It’s not that garbage menace has increased overnight. The issue has been there for decades though it has severed over the years due to human negligence, change of lifestyle and development. People are aware of the colossal damage that unscientific waste disposal can cause to the environment and living organisms. It’s just that the world has seriously started working on curbing the menace on a war footing of late. Talks have finally translated into action across the globe, including India though a lot more needs to be done to see a noticeable change. Today, most Indian states as well as the city administrations are trying to tackle the mounting garbage problem in an efficient manner to ensure that the environment is not disturbed. Some states have even gone hi-tech to collect garbage, including use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging system that can monitor real-time movement of trucks from the waste bins of the households to the final point of delivery or the dumping sites. This technology and the GPS vehicle tracking system ensure that not even a bin is missed when a garbage collector goes for a door-to-door pick-up. The RFID reader can get data from chip-embedded RFID tags fixed in each household when a garbage collector comes to collect waste. The Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) is the latest Indian city to introduce this technology to fight solid waste. Municipal Commissioner Indramani Tripathi has said that inspired by Pune Municipal Corporation, they decided to use the technology to make sure that sanitation workers do their duty.
Closure home, GPS-enabled mobile app was launched in Kohima earlier this year to track ‘solid waste management vehicle’ to enhance management efficiency and alert the users on the arrival of the SWM vehicle besides tracking its movement on their smartphones. The Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC) has also integrated ‘global positioning system (GPS) vehicle tracking system’ on its vehicles to make door-to-door collection of waste more efficient following complaints from the citizens that the vehicles do not turn up regularly while the staff claimed otherwise. Now that technology has solved the confusion, the ball is in the court of the people.
Technology can help fight waste menace but it can’t eradicate the problem. It is the people, the source of waste, who should solve the issue with the help of the authorities. Any social cause, however noble it may be, will go to waste if the public do not cooperate. For instance, the government of Nagaland has announced the complete ban of single-use plastic items across the state starting September 16, but to make the mission a success, the public should stop selling and use of banned items. Door-to-door collection of waste may help curb garbage menace but for a permanent solution, the society should have civic sense and adopt “cleanliness” as their culture. At the end of the day, it is the human beings who will suffer for their indifferent attitude towards the environment. It is us human beings who need the environment and not the other way round.