Residents of Kumarasamy Nagar in Sholinganallur, Chennai have taken on a challenge to make their locality a 'zero garbage zone'. While most cities in India are struggling with overflowing dustbins, lack of proper garbage collection and disposal services, the residents of this southern part of the city in tandem with the Municipal Corporation are working towards creating a clean environment. To ensure the initiative does not lose steam, they want to take the game several notches higher. A battle has begun amidst the people living here and they are conducting a smart-competition of sorts.
What started as a routine weekend clean up activity, was scaled up by the residents when they decided to make Kumaraswamy Nagar an ideal neighbourhood. While participating in a competition the residents living in independent houses and multi-storey apartments have decided to adopt efficient garbage management techniques to go zero-waste and are also trying to beat each other to the finish line.
The maids working in the households have been taught the significance of segregation using the 2 bins-1 bag model. The recyclables are sold to the local kabaddiwallas and the money made out of that is given as incentive to the housekeeping staff. The wet waste is used to create compost. Impressed by their good work, the Sholinganallur Corporation has agreed to take care of the transportation of their compost to the yards
The residents say that, they have been able to track their our own waste, and today the individual household food waste has come to an almost zero.
This has become a way of life for the people living here. Regular campaigns are held to make children aware of the benefits of doing so. When kids are knocking on doors and asking for people to help make their community better, who can say no to those adorable faces ?
For those who still don’t chip in, a chart is maintained and is put up at the entrance of the apartments that instils in those who are defaulters, a sense of responsibility.
While it will be clear in a year's time that who won the race to zero waste, the residents believe there are no losers in this effort, only gainers.
Someone once said it is good to have a valid competition, it pushes you to do better. And that's what these neighbourhoods are persevering to do. The grand prize is that the locality is cleaner greener and bringing all these communities together into one big family!