Gangtok, Dec 9 (IANS): In a push for scientific and sustainable management of solid waste, the civic authorities have directed the residents of seven municipal bodies of Sikkim to deposit segregated waste only to the garbage collectors.
From December 1, residents in state capital Gangtok and six other notified urban areas have to segregate their household garbage into dry waste and wet waste first at the household level. Only segregated waste will be received by the garbage collectors while moving through various localities in municipal vehicles.
"We have instructed all the municipal bodies not to accept unsegregated waste from December 1 onwards. People must segregate their household waste into wet and dry waste before giving it to the garbage collectors. We are taking this step strictly for scientific management of solid waste...," said Urban Development Secretary M.T. Sherpa.
The Himalayan state has a three-tier civic body with Gangtok Municipal Corporation (GMC), Namchi Municipal Council, and nagar panchayats of Singtam, Rangpo, Nayabazaar-Jorethang, Gyalshing and Mangan.
Wet waste are those biodegradable kitchen products like leftover edibles and vegetables. Dry waste are those items like paper, glass, metal, cloth, plastics, and others that can be recycled.
Gangtok, the state's largest urban area with around 1.5 lakh population, generates about 50 ton of waste daily on an average which is dumped in a landfill at Martam, about 20 km away. There are two more landfills that cater to the waste generated from South-West Sikkim and North Sikkim.
The Urban Development Secretary maintained that there has been an "overwhelming" response from the people who have started bringing segregated dry and wet waste to the garbage collectors for disposal. There have been some isolated incidents where people bring unsegregated waste out of ignorance but since the household waste is less in quantity, they can segregate at the spot itself and hand it over to the municipal garbage vehicles, he said.
Sherpa added that the state government and municipal bodies would be working to generate compost, bio-gas and electricity by processing the biodegradable waste at the landfill.
Similar directive of waste segregation at household level has been enforced in semi-urban areas that fall under the Rural Development department.