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Clean Kerala Mission to create awareness
‘90 per cent of water sources polluted’
KOCHI: The confluence of technologies, a willingness to use them and public awareness make it the precise time for Kerala to find a permanent solution to the problem of waste management.
New developments made it possible for the State to evolve a permanent waste management system and also turned it into a zero waste State, said R. Ajaykumar Varma, who is slated to take charge of the Clean Kerala Mission soon.
Dr. Varma was speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a two-day national seminar on “Decentralised Waste Management” organised by the Centre for Rural Development and Appropriate Technology, Cusat, and Centre for Environment and Waste Management here on Tuesday. He said the mission had its task cut out — to equip local administrative bodies with the technology and training for sustainable waste management.
This was possible because people were aware of the seriousness of the problem they had confronted, said Dr. Varma. He said it would not have been possible a decade ago to draw such a large group of people to discuss waste management.
The mission now had a wider scope and a comprehensiveness to bring about a total revolution in the way we had looked at the concept of a clean State.
If in the past we were straddled with poor technology and a lack of awareness about the problem, things had changed drastically, said Dr. Varma. The wide awareness about the problem had come at a cost — about 90 per cent of the water sources were polluted — mostly by the ubiquitous garbage heaps and single leach pit latrines; and the problem of waste management had spread from the urban areas to rural areas, he said.
It was possible to solve the problem through sustained efforts. About 88 per cent of the waste generated was bio-degradable and studies had shown that various composting processes were environment-friendly and sustainable, said Dr. Varma.
If management of the biodegradable substances were carried out at the domestic stage, only a small portion of the total waste generated remained as a common problem. Plastic formed six to seven per cent of the non-bio-degradable waste. Plastic, if segregated, could be recycled, he said.
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