Thane sends rag-pickers to homes to collect trash
- There is an article on TMC-NGO partnership in Mumbai mirror pg 10 today, following same model.Thane sends rag-pickers to homes to collect trashCivic body and NGOs join hands to launch recycling project in mid-OctoberTHANE: If all goes as planned, Thaneites will be woken up by rag-pickers who will visit homes to collect waste daily. In the first of its kind plan prepared by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), 750 ragpickers will work under the supervision of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from the city to collect waste from households in 35 out of total 38 panels in Thane.
It all started six months ago when the TMC initiated a survey to identify rag-pickers residing in the city. Apoorva Mahila Mandal that was appointed for the job identified 750 rag-pickers working and living in Thane. Next, the TMC appointed Stree Mukti Sanghatna to train the ragpickers in batches. As of today, the first batch of 50 rag-pickers have already been trained and others undergoing the same. At the same time, the TMC also invited local NGOs to come forward to participate in the ambitious programme to rid Thane of the garbage menace.
Officials in the TMC explain that the main idea behind the programme was to ensure door to door collection of garbage. Though the TMC has deployed ghanta gadis in the entire city, waste does find its way to nullahs and streets. Door-to-door collection was the only way to sort out the problem.
Rather than spending on hiring more people and machinery, we decided to involve the rag-pickers, says Dr R T Kendre, the TMC health officer.
The TMC has already received confirmation from 50 NGOs who have agreed to supervise the team of rag-pickers in various areas. As per the elaborate plan, rag-pickers would collect waste from every household. They would take away recyclable material and sell it in the market, while the remaining would be dumped in the community bins or ghanta gadis. Every household would pay the rag-pickers Rs 10 every month. It is not binding on residents to pay the rag-pickers. But if they can, the scheme would do well, says Dr Kendre.
This way, according to Dr Kendre, the city would wear a clean look and at the same time rag-pickers would get an ensured sum every month. The TMC has already issued identity cards to all the ragpickers. In the long run, the rag-pickers utilise biodegradable waste to generate compost or organic manure.
We have decided to purchase two recycling machines that would be given to local NGOs on a rotation basis. The recyclable material will be sold by the NGO who is in possession of the machines, says Dr Kendre. Moreover, the profits generated from sale of recycled material would be shared by the TMC (to recover the cost of machinery) and the NGOs.
Dr Kendre explains that the programme would begin by mid-October in 35 areas in the city.
Interestingly, the TMC will provide infrastructural support and the material required to NGOs supervising the rag-pickers to ensure that waste gets cleared regularly and efficiently.Rag-pickers will learn recycling techniques instead of doing things the old-fashioned way