Bursting garbage dumps and landfills have always been the growing concern across the city of Coimbatore. The waste is ultimately thrown into municipal waste collection centres from where it is collected by the area municipalities to be further thrown into the landfills and dumps. However, either due to resource crunch or inefficient infrastructure, not all of this waste gets collected and transported to the final dumpsites. People staying close to the dumps can have severe health diseases.
But now, Coimbatore may have finally found a solution to this grave concern. One organisation together with over 40 communities and over 4,000 households, is striving to make Coimbatore a city without dumpsites. Under the community-driven joint initiative run by a team of passionate young green entrepreneurs and volunteers, and supported by the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC), every household adopts four core practices. These are imparted to them by No Dumping through its Habit Orientation Workshops (HOW), aimed at bringing about a paradigm shift in their age-old habits of dumping mixed waste.
The four golden rules:
(Every household uses the two-bin one-bag system including one red bin, one green bin and a white bag.)
Rule 1: Each home follows the discipline of wrapping all its unhygienic, sanitary (diapers, sanitary pads, earbuds, etc) and bio-medical waste in a newspaper, marking it with a red cross (X) and putting it in the red bin.
Rule 2: All the inorganic waste is to be kept in a dry condition to avoid odor and fly menace. All broken glass bottles are also wrapped in newspaper. Also, they have to rinse and dry all plastic food packaging (wrappers, packets, cartons, bottles and carry bags) and put them in the white bag.
Rule 3: All the organic waste or wet waste like vegetable and fruit peels, seeds, food waste, etc. is segregated in the green bin without using any plastic bags or bin liners.
Rule 4: So these, two bins and one bag are kept separate and handed over daily to the housekeeping staff that arrives at their doorstep at 9 AM everyday.
These housekeeping staff use customized pushcarts with separate provisions for wet, dry and sanitary waste and places them at a designated collection point in the apartment complex. After this, Truck Taxi (No Dumping’s transportation partner) sends separate trucks for wet and dry waste to apartments daily at an appointed time. The housekeeping staff then unload the waste bins and bags into the respective vehicle’s container.
While all the raw organic wet waste is sent for vermi-composting, bio-composting and to produce biogas to fuel a crematorium, No Dumping also gives its wet waste directly to marginal farmers for mulching and manurial purposes.
All dry waste is sent to its material recovery facilities in Kavundampalayam and Vellalore for another level of segregation. Recyclable raw materials are then sent to recyclers and processors to manufacture new products. Inorganic, non-recyclable and combustible waste is sent to the ACC cement factory to be used as Alternative Fuel Resource by burning them at high temperatures, to avoid too much pollution.