Effective Segregation and Recycling is the Need of the Hour

Port Blair, July 7: In pursuit of a cleaner and greener Andaman and Nicobar Islands, waste segregation has emerged as a crucial component of the waste management chain. The Administration's ambitious goal of achieving Zero Waste Islands necessitates a comprehensive approach towards managing solid waste, with a focus on effective segregation and recycling.

With 26 Solid Waste Management (SWM) Clusters strategically set up across the Islands, mapped to 70 Gram Panchayats (GPs), the Administration is taking significant strides towards efficient waste management. These clusters serve as pivotal points for waste collection, segregation, and onward processing. However, since the SWM cluster is designed to receive segregated waste only, mixed waste often coming from households, Commercial Establishments and Institutions pose a serious threat and health hazard derailing the entire chain and objective.

In rural, the collection and management of waste is devolved to the third tier of local governance i.e. Gram Panchayats. With the network of Sanitary Workers attached to the Gram Panchayats and through a systemic developed Waste Collection Calendar, focus has been laid to cover 100% households, commercial establishments and institutions within rural jurisdiction.

The Department has issued detailed SOP on Waste Management and SOP on key roles and responsibilities of functionaries in the Waste Management chain.

The SWM cluster is separately provisioned to treat Dry Waste and Wet Waste separately. Wet waste, such as kitchen scraps and organic materials, are directed towards pit composting facilities. In rural, wet waste from individual household is encouraged to be managed in situ within individual premises. This can improve the soil quality and content, further enhancing the green vegetation.

Dry waste, including paper, plastics, glass, and metals, undergoes meticulous segregation. It is then baled and sent onward for recycling. This step significantly reduces the volume of waste that ends up in landfills and contributes to the conservation of natural resources by promoting the reuse of materials.

The forward linkage established with recyclers ensures that segregated dry waste is efficiently transported to the mainland for recycling. This collaborative effort not only promotes responsible waste management but also supports the circular economy by reintroducing recycled materials back into the production cycle.

The impact of waste segregation in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is multifaceted. Firstly, it mitigates environmental pollution by reducing the amount of waste disposed of in landfills or incinerated. Secondly, it conserves valuable natural resources by promoting recycling and reuse. Thirdly, it contributes to the health and well-being of island communities by creating cleaner and safer living environments.

Furthermore, the emphasis on waste segregation aligns with the Administration's vision of transforming the Islands into Zero Waste Islands. This ambitious objective underscores the commitment to sustainable development and environmental stewardship.

Waste segregation therefore plays a pivotal role in the waste management chain of the Islands. By implementing effective segregation practices and promoting recycling, the Administration is not only addressing immediate environmental concerns but also working towards a future where waste is minimized, resources are conserved, and communities thrive in cleaner, healthier environments. It is therefore imperative on all households and commercial establishments to understand this chain deeply, and contribute to the system by making segregation at source as the prime key factor to ensure that Island is able to sustain its greener and cleaner tourism brand.

In nutshell, the following three point strategy has to be followed for effective management of waste in the Islands to achieve the goal of Zero Waste Islands.

-Ensure segregation of waste at source mandatorily as mandated under Rules/Bye Laws.

-Wet-Waste from individual HHs to be in-situ composted in the backyard farm/kitchen garden.

-Individual HHs, Commercial Establishments and Institutions to promptly pay User-Charges to the Gram Panchayat concerned as mandated under Rules/Bye laws.