The Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation is set to broaden non-biodegradable waste management with micro-level segregation and storage focusing on the recovery of saleable types. Dry waste, which is now being collected through special collection drives and stored in dry waste collection hubs and material recovery facilities, will be categorised as 16 different types which will include paper, pet bottles, hard plastic, white plastic covers, coloured plastic, milk cover, oil cover, and multi-layered cover, carry bags, bags, sandals, rubber, coconut shell, firewood, clothes and others.
The health wing has invited quotations from vendors for purchase of each kind of non-biodegradable waste on per kilogram basis. The present model of dry waste collection and sale covers less than 10 types of waste and micro level segregation is being introduced as part of ensuring additional revenue. This was the second collection drive conducted by the city corporation based on a revenue generation model. The corporation had proposed a revenue generation model for dry waste collection in 2018 owing to high financial cost being involved in the project and the council meeting held in 2018 had approved the rates put forward by the health committee.
As per the agreed rates, corporation now collects Rs 820 per tonne for collection and transportation of glass waste. The civic body could earn revenue for six types of waste ranging between 50 paise to Rs 4 per kg for segregated dry waste like coconut shell, husk, firewood, e-waste and hard plastic.
The corporation now pays Rs 3.5 per kg for transporting plastic waste and Rs 6 per kg for transporting hazardous waste. Officials with the health wing estimate that collection and transportation of plastic waste through resource recovery centres (RRC) accounts for 20-30 per cent of the actual cost being incurred for disposal of dry waste from households in the city.
As part of micro-level segregation, plastic itself will be collected and sold fewer than six different categories. As per the latest status report prepared by the city corporation, there is a large gap between total dry waste being generated and actual saleable quantity. For instance, the city generates 18.07 tonnes of plastic waste per day however the saleable quantity is just 10.84 tonnes. In case of rubber and leather, the saleable quantity is 0.59 tonnes while the total waste generation per day is 5.9 tonnes.
The status report shows that only low value or no value materials are coming to the corporation for disposal. Households, commercial establishments and institutions store valuable non-biodegradable waste and sell it to the nearest scrap dealer. Low-value materials from about 58 per cent of total non-biodegradable discards. forms 25 per cent of low value non-biodegradable discards, which is not collected for disposal, cites the status report.