Thane's First Slum Waste Management Initiative Runs into Trouble

10th Apr, 2018

THANE : After segregating, weighing and handing over waste to the civic garbage collection vans for almost a year in Azad Nagar 2 slum area, the city's first slum waste management initiative seems to have died down slowly.

As the narrow lanes make it impossible for the civic garbage vans to enter and collect waste generated in their homes, residents of Azad Nagar 2 approached the city-based NGO R-Nisarg to help them tackle the issue in November 2016.

After attending a number of waste management workshops, around 100 families in the area began segregating their waste and handing it over to two helpers hired by the NGO, who passed on the waste to the ghanta gadis. Since then, these denizens had collected over 8,000 kg of waste, which would otherwise have ended up in the nullah that runs through the chawl.

However, the lack of consensus between the three stakeholders-the residents, NGO and TMC-seems to have resulted in its downfall over time.

"While we had started the initiative with a few families, it had expanded to over 150 families within six months. Dr. Lata Ghanshamnani, through her R-Nisarg NGO, had provided us with everything from bins and weighing machines to hiring the ayyas who would collect the waste door to door," said Vasant Satoskar, a resident.

"We wanted this drive to spread through the 2,000-odd families, but that made the project expensive. We tried to approach the TMC for support, but in vain. Since the initiative ended, many residents have gone back to dumping waste in the nullah," he said.

Speaking about the end of the project, Dr. Ghanshamnani said, "The expanding of the project would have seen a rise in salaries of the waste collection helpers. We asked residents to pitch in Rs 20 a month to meet these additional expenses, which caused the friction." While most of these families have reverted back to throwing their waste in the nullah, a few have made it a point to segregate waste and hand it over to the civic waste collection van.


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