Residents, the Coimbatore Corporation and citizens’ groups point at a combination of reasons for street corners becoming dump yards. Residents say the capacity of the bin on the street is inadequate. So, a lot of waste ends up around the bin. The Corporation says people must store waste in bins at home and hand it over to the conservancy workers, instead of dumping it along roads or vacant plots.
The Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore, which runs the Alagana Kovai project for a litter-free city, says that inadequate measures on the part of the Corporation and the attitude of the people towards the waste they generate are contributing to the problem. A Corporation official says littering around the bins is widespread in the city. When the new Integrated Solid Waste Management Scheme is implemented, people cannot directly put garbage into the community bins on the streets.
They have to store the biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste in separate bins in their houses and hand these over to the conservancy workers who come for door-to-door (or primary) collection in the city. The workers will put the waste into the roadside bins (secondary collection). From here, the waste will be taken to transfer stations and then to the compost yard. V. Mohan, a resident of Bharathi Park Cross Road V, points at the bin placed near the boards and says, “It is full. This makes people dump the waste along the road. The Corporation must provide a bigger bin.”
Even as Mr. Mohan explains the view of the residents, a woman walks across the road from her house and hurls into the dump a plastic carry bag full of waste. This is the only option left with the residents if the bins are small, she says. A couple of construction workers drag a synthetic sheet full of small debris and garbage from a site and empty it at the dump. What should be a litter-free zone along the eastern compound wall of the Tamil Nadu Institute of Urban Studies is turning into an eyesore.
RAAC agrees with the residents that inadequate number of bins causes problems. “The Corporation plans to place more bins. But, the people too have to change their mindset,” says RAAC vice-president G. Soundararajan. “We blame the Government or the Corporation for lack of sanitation, but we are against keeping bins at home to store waste,” he laments. ‘I am responsible for the waste I generate’ must be the attitude among residents. “We use a road, but do not take the responsibility of keeping it clean. Sanitation is sought to be restricted within one’s compound,” he says.