Numbers and figures: Assessing the damage caused by Dimapur’s wastes
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, March 14: Rapid urbanisation in Dimapur has led to an increase in generation of waste, and with no proper waste assessment being done, its dire consequences have been ignored. Sensing this issue, Living For Environment (LiFE), a non-governmental organisation, has been collecting data on waste generation—its volume, characterisation, and composition—in Dimapur.
“Data on characterisation and composition of waste generated is paramount if proper waste management is to be implemented,” the general secretary of LiFE, Makennaro Aier told Eastern Mirror.
LiFE carried out waste assessment on March 11 along Civil Hospital, Half Nagarjan, and Super Market roadside areas, including the Circuit House to Walford receptacles route. The team segregate waste manually on the spot and make assessment on varieties of waste by weighing it.
Most of the waste identified was food and sanitary waste (diapers and pads) bundled in polythene bags. During assessment, it was found that many types of waste were mixed—some in decomposing state.
The finding by the team was ‘shocking.’ Biomedical waste was found mixed with other waste; they were disposed off carelessly with needles and syringes without its case. Waste from slaughter houses, such as poultry, that were infested with maggots were also found around the vicinity of the receptacles.
Electronic waste such as battery, charger, wire, bulb, and fluorescent lamp, including waste from workshop like, windshield, rubber casting, tyre etc. were found. Clothes, footwear, human faeces etc.—all found its way into the receptacles.
LiFE observed that most of the waste has potential value, which, if properly segregated, can be used for other purposes.
However, with the way waste has been disposed off at present, LiFE opined that utilisation would be an issue. It added that health was a concern, especially, for those who come in direct contact with waste like ragpickers and sanitation workers.
LiFE conducted its first assessment in Chümoukedima in August and September 2018. Aier, mentioned that based on the report compiled by the organisation, the administrator of DMC, Moa Sangtam requested it for a more extensive and comprehensive waste assessment in Dimapur.
It may be noted that LiFE began waste assessment in Dimapur on February 12, 2019, and the last time it did was on March 11. Aier informed that it will be an ongoing process, during which, all the colonies under the municipal jurisdiction in Dimapur, including the market area will be covered.
Aier stated once waste assessment is completed, it will be compiled into a report for the DMC, which will be one of the first comprehensive data on waste generation, characterisation, and composition in Nagaland.
A waste assessment is a valuable tool to understand waste stream as it provides a clear idea of how much is being discarded and disposed. The data collected from such an assessment can be used in waste-reduction programmes, management of waste disposal contracts and enhancement of waste management practices.