Women collecting waste along NH 29.
Dimapur, May 17 (MExN): Women’s Self Help Group in Sechü Zubza has started taking waste management seriously and it is serving a dual purpose: earning income as well as cleaning the environment.
The SHG members, comprising mostly of farmers, housewives and small business owners, hit upon the idea after observing that small scrap ‘dealers/kabariwallas’ buy and sell their waste to big dealers earning handsome profits.
While many effluents are biodegradable and compost into the soil, other non-biodegradable wastes persist harming the environment and Nagaland is not an exception to such impact.
In many towns and villages of Nagaland, the effects are being felt and people have started to react and take remedial measures, noted the Nagaland Pollution Control Board (NPCB) in a press release.
PET bottles and other waste materials being transported.
The case of Sechü-Zubza, a small town in Kohima district comprising of 3,425 household and a population of 17,369, however, is unique and worth emulating.
According to NPCB, the women’s SHG, after observing the dealers, started forming two-three members group to collect waste along the National Highway- 29 passing through their village and rivers in their jurisdiction.
Wastes such as plastic bottles, tins, metal, paper products, tires are collected twice or thrice a week, either manually or with the use of transport.
The collected wastes are then segregated and transported to Dimapur, the nearest commercial city, and sold to the scrap dealers directly.
The women are making a decent profit of around 3000 rupees per month per person, the NPCB informed.
Such initiative has also resulted in other innovations. For more efficient transportation, bulk pet bottles and other plastics are compacted by using a locally made compactor.
A locally made waste compactor.
The hand-held prototype, developed by Alie Sekhose from Sechü called ‘Waste Compacting Machine,’ helps pack the collected waste into convenient size, thereby increasing the load as well as handling.
Initially, the wastes were in abundance, but it is becoming scarce now; ironically, bad for ‘business’ but illustrating a resounding success of their initiative.
The waste management is not limited to plastic waste.
Food waste and kitchen waste from every household are also collected in a bin or bucket for backyard piggery farming. The fodders are also given to families rearing pig.
According to the NPCB release, the use of plastic and paper plates have also been discouraged at Sechü-Zubza during important functions to curb their menace.
In all the churches, stacks of steel, melamine plates and cups used during any important occasions on weddings or feast are washed and reused again, it said.
The Sechü-Zubza Youth Organization has also passed an order stating that only 40 microns plastic should be used, the relevant criteria permitted in India.
Further, it also discourages and prohibits the use of plastic and paper plates for any occasion.
Such practices are in a lot of ways contributing to cleanliness and also in beautifying the surrounding, the NPCB highlighted.