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Working towards a beautiful Chennai

Education and awareness of waste segregation is the key to better waste management and the way forward to a clean and green environment, says Vinay Maheshwari, Director, Neel Metal Fanalca, India


When did NMF start operations in India?

Neel Metal Fanalca Environment Management Pvt. Ltd. (NMF) is a joint venture between Neel Metal Products Ltd. (NMPL), India, and Fanalca S.A., Colombia. It began operations in August 2007 when it bagged the Chennai Corporation contract for solid waste management. We operate from our registered office in Delhi.

Which other cities are managed by NMF in terms of waste management?

NMF believes in consolidating and moving ahead. We are operating in four major zones of the Chennai Corporation – Adyar, Pulianthope, Ice House and Kodambakkam. Out of these, three zones were earlier managed by a private party and the fourth zone was managed by Corporation of Chennai, which was handed over to us in April this year. Now since the operations are stabilised, NMF is looking for other big metros and sub-metros in the country.

What are the challenges faced by the company when waste management was undertaken in Chennai?

It was a huge task ahead, when we bagged the Chennai Corporation contract. Our operations include collection from door-to-door to transfer stations and to landfill; transportation of waste from transfer stations to landfill and segregation & recycling of the waste.

Initially, it was rather slow as we took over. We were engaged in training employees in sweeping, garbage collection. Accumulation of garbage between change over period added up to the initial slow performance. However, the Corporation of Chennai and the residents were very cooperative which helped us to catch pace and perform much faster. Today, our customers are satisfied with our services.

The amount of garden waste generated in Chennai is very high. It needs special handling.

We want every Chennaite to join hands in our endeavour in making the city truly Namma Singara Chennai and in the process leave behind a better world for our future generation to live.

NMF is also manufactures and supplies compactors and other vehicles.

Having a very wide experience in solid waste collection, Fanalca has improvised the design of compactors. It has more than 15 years of experience in waste & garbage collection, road sweeping, lawn mowing and landfill management. The company which began the environment management activities in the 1990’s has set many standards and trends in Latin America.

We are manufacturing the same compactors in India in the range of 7cbm, 12cbm and 16cbm. Many of the advanced compactors are deployed on Chennai roads. Initially, these compactors had imported hydraulics which has now been indigenised. Compactors are customised. They are also in use in various companies across India.

What has been your experience as far as segregation at source is concerned?

Segregation at source is a matter of education and awareness among citizens. We have been campaigning rigorously in the residential colonies and various schools in the locality. It took us two years to educate the residents on source segregation even in matured countries like Europe and America. Residents in Chennai are now slowly adopting colour coated bins and segregating waste at source. We firmly believe that waste segregation is the way forward to a cleaner and greener environment.

Bio-degradable waste, which includes kitchen & garden waste and paper, and non-degradable waste, including glass, plastic, wood and rubber, need to be segregated. People, by and large re-use waste material like newspaper, bottles, empty cans, bins and old clothes. However, a lot of other materials like broken glass, plastics and package material are not re-used and thrown in the dustbin or streets without being segregated. These materials during the course of time, deteriorate into hazardous waste harming our health and the environment.

Source segregation is not being implemented properly by households and commercial establishments.

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