<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Heera bai works as a domestic help in one of Mumbai’s apartment complexes. She, like the family she works for, would earlier throw all the garbage in a common bin. Since last month, when the city’s municipal body asked for waste to be segregated in different containers as per wet and dry waste, the society has provided blue-coloured garbage bins. Green, she is told, is for wet waste and blue for dry. Following the logic, she throws all the waste paper from the craft work little Shael and his friend Riyaaz had done into the blue bin. But Shael’s elder sister, Shaila stops her, saying, “Woh hare dabbe mein jayega (That will go in the green bin).” Heera is visibly confused. “Lekin woh gila nahin hai (But that’s not dry)!”The confusion didn’t end there. Their father Rajeev decided he must clean up the music cabinet. He transfers all the songs from the CDs onto a hard drive. Once he’s done, he dumps all the CDs into the blue bin for dry waste. The following morning the society’s housekeeping staff told Rajeev that the CDs can’t go in the blue bin since they are not dry waste. “But that’s not wet waste either. Where does it go then?” asks Rajeev, only to be told that CDs are electronic waste, and as such fall under a separate category.Rajeev is unconvinced and so they look up the video released by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Turns out the CDs show up in neither waste categories. Even as confusion about what constitutes dry and wet waste reigns, residents and workers may well do to look up the municipal body’s circular — wet waste, it notes, comprises all that can be composted; dry waste is what can be recycled. And therefore wet waste must consist only that which is biodegradable.The circular emphasises that to dispose off dry waste such as food containers/delivery boxes and plastic bags, these must be first rinsed before being put in the blue bins so as to prevent odour from spreading. The dry waste can be sold to the local scrap dealer, and some wards are offering doorstep dry waste collection for free. As for wet waste, the society can distribute it among residents, sell it or “in case the compost runs into tonnes, it can be sold to Rashtriya Chemical Fertilisers (RCF) with whom the municipal corporation has partnered. They won’t accept small quantities though,” says a BMC official.Here’s how waste is collectedWet Waste (Anything that can be composted) Dry Waste Electronic waste or ‘e waste’ Biomedical waste Fruit peels, vegetables, leftover food, fallen leaves, tea powder, floral waste, coconut shells, wood, hand and toe nails, hair, meat, fish, egg shells, used paper, dust from house brooming, etc. Plastic and plastic products, metal and tin cans, sponge, thermacol, glass and glassware, rexine, tetrapak containers, clothes, tubes, rubber,, bones, used cotton, cardboard, etc.
Batteries, CDs, cassettes, phone batteries, chargers, wires and cables, old phones, etc Sanitary napkins, medicines, used bandages, injection syringes, etc.
Housing societies and other bulk generators have to process/compost wet waste on their own
The municipal body will collect this
The municipal body also collects e-waste if it’s segregated The minicipal corporation will collect biomedical waste for a fee