided into two categories – dry waste and wet waste. Both need to be disposed and recycled differently.

Wet waste includes cooked and uncooked food, waste from fruits and flowers, fallen leaves, dust from sweeping and other similar things.

“On the other hand, paper, plastic, rubber, metals, leather, cloth rags, wire, glass and other things fall under the category of dry waste. Wet waste is organic and dry is not," the expert added.

Under SWMR, segregation is the first step towards proper disposal of both categories of waste. It is recommended to have two separate dustbins in the house to keep wet waste from mixing up with its dry counterpart.

Bits of plastic, for instance, are dry waste components which if not disposed properly can become an environmental hazard.

"Segregation is the separation of biodegradable waste from non-biodegradable waste for proper disposal and recycling," said an official.

"Improper segregation may cause mixing in landfills. This in turn, can lead to toxic release in the ground and eventual contamination of ground water. Methane gas is likely to be released in such circumstances, which is one of the most harmful greenhouse gases," he added.

SMC Commissioner Athar Aamir said that SMC is taking various measures to implement SWMR in letter and spirit.

“From October 25, we are also starting door to door collection. The teams are also in field to educate people about need and importance of segregation of waste at source,” he said.

“We are also adding more 100 vehicles for transportation of garbage, two insulators and also taking other measures to make the Srinagar city garbage free,” he said while replying to a query.

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