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Wealth out of waste: ITC gets good response to scheme in South
Hindu Business Line - 17 Sep 2009

Wealth out of waste (WOW) – a recycling programme launched by ITC – is being received well by the citizens in various southern cities and towns and the company has plans to extend it to the whole country, according to the Vice-President (Commercial) of ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division, Mr B. Joga Rao.

He was delivering a lecture here on Wednesday at a seminar organised by the Vizag zone of the Confederation of Indian Industry. He said very little waste was being recycled in the country and it was posing a huge environmental threat, with the increasing population.

“As against 60-70 per cent of the waste being recycled in the West (the US and Europe), only 14 per cent gets recycled in India. Even China and other Asian countries are better placed, with 25-30 per cent recycling,” he remarked.

He spoke about the environmental hazards arising out of the present methods adopted by the civic bodies in the country and the need to educate the general public about the need for recycling.

Environmental hazards

“Roughly, 60 per cent of the waste generated in households consists of paper and the rest, metal, plastics and other things. We are trying to educate the public about the two-bin system – segregation of waste into two categories (recyclable and the rest) at source. We are implementing the programme in some of the cities and towns in Andhra Pradesh. The response has been very good,” he said, citing the example of Eluru, the district headquarters town of West Godavari.

Generated quantity

Mr Joga Rao said that every day, 4,200 tonnes of waste were being generated in Hyderabad, of which 1,200 tonnes could be recycled. Mumbai was generating 6,800 tonnes (2,000 tonnes); Kolkata 5,500 tonnes (1,600); Chennai 4,500 tonnes (1,300); New Delhi 6,000 tonnes (1,800) and Bangalore 4,000 tonnes (1,200).

He said that in parts of Hyderabad city, ITC, along with Ramky, was implementing the wealth out of waste programme. “As an incentive, we are paying the citizens Rs 4 a kg of recyclable waste collected and as a result, those areas are looking much cleaner. Each individual household is getting roughly Rs 200-250 a month,” he said.

Extending to other cities

He said ITC was taking up the programme in Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram and it would be extended to the other cities and sought the co-operation of civic bodies, NGOs and other corporates.

“Economically, ecologically, the programme will pay rich dividends. Recycling is absolutely essential to conserve precious natural resources and to preserve the planet for the posterity,” he said.

The Additional Commissioner of the Greater Visakha Municipal Corporation (GVMC), Mr S. Krishnamurthy, said that roughly 900 tonnes of waste were being generated every day in the city and scientific processing of the waste was becoming difficult.

“In the past, we tried it in certain areas with the help of a private company. But after sometime, we could not continue with it, as user charges had to be collected, for which the council did not give the approval. At this point, ITC has come into the picture. We have signed a memorandum of understanding with the company for implementing the programme in one zone. The company will collect the waste without any charge,” he added.

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