Dump regular garbage, defeating the dumpsters’ purpose.
Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) appeal to citizens to shun plastic seems to be falling on deaf ears. The large bins installed at major public places to collect banned plastic items are being used by people to dump regular garbage.
For the implementation of plastic ban, the BMC has identified 25 major public places across the city, where collection bins have been installed. The civic body had appealed citizens to deposit banned plastic items from their houses into the bins. Instead these bins are seen overflowing with garbage other than plastic defeating civic body’s main purpose of collecting banned plastic from citizens.
The bin installed in the Lal Bahadur Shastri Market near the Matunga railway station is always filled with vegetable waste, wooden and paper boxes. This despite the fact that the BMC has a board installed on the same road warning that the bin is to be used only for depositing plastic waste and if anything else found dumped into it, penal action would be taken.
Civic activist Nikhil Desai from Matunga said, “The bin is seen overflowing with all other types of waste except plastic. It shows BMC will have to work harder to enlighten the people about the necessity of the plastic ban.”
The situation was no different at Fashion Street, where the collection bin was found filled with flowers, old clothes and other waste.
Civic officials said that the BMC is planning to start a helpline for the convenience of people. “People can ask the BMC to collect plastic waste by dialling the helpline number. We are planning to assign separate vehicles for each 24 administrative wards to collect banned plastic by visiting housing societies,” a senior civic official said.
Tackling the menace
On March 23, the state government had issued a notification, imposing a ban on manufacture, use, sale, distribution and storage of all plastic materials such as one-time-use bags, spoons, plates, PET and PETE bottles, and thermocol items.
As per the notification, any person found in possession of plastic material can be prosecuted under Section 9 of the Maharashtra Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 2006.
Under Section 9, a person faces fine up to `5,000 for first time offence and imprisonment of three months for subsequent offences.
The Bombay high court last week declined to stay the Maharashtra government’s decision to ban plastic materials.