Down to Earth
`Public participation a must'
Swati Singh Sambyal, Programme Manager, Environmental Governance (Municipal Solid Waste), Centre for Science and Environment
Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli has become the first city in India to have 100 per cent waste segregation.
Tirunelveli's success is attributed to the massive awareness campaigns the municipality conducted through regional TV and radio channels, targeting housewives and children, and by roping in non-profits. The corporation's sanitation staff also visited individual households to spread awareness and made the residents take oaths to segregate garbage. The commissioner wrote personal letters to households highlighting the importance of segregation. The municipality collects `10 per household every month as user fee. The idea is to make segregation a habit like brushing teeth, and take appropriate administrative steps so that people comply with advisories. The solution to waste management lies in its segregation and Tirunelveli has achieved it.