Families found littering in Andhra Pradesh to get “return gift” of garbage

Minimizing and managing waste is important not only because waste pollutes the environment as a whole but also it has a huge implication on one’s health. It is therefore important that waste is rightly managed. Hence to tackle the issue the municipal commissioner of a coastal city in Andhra Pradesh has announced war on aimless garbage dumping in a special way. He sends “return gifts” of domestic waste to residents who do not hand it over to civic body-assigned garbage collectors.

As Pollution prevention is a key issue to sustainability. The best way to deal with pollution is to prevent it from being created in the first place. This means finding new efficiencies, doing things smarter, and valuing every resource. In Kakinada city of East Godavari district, almost 55km east of Hyderabad, municipal commissioner Swapnil Dinakar Pundkar gets his staff to collect the irresponsibly discarded garbage and “home delivers” it to those who have no qualms about throwing it on the roads and in drains – one of the biggest factors leading to urban flooding.

Mr. Pundkar adopted this strict technique to try and change the residents’ habits days after the civic body started an awareness campaign on responsible waste management under the Clean India Mission, but found people continuing with their old ways.

Kaggadasapura locals on cleanup to counter BBMP dumping | Deccan Herald

Municipal commissioner Swapnil Dinakar Pundkar told to agencies that, “We have been doing awareness drives (on the correct way to dispose of garbage to make the city clean), but some people refuse to follow the rules. Whoever is found littering on the road, the garbage will be collected and sent back to their house as a deterrent after due verification. With this “return gift”, we want to tell them that this is a wrong practice.”

Visuals show Mr. Pundkar touring the city with municipal workers, who point out homes where reportedly refuse to “cooperate”. He is seen warning residents against dumping garbage on the road and then supervising his staff to carry a bag of garbage to the house and empty it at the entrance.

There are 1.2 lakh households and 80,000 houses in Kakinada city, where 90 percent of homes have been given barcodes that are scanned every time a civic worker collects garbage. The city has nearly 1,200 municipal staffers, of whom 900 are involved in door-to-door garbage collection. This initiative has been taken to stop garbage dumping on roads as it attracts stray animals. So people should segregate wet and dry waste, if possible. Then municipal bodies recycle wet waste into vermicompost and dry waste is recycled and resold.

With increasing human population, pollution has become a great concern. Pollution from human activities is a problem that does not have to be inevitable. With a comprehensive pollution prevention program, most pollution can be reduced, reused, or prevented. Reducing and managing pollution may decrease its health impacts.

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