The initiative is part of waste management company Urbaser Sumeet’s drive to make the TN Slum Clearance Board tenements litter free
In a bid to create awareness about Solid Waste Management and source segregation, Urbaser Sumeet, the company that partially manages Chennai’s waste, has started using traditional arts: Therukoothu, Kattaikal, Thappattam and Oyilattam at the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) tenements.
It is also in the process of making Lock Nagar a model tenement for source segregation.
The city generates over 5,500 tonnes of garbage every day, and source segregation has been a challenge. Urbaser Sumeet has been awarded a total of seven zones in Chennai (Zone 9 to 15) and these alone generate close to 3,000 tonnes of garbage per day.
“To educate the residents of the city, especially TNSCB tenements in Kabali Thottam, Venkatapuram, Pallakumaniyam and Govindarajapuram, we have started Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities in all the zones. Apart from dance forms, we have been holding door-to-door awareness campaigns daily. A bi-weekly trash walk exercise with resident participation is also being conducted,” said V. R. Hari Balaji, head of the information, communication and education department, Urbaser Sumeet.
S. Sumathi Manimaran, Zone 9, IEC department in-charge, said that they are in the process of making Lock Nagar TNSCB tenements litter free, with proper source segregation. “We are adapting a 4C Strategy – Contact – Connect – Convince – Change. We are educating 7 to 15-year-old children in the locality on waste segregation and they will be the Internal Change Agents. Women teams have also been formed as a monitoring team to achieve our goal,” she said.
College students and Urbaser Sumeet staff have also been conducting assessments in the tenements. “A Rapid Need Assessment to find out what the locality needs, for example dustbins, and ab Empathy Canvas Exercise to understand the reason people are not segregating waste are being done. This will help us improve our functioning and bring about a change,” said Shammy Jacob, Behavior Change Architect, Urbaser Sumeet
Besides, automatic announcement systems have also been introduced in the Battery Operated Vehicles (BOV) used for collecting waste. “It runs for over two minutes and explains concepts of source segregation,” added Mr. Hari Balaji.
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