The Lucknow Municipal Corporation, which is under pressure to streamline the solid waste management in the state capital, is now planning to emulate the Delhi, Pune and Bhubaneshwar municipal corporations and deploy ragpickers to keep the city clean.
Jyoti Envirotech, the company responsible for door-to-door collection of waste, often fails to provide regular service in 65 wards of the city. The company’s waste collectors are on strike for the past 15 days, jeopardising the health of the residents. They have refused to collect garbage as the company has not paid their salaries for the past three months. Consequently, the angry LMC officials decided to use ragpickers, who would be issued identity cards and given a short training to collect solid waste from houses and segregate it at source.
In Pune, Bhubaneshwar and Delhi, door-to-door collection and segregation of waste at source initially failed. As a result, the waste supplied to waste-to-energy and composting plants was always of poor quality.
These municipal corporations then evolved a model under which ragpickers collected and segregated the waste. So the waste reaching the compost plant was of high quality.
The LMC has identified around 1,000 rag pickers for door-to-door collection of waste for which they would be paid a nominal amount. LMC has recently passed a resolution under which it is mandatory for residents to segregate waste at source. However, this has not been implemented till date.
Additional municipal commissioner PK Srivastava told HT, “LMC is looking for ways to effectively utilise this vast human resource for the benefit of society. This will help ragpickers earn their livelihood in a more respectable way and the process of waste collection would also be streamlined.”