Mandatory waste segregation in Chandigarh witnessed a slow start on the first day. The door-to-door garbage collection society said that around 30 per cent of the residents across the city gave segregated waste, while others continued to give mixed waste, which they segregated later. The waste collectors have now decided that they will give three warnings to the residents to give the segregated waste, and after that they will not accept the mixed waste and will also inform the sanitary inspector concerned to issue a challan.
Carts were though seen with a partition where waste collectors were keeping separate dry and wet waste. Om Prakash Saini, chairman of door-to-door garbage collection society, said, “ For the last few days we had been informing the residents to give only segregated waste but most of them continued to give the mixed waste only. So we segregated it into dry and wet later.”
The waste collectors also complained of lack of proper infrastructure at the Sehaj Safai kendras. “We did take segregated waste to the SSKs but there were no two coloured bins. What is the purpose (of the segregation) if the mixed waste reaches the garbage processing plant,” Saini added.
Congress Councillor Devinder Singh Babla said that very few residents gave segregated waste. “ The fact is that this mandatory segregation has been started in a half-hearted manner. No awareness drives were carried out and at some places, even waste collectors are not making people aware,” he said.
Chairman of Federation of Sectors Welfare Association, Chandigarh, Baljinder Singh Bittu said, “These things take time. The residents are giving segregated waste but at the end of the day it is going as mixed waste at processing plant.” The garbage collectors are not under the municipal corporation and they work independently. The civic body officials said that this the biggest hurdle as they cannot impose fines on the collectors or penalize them.
It was on June 5, 2017 that the civic body inaugurated waste segregation in the city with much fanfare. The MC had decided to make it compulsory by October 2, 2017. The next deadline was December 2017. The same scheme was rolled out yet again in 2018. A fresh deadline was set for October and then for December 2018. In 2019, civic body had already missed another deadline.
Already, funds to the tune of Rs 3 crore have been spent on purchasing the twin-coloured bins — blue and green — to distribute among the city residents for waste segregation. The residents had even claimed that the bins were not of a particular size but the civic body went on to purchase them. Now, these bins are not being used.