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Stay home norm ‘locks down’ garbage volume in Chennai

Even as the city has been grappling with the lockdown for more than two weeks, there has been a significant dip in solid waste generation by almost 30 to 40 per cent per day in the metropolis.

Stay home norm ‘locks down’ garbage volume in Chennai
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Chennai

According to a Chennai Corporation official, the city generates only around 3,300 tonnes of garbage every day against the usual waste generation of around 5,100 tonnes. "The garbage generation started to decrease since the first day of lockdown. Even though the lockdown affected normal life, our workers continue to remove the garbage as usual," the official said.

Attributing the reduction of garbage generation to the commercial establishments, which are shut now, the official added that waste from commercial establishments has stopped completely and all the garbage being generated now are from residential buildings.

The civic body collected 3,686 tonnes of garbage on Wednesday. On April 4, the civic body removed 2,975 tonnes of garbage, which is lowest since the lockdown.

While the lockdown helped the streets and roads to be cleaner, it has severely affected source segregation and processing of waste. As of now, the civic body has facilities to process 400 tonnes of wet waste and around 300 tonnes of dry waste.

"Most of the material recovery centres and resource recovery centres are closed as the personnel have been sent for COVID-19 prevention works. Nearly half of the processing units are not functioning. However, we will continue waste processing in full fledge after the lockdown ends," the official explained.

The latest data also imply that commercial establishments are bulk waste generators. In fact, officials note that if those generating more than 100 kilograms a day, which fall under bulk waste generation, resort to waste processing in their own premises, the waste going to the landfills would come down by around 40 per cent.

In order to ensure removal of garbage every day, the civic body is providing free food through Amma Canteens, masks and gloves to conservancy workers.

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