Sorry tale of city waste bins

THE latest initiatives of the two city corporations of Dhaka, the south and the north, to make effective the municipal waste collection drive have largely been ignored by the residents. The city corporations have of late planned to install 10,000 waste disposal bins across the capital. The South City Corporation has already installed 80 of the more than 5,500 bins that it has planned to install while the North City Corporation has installed about 700 such bins — initially in busy footpath and crowded places.
But as we have seen in media reports, the city residents are yet to get into the habit of throwing the municipal wastes into bins for the city corporations to collect them for better disposal at a later point, being ferried to the dumps that are located outside the city.
The traditional waste collection by the city corporation has always been blamed, perhaps rightly so, not to be coping with the waste generation rate. A 2015 study shows that the capital Dhaka generates an estimated 6,110 tonnes of solid wastes a day. With an increase in population, this waste generation rate is set to increase further. The final disposal of the wastes had always been a problem with the city corporation as the garbage containers kept in many places, most not at a convenient distance from households often were not emptied or taken away regularly. They, thus, overflowed, soiling with litters and garbage the footpath and even the road.
But now that the city corporations have taken a move to keep the city clean, it falls on us, the residents, to give the city corporation a chance and try not to dirty our footpaths and roads. The city corporations should also carry out campaigns, on all the media, to create awareness of the issue so that the city residents change their mentality. After a successful campaign in this regard, that too for a longer period, the city corporations could at least go for punitive measures against anyone dirtying the city with litters and wastes.
Jahanara Nargis
Rampura, Dhaka

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