Kothagudem Municipality has been managing solid waste successfully and receiving accolades for its cleanliness campaign.

The municipal officials who implemented segregation of wet and dry waste have reached 60-70% efficiency in household waste segregation. Additionally, door to door waste collection via Swachh Autos has eliminated the need for large, smelly rubbish dumpsters in public spaces.

According to Municipal Chairperson, Kapu Seethalakshni, the Rs 2 crore initiative was implemented to establish both a dry resource collection centre (DRCC) and vermi-compost collection centre (VRCC) for the town, and collects around 30 tons of waste per day. The vermi-compost produced is being used to fertilize the town’s saplings, which were planted as part of Haritha Haram, and is also being distributed to the citizens for free, to nurture their own gardening projects.

Seethalakshmi, who was given a state level award for best sanitation and solid waste management by MA&UD Minister KT Rama Rao, says that all municipal councillors were notified about appropriate waste segregation measures, then reached out to households in their respective wards to educate the public regarding the same. She noted that the results are visible as citizens in 36 wards now segregate wet and dry waste in color-coded bins.

Industry partnership

The municipality has also partnered with ITC’s “well-being out of waste” (WoW) initiative, the company’s corporate social responsibility project, to manage dry waste. About a ton of plastics are collected daily, then bundled by a baling machine and transported to Hyderabad for recycling. WoW Coordinator Pasam Ravi said that toxic waste such as chemicals, discarded devices, and disposable hygiene items are incincerated scientifically, and the resulting ash is used to manufacture bricks.