The coastal town of Alappuzha, famous for its backwaters and intricate network of canals and lagoons, has found a spot in a United Nations (UN) report of five global cities that have successfully tackled solid waste management.
The UN Environment report lists Alappuzha, also called Aleppey, alongside cities like Osaka in Japan, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Penang in Malaysia and Cajica in Colombia.
Calling the town’s municipality “progressive”, the report said, “A few years ago, roadsides and canals filled with stinking garbage were threatening coastal Alappuzha’s status as a tourist destination as well as exposing residents and visitors alike to clouds of flies and disease-spreading mosquitoes. Protests by local residents had led to the closure of the city’s main landfill site in 2014.”
The UN report said since then, the municipality had taken active steps to address the problem by setting up a decentralised waste management system. By separating of biodegradable waste at the ward level, the municipality was able to treat it in ‘small composting plants’ and ensuring it was supplied in the form of biogas to its 1.74 lakh population, the report mentioned.
Last year, the Centre for Science and Environment said Alappuzha was one of the cleanest cities in the country alongside Mysuru in Karnataka and Panaji in Goa. The award was conferred by then Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu.