Munnar grama panchayat establishes waste management system


The Munnar grama panchayat can finally heave a sigh of relief as it finally establishes an effective waste management system with the ambitious goal of turning the idyllic hill station zero-waste zone.

This has been done jointly by the Haritha Kerala Mission, Munnar panchayat and the Recity Hilldari project with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Earlier, people used to litter public spaces with plastic carry bags packed with food and other garbage leaving the local body to collect and deposit them in a dumping area at Kallar, near Munnar. As part of the waste management system, a Material Recovery Facility was established with mechanised segregation and processing of non-biodegradable waste. This also included a conveyor belt and baling machine with the capacity to bale two tonnes of plastic waste, which is then sold to recyclers.

“Biowaste is converted to compost through a windrow composting system with specially developed inoculum for low-temperature regions. About 2,000 kg of biowaste is processed daily using this system. A 20-member Haritha Karma Sena unit has also been formed for the daily collection of segregated waste” said an official.

Munnar panchayat secretary K. N. Sahajan said that the panchayat will now collect waste from the people daily and the biowaste will be converted into fertilizer. ‘’Nearly 50,000 kg of fertilizer is ready for sale” he said.

Tourists littering plastic waste has been a major issue in the Munnar hill station. The panchayat has already set up nearly 200 waste bins in various tourism locations.

Minister for Local-Self Government M. B. Rajesh will inaugurate the fertilizer sale along with other projects on November 17.

An awareness programme, ‘Clean Munnar, Green Munnar’ has been held in Munnar. The programme is being implemented by the panchayat in association with the Haritha Kerala Mission and assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The awareness programme has been arranged as part of the UNDP India High Range Mountain Landscape Project. As part of the project, 45 clusters comprising four members each, visited homes, shops, and colonies and distributed brochures and leaflets. A talk show was held in eight schools under Munnar panchayat.

Dr T. N. Seema, former executive vice-chairperson, of Haritha Keralam Mission, said that it was a new initiative to ensure green tourism in various destinations in Munnar.


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