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Joining hands to green Pammal

K. Manikandan

Government, residents, MNC and Exnora build a compost yard



MANAGING WASTE: The compost yard of the Pammal Municipality built as a joint venture with the local body, Exnora International, Pepsico and residents. — Photo : A.Muralitharan

TAMBARAM: In a unique partnership, the State Government, residents, a multinational and a voluntary organisation have joined hands in building a compost yard at Pammal. The yard was formally inaugurated at a brief function last week amid heavy rain.

According to Mangalam Balasubramaniam of Pammal Exnora, the building of the compost yard was the culmination of strenuous efforts made by activists and residents towards keeping the Municipality clean and neat under the `Pasumai Pammal' project.

She said Exnora had taken up source segregation of garage and door-to-door collection in wards 1, 2 and 3 since October 2004. After recycling non-biodegradable waste, they converted kitchen waste into manure through vermicomposting using earthworms.

As they needed more land, they approached the Kancheepuram district administration, which arranged for an acre of land at Visweswapuram. Pepsico agreed to support the venture and sanctioned Rs. 15 lakhs towards construction of the compost yard and fencing around it. The sum also included the project management cost and expenses for training and building an office for the entire project.

Abhiram Seth, Executive Director - Exports and External Affairs, Pepsico Holdings India Private Limited, said the funding was part of the company's social responsibility programmes. This was the first time the company was supporting a solid waste management project, Mr. Seth added.

Currently, there are 30 employees doing the rounds in the wards collecting garbage, segregating it and transporting them to the compost yard. At the yard, it is once again filtered.

Ms. Mangalam says they plan to extend 100 per cent source segregation to all wards of the Pammal Municipality soon. Kitchen waste is separated, and the recyclable waste is separated under 26 different categories. During the recent floods, a huge quantity of the converted manure and earthworms were washed away. However, Ms. Mangalam said, it was not a problem as they had their own earthworm breeding centre.

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