After the implementation of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), many societies have started and are being trying to segregate waste at source for its processing and disposal. One such example is of Mangeshi Housing Society in Annapurna Nagar, Kalyan (West) where 30 families are segregating waste and composting the wet waste on the building premises.

The work of segregation and composting is a joint effort of the society where women have played an active role in spreading awareness about zero-waste plan to the children and senior citizens. In order to do this, women started putting up charts explaining the process of waste segregation on the society’s notice board. The efforts faced some resistance from the society members, but after answering the queries the resistance got dissolved. As claimed by a resident Mangesh Latke, 63, the resistance was followed by encouragement of the process by senior citizens. 

The society hands over dry waste along with sanitary waste that is collected separately; to Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) for processing. The society has initiated to follow the basic three steps to waste management, segregation, reuse and disposal of waste and reduction of waste. With such efforts the society is planning to avail for the 5% exemption on property tax for one year. Earlier KDMC in May 2019 had announced 5% exemption of property tax for those housing societies that are segregating waste effectively, and also processing and disposing it within the society limits without giving it to the civic body. According to its guidelines, the society will get exemption on tax only if the waste segregation and disposal is practised for one year continuously.

“Some societies are segregating the waste and giving it to the civic body. The residents of Mangeshi Housing Society are one step ahead, as they are not dumping any wet waste. We make sure the residents get all the help they require to manage and process waste,” said Milind Gaikwad, an in-charge officer of KDMC, solid waste management department. A resident informed that, “The compost is generated from the wet waste is used for the plants that surround our society complex”.

The waste segregation in Mangeshi Housing Society is done through the provision of two different drums for dry and wet waste. Along with this, every floor of the society has sanitary napkin disposal bins.

Mangeshi Housing Society is not the only initiative of waste decomposition in the city, more societies have adopted similar green initiatives in Kalyan. In the royal Residency, Adharwadi, Kalyan (West), a total of 83 families have been involved in  waste segregation since one year. The society has appointed staff to collect segregated waste from the residents. “I collect segregated waste only. The dry waste is sent to the KDMC in the morning,” said Nivruthi Golge, 26, the housekeeping staff of the building. Onyx building in Godrej Hill, Kalyan, consisting of 60 families have too pledged green initiatives. “It took at least three months to convince all residents in the building to segregate waste. We have also kept separate bins for the disposal of sanitary napkins,” said Deepa Shinde, 37, a resident of the building.

Around 649 metric tonnes of non – segregated waste is dumped at Adharwadi dumping ground, which is overburdened with waste. The failure of the KDMC to dispose of solid waste had attracted the attention of the Bombay high court, which had passed an order on 13 April 2015, banning sanctions on housing projects under the civic body’s jurisdiction. Such exemptions of taxes that provide incentives to citizens are influential in bettering our practices and quliaty of environment. 

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