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TWO WEEKS ago, amid fanfare, the Municipal Corporation gave garbage collectors and residents bins with different colours for waste segregation.
Soon after the distribution of these bins, the garbage collectors in Sector 15 tried their best to remember which one was for the wet waste and which one for the dry, anxious not to mix up the two.
As it turned out, the anxiety was unnecessary. The garbage collectors realised that the corporation had not distributed the household bins yet to all the residents in the sector. Most of the residents who had received the bins were in another sector.
“Poori tarah kisi ko mile hi nahi naye wale dabbe…. kya fayda? Kooda kis ka nahin uthayen? Koi alag kar hi nahi raha (The bins have not been fully distributed. What’s the use of these bins? No one is segregating their waste yet),” said a garbage collector in Sector 15.
On top of that, the garbage collectors with the segregators have been told not to collect waste that is not segregated by the residents.
Arbitrary distribution of bins is a major hurdle being faced in the newly launched two-bin system. Where residents have the bins, the garbage collectors don’t have them; where select garbage collectors have the bins, the residents have not been given the bins. This mismatch has given a slow start to the much talked-about project of waste segregation at source. The bin system took off on June 5. Green bins are meant to dispose of wet waste while blue bins are meant for dry waste.
A visit to Sector 15 in the morning where garbage collectors were collecting garbage showed how the situation remained exactly the same even now. In a hurry to begin the drive on the Centre’s directions, the authorities distributed the bins in an evidently unplanned way.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, the president of Chandigarh Door to Door Garbage Collectors Society, Om Prakash Saini, said that the civic body should have launched the project in one sector on a pilot basis initially.
“Rather than starting the project in the entire city when they had to distribute 15,000 bins in the first go, they could have begun the drive in one sector and later in the other areas. At least bins would have been there with residents and our garbage collectors as well,” said Saini.
He added, “It is all an eyewash. Proper planning should be done before beginning a project on a large scale. The drive seems to have been pushed off in a hurry but everything remains mismanaged.”
Joint Commissioner Manoj Khatri said that the entire process would take time. “We announced the drive on June 5. We never said we will complete it by June 5. Our estimated time of proper distribution of bins is July 15. Such projects which are begun to inculcate a change in the mindset of people will take time,” he said.
Veena, a resident of Sector 15, said, “I purchased my own bins. But what is the use when the garbage collector lifts it without segregation? It’s been 10 days but he doesn’t have a blue or a green bin till now,” she said.
While the MC was to get one lakh bins in the first phase, only 15,000 reached it in a fortnight. As per plan, by June 25, about 1.5 lakh bins were to reach the civic body but it seems the corporation would be able to get only 30,000 till then.
Mayor Asha Jaswal said that they would receive another lot of 15,000 bins in this week. “We will ensure that the next lot of bins is distributed equally among garbage collectors and people. In fact, this entire process of distribution would be regulated by the month of July.”
The small size of the bins is another issue which is actually not pushing people to use the bins. People have been claiming that the bins are small in size and not meant for disposal of garbage.