As the prices of vegetables spiralled in the city, so did the stack of vegetable waste. Vendors said the steep hike is preventing buyers from purchasing vegetables in bulk, which has resulted in excess wastage. This wastage added an extra five tonnes of garbage to the vegetable waste collected in the city on a daily basis. Commenting on the issue, PMC Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) Suresh Jagtap said last December
the department had collected 30 tonnes of vegetable waste a day. “Currently, we are collecting over 35 tones of waste a day. We collected about 10 tonnes alone from Phule Market last Wednesday, which is otherwise is about seven to eight tonnes. The situation is same at all the vegetable markets in the city, including Hadapsar, Wadgaon Sheri, Aundh, Kothrud and Dip Bungalow Junction.”
Ganpat Shinde, a small-time vegetable vendor said a wad of leafy vegetables that come to market in the morning costs Rs 10, but the price dips to Rs 2 if it remains unsold by the evening.
“If the wad remains unsold, the vendor dumps it into a nearby dustbin. There should be proper coordination between the inflow and sale of vegetables at all the city markets,” Shinde said.
Inspection Officer for Phule Market Milind Khalede said the quantum of vegetable waste, especially leafy vegetables, had increased.
“We are clearing it (waste) as fast as possible and also taking care that overflowing garbage does not obstruct vehicular or pedestrian movement. The weight of vegetable waste is more because of the slug. We are also appealing vegetable vendors not to dump wads in the dustbins,” Khalede said.
Explaining the reason behind the increase in vegetable waste at Phule Market, vegetable vendor Suresh Badhe said the market received vegetables from farmers across the district, including Dhayari, Wadgaon, Chakan and Manchar.
“Since the inflow of vegetables is high, so is the production of waste,” he said. Officials from the Agriculture Produce Market Committee said improper handling by farmers and labourers leads to wastage of over 30 per cent every day.
“Hasty loading and unloading of vegetable is responsible for this loss,” an official said.