The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
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January 21, 2012

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India – 21 Jan 2012 –

Chennai Corporation must adopt a decentralised approach to manage the solid waste generated in the city instead of setting up facilities to produce power from waste in Kodungaiyur and Perungudi, environmentalists said here on Friday.

Addressing presspersons, environmentalist Nityanand Jayaraman said such centralised composting projects in other cities, including Hyderabad and Delhi, have failed. The civic body must cancel the resolution adopted at its council meeting two months ago as the technology has not been successful in other cities.

Environmentalists cited the risk of air pollution from emission from the waste-to-energy plants, exorbitant cost of pollution prevention equipment and high cost for power generation as reasons for failure of projects.

While Shibu K.Nair of Thanal, a non-governmental organisation in Kerala, highlighted the failure of similar projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Bangalore, Joan Marc Simon of Zero Waste Europe, a coalition of various organisations, who through video-conferencing, spoke about many cities turning towards recycling of waste. Many waste-to-energy plants are being closed in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands.

Nalini Sekhar, national co-ordinator of Alliance of Indian Waste-pickers, highlighted the successful model of integrating rag pickers into solid waste management in Pune. Nearly 3,000 people were involved in collecting, segregating waste at zonal level and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. Representatives of Ever Vigilant Residents Welfare Association and Kaviarasu Kannadasan Nagar Welfare Association wanted the dumping yard at Kodungaiyur to be shifted. P.Nagarathna, a resident of Kodungaiyur, said that human chain would be organised on Monday in protest against the project.

Environmentalists said Chennai could come out with a proposal to ban non-biodegradable packaging materials such as thermocol. They also plan to submit a representation to the Chennai Corporation soon. Read the original