The civic body has come up with an idea that might help rid the city of its filth, or at least, cover it up.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation plans to install underground dustbins across the city. It will ask a private company that supplies these dustbins to undertake a pilot project at select areas in the city.
A large part of the dustbin containing the waste will be underground. A smaller portion, including the lid, would be above the ground.
Civic officials said that the lids would be similar to the openings of a letterbox. To open the lid, a foot pedal — attached to the portion of the dustbin above the ground — will need to be pressed. The lid will shut automatically.
To dispose off the waste stored in the dustbins, a lever will be built. When the lever it pressed, the entire body of the dustbin can be brought above ground and loaded onto the garbage-collection vehicles.
Citing its advantages, Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee said that the project, apart from camouflaging the filth, will also help curb the stench emanating from garbage dumps. “The civic body will be taking pilot project at 8-10 areas before replicating it on a mass scale,” said Shewale.
“These underground dustbins will also solve the problem of people stealing dustbins, said a civic official from the solid waste management department.
A similar plan had been implemented during the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year and the Pune Municipal Corporation has also run a pilot project to check the feasibility of these bins.
Confirming the plan, additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani said: “We are keen on implementing the proposal, but it is still at a nascent state. The details and cost analysis of the project needs to be worked out,” he said.
However, some civic officials have expressed reservations over the effectiveness of the plan and have said that if the bins are kept underground, contractors who are supposed to collect garbage daily could become lax, and make less trips, as the garbage will not be seen piling up.
The civic body spends more than Rs250crore a year on garbage collection and disposal, but all that money goes to waste as garbage continues to pile up in the city. According to civic norms, there should be a dustbin at 300-metre intervals However, there are only 800 litter bins across the city, with all others being damaged and stolen.