Even though Aymanam Grama Panchayat in Kottayam District of Kerala that consists of 6500 households, 412 institutions and a population of 34985 individuals produces large quantities of both biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, the village has become a clean Panchayat owing to the effective implementation of the State’s waste management policies.
In fact, the village which lies close to Lake Vembanad and receives its water from the Meenachil River is prone to flooding between the monsoon months of June and August. Consequently, two-thirds of the village comprise of paddy fields. The borders of the village are mostly delineated by rivers or canals, and include the villages of Arpookara, Kumara Nallooru, Thiruvarpu and Kumarakom, and the municipality of Kottayam.
To be able to implement the SWM policies effectively, as a part of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G), the Panchayat formed a task force which is popularly known in Kerala as Haritha Karma Sena (HKS), with the help of Suchitwa mission, Haritha Keralam Mission and Kudumbashree.
The task force which comprises of 40 members collects waste (door to door) once every month, and their remuneration is based on the user fee of Rs. 50 from households and Rs. 100 from institutions.
According to statistics, the 20 wards in the village produce approximately 1.25 tons of bio degradable waste and 200 kgs of non-biodegradable waste. To effectively manage this, the Panchayat has installed 2 aerobic composting units popularly known as Thumpoormuzhi at the community level. The Panchayat has also provided 3500 bio bins and 400 bio gas plants to the house holds for source level composting.
Further, one Material Collection Facility (MCF) and forty mini MCFs have been constructed and installed for the storage of collected waste and segregation. There is also a Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) with the necessary infrastructure, machinery, tools and human power to sort, clean and store non-biodegradable discards from the primary sorted waste and made available for production or consumption purposes.
Additionally, the Panchayat has signed a contract with Clean Kerala Company for the effective migration and scientific disposal of waste. The Clean Kerala Company provides an income on the segregated objects. Thus far, the Haritha Karma Sena has received a sum of Rs. 13,000 through the sale of segregated plastics, as an additional income.
Despite the flood situation, Aymanam does not compromise on proper waste management services. It is imperative to make people aware of the need and importance of proper waste management and the benefits of adopting such a system. Haritha karma Sena should be given full support in the collection of maximum user fees and ensure that the waste delivered by households is of the standard prescribed by HKS.