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Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram offer models of decentralized waste management systems
 
(New Delhi, June 13, 2018): Sweeping cities is only a small part of the solution to the problem of keeping our cities clean – what is more important is sustainable treatment, recycle and reuse of the waste that they generate,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), while announcing the awards for most efficient management and segregation of waste by Indian cities which are members of the Forum of Cities that Segregate.

CSE has been working with cities to promote and implement source-segregation and decentralized model of waste management. To scale up its impact, CSE had launched the ‘Forum of Cities that Segregate’ on December12, 2017. The Forum now has 26 members – from Kerala, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram feature in the list.

CSE released the 2017-18 assessment report of the performance of 20 of these 26 Forum cities. Based on the findings of the assessment report, the best performers were selected and the Leaves Awards conferred on them.

The cities were assessed based on their performance in the six months since the Forum was launched. The parameters included segregation at source, collection, transportation, wet waste and dry waste processing, adoption of decentralised systems, the inclusion of informal sector in municipal systems and adoption and enforcement of SWM bye-laws and enforcement of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, both with a population of 0.1 – 1.0 million range get the Four Leaves Award in CSE’s assessment.

Alappuzha was conferred the CSE’s Clean City Award, 2016 by the then Union Urban Development Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu (current Vice President of India). All 52 wards in the city practice waste segregation at the household, commercial and bulk generator level.

90 per cent of the city of Thiruvananthapuram segregates their waste into wet and dry. At the commercial level, 18,000 of the smaller commercial establishments and 450 bulk generators are segregating their waste at source.

The municipality provides collection for only dry waste in both the cities. In case they cannot treat their wet waste at source, community composting facility is available in each ward.

In Thiruvananthapuram, approximately 50 per cent of the households are composting at source. Close to 4,000 households and 100 bulk generators have set up biogas plants for in-situ treatment of wet waste.

Thiruvananthapuram and Alappuzha are the only cities in CSE’s forum of cities to have invested in fully-funded decentralized waste management systems.

Under the Alappuzha model, residents are required to treat the maximum amount of wet waste at source. The Municipal Council has been providing subsidies on technologies for installation of biogas and compost plants at the household level; 15-20 tonnes of wet waste is treated in the 23 aerobic composting centres in the city each day.

While Alappuzha has no dumpsite, in Thiruvananthapuram only 17.5 per cent of the waste is disposed off in dumpsites.
Both cities are yet to adopt the bye-laws as per the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. However, they are doing well in enforcing the major provisions of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.


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