With awareness campaigns and even threats to invoke penal action not making citizens segregate waste at source before handing it over for disposal,the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has changed its strategy.
Convinced that it is difficult to make adults change their old habits,the PMC is now set to propagate the practice in the younger generation so that it is ingrained in their daily routine.
Garbage disposal issues have been a perennial problem with the PMC. First,it was villagers of Uruli Devachi,launching agitation in protest against garbage being dumped near their village,the only garbage dumping site for the city.
The PMC has since stopped open dumping of garbage and has successfully implemented projects for processing waste. However,waste processing plants require only dry waste. PMC has also developed facilities to tackle wet garbage at biogas plants in various parts of the city and has been promoting vermicomposting in housing societies.
Thus,the civic administration has been pressing for segregation of waste.
Door-to-door waste collection,another initiative,had received a good response and yielded positive results.
To avoid wastage of time and energy for segregating waste at processing plants,the PMC had urged citizens to segregate it at source,but the response has been very poor.
Even after warning that those who do not follow the PMC directive would be penalised,not much change was seen.
It is difficult to inculcate new practices in adults and that is the reason for the poor response to PMC directions on segregation of waste. If the idea is ingrained in the young generation,things would improve in future, said additional municipal commissioner Rajendra Jagtap. He said the civic body should itself take up projects to encourage schoolstudents to follow the practice of segregating waste at the source.
PMC would set aside Rs 10 lakh for awareness campaigns among schoolstudents for segregation of waste. The civic environment department will be given the responsibility of reaching out to schools and training students on practising waste segregation, Jagtap said adding that schools should be encouraged to form students squads for implementing the idea in schools.