UN-Habitat concluded the Inception Workshop with Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation
17 March 2021, New Delhi: Under the Waste Wise Cities (WWC) programme, UN-Habitat has developed the Waste Wise Cities Tool (WaCT), based on SDG indicator 11.6.1 parameters, to support cities and countries in undertaking a comprehensive diagnostic of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to aid scientific and evidence-based development of projects and investments. As part of the Waste Wise Cities, UN-Habitat is supporting cities in establishing better waste and resource management strategies, creating business and livelihood opportunities, and transiting towards a circular economy.
In a project funded by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste INC, a non-for-profit entity WaCT is to be implemented by UN-Habitat, India office in the city of Thiruvananthapuram for assessing waste management status and develop project proposals to improve the management of plastic waste. The project aims to help to implement solutions towards a circular economy, creating businesses and livelihood opportunities while enhancing resource recovery. To initiate the project an online inception workshop was organised with Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation (TMC) in presence of Secretary, Mr. Binu Francis and other stakeholders from private sector and NGOs on March 17, 2021.
Ms. Parul Agarwala, Country Programme Manager, UN-Habitat India in her opening remarks thanked TMC for collaborating in this project. She explained the mandates of UN-Habitat in supporting urban reforms in Indian cities. “The aspirations through this partnership would be the ability to achieve effective waste management, develop zero waste process, understanding the stakeholders including informal sector and their inclusion in creating livelihoods. “, she added. Ms. Agarwala further emphasized on the need of stronger data collection by utilisation of WaCT that would enable a clear understanding on whats observed on ground and the interventions needed for better waste management.
Mr. Binu Francis, Secretary, TMC, gave a brief introduction of the decentralised waste management mechanism being implemented in Thiruvananthapuram. The city with the current population of around 10 lakhs and 2.72 lakh households generates about 350 tonnes per day of municipal solid waste. TMC practices source segregation wherein households mostly manage wet waste at source or at community level. TMC has 63 Community level Aerobic Bins (thumboormuzhi model bins) for composting. Thiruvananthapuram is a zero landfill city and there are fifty eight material recovery facilities (MRFs) and 3 resource recovery centers where plastics are shredded, bailed and sent to authorised recyclors and Clean Kerala Company. A portion of the shredded plastic is also used as replacement material in road tarring.
“It is estimated that 40-50 per cent of the total waste generated by TMC is non biodegradable waste. The plastic waste generation is estimated to be around 18 tonnes per day. The enforcement of the ban on single use plastics by Corporation in the beginning of 2020, saw a reduction of plastic wastes to nearly 10 per cent of the earlier estimate. However due to COVID19, relaxations had to be made, bringing the plastic waste generation to earlier levels.”, Mr. Francis added.
Ms Swati Singh Sambyal, Waste Management Specialist, UN-Habitat India office shared about the existing status of plastic waste management in India and shared project related interventions and expected timelines with stakeholders.‘ UN-Habitat shall jointly work with officials of TMC and other relevant stakeholders to review and understand the challenges related to MSW/plastic waste management in Thiruvananthapuram. In order to map and assess waste flows, UN-Habitat team will conduct trainings and build capacity of local NGOs/volunteers on plastic waste assessment utilizing the WaCT.’, added Ms Sambyal.
“Adoption of the WaCT would help in standardising the data collection processes. By utilizing this data, informed decisions for capacity building and infrastructure requirements can be planned to improve the service level for tackling plastic leakages, thereby improving public health and reversing the environmental degradation.”, added Ms. Sambyal.
The inception workshop ended with closing remarks by Mr. Jogesh Arora, Programme Specialist, UN-Habitat India emphasizing on strengthening relation with TMC through this project and building up a positive work relation with the city co-operation by achieving the expected deliverables under this project.
Full recording of the Workshop can be accessed at UN-Habitat India official YouTube Channel at: https://youtu.be/fIKnuObzMVI