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‘Maattam’ Seeks Better Facilities to Collect Waste, Recover Resources

In Kerala
July 24, 2023

Councillors of 49 civic bodies from six central districts sought ways to plug the loopholes in waste-management system, prompting implementation officers to step up efforts that aim to make the state garbage-free by March 2024 under the Malinya Muktham Nava Keralam initiative and Kerala Solid Waste Management Project (KSWMP).

Making progress towards the preparation of a Solid Waste Management Plan by calculating total waste generation, waste characterisation and gap analysis in bio and non-bio waste management facilities (including collection, transportation and service-providing), representatives at a two-day workshop here highlighted the augmentation of facilities such as sanitary waste destroyers, construction and demolition waste management facilities, appropriate vehicles for waste collection and approval as well as fund allocation for purchase of land as priority items to be considered through KSWMP.

As many as 300 delegates from 47 municipalities and two corporations across the districts of Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kottayam, Idukki and Malappuram attended the July 21-22 ‘Maattam’ workshop, organised by KSWMP and inaugurated by Minister for Local Self-Governments M.B. Rajesh on Friday.

The workshop emphasised the need to make swifter implementation of projects through more number of Material Collection Facilities (MCFs) and Resource Recovery Facilities (RRFs). This was in accordance to the Minister’s clarion call to go by a definite plan so as to achieve the desired results of the Malinya Muktham campaign through stronger leadership interventions from within the system.

‘Maattam’ on Saturday saw a string of proposals on ‘Solid Waste Management by representatives from Urban Local Bodies after marathon group discussions since Friday afternoon. The chairpersons, in their five-minute presentations, highlighted the requirement of land for upgraded MCFs, installation of CCTVs, pulveriser machines, soak pits and mobile septage treatment plants. Suggesting solutions, they also apprised the administrators on modern slaughterhouses and setting up ring compost for source-level disposal at households, while also briefing on sale of manure from the waste.

The suggestions will form part of a Draft Master-Plan on which KSWMP is slated to hold a meeting soon, to be chaired by the state Chief Minister.

The delegates and speakers stressed the need for enhancing capacity of the solid waste management systems by going for smart, neat and clean solutions by making best use of modern technology and equipment that enhance the capacity of the waste-management units. The participants examined the shortcomings in solid waste management in the local bodies, deriving ways to improve public awareness on the matter.

Architect G. Shankar, in his talk on ‘Various Models of Design: Technologies and Solutions’, highlighted the need for the development of bio-parks with women and child friendly facilities. “The buildings should guarantee the best results within the available space, and function also as community centres,” he said, suggesting that the construction material could best be of solid waste. At Saturday’s presentations, Kottakkal Municipality highlighted such a ‘Bio-Park Happiness Centre’ in its region.

Urban sanitation expert Jayakumar J.S. spoke on plugging the loopholes that check sustainable waste-management initiatives, while KSWMP Deputy Project Director U.V. Jose gave an outline of ‘The Present State of Garbage Collection’. The other sessions were on ‘The Achievements, Challenges and Strategies around Waste Management’, ‘Planned Interventions in Waste Management’ and ‘Prospective Grants and Integration for Waste Management’.

The sessions led by speakers sought detailed plans for solid-waste management in accordance with the parameters prescribed in the National Solid Waste Management manual, appraised the achievements of local self-government institutions, new waste-disposal projects and changes in consumer habit amid a surge in urban population.

The first workshop under the Maattam series was held at Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram district on July 3, while the next leg is slated to be held at Wayanad.