In order to ensure no recyclable/dry waste end up at the landfill, the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) had taken an initiative to segregate every possible waste not just in two bins but in four different bins. This concept has now caught up even with some of the housing societies of the city.
Speaking to Clean India Journal, Valerie Madre Deus of Pai Bhavan Co-op Society at Panaji, where the four-bin system has been introduced successfully, said that the idea for a ‘four bin system’ is to recover as much waste as possible for recycling, with the aim of reducing the residual waste to almost zero level.
The Pai Bhavan Co-op Society comprises of 30 shops and flats and is following the four-bin system for the last six months. The bins are colour coded for easy segregation: grey for glass and metal waste, brown for paper and cartons, orange for plastic waste and purple for non-recyclables items like thermocol, ceramics, rubber, rexene, leather, cloth, gloves, broken plates, batteries and tube lights.
The Society has appointed two people to collect waste from door-to-door. “The bio waste consisting of cotton swabs, pampers and sanitary pads is collected in a separate bag from the residents and filled in a yellow bag (recommended by the municipal corporation) to be sent to the municipal vans for scientific disposal,” she added.
In many Societies, dry waste is still being sorted by rag-pickers or recyclers who take what gives them the best value and leave the rest behind. In this process, some of the recyclable waste gets rejected because it is mixed with wet waste or dirtied in the process. It’s so inhuman to ask rag-pickers to sort in mixed waste!”
The wet waste collected in the Society is composted in a pit specially constructed in the building premises. The compost is used for gardening. When CIJ asked Lakshmi, one of the garbage collectors in the society how does it feel to handle waste in the Society, she was all smiles, “kaam karne ko accha lagta; gandha nahin lagta (It feels good to work it. I don’t feel dirty.”