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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Trash city? Thane churns out 92K kg plastic garbage daily


Thane: Residents have dubbed Thane as a "garbage city" since it generates nearly 92,000 kg of plastic trash daily and there is little scope proper disposal.
    The city's population has crossed the 20-lakh mark. Rising economic prosperity and rapid urbanization have inadvertently resulted in huge piles of plastic waste. A major chunk of the untreated rubble is dumped in water bodies like creeks and lakes resulting in clogging of the city drains.
    A big concern is the 9,000 kg of trash generated daily comprising plastic containers used by cola manufacturers and bottled water companies, reveals a recent report by Eco Friends and Co commissioned by the Thane civic body. The highest volume of plastic waste is generated by grocery shops and commercial stores that collectively contribute 11,000 kg of waste in the form of carry bags and other packing material, the survey report states.
    Nearly 7,000 kg of milk pouches, oil cans and 10,000 kg of cosmet
ics packaging material, toiletries and toys are dumped everyday, the report reveals. Measures for segregation and recycling of plastic waste are still in the nascent stage.
    The survey report mentions that plastic waste picked up by ragpickers is sold to "kantawalas" who then transport it to scrap dealers in faraway Malegaon.
    "The accumulation of toxic waste in Thane is due to the negligent attitude of civic officials. There is resistance to change and citizens are unwillingness to spend on separate bins for wet and dry garbage," said an environmentalist.
    Currently, plastic waste is dumped along with solid waste or is strewn on roads. "This practice chokes drains and prevents free flow of rainwater. Many people had a tough time crossing the main junctions and roads due to heavy flooding due to incessant rain," said a local.
    Uthalsar generates more than 13,000 kg of plastic trash followed by Naupada and Railadevi. Kopri in Thane (east) and Kalwa generate a lesser amount of such litter.
Times View: Trash is an environmental time bomb T he increasing plastic trash is an environmental time bomb. The blame for this lies squarely with the lax municipal authorities and indifferent citizens, who dump toxic garbage on the streets. Excessive use of plastic for daily chores may be cheaper, but it promises to extract an exorbitant cost for future generations. After all, indiscriminate disposal of plastic leads to release of toxic gases in the air. The key to reduce plastic waste is by spreading awareness among people to use environmentally friendly bags made of paper or cloth and introduce technology for processing of plastic waste.

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