On 29th of January, we, residents and the sanitary team of Prabhaags 36 and 24 were surprised to see new dustbins all over FC Road and JM Road. Our first concern was that these dustbins would attract mixed waste from surrounding shops and homes, as well as serve as a convenient drop off for the hawkers. As expected, this did happen. We sent pictures of the overflowing bins and misuse by people to the PMC Commissioner Mr Kunal Kumar, SWM Chief Shri Suresh Jagtap and Shri Adar Poonawalla, whose group was spearheading this initiative.
Dustbins on FC Road
We are grateful that the Adar Poonawalla team responded to our mail and we had a meeting at DSI Inamdar’s office in March, where we set out all our concerns and feedback, as detailed below in our follow up mail on 20th March 2016 to Mr. Poonawalla.
A. Strategy should integrate with the existing PMC system:
- While we truly appreciate your intent to make the main roads litter free, unfortunately in reality dustbins are the easiest option for people to use instead of connecting to the system of door collection.This is abundantly visible from the state of the current new bins on FC road. These bins have become collection points of household waste. Footpaths that did not have any litter have become hotspots of waste – as the bins made that location “official” to put garbage. Please note – for residents a bin denotes a FREE collection point by PMC.
We request you to please factor this into your plans – our suggestion is to keep the number of dustbins minimal, till the collection system is in place.
- The ultimate responsibility for clean roads and efficient waste management lies with the PMC. Which is why we implore you and your team to integrate with the existing system.Your team should connect directly with the Divisional Sanitary Inspectors of the Wards you are working in. They are more aware of the ground issues of daily clearance, segregation at the ramp, ensuring door collection etc. – and most importantly the availability of BRC trucks. They plan the day’s routine based on the availability/breakdown status of transport. They manage to prevent major hold ups and accumulation of waste at feeder points or ramp. This requires continuous coordination with the ward sanitary staff.
- The target litter for these bins i.e.roadside litter is predominantly dry waste. It may be better to begin with just one bin rather than two? Such bins could be small litter net baskets, rather than deep opaque bins.
- If using two bins, the colour should be as per existing PMC colour scheme of GREEN for wet waste and WHITE for dry waste – this will ensure consistent message for segregation. Please do not introduce another colour for Pune city to cause confusion. People are still not clear about WET and DRY waste.
- All dustbins should face the footpath. Many of the dustbins are not on the footpath but on the road, facing outward to the road rather than inward to the footpath.
- Dustbins should be easy to clear – currently the bins are deep and do not tilt. A small trap door at the bottom may make it easier to clear. This will also save the additional cost towards plastic bag liners.
- Pictoral signage for segregation will help reinforce the message, though we must caution that educated and aware people also need to be forced to obey the rule.
It is with great pleasure now to report on 22nd April that our feedback has been taken on board, the number of dustbins will be rationalised, locations to be fixed in consultation with the sanitary team and residents and design modifications are also on the cards.
Clearance of litter from the streets/dustbins/containers cannot be our focus. If we want a clean city 24X7, the basic principle of door collection of segregated waste has to be enforced on all residents.