Discount coupons to segregate plastic waste, a hit in Shirur

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Published on Dec 29, 2020 08:56 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | BySiddharth Gadkari, Pune

Despite the state government’s ban on plastic, there continues to be a wide usage of the material which is posing a problem for many local bodies in collecting and disposing off the waste.

Shirur Municipal Council (SMC), located around 70 kilometres from Pune has decided to implement an initiative to offer incentive of coupons for citizens, who can redeem them in restaurants and grocery shops for segregating plastic from waste and giving it to the local body separately.

The project, currently on a pilot basis, will be launched in the entire town from New Year’s Day.

Mahesh Rokade, chief executive officer of SMC and the scheme’s brain child said, “At present, the contractor is collecting and disposing off the garbage. We are appealing citizens to segregate dry and wet waste. However, very few people are following the instructions of the council. A maximum number of people are handing mixed garbage to the contractors. After that, the contractor segregates plastic, glasses, dry and wet garbage. It takes more time and effort to segregate and dispose the garbage. We have decided to give an incentive to citizens and encourage them to provide separate plastic waste to the contractor.”

As per the Shirur Municipal Council (SMC) officials, the city has a total of one lakh population and it generates around 13 tonnes of garbage of which around 2 tonnes is plastic waste.

According to Rokade, the SMC has set up two points in the city where residents can hand over the segregates waster to the contractor.

“The contractor will weigh the plastic waste; decide the rate as per quality of plastic items and give one coupon mentioning the amount with his stamp. In this scheme, there are four traders showing positive response and ready to provide a cash discount on the purchase of items. Satguru restaurant, Sai darbar pan shop and Uttejan Kirana shop has have given a green signal to the council to redeem the cash coupons,” Rokade said.

Suryakant Desarda, owner of Uttejan trading said, “It is social work. I am happy to be a part of this good scheme. It will help keep our city clean and neat as well as it will encourage people to do good things.”

The decision was taken after Shirur faced a problem with disposal of plastic which is largely being used by public despite the state government’s ban in 2018.

Shyamkant Warpe, owner of Satguru restaurant said, “When CEO Mahesh Rokade explained the scheme, I immediately said yes. We will provide snacks or food to people who will give us coupons. It will help to collect plastic waste which is lying across the city.”

Wasim Sayyed, contractor of solid waste management said, “It is win-win situation for the administration, contractor, citizens and shopkeepers. At present, we are facing a problem to collect segregated garbage. We are utilizing more time and money on collection and segregation of waste. This scheme will encourage people to segregate waste such as plastic tins, wrappers, boxes, glass. We will pay them in the form of coupons to people who give us segregated waste. We have-not decided coupon cash back period at present. We will decide later.”

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to check the feasibility of the program and examine whether such an initiative can be implemented in Pune.

On this scheme, Dr. Kunal Khemnar, additional municipal commissioner of PMC said, “It is a good initiative. We will take information and study it. It will help us to encourage people to give us segregated plastic waste.”

Laxmi Narayan, co-founder of Swach, India’s first autonomous cooperative of waste pickers said, “It is good from the point of view of consumers. However, it will not help buyers who will pay money in the form of coupons. They need high-quality plastic. It is okay for small areas. There will be less impact if we compare the problem of plastic waste.”

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BOX

Where can Pune start?

Plastic products have become an integral part of our daily life encouraging its production. 70 per cent of this production is converted to waste.

-200 material recovery centres, to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover 170 to 180 metric tonnes of plastic waste generated per day

-PET bottle crushing machines at 20 locations with high pedestrian footfalls

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