Coronavirus outbreak: Lockdown almost halves Mumbai's garbage production

Updated: 25 March, 2020 07:45 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

From last week, since the partial lockdown, the quantity of garbage reduced by 1,000 to 1,500 metric ton every day and on Monday, it reduced to almost half.

Garbage is disposed of at the Deonar dumping ground. File pic
Garbage is disposed of at the Deonar dumping ground. File pic

The measures taken by the government to help curb the spread of COVID-19 have led to many positive changes in the environment. While air and sound pollution have reduced during the curfew, there is a drastic reduction in the quantity of garbage that is produced. From last week, since the partial lockdown, the quantity of garbage reduced by 1,000 to 1,500 metric ton every day and on Monday, it reduced to almost half.

Garbage collection, transportation and dumping grounds have remained a headache for the civic body for past two decades. After several campaigns and action, the garbage production reduced from 9,000 ton to around 6,500-6,800 ton every day in the past two years.

'A drop in wastage'
With the closure of most restaurants, home delivery services and less wastage in markets, garbage generation has dropped by 15 to 30 per cent. "The main reasons for the reduction in garbage are a drop in the wastage at vegetables/fruit/flower markets, restaurants and even home delivery services. Everyone is using essential food items judicially and this has resulted in lowering the quantity of waste," said one of the officers in the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

He added the floating population of around 30 to 40 lakh has also moved and this also reflected in the reduction of the waste by around 1,500 ton daily. On Monday, after the first day of curfew, the garbage reduced to only 3,200 ton.

Garbage collection on
There are little more than a 1,000 vehicles (large and mini compactors, closed body vehicles) which are used to collect garbage and dumped it at the Deonar or Kanjurmarg dumping grounds. The service was not affected even though the number of staff with each vehicle reduced by 25 per cent. "All the technical staff was reduced to merely 5 per cent, only field staff which is with the vehicles are working. Out of 23,000 staff, 16,000 staff is on ground. Most of the work of collection and transportation of garbage is on contractual basis," said another BMC official.

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First Published: 25 March, 2020 07:25 IST

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