Kohima, July 12 (EMN): Initiatives from the government to reduce waste pollution may not be successful without the combined effort and cooperation from the people who create the wastes to begin with.
An average of 35-40 tonnes of waste is received every day at the Solid Waste Management (SWM) facility at Lerie in Kohima; with 80% of them in the form of plastic, according to Panday, the manager of the facility.
One of the facility’s major challenges is the inability to segregate 100% of the waste owing to shortage of human resource. The manpower and time at their disposal are put into segregating wastes, and they are able to recover only 20-30%, while the remaining waste are directly dumped at the landfill area, he said. Moreover, three to four workers get injured on a daily basis while segregating the waste, as they get cuts through glass wastes.
This problem can be solved with the support of Kohima denizens, he said, by segregating their own waste into biodegradable and non-biodegradable. By doing so, it will help them save time to manage waste treatment more efficiently. He added that they aim to recycle 80% of waste in the future.
Presently, there are 25 labourers working for eight hours (8 am to 5 pm) at the site daily. Fifteen years or more down the line, the present landfill area located at the facility centre will be re-used as a sort of garden or park by planting trees, he said. He urged citizens to cease the use of plastic items.
According to Kohima Municipal Council, Kohima city generates about 70-80 metric ton of waste daily. The waste is found to be 80% dry and 20% wet as per State Investment Project and Management Implementation Unit data. Dry wastes are found in the form of plastic material/bags, paper, glass, plastic cup and plate, mineral water bottle, Styrofoam products etc., it added.
Founding member of Green Team Kohima, Thangi Mannen gave a presentation on hazards of plastic on human health and environment, and ways to mitigate the problem. The main pollutants, she said, included packaged water and plastic bottles, disposable plates and cups, and plastic carry bag.
Dumping site is affected as soil stability in the area becomes unproductive, she said. She stated that plastics are not biodegradable and would live on even after one dies. She urged participants to stop using plastic and start using alternatives.
“Government of Nagaland has banned single-use plastic which will become effective from September 17, 2019 onwards,” she said. “The government has done its part and it is the citizen who should start working on our part,” she added.
“With population increase, so does waste; we need to have a sort of sustainable waste management system. Be a conscious buyer and reduce waste, and segregate one’s waste at homes,” she advised.
Students and teachers from seven institutions in Kohima namely Sazolie College, Baptist College, Kohima College, Don Bosco College, Alder College, Kros College, and Modern College were taught hands-on on ways to manage waste. Seed money of INR 2000 each was given to the seven participating colleges to start ‘eco brick’ activities in their respective colleges. This was to see how students could innovatively make use of plastic waste, and to mitigate and reduce plastic waste.
The best three colleges will receive cash prizes. Seed money was sponsored by the Kohima Smart City Development Limited (KSCDL) while Green Team Kohima will facilitate the training process.
The awareness programme was organised by the KSCDL under ‘100 days smart city special initiative campaign on sanitation’ in collaboration with Green Team Kohima.