Down to Earth

`Public participat­ion a must'

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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.

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