• The panchayat has advised residents and visitors to avoid using disposable items
• Buy products that can be disposed of safely and easily
• A board has been established in Munnar to raise awareness about the waste problem
• Munnar is processing and recycling the huge amount of waste.
At a time when tourist destinations are grappling with the issue of increasing waste, Idukki, a small hill town known for its vibrant landscape and tea gardens, is paving the way for others to follow in terms of effective waste management.
Processing and recycling a massive amount of waste
Munnar does not dispose of the seven tonnes of waste it generates on a daily basis. Instead, it is processing and recycling a massive amount of waste with community participation in order to achieve the goal of becoming a zero-waste town
Munnar panchayat secretary K N Sahajan told TNIE that residents were asked to sort their garbage into three categories: biodegradable waste, diapers and sanitary napkins, and plastic. The panchayat has advised residents and visitors to avoid using disposable items and instead buy products that can be disposed of safely and easily
Initially, villagers were hesitant to properly segregate waste. However, after years of hard work, nearly every household was connected to the system. ‘Haritha Karma Sena’ volunteers will collect garbage from households on a daily basis, for which a monthly fee of Rs 100 will be charged to each household. “A single volunteer will collect waste from 100 households,” he explained.
Plastic waste should not be littered by tourists
Tourists littering waste items is a major issue that harms Munnar’s natural settings, so green checkpoints will be set up within one month at major entry points to the hill town where plastic items will be collected by green army members,” Sahajan said.